Marketing International Business

Table of Contents

Hofstede’s cultural difference between Vietnam and United Kingdom.. 3 Conclusion. 5 Reference List 6

Hofstede’s cultural difference between Vietnam and United Kingdom

The cultural differences between countries have been elaborated by Geert Hofstede through six dimensions. In this paper, cultural difference is drawn between Vietnam and United Kingdom. The new Business Development Manager of United Kingdom has decided to make a deal with a Vietnamese company in order to get supply of raw materials. For maintaining a good relation with the supplier in Vietnam, the company in UK has planned to prepare a report portraying the cultural and linguistic difference between Vietnam and United Kingdom. The report highlights on cultural and linguistic requirements in order to bridge the difference between the two companies:

Figure 1: Hofstede Framework: United Kingdom and Vietnam

(Source: The Hofstede Centre, 2014b)

From the above figure, the following can be deduced:

1) Power Distance: Comparing this cultural dimension of Vietnam and United Kingdom, it can be noticed that Vietnam scores higher (The Hofstede Centre, 2014a; Bochner, 2004). This signifies that power is centralized and there is inequality among individuals in an organisation. However, United Kingdom scores quite lower in this dimension, which implies power is decentralized and all individuals in an organisation are given opportunity to voice their opinion and are treated equally (Chevrier, 2003). On comparing both countries, it can be stated that the UK based outdoor clothing company will encounter problem if the deal with Vietnamese company is approved (Krishna, Sahay and Walsham, 2004; Lieshout, 2006). Hence, for maintaining a long-term relationship with the latter, the British company has to develop a sound relation. This relation will be developed if staff from UK based company is able to cope up with centralized power of the Vietnamese company. It is only possible if the staff is polite and is aware of the local language, which will facilitate appropriate communication (De Mooij, 2010).

2) Individualism: Vietnam is a collectivist society and believes in long-term relationship with any group that is associated. However, United Kingdom believes in individualism and desires to take care of themselves. It will be helpful for staff in the UK based company to establish good relation with Vietnamese company. If the UK based company wants to make the deal with Vietnamese company, it has to forgo the individualistic nature and cooperate with suppliers (Luo, 2002; McSweeney, 2002; Schaffer and Riordan, 2003; Silverthorne, 2005; Livemore, D., 2001).

3) Masculinity: Vietnam is considered as a feminine society where individuals focus on quality of life and equality and conflicts are resolved by compromising and negotiating. Even so, United Kingdom is a masculine society where competition for success is the only driving factor for every organisation (The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited, 2012; Baker, 2003). As a result, it can be stated that the staff from UK based company will have to understand ways in which the Vietnamese company deals with the contracting parties. The Vietnamese company believe in centralization of power. Thus, the staff of UK based company not only have to build a good relation with managers of Vietnamese company, but also with employees (Signorini, Wiesemes and Murphy, 2009; Minkov and Hofstede, 2011). This will render the deal successful and the Vietnamese company will supply raw materials to the UK based company.

4) Uncertainty avoidance: Vietnam scores low in this dimension and do not prefer to avoid uncertainty. Nonetheless, United Kingdom also scores low in uncertainty avoidance. Both the countries believe that they there is truth behind every situation and time play a major role. It can be concluded that the British company can encounter problem while functioning with the Vietnamese company (Posner, 2004). The reason here is that the UK based company can get affected by uncertain situations that is encountered by the Vietnamese company. In order to avoid so, the UK based company should make alternative plans for obtaining raw materials, in case the Vietnamese company fails to provide the same (Thorne and Saunders, 2002; Merkin, 2006; Xiumei and Wang, 2011).

5) Indulgence: Socialization is the key for becoming a human. This particular dimension defines the degree to which an individual control their impulses and desires. These dimensions are dependent on the way in which they have been raised since childhood. When the control is weak it is defined as indulgence and relatively sting control is defined as restraint. Thus the cultures of different country can be either indulgent or restrained.

Vietnam scores low in this dimension. It explains the fact that culture in Vietnam is differentiated restrained. Thus, Vietnam has a tendency to pessimism and cynicism. In comparison to indulgent societies, the restrained ones do not give emphasis on desires and leisure time. Rather individuals with this orientation have prefers actions and this particular actions are restrained by the social norms.

UK scores high in this dimension and this indicate that the British culture is classified as indulgent. Individuals in this society demonstrate their openness to give emphasis on their desires and impulses. They enjoy life to the fullest and have positive attitude. They spend a lot of time with their friends. Thus, it can be stated that the friendly nature of British company will help it to share a good relation with the Vietnamese company in the long run. The British company will have the opportunity to communicate with the Vietnamese company efficiently which will build up their business relation. Though Vietnam does not believe in indulgence but in order to maintain a trade relation will cooperate with the British company and make their trade successful.

Conclusion

Several cultural and linguistic differences are observed in international trade and expansion, which gives rise to major challenges for the host and home company. Consequently, both these companies would be unable to successfully make the deal, thereby resulting in huge monetary loss. In this case, the UK based company has decided to make a deal with a Vietnamese company for procuring raw materials. In order to avoid difficulties that were encountered during the deal with the supplier in Austria, the UK based company has concentrated on developing solutions in an appropriate manner. The management has decided to prepare a report portraying the cultural and linguistic difference between United Kingdom and Vietnam. Therefore, this difference is taken into account while devising solutions in order to maintain a long-term prosperous relation with the Vietnamese company. The basic requirement for building a successful relation is to understand the policy or way that the Vietnamese company considers while dealing with parties. This will help the British company to communicate with suppliers and continue a healthy relationship the Vietnamese firm. The UK based company also needs to eliminate the individualist view of their staff so as to work collectively with that of the Vietnamese company.

Reference List

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Chevrier, D., 2003. Cross-cultural management in multinational project groups. Journal of World Business 38, pp. 141-149.

De Mooij, M., 2010. The Hofstede model. International Journal of Advertising 29(1), pp. 85-110.

Krishna, S., Sahay, S. and Walsham, G., 2004. Managing cross-cultural issues in global software outsourcing. Communications of the ACM, 47, pp. 62-66.

Lieshout, S., 2006. Effective Multi- Cultural Project Management: Bridging The Gap Between National Cultures And Conflict Management Styles. [pdf] University of Gavle.  Available at: <http://hig.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:119684/FULLTEXT01.pdf> [Accessed 11 June 2014].

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McSweeney, B., 2002. Hofstede’s Model Of National Cultural Differences And Their Consequences: A Triumph Of Faith – A Failure Of Analysis. [pdf] Sage Publications. Available at: <http://www.uk.sagepub.com/managingandorganizations/downloads/Online%20articles/ch05/4%20-%20McSweeney.pdf> [Accessed 11 June 2014].

Merkin, R., 2006. Uncertainty avoidance and facework: A test of the Hofstede model.” International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 30(2), pp.  213-228.

Minkov, M. and Hofstede, G., 2011. The evolution of Hofstede’s doctrine. Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, 18(1), pp. 10-20.

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The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited, 2012. Competing across borders. [pdf] Corporate Language learning Solution. Available at: <http://www.jku.at/zsp/content/e48784/e164612/Competing_across_borders.pdf> [Accessed 11 June 2014].

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Thorne, L. and Saunders, S., 2002. The socio-cultural embededness of individuals’ ethical reasoning in organizations. Journal of Business Ethics, 35, pp. 1-14.

Xiumei, S. and Wang, J., 2011.  Interpreting Hofstede Model and GLOBE Model: Which Way to Go for Cross-Cultural Research? International Journal of Business & Management, 6(5).

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