management styles

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In last century, a good manager in the U.S might suit other companies in other countries. In addition, the effective U.S management practice may work anywhere. This theory, the dominance of American management, has been supplanted with a new concept that different national cultures lead to various managerial attitudes, values, behaviors and efficacy (Newman, 1996). Management styles are typical ways of making decisions and relating to subordinates. It can divide into two main contrasting styles, autocratic and democratic. The differences of power distance and individualism-collectivism in Japan and America make their companies have opposite management styles to adapt their special employees and local culture. In this essay, it will show power distance and influence of management style in two countries, U.S and Japan respectively. The next stage is to analyze the relationship between Individualism-Collectivism and national culture. Finally, it will show one typical management styles which cause by traditional eastern culture and its advantage and drawback. These all can help people to understand different management styles well and know which styles are suitable for which different countries.

The major factor which affects management styles is power distance. “Power distance is the extent to which people believe that power and status are distributed unequally and accept an unequal distribution of power as the proper way for social systems to be organized.”(Newman, 1996) Western countries tend to be divided into low power distance area because residents in these areas believe that humans are equal and they want to participate in and affect decisions of organizations. In contrast, many inhabitants in east prefer to follow and directly implement decisions from leaders. According to Hofstede’s research (1980, cited in Bochner and Hesketh, 1994), it shows that employees from countries on high power distance tend to agree with superior or at least remain neutral. Therefore, employees rarely give any advises to make improvement of companies when managers make decision because subordinates may be afraid of challenging supervisor. For example, in Japan, young people must respect their seniors, the elders, and those who hold higher social status. In order to present this respect, they have special expressions and words to use when they talk with superiors. Under this atmosphere, employees in Japanese organizations tend to follow superior’s strategies and have little chance to give their opinion about improvement of companies. On the other hand, American organizations tend to willing talk about their opinion for companies with supervisors to help companies improve because of low power distance. American employees have their individual opinions for development of companies and they are not afraid of people from higher status because they believe people are equal in every corner of the world. Subsequently, they can give their superiors advices to improve organizations.

Individualism-Collectivism is one key factor to influence management styles in two countries. According to Hofstede’s research (1980), individualism can be defined as a concept that people just pay major attention on own value and immediate families. In comparison, people in collective culture prefer to work for their relatives and other in-group to exchange interdependence. Since people in the USA believe in individualism, their managers prefer to believe that they are the best and rarely accept subordinates’ opinions. In addition, their management styles tend to be autocratic which means that only administers make decision without listening under trappers’ opinions. In autocratic style, American mangers ignore the need of subordinates because they primarily consider their welfare as self-interested people and worry about increasing expenditures would make them look wasteful. On the other hand, this style is an effective way to make quickly decision for an...
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