Project Proposal [email to Dr. Hartley]
As a group, select a country of focus and identify a multinational corporation that originates within that country. Submit first and second choices to Dr. Hartley by email.
Country Assessment [two pages]
Describe your country and explain how different facets of the nation impact its business.
• Sociocultural comparison between that country and the U.S. (i.e., Hofstede’s Five Dimensions)
• Overview of the country’s political system
• Overview of the country’s economic status
• Summary of the country’s geographic features and characteristics
• Other interesting or relevant information related to business in that country
Company Profile [one page]
Provide background on the multinational business based in the chosen country. Rate the business in terms of how globalized the company is. (Textbook, page 24.)
• Where value is added to the product
• Competitive strategy
• Use of non-home-country personnel
• Extent of global ownership in the firm
Group Presentation [PowerPoint + reference list]
20 minutes, PowerPoint format. Cover all key points of the information gathered, as described above. All group members participate in the presentation portion of the project. Submit a formal list of references in APA format.
Power Distance Index: This dimension expresses the degree to which the less powerful members of a society accept and expect that power is distributed unequally. The fundamental issue here is how a society handles inequalities among people.
Individualism / Collectivism: The high side of this dimension, called individualism, can be defined as a preference for a loosely-knit social framework in which individuals are expected to take care of only themselves and their immediate families. Its opposite, collectivism, represents a preference for a tightly-knit framework in society in which individuals can expect their relatives or members of a particular in-group to look after them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty.
Masculinity / Femininity: The Masculinity side of this dimension represents a preference in society for achievement, heroism, assertiveness and material rewards for success. Society at large is more competitive. Its opposite, femininity, stands for a preference for cooperation, modesty, caring for the weak and quality of life. Society at large is more consensus-oriented. In the business context Masculinity versus Femininity is sometimes also related to as "tough versus tender" cultures.
Uncertainty Avoidance Index: The Uncertainty Avoidance dimension expresses the degree to which the members of a society feel uncomfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity. The fundamental issue here is how a society deals with the fact that the future can never be known: should we try to control the future or just let it happen? Countries exhibiting strong UAI maintain rigid codes of belief and behavior and are intolerant of unorthodox behavior and ideas. Weak UAI societies maintain a more relaxed attitude in which practice counts more than principles.
Long-term Orientation / Short-term Orientation:Every society has to maintain some links with its own past while dealing with the challenges of the present and the future. Societies prioritize these two existential goals differently. Societies who score low on this dimension, for example, prefer to maintain time-honored traditions and norms while viewing societal change with suspicion. Those with a culture which scores high, on the other hand, take a more pragmatic approach: they encourage thrift and efforts in modern education as a way to prepare for the future. In the business context this dimension is related to as "(short term) normative versus (long term) pragmatic" (PRA). In the academic environment the terminology Monumentalism versus Flexhumility is sometimes also used.