Discuss the Relevance of Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions to a Manager of a Multinational Company in Ghana

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INTRODUCTION All social behaviour is embedded in a particular context and is connected to other deeply held values and beliefs. This means that the stakes are high for mismanaging cultural differences. Ignoring or mishandling differences can mean an inability to retain and motivate employees, misreading the potential of cross-border alliances, marketing and advertising blunders, and failure to build sustainable sources of competitive advantage. Mismanaging cultural differences can render otherwise successful managers and organisations ineffective and frustrated when working across cultures. When successfully managed, however, differences in the culture can lead to innovative business practices, faster and better learning within the organisation, and sustainable sources of competitive advantage (Hoecklin, 1996) .From this point of view, any company who wants to carry out or manage business successfully in another should understand the culture of the host country clearly. Even if they do not know what the similarities between the two countries are, they should at least know the differences. There are too many definitions of culture different research fields. This limits ones understanding of a culture because the very same aspect of a culture can be many different people in different research fields at the same time. According to Evans et all (1991), in very general terms, cross-cultural studies are concerned with differences in factors such as educational background, beliefs, art, morals, customs, laws, economic and political frameworks, etc. Indeed, there is no reason why the complex whole of “culture” should not also include history economics and politics. This statement in fact shows the problem of culture definition in cross-cultural studies. Because a culture is a complex system, cross-cultural studies need a systems approach. As Hofstede (1980, p. 32)

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