International Human Resource Management

A critical discussion of cultural differences between USA, China & Poland in conjunction with recommendations what human resource could do to alleviate these differences on a short and long term basis

Term Paper 2010 15 Pages

Business economics - Business Management, Corporate Governance




List of Tables

List of Figures

1. Introduction

2. The Countries of the New Organisation in a Concise Overview
2.1 Detroit (USA)
2.2 Guangdong (China)
2.3 Katowice (Poland)

3. Differences & Similarities between the Countries, likely Problems of the Merger &
3. how to alleviate these Issues

3.1 Language & Communication

3.1.1 Potential Problems of Language & Communication

3.1.2 Possible Recommendations to alleviate the Problems of Language &
3.1.2 Communication

3.2 Hofstede´s Five Cultural Dimensions

3.2.1 A Comparison between the different Countries within the New Organisation

3.2.2 Possible Recommendations to alleviate the Problems of Cultural Differences

3.3 Monochronic and Polychronic Business Cultures

3.3.1 Potential Problems of Monochronic and Polychronic Business Cultures

3.3.2 Possible Recommendations to alleviate the Problems of Monochronic and
3.3.2 Polychronic Business Cultures

4. Conclusion

List of References

List of Tables

Table 1: Low-context and high-context business cultures

Table 2: More potential problems the new organisation could expect to have

Table 3: High and low power distance

Table 4: Individualism and collectivism

Table 5: Masculinity and femininity

Table 6: Uncertainty avoidance

Table 7: Long-term and short-term orientation

Table 8: Comparison: Monochronic and polychronic business cultures

Table 9: More cultural issues

List of Figures

Figure 1: Hierarchy of the new organisation

Figure 2: Flag of Detroit

Figure 3: Flag of Guangdong

Figure 4: Flag of Katowice

Figure 5: Overview: Hofstede´s Five Cultural Dimensions

Figure 6: Different time zones

1. Introduction

It is a matter of fact that through increasing globalisation, multinational companies now face a wide range of issues related to cultural differences. This is especially true of a merger of three organisations from three different countries and continents, which would imply huge changes to an organisation and their cultural awareness.

This report will focus on a large automotive company based in the USA which is merging with two other organisations from China and Poland. The senior management will be based in Detroit, USA, because they are specialist in the automotive industry and therefore they will head the organisation. Furthermore the middle management will be located in Guangdong, a province of China. Because they need to reduce their costs urgently, the production facilities will be closed in the US as well as in China and will be moved to Katowice, Poland. This process should begin immediately with the aim to start production within 12 months.

The new organisational hierarchy represents the polycentric approach and means that each subsidiary is managed by Host-Country Nationals (HCNs) (Brewster, Sparrow and Vernon 2007).

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
Figure 1: Hierarchy of the new organisation (own figure)

The purpose of this report is to discuss the main issues of cultural differences within the new organisation and secondly, to consider what human resources in particular could do to alleviate these differences on a short and long-term basis.

2. The Countries of the New Organisation in a Concise Overview

2.1 Detroit

Detroit is located in the Midwest region of the USA and is well known for his automotive industry. As a result automotive companies as well as other related companies are well connected all over the world. Americans are very direct, and their language is ‘low context’ and communication is more informal than formal (Engel, Szerlip and Watson 2001).

2.2 Guangdong

The province Guangdong is located in the south of China and is one of the country's economic engines (China Daily 2010). A very sensitive duty for the senior management is to avoid words like ‘no’ when they talk to the middle management. This is a major communication problem, because Americans are direct and ‘no’ is a common word in their vocabulary. However, in China, this may be interpreted by as losing face. It is important to understand that, because reputation and respect are very important in China (Li, Szerlip and Watson 2001). Thus, if they feel insulted or disrespected, the Chinese middle management will not work in an effective way for the organisation.

2.3 Katowice

Katowice is located in the south of Poland. The Polish are well known for their hard work, directness and punctuality (Kissel, Szerlip and Watson 2001).



ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
860 KB
Catalog Number
Institution / College
Coventry University
International Human Resource Management China Poland




Title: International Human Resource Management