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THE INFLUENCE OF CULTURE ON MANAGEMENT PRACTICES OF MULTINATIONAL FIRMS

Business Administration & Management Project Topics

CHAPTER ONE

                                                            INTRODUCTION                                               

1.1      BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Management is an issue that has invited a lot of study aimed towards finding ways of achieving results/attaining desired goals. It is an instrument used by organization to achieve specified goals. It is been influenced by diverse environment, social, political, economic and psychological factors. Organizations use it to plan, organize, direct and control the entire human, material and financial resources available to them.

It concerns the various practices and activities which result from the process of combining the resources available to the organization’s work attitude and practice. This identified way of doing things in the organization is the organizations culture.

Modern organizations are in themselves cultural entities, with their own values and share practices. Noticeable are their policies, objectives and decision – making processes. All these constitute the company’s corporate culture.

Corporate culture or company culture can be seen as the shared practices and values of an organization. The organization operates in a cultural environment, which it seeks to serve, and from where it draws its resources to achieve its goals. The environment has its own values and practices, which it seeks to protect. The two cultures are always exerting influences on each other. This they do as they seek to achieve their various interests enshrined in the economic and social contract binding their relationship.

In this relationship, the organization draws its resources from the environment, and the environment meets its needs from the services provided by the organization.

One of the most valuable resources which the organization draws from the environment, it people. The individuals inside the organization have their own values, interests, beliefs and norms. Having come from somewhere, the specific culture and value system usually have bearing on their work attitude and practices.

In an organization that cuts across tribes or cultures, the cultural values are brought together within the organization’s culture. This implies that an organization has culture and the various individuals in the organization carry with them their own specific culture into the organization. The presence of this tribal culture often affects or influences the organization’s culture.

The coming together of culture entails the problem of cultural conflicts. It is the interface of a group dominating another, determining work practices and the way of doing things in the organization. It could also result to a group resisting the suppression and negligence of their cultural values. Both reactions to culture will produce a set of management practices, which either reflect the values of the dominant culture or reaction to manage the weak culture. This reaction within the organization resulted to the creation of management activities which are either goal friendly or goal aversive.

In multinational companies, there are many national cultures that make up the co-operate culture. The American culture applies to American businesses in America, British culture for British businesses in Britain and Nigerian culture for Nigerian businesses in Nigeria. If one culture exports its values overseas, it must be realigned to harmonize with local values.

Our task in this study is to examine the influence of culture on management practices of multinational firms in Nigeria and how cultural values can be harnessed at workplace to enhance productivity. The study content will seek to examine the following:

1)        Fundamental Management Practices. The Universal Theories on which  they are built,

2)        The Adaptation of these practices to the value system of a particular   tribe-  culture,

3)        How these practices have been influenced or changed through the  working together of many cultures and,

4)        The effect they have on management.

1.2      STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

It is a well-known fact that a business organization develops a particular work practice and management attitude, which reflects their shared values, aspirations and goals.

 

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