Gun Ho Movie Analysis
So that we gain an understanding of the cultural differences in the Gung Ho film, the Geert Hofstede’s cultural values framework was adopted. Thus, the cultural differences were analyzed based on the six dimension of the Hofstede’s model which were the Power Distance Index (PDI), Individualism verses collectivism (IDV), Masculinity verses Femininity (MAS), the Uncertainty avoidance index (UAI), Long term orientation verses short term normative orientation (LTO), and finally a look at the indulgence Verses restrain (IND) dimensions of the model (Hofstede, 2018). The Hofstede’s cultural value model was justified for the analysis of the cultural differences in the film because its measurements are quantifiable easing the process of comparing the cultures between different countries like USA, China, and Sweden in this case.
The detrimental effects of uncontained cultural differences in business is effectively captured in Gung Ho when an American by the name Michael Keaton urges a japan automobile company that had closed down its operations in the US to reopen once again. Although the film is fictional, it presents a good opportunity to understand the dynamics of cultural differences in the operations of multinationals and the challenges that come with their multicultural employees. Specifically, the two scales of PDI and Individualism were demonstrated by the two characters in the manner they shared information between staff in same level and junior levels and their superiors in dealing with complaints, resolving conflicts, and meeting deadlines. For instance, Keaton, in his role as Hunt Stevenson, interacts with his senior and junior staff in an informal and casual manner where they were involved in all aspects of decision-making, making the implementations of resolutions easy and with minimal supervision.
Keaton could also easily and quickly question the resolutions made by his senior without fear or delay (Howard et al. Additionally, another key aspect of the American staff was that they did not prioritize the company and could easily take leave for personal reasons without too much thought. On the other hand, Keaton’s colleague Watanabe maintained a very official relationship with his colleagues and was keen not to question the resolutions of his seniors and extended the same expectation to his juniors. The PDI dimension is a measure of the level to which the less powerful members of the society accept and acknowledge that power is unequally distributed. Developed by Hofstede through the analysis of more than 140 cultures on the basis of their values and attitudes on the powerful and the authoritative in their cultures.
In this regard, societies with a lower power distance had a PDI tending to zero while societies with high power distance had higher values of PDI tending to 100. In this regard, measures of the PDI of Japan produced a value of 54 while that of USA produced 40. Therefore, the values indicates that the Japanese are likely to be cognizant of hierarchy and therefore act formally (Hofstede, 2018). In regard to the IDV, societies with a low IDV adopt a collective way of doing their businesses. Thus, workers on organizations in these cultures are highly likely to be treated as family members as compared to individualistic societies with a high IDV where there is individual protection. In this regard, the USA, with an IDV of 91 becomes one of the most individualistic countries of the two.
In addition to its low PDI, the USA culture has greater values of personal liberties, personal development and success, casual sharing of information, and reduced dependence on the authorities. Consequently, there is a high degree of consultations between employees and their superiors, enabling faster and timely sharing of crucial business information. Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI) A. The UAI is a measure of the extent to which members of a particular cultural group feel threatened or anxious about a particular occurrence or uncertainty. Hofstede therefore developed the UAI to measure the degree of avoiding this uncertainty within a cultural group by use of three indicators namely: job stability, stress level, and rule orientation. According to Hofstede’s initial findings, cultures exhibiting low UAIs were found to have low stress levels, minimal rules and regulations, and less structures in their duties.
Therefore, societies that hate uncertainties avoid them through the development of structured activities with strict adherence to rules and guidelines. The masculinity verses femininity of dimension of the Hofstede cultural model measures the extent of a societies inclinations to male aspirations like the desire to amass wealth instead of trivial issues like personal appearance. However, since the male and female sexes value issues to do with work and business differently, Hofstede developed the Masculinity Index and postulated that some cultures demonstrated higher masculinity than others. For instance people in cultures with a high MAS score were less likely to be critical of successful people with a high living to work philosophical inclinations. On the contrary, cultures with a low MI score, indicating a high degree of femininity are more likely to sympathize with the underprivileged who live by the working to live philosophy.
In this regard, the Hofstede’s model values the USA at an MAS of 62, indicating that it is a masculine society where success and achievement rank highly in the list of goals. The comeback comparison demonstrated the will of the American culture that angles towards masculine tendencies of never giving until personal success is achieved. Long-term verses Short Term Normative Orientation (LTO) A. Also known as pragmatism and normatism in Hofstede’s cultural model, this is a measure of the extent to which a culture focusses on longer term issues rather than on short term goals. Cultures with long term orientations are often associated with persistence, adhere to ordered relations, and have a sense of shame. On the other hand, short term oriented cultures, personal stability, image protection, and a reciprocal tradition in deed and behavior thrive.
The indulgence and restraint dimension of the Hofstede model asses the level of humanity and impulse control in a culture. Societies with a reduced impulsivity are indulgent while those with high control are restrained. The Japanese have a low indulgence score of 42 indicating their high restraint hence they do not value gratification or vacations sometimes leading to pessimism and boring routine controlled lifestyles. On the other hand, the USA society has a high indulgence score where the culture of work hard and play hard is promoted (Hofstede, 2018). Comparatively, Sweden fairs as an indulgent society with a score of 78 compared to the 68 IND score of USA. B. The variations in leadership approaches between the American and the Japanese cultures in their duties at Assan Motors is well explained using the Hofstede’s cultural model and especially by the individualism and collectivism dimensions.
As aforementioned, the American culture is largely individualistic, hence, there are single leaders whom have a direct interaction with junior workers and lower cadre of leaders and issue directives and receive feedbacks. On the other hand, the collectivist nature embodied in the Japanese culture where corporate leaders adopt a group approach in their managerial roles making managers facilitators instead of corporate leaders like in the USA (Hofstede, 2018). Process and Workflow Development A. For many US managers, they prefer hiring either fresh graduates or other companies and there is therefore loyalty to the profession and not on the job. Afterwards, there is occasional performance evaluation on the short term basis where bonuses and promotions are awarded depending on the performance of the individual.
There is scarce preferences for training unless excellence is guaranteed. For the Japanese, although they also hire fresh graduates, they do not hire from other competitors believing that loyalty is to the company. Additionally, there is reduced performance evaluations and are done for long term planning. So, the film enables easier identification and evaluation of the film in accordance with the six dimensions of the Hofstede cultural model in an academic yet practical, and entertaining approach. Thus, the Hofstede Model of Culture in liaise with the relevance of the Gung Ho film, provides the perfect startup packages for aspiring managers and corporate leaders in a multicultural and globalized space. References America, H. The Philosophy of Mr. Honda. Retrieved from https://www.
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