Global Companies' Challenges in Meeting with Different Work Cultures

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Ownership and workplaces become increasingly global. This is also the case in the Norwegian labor market where there has been an increase both in number of jobs that have been taken over by international companies and in the number of Norwegian companies that buy and invest in foreign companies outside Norway (Carla Dahl-Jorgensen 2003:30). 
I quote from Dahl-Jorgensen over, it emerges that the globalization of labor is a relevant phenomenon. One of the biggest challenges of the globalization of businesses is the meeting between different cultures, and it is precisely such challenges, this chapter will be about. Our question is: "What challenges face global companies in relation to different work cultures?" We should first look at the concepts of homogenization and heterogenisering (Dahl-Jorgensen 2003). By looking at the empirical data from a select few global companies, we will look at how the homogenization and heterogenisering takes effect through different management strategy. The examples are taken from Carla Dahl-Jorgensen (2003) that looks at some Norwegian companies' global strategies in meeting other cultures. Pun Ngai (2005) where we introduce a factory in China producing for the international market, and Miriam Salzer-Morling (1998) who writes about Ikea. Moreover, we will present different role expectations and organizational ethics across the working cultures. When companies operate across national boundaries to meet people in a setting where you have high expectations of how the various actors should act. Because the work culture and work ethic is proving to be very different in different cultures, this is a challenge for companies that we want to look into. We will take care of examples from Marietta L. Baba (2003) and Tomoko Hamada (1989, 1995) who writes about utfrodringer associated workshops located in various countries, and attitudes to ethics and roles in the U.S., France and Japan. "In addition to being an economic, technological and political phenomenon, globalization is also a cultural and ideskapende phenomenon" (Dahl-Jorgensen 2003:30). Globalization is not just about the distribution of companies and their technology and capital, but also deals largely encounter between humans and new forms of interaction. Globalization refers to the process challenges on many different levels and aspects, and it includes all of us. Therefore, we want this chapter to look at globalization as seen from the corporate point of view, where management strategies are the main theme, and globalization through the individual's view of where they face challenges related to the work ethics and work culture. In this way, we will investigate the subject in a broader perspective. We will start by presenting the concepts of homogenization and heterogenisering. 
Globalization of labor - and homogenization heterogenisering 
Studies show that companies that are experiencing global processes of homogenization or heterogenisering. The homogeneous perspective considers globalization as a unifying and homogenizing process in which companies are becoming more equal. This looks, among other things, the use of uniform technology, tools and management strategies. The heterogeneous perspective, however, points out that most global companies must take into account local resources and cultural needs, which in turn creates diversity and heterogeneity. The players are not as mobile as when, for example, access to capital, and are happy with the resources that have their origins in local contexts (Dahl-Jorgensen 2003). It is important to remember that these concepts do not have to be some companies even make use of to describe his meeting with the outside world, but that they are often used in studies of the global workplace. 
Dahl-Jorgensen (2003) writes three Norwegian-owned global companies and their attitudes and strategies of globalization in his article "Management of uncertainty in a global world - to think locally as a survival strategy." By following these companies in their meeting with the global world identified several challenges related to globalization of the workplace. A challenge all companies faced was how they would function as one organization. They wanted to create homogeneity, so that they appeared as "total". They had to preserve, and at the same time develop "their own cultures". The answer was emphasized strategies where local, Norwegian advantage. The Norwegian leadership model is an example of a local edge leaders in these companies took. This model is characterized by leaders who think cooperation, and motivate employees to participate. This stands in contrast to other countries' models, which emphasizes authority and hierarchy. Norwegian Hydro, one of the companies that Dahl-Jorgensen studied, sent their foreign employees to Norway to be taught the company's history and culture. This, to create equality and community by getting the "others" to acquire Norwegian values and management culture. Eventually, the executives discovered that one of the biggest challenges of the globalization of the company was meeting between their own culture and cultures where the company was located. This must be taken into account if one wants to work as a community. Kvaerner, one of the other companies, global business by acquiring or merging with other companies, and therefore felt that "they bought the others' history." This stands in contrast to Hydro, who developed their companies by recruiting employees to their own businesses in other countries. Kvaerner met, therefore, a strongly rooted culture and the cultural problems they faced was a result of that history met story. Therefore they could not send their employees to be taught Kvaerner's culture and history, so Hydro did with his. They had to either try to find cooperative ways or turn cultures together. These companies therefore found that taking into account other local cultures you meet is an important factor for success in a global context. This is crucial if one wants to be global, acting actors. One must learn from each other. The leaders gradually discovered that the Norwegian leadership model had its weaknesses. It urged the leadership not to engage in long-term planning, and this meant that the leaders emerged as informal with too little control. There was no systematic reporting structure, which in turn led to the tasks were often performed in the last minute. To improve this, it was opened to the heterogeneity, and there was a mix of Norwegian management culture and the already existing culture of "the others".


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