The study looks for universal principles of management that can be successfully applied to all establishments as well as the differences that have considerable impact on management practices that are unique to a given country.
There are some comparative management philosophers who believe that the world is becoming smaller and uniform because of education, technology and pragmatic thinking”. There are other scholars who are convinced that the world will remain diverse because of deep-rooted cultural inertia, strong religious code of conduct, different stages of economic development, unevenly distributed natural resources and regional overpopulation”. These two respective views are known as the view of “convergence” and the philosophy of “divergence”.
Divergence views are currently more dominant because the attitudes in life are developed through family and cultural upbringing and cultures are measurably different in different nations. These differences are significant in many areas relevant to management practices and include the leadership style, concept of motivation and competition, organizational design and structure and so on.
Hugh E. Kramer has studied the differences in attitudes towards certain managerial concepts and practices among American, European and Japanese cultures. For example, in America, competition is a strong character building moral force and business competition is like a big sport game, while in Japan, the company is like a family and there is no place for internal competition.
A man’s final goal is harmony with nature and his fellow men rather than measurable materialistic achievements. Even in hiring policies American companies prefer competent and aggressive individuals who excel in competition and are high achievers. In Japan, on the other hand, individuals are hired on their ability to become an honorable “company member” and share the team spirit.
The idea of success and achievement means differently to people in different cultures. The multi-dimensional concept of achievement is summarized by John W. Huntas follows:
“The concept most difficult to translate to different cultures is………… the multi-dimensional concept of “achievement”. In most work done outside America, Great Britain and other Anglo-American societies, this word has been refined to mean autonomy and/or creativity. Similarly, the value laden concept of “success”, which in American literature appears to mean individual success, is not readily transferable to Japanese or Asian cultures.
The successful man in Thailand may be one who looks after his extended family. The successful person in North American writings achieves success through education, the accumulation of assets and corporate ladder climbing.
The “high achiever” (if such translation was possible) in parts of Asia succeeds primarily in his relationship and in disowning attachment to possessions; corporate ladder climbing has much lower significance.
Further, for the Hindu manager in India, uncertainty is not an issue, simply because he believes that his whole life is predetermined and certain. By contrast, Christian societies do not share this belief.”