The transfer from Davinci Apps to Rome, Italy requires substantial information in order to be informed. This report provides a well-balanced format consisting of critical elements that may be needed during the process. With many similarities as well as distinct differences, this report illustrates many of the needed considerations.
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This report aims to relay critical elements of the operations of Davinci Apps located in Rome, Italy. Beginning with a brief overview detailing the macro-level factors related to the region, this report will turn to a value description utilizing the Hofstede theory. Following these segments will be an analysis of the management and business culture in Italy with reference to the Japan as a comparison. A combination of the components of this report will allow for a comprehensive conclusion alongside three base recommendations for success.
This report will evaluate the Roman market in comparison with Japans operation in order to generate applicable operations advice for the new management for Davinci Apps in Rome.
1.2 Macro level Elements
The city of Rome, Italy serves as the nation’s capital with a moderate sea side climate (Gfmag.com, 2014). With historical, environmental and cultural tourism draws, there is a dynamic and diverse migrant population (Istat.it, 2014). With a bicameral system of government the two houses, Chamber of Deputies and the Senate of the Republic, headed by the Prime Minister dictate law and policy in the nation (Istat.it, 2014). Predominately, the spoken language is Italian, with German and French spoken by a minority of northern regions. With a ninety per cent Roman Catholic population, there is a large Christian cultural expectation (Gfmag.com, 2014). Currently there is an estimated population of 60.9 million and rising with an expectation of near 62 million by 2017 with a median age of 43 (Grmag.com, 2014).
Economic factors including composition by GDP factor: agriculture 1%, Industry: 25.2% and services at 72.9 % as of the 2011 estimate (Grmag.com, 2014:1). 2012 saw an increasing unemployment rate of 9.5 followed by a decrease over the 2013 fiscal year (Istat.it, 2014). Standards and Poor’s currently ranks Italy a BBB+ with Moody’s a Baa2 alongside a negative outlook (Grmag.com, 2014:2). 2010 witnessed Italy with an estimated world share of GDP of 2.41 %; however, the 2015 estimate indicates a decrease to 1.98% (Grmag.com, 2014:1). This fact supports the Real GDP numbers that indicate a continual decrease in economic strength for the nation as a whole (Istat.it, 2014:1). However, recent trends suggest that a positive turnaround is possible increasing economic viability (Istat.it, 2014:1).
1.3 Hofstede Value Italy compared to Japan
Hofstede’s model is a valued method of assessing cultural differences in order to gain fuller understanding (Signorini, Wiesemes and Murphy, 2009).
1.3.1 Power distance
Power distance is commonly identified as “the extent the less powerful entities within a country expect power to be distributed equally” (Hofstede, 2011:45). Northern Italy scores a 50 which speaks to the preference for equality and decentralisation of power and decision-making (Geert-hofstede.com, 2014:1). However, in Southern Italy the PDI are high and nearly the very opposite of Northern Italy. The related score of 54 illustrates that Japan is similar in this context, speaking to the recognition of value in equality by both cultures (Geert-hofstede.com, 2014).
This segment has to do with whether people?s self-image plays a cultural role (Hofstede, 2011). .With a score of 76, Italy is rated as an Individualistic culture, which in turn creates a “me” centred society (Geert-hofstede.com, 2014:1). This effect is felt most in the North where people feel alone in the middle of a big crowd. Southern Italy exhibits less individualistic behaviour which is present in the family network as well as the group each one belongs (Geert-hofstede.com, 2014). In this culture, events including weddings or Sunday lunches cannot be missed. Standing in contrast to the Italian score is the collective score of 46 for Japan, indicating an area of substantial cultural difference (Geert-hofstede.com, 2014). Individualism is often frowned upon by the Eastern approach
A high score (masculine) on this segment is indicative of a society driven by competition, success and achievement. Conversely, a lower score (feminine) indicates societal values including caring for others and an increased quality of life (Hofstede, 2011). At 70 Italy is a masculine society – meaning it is very highly success oriented (Geert-hostede.com, 2014:1). As an example that this society holds, their offspring are taught at an early age that competition is beneficial. It is common for the Italian culture to illustrate success by status symbols such as cars, houses, yachts and vacations to exotic countries.
This factor adds to the factor that competition among colleagues for making a career can be very strong (Geert-hofstede.com, 2014). Much like Italy Japan ranks as a very masculine society with a rating of 95 (Geert-hofstede.com, 2014).
1.3.4 Uncertainty avoidance
This component addresses members of a culture feel that may threaten by ambiguous or events and has created institutions in order to avoid these circumstances (Hofstede, 2011).
At 75, Italy scores high on uncertainty avoidance (Geert-hofestede.com, 2014). This is an indication that Italians are not comfortable in uncertain situations. Formality in Italian society is a critical element of day to day activities with this fact represented by the strict Italian penal and civil code (Geert-hofstede.com, 2014). It is common for emotion to play a role in society and culture with individuals that cannot keep them inside and must express them. At a score of 92, Japan is considered one of the most uncertainty avoiding nations in the world (Geert-hofstede.com, 2014). This is an area that is mirrored closely is both cultures, making integration easier.
This element focuses on how people in the past as well as today deal with the fact that so much that happens cannot be truly explained (Hofstede, 2011). In this category Italy’s high score of 61 illustrates that the Italian culture is relatively pragmatic. The people believe that truth depends on the situation, time and context. Boasting a score of 88 Japan is one of the most pragmatic societies (Geert-hofstede.com, 2014).
This element is the extent to which people try to control their desires (Hofstede, 2011). Weak control is “indulgence” and strong control is “restraint”. With the score of 42, Japan is deemed to be a culture of restraint.30 demonstrates that the Italian culture is one of restraint (Geert-hofstede.com, 2014).
2 Business and management culture in Italy
2.1 Values and Globalization
As the Geer-hofstede.com (2014) results indicate the Italian culture heavily prefers an equal centre of power. The individualistic nature of the Italian value system will require substantial adjustment on the part of a collective culture Japanese transfer. Erikson (2007) argues that the migrants into the Italian culture often fare well as there are several beneficial transnational entrepreneurship assets. There is a very high Italian cultural value placed on the family, and social functions, which can in turn lead to social acceptance (Society, 2014). The topics of family, food, women, weather and love top the list of common discussions in Rome. This societal value system reaches back to the base difference between the Confucian, or Oriental method of collective thinking that recognizes that each element is related as opposed to the Aristotelian method of treating each component on an individual basis (Noble, Sander and Obenshain, 2013).
There is a distinct separation of value as regards the areas of self-expression and autonomy with the individualistic Italian culture, illustrating a lasting commitment to a more outspoken nature (Noble et al, 2013). As a whole, Rome is considered an individualistic culture when compared to the interdependent society of Japan (Tierney, 2014). The Geocentric approach illustrated by the population of Rome recognizes the potential for gain in the emerging markets, making integration popular in the region (Cicione, 2014).
2.2 Decision making
With a distinct separation from the Japanese cultural tradition of holism, the Italian culture focuses on analytical decision making utilizing a methodical approach for each individual element (Tierney, 2014). In addition to the highly competitive environment, the shift from the Japanese method of Collectivism to the Italian Individualism will require substantial adjustment for new transfers (Nobel et al, 2014).
2.3 Negotiation & Communication
Societal differences can have a direct impact on the method of communication and negotiation (Solomon and Schell, 2009). A person living in an individualistic society, such as Italy, will commonly make self-centred decisions (Tierney, 2014). This is opposed to the collective tendency shown in the Japanese culture. Further, the individualistic culture does not place the value on age and experience that the Japanese collective culture does, making each interaction with Italian citizens more complex (Nobel et al, 2013).
2.4 Leadership & Cultural Intelligence
It is necessary to understand a culture in order to become an effective leader (Nobel et al, 2014). As there is a highly independent nature among the Italians, each of their decisions will be based on what is best for that person, as opposed to the group mentality found in Japanese society. There is a high tendency of the Italian society to want a transactional form of leadership that remains open and prefers teamwork (Euwema, Wendt and Van Emmerik, 2007). Too much oversight in the workplace is construed as a reflection of the individual work tendencies. This stands in sharp contrast to the collective leadership tendencies most firms exhibit in Japan (Nobel et al, 2014). There is a strong need for the Italian culture to possess personal views and objectives, making each one an individualistic effort (Tierney, 2014). However, this element is tempered with the high value on family and collective infrastructure, which is similar in Japan (Nobel et al, 2014). The autocratic strain of leadership is the found in Italy in contrast to the more Confucian, or male leader approach found in Japan (Nobel et al, 2014). With a much wider acceptance of the female in the role of leadership, there is a reduced amount of social bias associated with the genders, making the Italian culture easy to integrate into (Tierney, 2014). Further, this perception of bias in the workplace is reduced making potential success realistic in the workplace.
This report has highlighted several elements that should be considered during the coming move. With a clear difference between the Japanese and Italian/Roman cultures, there are many pitfalls to avoid. Yet, the similarities inherent in each culture provide a sound beginning point from which to progress.
Three points of advice have been developed as a consequence of this analysis:
1) The Hofstede model as well as the corresponding literature has illustrated the individualistic tendencies of the Roman culture, yet, there is a very strong undercurrent of social associations becoming beneficial. In order to more easily assimilate, both in the work place and socially, find a social expression that actively involves the person with the Italian culture. In this case that could be religion, sports or hobbies that take place in the company of others.
2) In the process of leadership, recognize the individual needs of each person. The Italian society operates in a manner that is based on competition and personal accomplishment rather than the larger collective organisation. In order to foster the best possible work environment there will be a need to amend the workplace expectations.
3) As reflected in the both the Italian and Japanese culture, there is a high value placed on the capacity for a person to have personal restraint and integrity. The best possible method of accruing respect in the work place is to have a plan in place that is both balanced and well considered, and in the presence of controversy present a calm exterior. This will translate into a perception of calm competency, which is highly prized in Roman culture.
In the end, this report has illustrated that there are many similar elements between the cultures of Japan and Italy, yet, substantial differences. Will careful consideration alongside informed action, the transfer from the Japan office of Davinci Apps has every expectation of being a well throughout enterprise that will be of great value to each person involved.
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