Is Western Management Concept Applicable Worldwide
Are western management concepts (like HRD) applicable worldwide? A lot of famous people from different part of the world invented many management concepts around the world.However, each management concept contains different perspective, different culture, and different way of living.For example, human resource development concept was invented in USA as an attempt to balance humanistic and economic goals in the practice of business organizations.
Due to the fact that, human is being perceived as resource in US culture and can be replaceable.
However, in other part of the world such as Asia, which had different culture and value from the US, will never perceived people as resource. Thus, the Western management concept will not applicable worldwide due to the differences in culture and value in each country. Cultural differences arise from people value thing differently in each society. According to the article, the applicability of McGregor’s theories in South East Asia by Geert Hofstede. There are four dominant value patterns among countries around the world.
Firstly, individualism versus collectivism. Individualists are loosely tied together and suppose to take care of their own self-interest. Collectivists are tied together as a group and will look after the interest of the in-group. Secondly, large power distance versus small power distance. Large power distance society values the hierarchy of inequality as fundamental principle on which all relations are based. Small power distance society treats inequality as basically undesirable and tries to reduce it where it arises.
Thirdly, strong uncertainty avoidance versus weak uncertainty avoidance. Strong uncertainty avoidance society teaches people to try to beat the future, which create higher level of anxiety in people. Weak uncertainty avoidance society teaches their people to accept this uncertainty and not to become upset by it. Lastly, Masculinity versus femininity. In masculinity society, men are supposed to dominate, to deal with things and money rather than people, to be rational and unconcerned with beauty, to be assertive and competitive.
In femininity society, men are also expected to serve and not only to dominate, to be concerned about people next to money and things, to be intuitive, and interested in beauty. Despite the fact that there are so many different value among countries, created the differences in culture and how people behave. According to the studied, South East Asia countries are more likely to be on Collectivist and Large Power Distance side. USA and the Netherlands both are more likely to be on the Individualism and Smaller Power Distance side.
While, on the dimension of Uncertainty Avoidance and Masculinity, each country score differently and does not cluster together in the same continent. Thus, the management concepts like human resource development, that was invented in USA, which has the characteristic of Individualism, Small Power Distance, Weak Uncertainty Avoidance, and Masculinity society, will not applicable in other country that has different characteristic such as Thailand for example.
Thailand is a country in South East Asia with the characteristic of Collectivism, Large Power Distance, Average Uncertainty Avoidance, and more Femininity. The Western Management concept like human resource development with the belief of considering people as resource, that can be replaceable and the individuals is held responsible for his or her own development will not fit in the Thai culture. In Thai culture, people will not be consider as resource but rather will be place in some type of relationship once they entered into the group such as brother, sister, uncle, aunt, niece, or nephew.
The relationship is being placed in order to show the status of that person whether he or she is younger or older because in Thai culture younger people have to respect the elders. Moreover, in Thai culture younger people have to obey the elders as they believe that older people has more experience in life. Thus, in Thai society, it is not very common that young people will become the head of the department or become the minister in the cabinet, even though you graduated from the best university in the world and very specialized in the field.
In addition to that, Thailand is also a collectivism society and people would like to avoid the uncertainty. So, Thai people are very loyalty to their job and the company, they work for. Some people even work at the same place for the whole life and sometimes they even send their children to work as the same company as well. So, with this type of loyalty it makes the relationship between employer and employees become much more strengthen together as a whole family. This is the reason why Thai society is more of uncertainty avoidance and more feminine than the Western country.
In the consequences of the different in value and culture the management concepts that invented from the Western perspective will not applicable worldwide especially in the country that has totally different value and culture. However, with the differences in culture and value in different country does not mean that we have to invent special management concept for each country but rather to adapt the concept in the local way with respect to continuity of old values and local traditions.