Essay about Heijes Report Critical Evaluation

Submitted By PJAspire
Words: 1748
Pages: 7

In this report I will critically evaluate the usefulness of Heijes, C’s discussion as to the value of cross-cultural perception and power dynamics. Through readings of parts of his article from 2011 alongside other sources I will also come to my own conclusions about this subject and analytically put my judgment forward as to the limitations or usefulness of his views. The article itself is about the cross-cultural perceptions of two races (the Curaçao and the Netherlands) and the effects that the different perceptions of each other have on society both in the workplace and in general society. Also Heijes collected some data to get a wide and comprehensive view of the general perspective from different levels of people in society. This was extremely important in effectively showing the limitations of Hofstede and Trompenaars models by expressing that their analysis of the cultural differences within a country was extremely limited. Through the addition of analysing the effects that power dynamics has on the outcome of the results, Heijes was able to more efficiently decipher exactly what was going on within a country and produce his findings in that light. Firstly it is extremely important to analyse how thoroughly Heijes identified the limitations and weaknesses of Hofstede and Trompenaars work. Hofstede in particular only using five dimensions in order to identify the national and organisational structure of the country was limited and many anthropologists began to disagree with his work as they had a view that identified, “homogeneity, open-endedness and divergent perspectives” (Heijes. C, 2010). His work in pointing out the weaknesses of Hofstede’s dimensions followed an initial bit of research done by Geert Hofstede’s institute themselves which identified instead six different dimensions of practice that would adequately analyse solely the organisation culture of a country. These dimensions were things such as; process-oriented vs. Results-oriented, employee-oriented vs. Job-oriented, open system vs. Closed system etc (Hofstede. G, 1983) And these dimensions, in my eyes, already more effectively analysed the culture of an organisation within a country than Hofstede’s dimensions, of which some are extremely difficult to apply to all cases such as the “Long Term Orientation” dimension. In any case Hofstede did this research to show that he understood that in order to effectively manage international corporations you had would have understand a combination of organisational and national culture. Malinowski held the notion that it is unwise to analyse everything about anything so broadly and urged anthropologists in the modernist period to “study by direct observation”, implying the fact that analysis of culture went much deeper than a homogeneous view and as such warned them from performing a “futile simplification of a very complicated state of things”. (Malinowski. B, 1926) Other researches supported this notion adding their own differences to the argument and Swidler (1986) held that culture consists of divergent, fluid and shifting perspectives. This is view is supported by the fact that everything changes with time. The social norm from the 1930’s is definitely not the social norm now in 2013 and it won’t be the same in 2030 as it is now. Language, culture, demographics, technology and laws are always changing and with that view it has to be held that culture has a fluid nature and cannot be overviewed in the way that Hofstede and Trompenaar tried to do it. The article also points out that there is another side to the varying nature of culture and that is power. The imbalance of power often causes many dimensions to become obsolete because it is no longer based on something as general as whether a person is male or not or elderly or young. Instead Heijes points out that often it can be based on who is higher in the hierarchy from both an organisational stand-point and a national one in terms of social-class.