Interaction of corporate culture and national culture in internal communication
Corporate culture or national culture? What is more important and what factors should we take into account when we want to integrate corporate values of a low context national culture with a high context national culture? How do international corporations avoid uncertainties and misunderstandings and work successfully in different countries?
Today many companies have their own unique corporate culture, which is often called “corporate style”. So what is corporate culture and why is it so important for organizations to have it? Corporate culture is "beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company's employees and management interact", it is reflected in a company's dress code, office setup, employee benefits, etc . So, corporate culture of an organization helps it to differentiate itself from others and like a kind of internal law identifies the rules of behavior and also the consequences of not observing them. That is why corporate style is among important elements of a company’s structure.
As we speak about corporate culture in terms of national culture, the question of adjusting is bound to arise. Let us imagine a situation when a company with a low-context corporate culture is opening its branch in a country with a high-context national culture. A case in point is German Pharmaceutical Company Berlin-Chemie, which has been fruitfully working on Uzbek pharm market for 10 years. According to Geert Hofstede , Germans represent a low-context culture, while Uzbeks, on the opposite, belong to a high-context one. The secret of success is the way Berlin-Chemie corporate managers thought over their corporate style and implemented it in Uzbek branch. During this process they faced such issues as attitude to time, dress-code, orders, and rewards.
The decision to hire a local man as the head of the branch was the first step of their communication strategy, all the managerial staff was also chosen from local people. This very approach helps all the employees to feel confident and safe as they all are from the same cultural background. At the same time constant team training and corporate events are held for employees to raise their awareness of corporate culture and to improve their communication skills. People are the core value in Berlin-Chemie corporate culture. They believe that the success of the company depends on their employees.
Supervisor - Professor Liudmila V. Minaeva.
2. Hofstede, G., Hofstede, G. J., & Minkov, M. (1991). Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind.