The Cross Border Transition Commerce Essay

Culture can be defined as “ A form of basic premises, invented, discovered, or developed by a given group as it learns to get by with the job of external version and internal integrating that has worked good plenty to be considered valid and hence, to be taught to new members as the right manner to comprehend, believe, and experience in relation to those jobs ” . Schein ( 1985 )

This survey is undertaken with Unilver which is headquartered in England, United Kingdom. The company is looking to set up a fabrication company within Hong Kong. We will look at civilization from a national, organisational and industrial degree utilizing Hofstede ‘s, Schein and Deal and Kennedy theoretical accounts as we compare and contrast the two nationalities. We will besides analyze possible issues that may be encountered and recommend solutions.

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1.10 Objective

To look into the cultural issues that the house might meet in seeking to do the cross-border passage.

To do suggestions on the feasibleness of the possible move based on the cultural analysis.

To urge schemes to give the house a competitory advantage with covering with cross-cultural issues in footings of organisation construction and human resource direction

1.11 Theoretical model

Different theoretician has been established with a theoretical model on the cardinal cultural dimensions. Trompenaars, Kluckholn and Strodbeck, Adler, and Schein are similar and related in some facets. “ Culture can be interpreted as the manner a group work out their jobs of external version and internal integrating. ( Schneider and Barsoux,2003 ) .

Figure 1.0 Theoretical Framework of Culture

1.10 Unilever

Unilever is a fabrication company which was established in 1980. They offer a scope of merchandises to include nutrients, ice-cream, family merchandises and over 400 trade names. They are located in 190countries with over 2 billion consumers worldwide. We will look at civilization from a national, Business and Organizational in order to determine similarities and differences with the two civilizations.

2.0 National Culture of Hong Kong and England

National Culture of England

National Culture of Hong Kong

aˆ? A European district, the largest of the 4 states that make up the United Kingdom with a long history of European influences. They were colonial Masterss of A? of the universe at one point in their history.

A Far East Asiatic district, frequently herald as the gate manner to China where east meets west. Lost to the British imperium during the opium wars. Re-instated to China in 1997, as a SAR which still holds its alone individuality separate from China

aˆ? Build on immigrants from a figure of European groups and station settlements parts e.g. South Africa and the Caribbean, diverse in cultural groups and faith.

Besides build on immigrants Hong Kong immigrants are now Chinese 98 % , the other 2 % are, British, Indians, Filipinos and many other European, North American and Asians.

aˆ? Main faith is Christianity, but because of diverseness from ex-colonials there are Hinduism, Islam, Jewish groups etc.

Main faith is Buddhism, other faiths include Taoism, and Christianity ( RC ) , Hindu, Muslims and Jewish every bit good.

aˆ? Government is that of the UK, which a constitutional Monarch is as caput of province. ( The Queen )

Government is a limited democracy, under Chinese communist regulation. The caput of province of Hong Kong is an elective Chief executive officer.

aˆ? National animate being is the king of beasts symbolic emblem symbol of courage, national drink is tea, The Tudor rose the national flower is a symbol of peace.

The National flower is Bauhinia Blakeanaor Orchid found on the Hong Kong flag and currency and symbolizes earnestness and joy of life.

Official Language

The “ Queens English ” or “ British English ” it ‘s a West Germanic linguistic communication, arising from England.

Two official linguistic communication

Cantonese most normally spoken

English used in concern preponderantly

Other idioms – Maderin, Shanghanaise, Chiu-chow

Greeting Rituals

Prefer igniter handshakings with direct eye-contac ” How make you make? ” T followed by a polite salutation e.g. “ How make you make? ”

Besides work forces recognizing adult females, a regular manus shingle will make but work forces should wait on adult females to widen her custodies foremost.

Greeting Rituals

A instead light manus shingle when recognizing westerners

Lowering caputs as a mark of regard

Large maps debuts are by ego, but in smaller scene they wait for the host to present invitees

They prefer to be addressed as by rubrics and first name unless otherwise told to utilize other ways

Higher ranking, older individuals are usually introduced foremost

Family Value

Children are thought from a immature age to be independent

More adult females are go forthing traditional family maps and

come ining the work force

There has been a rise in the figure of individual parent households

The civilization stems from Confucianism as a consequence household values are extremely valued. Confucianism Teachs regard, responsibility earnestness and bravery

Concept of Time

Everyone likes to be on clip, they view promptness, as of import and are offended if assignments are non met.

Forms of Address

Most people prefer to be called by their formal “ you ” unless invited to be called by their first names or informal “ you ” .

Forms of reference

Peoples are referred to as Mr or Mrs followed by their family names

Table 1.0 National Culture of Hong Kong and England

One of the most celebrated research workers specialising in national civilization is Hofstede. Hofstede ‘s model ( Hofstede ( 1980 ; 2001 ) is widely used in the field of intercultural direction. He found that the difference in response to four chief factors could be explained. The factors are: uncertainness turning away, power distance, individualism/collectivism and masculinity/ muliebrity.

able 1.2 gives a comparing of the two civilizations harmonizing to Hofstede dimension.

Hong Kong- low-uncertainty turning away Confucian society, value relationships

Comfortable with ambiguity

Adaptable and easy to alter

Not excessively many regulations

Tea imbibing society – many assortment

An array of different types of nutrients

United Kingdom -high uncertainness turning away

Comfortable with ambiguity – the term puddling through British manner of showing this.

Adaptable and easy to alter

Not excessively many regulations

Tea imbibing society

National nutrient is fish and french friess

Hofstede Dimension – England

Hofstede Dimension- Hong Kong

Power Distance

At 35 England has a low mark on PDI, that is the society that believes that inequalities amongst people should be minimized

Power Distance

Hong Kong score on power distance is 68 this indicates that inequalities amongst people are acceptable.


At 89 England is a extremely individualistic success oriented and driven society.


The mark on individuality is 25 bespeaking that this civilization is extremely collectivized. Therefore group involvement is put above opportunism.

Uncertainty Avoidance

At 35 England has a low uncertainness turning away. They are more susceptible to alter.

Uncertainty Avoidance

At 29 Hong Kong this indicates a low uncertainness turning away. Therefore in this society obeisance to regulations and ordinance may be adaptable to accommodate the state of affairss and rationality is a fact of life.

Short Term Orientation

With a mark of 25 England has a low long term oriented society in which they are to a great extent focused on speedy consequences.

Long Term Orientation

Kong Hong mark is 96 bespeaking a society that is relentless and doggedness is high. Order is respected and relationships are built on position


The mark on maleness is 68 for England and 57 which indicated that such civilizations are ends oriented, aggressive and goaded.


Table 1.2 Comparison of Hong Kong and United Kingdom utilizing Hofstede

2.11 Comparison – Hong Kong and UK

2.1.1. Uncertainty Avoidance

“ Uncertainty Avoidance refers to a society ‘s uncomfortableness with uncertainness, preferring predictability and stableness ” . Schneider & A ; Barsoux ( 2003 ) p.87

Harmonizing to Hofstede we are all faced with the uncertainness and ambiguity about the hereafter and we try to get by through engineering, faith and jurisprudence. Extreme or high uncertainness produces terrible anxiousness and as a consequence human society has adapted to get by by turning to engineering ( all human artefacts ) , jurisprudence ( Formal and informal regulations ) , faith ( revealed cognition of the unknown ) . ( Hofstede, G, 1984 ) . In contrast for those with weak uncertainness, societies have adapted by reenforcing basic establishments such as household, school and the province.

Both Hong Kong and Britain harmonizing to Hofstede are societies with low uncertainness turning away. Based on the Uncertainty Avoidance Index for Hong Kong the state ‘s rank in uncertainness turning away is 29 and United Kindom rank is 35 ( Schneider & A ; Barsoux, 2003, p.88 ) . This rank indicates that both Kong Hong and United Kingdom, harmonizing to Hofstede, are more household oriented and relationships are more individualized. The civilization is less formalistic.

2.1.2. Power Distance

Power distance for Hong Kong is low as compared to England which is high. Leadership issues between the two nationalities can be addressed to hold a national from England take up cardinal place in Honk Kong. Since the subjects from Hong Kong respect authorization this option if implemented can complement this determination.

2.1.3. Long Term Orientation

Long term orientation for the both subjects is different. Since Hong Kong

2.1.4. Masculinity/Femininity

Maleness for both Hong Kong and England are high indicating that both civilizations are success oriented and driven. This is exemplified many hours of work.

3.0 Business Culture

Acknowledging cultural differences is the necessary first measure to expecting possible menaces and chances for concern brushs. The concern civilization of England has some similarities every bit good as some differences.

England Business Culture

Hong Kong Business Culture


The British pride themselves sin being good dressed and tastily groomed.

Work force: diehard with medium or dark coloured suits with shirts and conservative ties.A Avoid striped ties.

For adult females: stylish yet typical concern suits or blouses and dresses.A Accessories are normally worn.

Casuals concern wear and denims is normally non appropriate but this may change depending on the industry.


For work forces: medium to dark coloured and traditional suits with shirts and ties.

For adult females: A traditional concern suits or blouses and frocks are appropriate.A Avoiding low necklines, high heels tight adjustment or sleeveless garb.

Slackss and colored shirts are usual acceptable

Titles and Business Card games:

Directly turn toing people by utilizing Mr or Miss followed by their family names is customary


Business cards are indispensable and normally exchanged.

Titles and Business Card games:

In Hong Kong, people are usually addressed utilizing Mr. or Mrs. followed by their family names

One side of concern cards normally translated in Chinese and should be presented with two custodies with the Chinese confronting the receiving system

Business cards should be given with both custodies and should be looked at with acute involvement.


When making concern direct inquiries frequently receive evasive responses. Arriving on clip for a meeting is of import.


Punctuality is appreciated and extremely valued sometimes geting 5 proceedingss earlier is traditional

Phases of silence are expected and acceptable avoiding breaks and speaking over person caput


Decisions are made from the top down and can take sometime. Humor is frequently used in dialogues, sometimes as a defence mechanism or in the signifier of self-deprecation and/or sarcasm.


Chinese value relationship edifice and harmoniousness so avoid difficult merchandising, force per unit area tactics and any kind of struggle or confrontation.A

Chinese an indirect communicating manner and will avoid utilizing no in replying inquiries. “ Possibly ” , “ we ‘ll see, ” or “ possibly ” will be used as options.

It is common to be taken out to dinner during dialogues and imbibing together will normally be encouraged.

Gift Giving

At initial meeting gifts are exchanged

If invited to an English family, it is appropriate to convey flowers ( avoid white lilies as they are reserved for funerals ) , good vino, spirits, or cocoas.

Make sure that gifts are nicely cloaked

Gift Giving

Gifts are non normally exchanged at a first meeting.A Avoid giving gifts of knives, scissors, or missive openers as they signify break uping of a close bond.A Clocks, cut flowers and anything in groups of four are to be avoided every bit good.

Gifts should ever be nicely wrapped ( ruddy and gilded paper are good ) and they are non to be opened right off unless prompted to make so.

Receive and give gifts with two hands.A It is polite to decline a gift several times before accepting

Table 1.3 Comparison of Business Culture of Kong Hong and England

For both Hong Kong and England concern wear for both adult male and adult females is formal and conservative. Men normally wear dark to medium colour suits with shirt and ties and adult females I Hong Kong, with modest suits or frocks, avoiding low cervix line & A ; high heels.

In Hong Kong meetings are punctual, breaks and speaking over person caput should be avoided, periods of silence is normally acceptable. Having a high orientation mark harmonizing to Hofstede this civilization is thrifty and consequences oriented. This can impact economic growing positively and sustainable concern for Unilever.

During dialogues in Hong Kong, because the civilization is one that dictates relationship edifice, force per unit area tactics and confrontation are avoided. Communication is high context harmonizing to Hall ensuing in indirect and frequently obscure communicating. Therefore words such as possibly or possibly are frequently used to avoid direct response. Hall indicated that civilizations with high context normally communicate in a non verbal mode. Negotiations are prolonged harmonizing to Hofstede in civilizations that exhibit long term orientation.

Gift giving is normally exchanged during the first meeting they should be nicely wrapped utilizing ruddy and gilded paper. Gifts should be received and given with both custodies. Since the Chinese civilization is strongly entrenched in Confucianism, regard and relationship edifice is outstanding.

4.0 Organizational Culture

How does Unilever fit the civilization synonymous of England. We will now analyze this facet of the cultural dimension.

Organizational Culture of Hong Kong

Organizational Culture of


Organizational Culture of


Family or Tribe ( Asian )




Renaissance man

Strong societal versus undertaking functions

Village Market ( Anglo/Nordic )


Renaissance man

Peoples as free agents



Output control

Communication Flow

Hong Kong – Upward Communication

From subsidiary to superior

Communication Flow

England – Downward Communication

From director to subordinate

Communication Flow

Unilever determinations made from the Top down. From Manager to subordinate

Communication Manners

HK – High Context

Messages are frequently extremely coded and inexplicit.

Communication Manners

England – Low Context

Messages are frequently expressed and talker says exactly what s/he agencies

Communication Manners

Low context

Table 1.4 Organizational Culture of Hong Kong, England and Unilever

4.10 Communication Manners

Figure 1.1 Comminication Manners

Communication manners between the two subjects are rather different as can be seen on figure 1.1.



External version

Cultures that depends on leading such as direction, this implies that, that director have control over nature. Hong Kong civilization is declarative of this and it can be seen by their regard for authorization. On the other manus European subjects are non dependent on nature and are more determinists ; their construct is nil can be predetermined. While in some civilizations nature may look as governable in others it is accepted as a given. ( Schneider & A ; Barsoux, 2003, p.36 ) .

5.0 Issues identified

As can be seen from the analysis there were some similarities and differences. Since both national ; ranked low in uncertainness turning away it indicates that these civilizations are risk takers and are receptive to alterations.

Communication manners are rather different as can be seen from figure 1.1 this can do

Since Hong Kong who is steeped to a great extent in Confucianism and guanxi relationships are more focussed within such a civilization. The word quanxi refers to “ connexion between independent individuals to enable a bilateral flow of personal or societal dealing. ( Wall, S, et, al,2010 ) In this relationship both parties must deduce some benefit in order to guarantee continuance of the relationship. In some cases “ gifts ” ( bribes ) possibly used to further these relationships. This may present jobs with the parent subjects who may hold issues and direct struggle with moralss and codification of behavior and conformity. Quanxi can work as a positive every bit good in furthering good concern realtions nevertheless caution possibly be taken so as non to go against codifications and moralss from the Unilever.

6.0 Recommendation and decision

The Geocentric Approach:

Use best people for cardinal occupations within the organisation.


Best people for the Job, personality, squad participant, old occupation experience, working in groups.

Training should be centralized as development through input from both central offices and subordinate staff, trainers could be from any location. This may assist in controling any issues sing codification of behavior and ethical behaviour in the host states with regard to endow giving and payoffs.

Performance Appraisal:

Character assessment, focal point on positives, a geocentric attack – the same public presentation rating system worldwide, but it has cosmopolitan pertinence.

Compensation and wagess:

A Global attack

The International Manager

In embarking into Hong Kong the director should exhibit some cardinal qualities and abilities

in order to be successful. One is high interpersonal accomplishments. This helps to incorporate societal cloth of the host civilization by set uping relationships and edifice trust. Hence helping

in reassigning cognition and bettering coordination and control

Having capablenesss to larn the host linguistic communication will help the international director to set up contact hence bespeaking an avidity to pass on and link with the host subjects Exposing assurance and a strong sense of ego will help the international director in interacting with another civilization without fright of losing one ‘s ain individuality.Showing cultural empathy helps the director to esteem behaviour, ideas, feelings and experience of subjects in host state. This helps in integrating and communicating. It helps for the director to hold a sense of wit as this helps to buffer defeat, confusion and uncertainness that he or she may meet

Patience and regard help the international director to avoid resort to cultural imperialism, which can be damaging to furthering positive International concern



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