Cultural Challenges and Institutional Structure in Brazil and China

Cultural challenges and institutional structures are interlocked because they arise from the people's beliefs, perceptions, attitudes, and values. Today, the effectiveness of international management largely depends on the manager's ability to adapt to the region's cultural realities in which they work.  Most people associate the concept of leadership with individual cultural perceptions. Culture influences leadership and institutional structures within nations, and managers are expected to align their strategies to the people's culture and perceptions. Based on the cultural context, international managers are expected to portray tolerable demeanors and attitudes. The nation's cultural values also create institutional structures that determine leadership hierarchy and how roles are delegated or assigned to team members. Understanding the influence of national culture and institutional arrangements on leadership is essential for influential international firms operating in China and Brazil. Foreign managers must understand the cultural forces shaping people's behaviors and perceptions about specific issues. The essay focuses on three case studies to analyze and discuss Brazil and China's cultural challenges and institutional structures that could influence the leadership strategy of an international manager.

Case Studies

Leadership is an essential ingredient to set people towards the same vision, ensuring that they communicate and collaborate effectively. Chatzidakis and Stenström (2014) conducted a case study on the influence of national culture on leadership in Sweden. The researchers utilized explorative interviews with managers located in Sweden. While the case study was never specific for China or Brazil, there are key concepts associated with cultural challenges that determine leadership strategies for international managers. The interviews reveal the importance of collaboration, teamwork, open communication, and negotiation. These are the basis for motivating workers and making them feel important within the organization. These aspects are applicable for both China and Brazil, considering the cultural influences and workers within these countries. The case study's findings affirm that managers must be proactive in handling issues with creativity and enhancing performance.

Another case study used for the paper focuses on Charles Taylor's philosophy to understand cultural difference management. Ouellet, Facal, Hébert (2014) uses certain parameters related to key constructs such as positive liberty, expressivist, social ontology, common spaces, and civic republicanism. The goal of the case study is how culture imposes barriers for making decisions among international managers. While the case study was conducted in Canada, the concepts are applicable for China and Brazil because cultural and institutional factors can be related. When an international manager is operating within a new cultural context, their strategy is intuitive and emergent. The case study affirms the need for reflection on proper management approaches suitable for a specific culture.

The final case study centers on the competing technical and institutional demands influence leadership. As a manager enters a new organization, specific institutional structures determine their approach to management. Their leadership decisions are directly influenced by the technical and institutional demands imposed. The international manager's goal is to protect and promote organizational values while safeguarding the structures established in the organization (Besharov & Khurana 2012). The concepts presented are essential in understanding how international managers can deal with institutional structures and develop an effective leadership strategy.

Influence of Cultural Challenges and Institutional Structures on Leadership Strategy

Understanding and dealing with the cultural challenges and organizational structures in Brazil and China determine international managers' leadership strategies. Culture-related barriers and institutional frameworks are essential for creating practical management approaches when working in Brazil or China. Notably, generic managerial practices and leadership approaches are never effective because business globalization never produces cultural globalization (Irawanto 2009). Effective management solutions must align with the cultural perceptions, attitudes, and values within a particular society. Brazilian culture is hierarchical because both leaders and subordinates believe that ignoring ranks is a defiance of authority. The national culture is the "software of the mind" because it determines how people think about specific issues. Therefore, the international manager must formulate his strategy to align with the people's cultural expectations (Chatzidakis & Stenström 2014). Based on Chatzidakis and Stenström (2014) 's findings, it is the role of the international manager to create incentives for teamwork and open communication. The Brazilian culture is rich and diverse, revealing the ethnic and cultural mixture during the colonial era (Barbosa & Sousa 2020). Many women are employed in underpaid positions, such as nursing and teaching. The people are affectionate and have healthy courtesy for each other. In business, individuals focus on knowing each other before committing to long-term business deals.

Chinese culture is among the oldest in the world, with extreme diversity and variations. The customs, traditions, and values vary depending on the province, city, or town. Chinese people prefer establishing strong relationships before closing any business (Wang et al., 2017). It is essential to schedule numerous meetings to ensure that the other party understands the product or service offered. Maintaining proper social orders is at the center of Chinese culture. Businesses operating within China must adhere to the values promoted by the communist party. While women's rights are recognized formally, the cultural structure and values never suit the aspects of gender equality (Wang et al., 2017). In this regard, numerous cultural challenges arise from gender disparities, allegiance to authority, and business etiquette that influence managers' leadership strategy (Besharov & Khurana 2012). Businesses are required to establish an office for the communist party representative.

Culture plays an important in the strategic approaches implemented by international managers. When they commence work, managers must adopt new leadership approaches that suit the team members' values and institutional structures (Besharov & Khurana, 2012). The decisions made by the manager are determined by cultural expectations and must never violate the core values of the people. Managing human resources must also proactively align with the country's institutional structures and the workers' beliefs and attitudes (Khan & Law 2018). The work design within the organization should also relate to the individuals' expectations, ensuring that diversity is cherished and important cultural occasions are celebrated as part of the organization. The international managers must align their strategies to the cultural expectation of the people and institutional structures of the communist government. With reevaluation of the leadership approaches, there are chances that the manager will succeed in enhancing productivity and performance within the firm (Chatzidakis & Stenström, 2014). The first step to succeeding in either Brazil or China appreciates the cultural norms of the people. This will help the local managers and workers open and feel free to discuss issues about the organization, customers, and what must be done to move the organization forward. As firms enter Brazil and China markets, they must equip their international managers with skills to manage cross-cultural challenges.

In both China and Brazil, cultural challenges allow managers to develop leadership strategies that team members can understand. One of the main cultural challenges is organizing people's perceptions into specific mental programs, which influence people's attitudes in their day-to-day work. In this regard, the international manager must formulate appropriate strategic management approaches to incorporate the people's cultural preferences (Khan & Law 2018). The perceptions of the people also influence the structure and hierarchy of leadership. It is the manager's mandate to align his or her authority with the cultural expectations and ensure that the people never misinterpret his or her motives (Irawanto, 2009). From the context of human resource management, the manager's decisions influence the recruitment process, training and development, performance evaluation, and compensation. All these aspects are essential and influence the person’s management practices. The technical concerns of doing business in different states and employing people of diverse nationalities mandate strategic approaches for the international manager, ensuring that cultural aspects and institutional structures never affect its performance. The international manager must re-strategize his or her approach to implementing organizational goals and adjust staff management practices to align with Brazil or China's practices (Reynolds n.d.). The most effective leadership approach is adapting organizational policies for specific national contexts because of the people's cultural diversity and attitudes.

Cultural challenges also produce diverse impacts on team management. The motivations and preferences of staff differ based on their cultural backgrounds. Individualistic outlooks are vital in understanding how companies operate in different nations, and international managers must proactively align their leadership methods to suit the Brazilian and Chinese contexts (Maout 2020). Based on Charles Taylor’s philosophy, the aim is to enhance tolerance and mutual understanding in any organization. Both China and Brazil's leadership approaches must also exhibit low ethnocentrism and cultural flexibility to promote collaboration (Ouellet et al. 2015). International managers must be sensitive to cultural concerns and support adjust their approaches to reveal an appreciation of the people's institutional structures and cultural norms.

In Brazil and China, the cultural system entails specific values, beliefs, and attitudes that define people's way of life. While the culture influences the country's institutional structures, it also reveals the historical practices that are valued among the population. Therefore, for international managers to succeed, they must recalibrate the leadership approaches to reflect the people's norms. Leadership must be conscious of the gender roles and eliminate any forms of uncertainty within the organizations (Nazarian et al. 2017). Since there is a clear policy on institutional structure and management, it is the manager's mandate to create frameworks related to people's mindsets. Every action must be based on the degree of importance that people attach to work, relationships, and authority (Ouellet et al. 2015). Understanding cultural diversity and managing global projects in Chinese and Brazilian multinationals succeed when institutional structures and cultural challenges are addressed.

Although managers are familiar with how cultural features affect performance, they experience challenges developing their teams and ensuring that leadership strategies align with the country's policy frameworks. Instead of dealing with cultural challenges in a trial-and-error manner, the international manager can develop a hands-on approach to understand the culture and develop measures to enhance performance and productivity (Boscari et al. 2017; Besharov & Khurana 2012). The organization's social framework also determines what type of leadership approaches can enhance an entity's performance. The structures established within the organization are a direct reflection of what the population expects. In leading the organization, the manager must portray an attitude that cherishes the values of the people.

Conclusion

As revealed through the case studies and cited literature, the manager must alter his attitude and leadership style based on the country's culture and institutional structures. Empowering the local managers and supervisors to undertake key roles in the management of the institution is essential. In Brazil and China, individuals are prepared for leadership through the input and recommendations of the leader. This mandates close monitoring and ensuring that healthy relationships are established within the organization. The international manager aims to foster the internal growth of individuals to enhance employee retention and growth. The ethical standards must also align with the cultural context (Humphries & Whelan 2017). In order to be competitive, there is a need to assign roles and responsibilities based on the people's expectations. Authority must be assigned to people who are qualified, as well as consider their age. The international manager should never import management approaches from different countries. There is a need to have a centralized management structure that will control issues based on the country's perceptions and happenings. The operations in marketing, human resource, production, and distribution must be accepted by the population (Hallinger 2016). Effective leadership requires an understanding of how China and Brazil's policies established institutional structures that must be followed. The employment and labor requirement are also different in China and Brazil. The manager's role is to evaluate the best approach to maintain high standards within the organization while not violating the nation's regulations and cultural requirements.

References

Barbosa, M. L. & Sousa, D. A. A., 2020. Ethical Dilemmas Facing Multinational Companies: An Empirical Review from Brazil. Journal of Human Resource and Leadership, Vol. 4. No. 1, pp. 19-36.

Besharov, M. L. & Khurana, R., 2012. Leading amidst competing technical and institutional demands: Revisiting Selznick’s conception of leadership, s.l.: Emerald.

Boscari, S., Bortolotti, T., Netland, T. & Rich, N., 2017. National culture and operations management: a structured literature review. International Journal of Production Research, Vol. 56, no. 18, pp. 6314-6331.

Chatzidakis, E. & Stenström, D., 2014. National culture and influence on leadership: A case study of CBRE in Sweden, s.l.: University of Gävle.

Hallinger, P., 2016. Bringing context out of the shadows of leadership. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, pp. 1-20.

Humphries, S. A. & Whelan, C., 2017. National culture and corporate governance codes. Corporate Governance , Vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 152-163.

Irawanto, D. W., 2009. An analysis of national culture and leadership practices in indonesia. Journal of Diversity Management, Vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 41-48.

Khan, M. A. & Law, L. S., 2018. The Role of National Cultures in Shaping the Corporate Management Cultures: A Three-Country Theoretical Analysis. In: J. Vveinhardt, ed. Organizational Culture. s.l.:IntenChopen.

Maout, T., 2020. The impact of culture on management: A primer. [Online]
Available at: https://medium.com/swlh/the-impact-of-culture-on-management-a-primer-6e4599025f9a
[Accessed 10 March 2021].

Nazarian, A., Atkinson, P. & Foroudi, P., 2017. Influence of national culture and balanced organizational culture on the hotel industry’s performance. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 63(May 2017), pp. 22-32.

Ouellet, S. M., Facal, J. & Hébert, L., 2015. Understanding cultural difference management through Charles Taylor’s philosophy: Case studies from the food processing industry. Administrative Sciences, Vol. 5, pp. 46-70.

Reynolds, M., n.d. How Does Culture Affect a Manager's Attitude?. [Online]
Available at: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/culture-affect-managers-attitude-66559.html
[Accessed 10 March 2021].

Wang, D., Fan, D., Freeman, S. & Zhu, C. J., 2017. Exploring cross-cultural skills for expatriate managers from Chinese multinationals: Congruence and contextualization. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Vol. 34, pp. 123-146.

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