What is meant by the term culture? In what way can measuring attitudes about the following help to differentiate between cultures: centralized or decentralized decision making, safety or risk, individual or group rewards, high or low organizational loyalty, cooperation or competition? Use these attitudes to compare the United States, Germany, and Japan. Based on your comparisons, what conclusions can you draw regarding the impact of culture on behavior?
Culture means the interaction and behavior in society, and how people are used to understand certain situations. It is the acquired knowledge that forms values and attitudes and has influence on behaviors.
The difference between centralized and decentralized is that in the centralized, managers make the important decisions, while decentralized, the decision is made by many levels in the organization. The risks are taken differently between cultures, some take more risks thinking it will increase profit, others think it is not worth the cost and being unpredictable. This also concerns rewards, in one company the reward may be individual, other companies can do a group reward to motivate team work and the combined effort. High organizational loyalty means when an employee identifies himself as one of the company, and low organizational loyalty is when they identify themselves with their profession. Between cooperation and competition is basically where the company is at, some cases they might choose one, some cases the other. It depends on the market and on how the company is doing.
Japan, Germany and the United States all have different approach to business. US companies promote the decentralized version while Japan does more centralized. Germany and US take more risks than Japan. They also have more individual rewards instead of group rewards like Japan. In Germany and Japan employees have high loyalty for their organization, while in the United States the loyalty is lower and people usually identify themselves with their job title or profession.
All of this shows that different cultures can have different impact on organizations and the way they operate. They both have positives and negatives, so it all depends on the organization itself and what is better for them and their business.