Essay: The Republic of Ghana and China – business context

The Republic of Ghana is a unitary presidential constitutional democracy located along the Gulf of Guinea, close to the Atlantic Ocean, existing in the sub-region of West Africa. On the other hand; the People’s Republic of China is a unitary sovereign state in East Asia and is the world’s most populous country with a population of over 1.381 billion (“Ghana – Geert Hofstede,” n.d.). China and Ghana are both beautiful countries yet so different in location and culture. Using Hofstede’s six cultural dimensions, this paper will explore, discuss, compare, and contrast how these two countries differ due to cultural perspectives. However, this paper will present how these 2 countries can do business with one another using the best form of communication.

Similarities

Individualism is a similarity of the two countries (Ghana and China) as they both scored low in collectivism, which is a tightly knit framework in their societies. Both countries adore closer relationships in terms of dealing in business, and helps build on a loyalty aspect. The term “friends hire friends” is a good saying in regards to individualism. As reviewed in 2.4 of the text titled “International and Intercultural Interpersonal Communication” business people in China greatly value the concept of trust. Ghana is very similar as the expectation amongst the residents are to be respectful and dignified in public.

Differences

A Hofstede’s analysis was created to identify systematic differences in National cultures on its initial 4 primary dimensions. Ghana scored high on this dimension; the outcome means that people accept a hierarchical order in which everybody has a position. Ghana with a score of 15 is considered a collectivistic society. Loyalty is paramount and over-rides most other societal rules and regulations. The society fosters strong relationships where everyone takes responsibility for fellow members of their groups. In collectivist societies, offense leads to shame and employer/employee relationships are perceived in moral terms (“Ghana – Geert Hofstede,” n.d.). Ghana scored 40 on this dimension while being a relatively Feminine society. In Feminine countries the focus is on “working in order to live”, managers strive for consensus, people value equality, solidarity, and quality in their working lives. Incentives such as free time and flexibility are favored while focus on well-being is not evident.

China with a score of 20 which is a highly collectivist culture where people act in the interests of the group and not necessarily of themselves. In-group considerations affect hiring and promotions with closer in-groups (such as family) receive preferential treatment. Employee commitment to the organization (but not necessarily to the people in the organization) is very low. Relationships with colleagues are cooperative for in-groups, which are cold or even hostile to out-groups therefore; personal relationships prevail over tasks (“China – Geert Hofstede,” n.d.). China is considered a masculine society where they are success oriented and driven. The need to ensure success may be exemplified by the fact that many Chinese will sacrifice family and leisure priorities to work. Service people (such as hairdressers) will provide services until very late at night if needed and leisure time is not important. The migrated farm workers will leave their families behind in order to obtain better work and pay in other cities. Just as important as work is to the Chinse culture, education is just as important. Chinese students care very much about their exam scores and ranking as this is the main criteria to achieve success or not (“China – Geert Hofstede,” n.d.).

Scenario

Ghana and China come from governmental structures where the people of power are in full control and the people residing in both these countries have an acceptance of hierarchical order. As reviewed in 2.4 of the text titled “International and Intercultural Interpersonal Communication” this affects communication patterns between individuals and in-group settings, and since both countries are high on power distance, they are subject to managers who are less approachable by low ranking employees (THIS NEEDS TO BE CITES. IS THIS ONE OF YOUR SCHOLARY CITATIONS?).

If China enters into a business venture with Ghana, communication has to open. As Ghana prides itself on being a feminine society and believes that loyalty and taking responsibility for other team members are important; management should consider team projects and group meetings to establish the best form of communication.

If Ghana decides to conduct business with China, understating the countries aggressive business sense will prove importance. As China is a more masculine society, employee commitment is low, and in-groups are important. The best form of communication that Ghana can offer (especially if management is female) is to be very clear and up-front regarding business dealings. Ghana’s management needs to explain in person (via phone or skype) with a follow up in writing regarding tasks, expectations, and deadlines. Since China, works on more of an in-group environment, as long as Ghana’s management explains how the hiring process, this will keep a clear understating and open communication for the China’s employees.

Summary

Ghana is considered a reserved society and does not move at such a fast pace as China. Although the economy and education point towards China being a better society, Ghana has a better way of life when communicating with friends and family. These countries will continue to be very different in culture and values however; they have several similarities. Although they show it differently, family and friends are important to both cultures.

In closing, it is important for management to understand its employees, their backgrounds, cultures and beliefs in order to have the best form of communication. As America is a melting pot for people of all shades of color, in order for businesses to be successful they must have proud employees who feel a sense of appreciation from their company and management team.

References

China – Geert Hofstede. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://geert-hofstede.com/china.html

Ghana – Geert Hofstede. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://geert-hofstede.com/ghana.html

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