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Global Management and Culture


Culture is a significant part of people’s existence. It can be shared, symbolic, learned, integrated, dynamic, and learned. Culture has a considerable influence in shaping the everyday experiences of human beings that eventually determine an individual’s traditions, personality, social dynamics, customs, norms, and values. The essentiality of culture is evident in all spheres of life as it helps people invent solutions to some of their needs, learn new skills, develop towns, build economies, and preserve cultural knowledge to share with the world (Brannen et al., 2017). In most cases, different cultures shape the personalities of different people. This paper will examine the buddha and Hercules cultures and analyze their application to cross-culture management and global management from different countries.

Part 1: Hercules and Buddha

The Buddha Culture

The Buddhism culture started in India over 2500 years ago in India (Lane, Maznevski, & Mendenhall, 2004). The culture is founded on the belief that human beings are spiritual creatures who have to suffer, engage in labor, and behave appropriately to achieve success in their lives. The culture has a high regard towards high moral standards; hence they have rules that govern a believer’s way of life to become an enlightened one. The Buddhism culture has five precepts that refrain people from killing any living being, stealing from others, misuse of one’s senses, giving a wrong speech, and taking intoxicating substances such as alcohol (Brannen et al., 2017). The precepts ensure that their believers do not engage in killing people or animals, something that explains the state of consuming vegetables common among them. The culture fosters a faith personality among optimistic believers, a speculative trait among doubters, and an aversive personality feature of clarity (Brannen et al., 2017).

Additionally, it guides people to avoid adultery or lustful encounters, gossip, lies, and the consumption of drugs that alter one’s thinking. The Buddhist code of conduct interrelates with Kamma, which ensure that the believers do not take part in making other suffer. Buddhists operate on three beliefs: Dukkha, Anitya, and Anatma (Lane, Maznevski, & Mendenhall, 2004). The Dukkha beliefs portray life as a suffering one due to the sum of unpleasantries, frustrations, and attaching to expectations. The Anitya beliefs portray the impermanence of everyday experiences as life constantly changes. Anatma’s belief indicates the changes in identities that take place in each individual’s life every day. The Buddhist culture empowers people with a variety to explore in leadership. Buddhists have a social dynamic that puts individuals as the primary holders of their powers in society as they take responsibility for their choices through Kamma.

The Hercules Culture

The Hercules culture is founded on a mythical Greek hero dynamic (Lane, Maznevski, & Mendenhall, 2004). Hercules is a symbol of confidence, skill, cunningness, and strength, and he is an admired legendary figure who fought evil in his society. The popularity of Hercules was because of his courage to face and defeat a Nemean lion and a nine-headed hydra; as a child, he strangled two dangerous snakes with his hands (Lane, Maznevski, & Mendenhall, 2004). The popularity of the legendary figure extended when he completed King Eurytheus’ twelve challenges. The heroic part of Greek culture emphasizes the need for fearlessness, vigilance, and strength in how people do their things. It enforces a culture of fearlessness and risk-taking among people to achieve excellence in one’s doings as the heroic figures portray a role-model personalities in their society. The heroic figure committed an act of evil through the merciless killing of his family, which later affected his consciousness. The concept that actions have consequences is evident in the culture since Hercules works mainly when guilt from his evil deeds pressures him. Cultural heroism’s relevance in society is that it emphasizes the need for role models, even though minimal attention to heroism is given in the mythical culture. Therefore, the Hercules concept inspires the essentiality of an alpha figure in a socially dynamic concept as the leader that gives directions to their followers (Lane, Maznevski, & Mendenhall, 2004). The Hercules symbolism indicates the relevance of control and simplicity in leadership.

How the Two Cultures Fuse

The cultures act as a single entity concept since they are usable in effective business management. The teachings of Hercules inspire purpose and virtues of rationality, control, and objective achievements as a way to obtain status. However, the Buddha’s teachings emphasize mindfulness and innovation to promote the world’s achievement, patience, and enlightenment. Both concepts are applicable in organizations as they drive results using different channels using the belief of the essentiality of authority figures in the social dynamics of communities (Brannen et al., 2017). Hercules works best in hierarchical management styles, and the results are bonuses.

In contrast, the Buddhism culture inspires collaborative leadership styles and hence has informal processes. The differences between the concepts are evident. However, their connection is relevant because Hercules’s ideologies can help people get a sense of purpose and achieve short-term goals. In contrast, the Buddhism ideology could help steer growth in a long-term sense as it focuses on open-minded thinking of options. The relevance of the two cultures is crucial since leaders who wish to instill decision-making among their teams as they have a structure that gives direction can adopt the Hercules style, influencing the role-model personality type. Those who wish to give direction through empowering individuals to adapt to changes and act independently can use Buddhist teachings. The Buddhism culture encourages diversity in the subculture, while Hercules encourages adherence to organizational culture (Lane, Maznevski, & Mendenhall, 2004).

Application to Cross-Culture and Global Management

The Buddhism culture encourages people to be curious about the variety of opportunities available to them in their present environment. Maintaining a curiosity about the different people in an environment creates an empowerment that enables one to acknowledge the existing differences, appreciate them and value each person’s uniqueness. Additionally, the culture’s ideologies emphasize the need to be curious about ideas to promote humility and open-mindedness. This concept allows individuals to act with autonomy and let go of control to grow and transform into their best versions depending on the social dynamic of their surroundings (Brannen et al., 2017). For instance, a Muslim lady might need to wear a hijab to feel confident and adhere to her beliefs. Therefore, a leader following Buddhism teachings will let go of the idea that they need to control that part of her and let go so that she can operate effectively.

The Hercules culture is applicable in situations where the objective is to promote clarity and simplicity in operations. It is most significant when a team wants to achieve high performance, especially around quantitative performance indicators, such as financial institutions. The authority figures and accountability stands are fixed in their personalities of being role models through acting first. Leaders in such situations take every interactive opportunity as a chance to clarify and give a sense of direction to promote simplicity. Therefore, promoting smooth coordination leads to high productivity.

Part 2: Global Management from Different Cultural Backgrounds

Cultural differences exist because of variations in religious beliefs, language, political systems, history, technology, traditions, art, and time. Different countries have different cultures, meaning management has to be different. Global managers need to understand that culture influence people’s emotions, perception of things, activities, and thoughts (Hitt, Franklin, & Zhu, 2006). Therefore, leaders must understand these assumptions as per their teams to ensure effective management. This discussion will evaluate the cultural variables and their influences on worldwide management.


Language is a significant indicator of someone’s culture in an international business environment. Communication is a significant influencer of high productivity in business management. Different countries have different national languages, which could lead to equivocality (Khan & Law, 2018); therefore, for a manager to be effective in global businesses, they need to learn the local languages of their country of operations to reduce misunderstandings. Global management becomes ineffective when several translations occur, as some words could lose meaning through misinterpretation or misunderstanding. Examples of Arab-speaking countries include Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

An Arab-speaking country like Saudi Arabia operates on a ‘waste’ ideology that prioritizes the persons a manager knows more than their knowledge in their business culture. It might seem inconvenient for other cultures like the United States, which speaks English. Managers must prioritize building trust with their stakeholders in an Arab-speaking country. According to the trait theory, leaders who portray strength in collaboration and communication in such environments can realize positive outcomes compared to those less gifted with charisma. Arabian countries prefer face-to-face meetings, small talk, friendliness, and cultural consciousness. Some of these countries are conservative about the female members of their kin, as the social dynamics of creating a rapport through greetings (Haase, 2014).

Most global managers from English countries value time management; however, the opposite is true in Arab-speaking countries since most have a relaxed culture that limits their frustrations. Hence, they might even attend to other objectives like signing documents while communicating. In English countries like England, business leaders value feedback on the spot; however, in countries like Yemen, managers might need to refrain from public disagreement (Haase, 2014). English leaders adopt a more executive and logistic personality approach, while Arab-speaking leaders are more protagonists in their international business relations. Another cultural difference is that the Arab-speaking nations value non-verbal cues; therefore, it might seem rude to them for someone to put their thumbs up as a sign of agreement, cross their legs, and show shoe soles. They are closer than English countries that prefer to give each other privacy and enforce boundaries; they might hold one’s hand when showing directions and sit close when listening as a social dynamic to show their welcoming and attentive nature. Global management is effective when an English-speaking leader is trained to better adapt to the varying cultures across the world of business under the behavioral theory.

Time Management

Different people from different cultural origins have different approaches to time management. For instance, there are stereotypes that people who come from German are exceptionally punctual, while people who come from India are expected to have a relaxed culture. In Germany, the citizens operate based on being late ten minutes early since they believe completing and beginning things has to be as per the schedule. Cultures like Germany regard time as something that can be controlled; thus, they engage in punctuality, proper planning, and color unison (Okoro, 2012). In such cultures, global management techniques have solid structures for meeting appointments, schedules, proper planning, and responsibility for failure to meet the set deadlines as social dynamics that indicate professionalism.

People who look at the time depending on their environment are more lenient than those who are strict on time. It comes to managing time and its polychromic nature. Compared to cultures that are lenient on time, time-strict nations have objectives and plans to ensure higher levels of satisfaction with their jobs and productivity. Global managers operating in time-conscious communities like German apply the time management theory since the environment dictates them to utilize time as a scarce resource. Therefore, business leaders apply the Theory Y concept in managing such economies, where employees are self-motivated to achieve within the stipulated timeline. However, in open economies like India, business managers apply Theory X, especially when the deadline is fast approaching; they do this using an authoritative personality approach (Reiche et al., 2017).


Religious background is a fundamental influence on every person’s existence. It strongly influences the professionalism levels of individuals. Religion instills specific values and moral grounds in people relevant in the workplace. For instance, protestants have strong social dynamics that emphasize time management, good saving habits, and hard work, with limited support for gambling, alcohol intake and clubbing leisure activities as indicators of good work ethics. Such team members work as a way to please God and improve the well-being of individuals and their communities (Khan & Panarina, 2017). Similarly, Islamic individuals value work and label it as a form of worship. Additionally, they view it as a form of getting dignity, independence, and self-sufficiency to please Allah, whom they believe will reward them even in their afterlife.

An example of Christian nation is England, the United States, and Mexico. Christians derive their values and perceptions of the world based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. The message of the doctrines emphasizes love as the primary commandment; hence, Christian ethics influence management to be that of responsibility and stewardship. Leaders in the Christian context view leadership as a form of service (Steers & Nardon, 2014). Therefore, most leaders in Christian countries adopt various leadership models as applied in the Bible. One style is the democratic leadership style, which allows members to offer insights to help in the final decision-making process. The advantage is that the employees, in this case, feel involved as much as the decision-making process is time-consuming. Additionally, the leadership style extends to the Islamic community, which elects leaders such as the ‘Sharia.’

Religion can also be used as a tool for strategic achievement among confident leaders. In developing countries like Kenya, certain leaders abuse the strong influence of religion in people’s lives, and those with self-centered personalities use it to gain power as they hide behind it in engaging in unethical deeds. However, leaders of integrity aiming to achieve much more for their communities do so through leadership governed by virtues of their religious beliefs, which universally include honesty, empathy, kindness, integrity, purpose, and vision (Wilson & Doz, 2012).

Individualism and Collectivism

Societies differ in how they care for others in a concept called collectivism and how they care about themselves in the individualism ideology. Cultures that promote collectivism work as a team and have interdependent individual and group interests; hence performance is determined by the social standards in place (Zhang, Liang, & Sun, 2013). In contrast, societies with individualistic traditions tend to promote individual effort that leads to personalized output. Countries such as Ireland, South Africa, Germany, the United States, and Australia are examples of nations with individualistic cultures. People from such nations have social dynamics that promote independent thinkers, autonomy, and engagement in sociality as per their choices and preferences. In the context of global management, individualistic managers create an environment where people can act creatively as an entity and achieve high output. Individuality thrives because of its self-sufficiency, autonomy, and special acknowledgment of people as they aim for independence (Zhang, Liang, & Sun, 2013). Therefore, in this instance, the mainly applied organization structure is the flat organization model, where individuals act as individuals per their preferred choice of operations. The disadvantage of individualistic management is that it can promote a rigid workplace culture where the people working there adopt reserved personality traits that limit them from readily accepting changes.

Collectivist cultures are more concerned with the needs of a team and its members, meaning that the social dynamics encourage social interactions and strongly influence the identity of such individuals. Some characteristics of the culture are that it enforces group work, prioritizing actions that benefit society, the essentiality of family, and selflessness (Khan & Law, 2018). Some collectivist countries include Japan, China, Indonesia, and South Korea. These cultures promote collectivism by following ideals that align with social norms. Such societies require management that supports teamwork where the members look out for each other with solid values of team spirit, acceptance, and belonging. The leadership style most vigorous in collectivist societies is the participative leadership style, as collaboration is a characteristic of such environments. A weakness of such work environments is the homogeneity nature of operations that creates average and reserved personalities. People have limited space to express their individuality, thus making them feel disengaged from expressing their ideas.

Femininity and Masculinity

The societal concept measures the drive and motivation of individuals in a community. Feminine societies tend to show more care and prioritize high life quality for all, while masculine societies are geared towards achievement, success, and individual competition (Khan & Panarina, 2017). Some examples of masculine nations include Mexico, Japan, and the United States. Masculine countries have a social dynamic that clearly illustrates gender roles, such that men earn more, act masculine, and have more power positions. Women have limited representation in power positions since they are primarily considered caregivers; hence they tend to have a reserved personality type. On the other hand, feminine cultures like Norway, Netherlands, and Sweden have a system where the gender roles intersect, and both the men and women of such nations act tender and modest and value high-quality life.

Feminine nations have equalized wages across genders, inclusivity across power positions, and value of relationships. The aftermath of such societies creates ethnocentrism that discourages strange actions of the community; otherwise, one receives hostility from such societies. In global management, the leadership space was formerly dominated by men but continues to change with time as it becomes gender-neutral. Feminine societies call for leaders to take on transformational and democratic leadership styles to promote relationships and the quality of employees’ lives as they continuously work (Wilson & Doz, 2012). However, the masculine communities call for authoritative and transactional management ideologies because of the firm and goal-oriented approach. Masculine societies like the United States expect their managers to portray high self-esteem and take risks to promote business growth using their self-centered personalities. In contrast, feminine societies realize higher productivity through problem-solving as the leaders adapt to the changes.

The current gender-neutral work environment has steered most people to seek power positions regardless of gender. However, to be an effective leader in the international business space, leaders need to act according to their society; managers should act masculine in masculine and feminine in feminine societies. Global leaders need to understand each culture they engage in by observing what is rewarded, how people act, and the nature of their management to ensure that they lead it accordingly (Mendenhall, 2017).

Power distances

Power distribution in societies can either be low or high. The implication of distance implies the sharing of knowledge, resource, wealth, authority, and hierarchical workplace relationships. High power distance areas make people feel unequal to their peers, while low power distance communities make people feel equal (Khan & Law, 2017). High power-distance communities such as Russia tend to have rigid organizational structures that have a firm belief in the hierarchy in companies; hence most of them use the authoritative leadership model that works effectively among leaders with executive personality traits. In societies with low power distance, like the United Kingdom and Ireland, the leadership style is participative primarily in nature, hence a flat organizational structure. Unlike in low-power distance societies, where the social dynamics in the workplace allow for leaders’ easy access through open-door policies, high-power communities have several communication channels that employees need to use to pass information through a hierarchy (Brannen et al., 2017).


Globalization is a common trend in modern business operations. Therefore, leaders must understand how local cultures influence people’s actions, personalities, social dynamics, and culture, even in the workplace. In the first part of this paper, it is evident that Buddha and Hercules’ teachings differ, but the applicability is evident in global management. Buddhism encourages leaders to empower their team members to realize themselves and achieve more in the long run; hence most leaders apply the role-model personality style. In contrast, Hercules, who acts as a symbol of power and influence, encourages structural operations to encourage high productivity through a sense of direction and clarity. In the second part of the paper, comprehensive research is done on culture and its impact on people’s behaviors in the workplace. The social dynamic variables include language, the time factor, masculine and feminine communities, religion, collectivism and individualism, and power distance. These factors indicate the actuality of cultural influence on people’s work ethics, leadership, and behaviors (Khan & Panarina, 2017).


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