Unit Code: HC3031
Unit Name: Trends in the Global Business Environment
Assignment: Tutorial Questions
Weighting: Total Mark 50 = 50%
Purpose: This assignment is designed to assess your level of knowledge of the key topics covered in this unit
Unit Learning Outcomes Assessed:
Description: Each week students were provided with three tutorial questions of varying degrees of difficulty. These tutorial questions are available in the Tutorial Folder for each week on Blackboard. The Interactive Tutorials are designed to assist students with the process, skills and knowledge to answer the provided tutorial questions. Your task is to answer a selection of tutorial questions covered over Week 2 to Week 11 inclusive. The assessment contains 6 questions. Answer all 6 questions.
Students who cite a minimum of 12 peer-reviewed academic articles (in total) in the text to support their assertions, and list all references appropriately at the end of the report using Harvard referencing style may receive higher marks than those who do not cite relevant materials.
The questions to be answered are:
Question 1(7 marks)
How do Gannon’s cultural metaphors differ from how Hofstede uses culture to classify countries? (Support your arguments with key research findings on diversity management). Answer this question in 300 words.
Question 2:(7 marks)
Which do you think would be more effective for shaping long-term ethical behaviour in an organisation: a written code of ethics combined with ethics training or strong ethical leadership? Which would have more impact on you? Why? (Support your arguments with key research findings on organisational ethics). Answer this question in 300 words.
Question 3: (11 marks)
A business executive once said, ‘A company’s first obligation is to be profitable. Unprofitable enterprises can’t afford to be socially responsible’. Define the concept of ‘corporate social responsibility’ and how to evaluate it along with economic, legal, ethical and discretionary criteria. In your opinion, what are some difficulties in understanding social responsibility in today’s organisations? (Support your arguments with key research findings on CSR in contemporary organisations). Answer this question in 300 words.
Question 4:(11 marks)
Identify a multinational enterprise (MNE) that has operating facilities in your neighborhood or state. Determine the national origin of that company and its motive for choosing your state. (Support your arguments with key research findings). Answer this question in 300 words.
Question 5:(7 marks)
Today’s companies are rewiring their organisations for creativity and innovation. Businesses must develop improved production technologies, create new products and services desired in the marketplace, implement new administrative systems and upgrade employees’ skills. How can organisations establish a climate and culture for creative thinking and what are some leadership practices that enhance innovation? (Support your arguments with key research findings). Answer this question in 300 words).
Question 6:(7 marks)
Compare and contrast the following organisational structures: functional structure, product structure, market structure, and geographical region structure. Which type of company often adopts hybrid structures? (Support your arguments with key research findings). Answer this question in 300 words).
As per Gannon’s principles of cultural metaphors, any activity which is considered to be a matter of ethnic culture helps in connecting people in an intellectual manner and emotional manner. It is important to accept various factors such as acceptance of culture and encouraging the use of diversity. As per Ganon, it has been observed that cultural metaphors are used as a symbolic representation of the values of culture. It is important to account for the factors such as reflecting upon the manner in which people think and behave in a particular manner and correspondingly react to different situations under varying circumstances (GARRETT et al., 2020). The Ganon’s principles which outline the cultural metaphors take into account the factors such as the increase in the level of understanding and acceptance among people which would help to realize the degree to which people can communicate and collaborate with work activities. Both the cultural model of Gannon and that of Hofstede are interrelated.
However, the Hofstede model specifies the components of culture separately and accounts for factors such as identifying particular attributes of cultural differences. This can be used to outline the fact that the Hofstede model would be suitable for application in order to understand and realize the cultural variations across the nations. The components of Hofstede dimensions can be used to understand the variations in cultural differences. The power distance index is specifically used to understand the variations in the degree of inequality of strength among different sections of people in the society (GREEN et al., 2020). The individualism and collectivism index is used for understanding how a particular community works to maximize social or personal welfare. The masculinity and femininity index is used for understanding the differences in power across the genders and the index of uncertainty is used for understanding the degree to which people within a particular community would be risk lovers or risk averse in their behaviour.
It is important for the leader or a manager of an organization to follow a code of ethical principles and ensure that employees are also aware about the same which in turn would help them in performing their duties diligently (WU et al., 2020). A written code of ethics and principles would enable the employees to follow the code principles in an appropriate manner and this would also lay a basic outline of the expected behaviour which is expected from the individuals. A written code of ethics is useful as it would enable supervisors to monitor employees by clearly assessing the dos and don'ts (DVORAK et al., 2020). The code of ethics can also enable employees to follow proper guidelines and rules in order to ensure harmony at place of work. It can be ascertained that following a well defined code of written ethics would lead to harmony at place of work and would avoid frequent conflicts associated with the dos and don'ts.
A strong ethical leadership may not have an equivalent impact as it would set out a charismatic approach in educating the employees of an organization as to how they are expected to behave, given the example led by the senior hierarchies (KOTÍKOV and PAVL, 2019). However, a strong form of ethical leadership would lay down the framework of guidelines which would ensure behaving in a highly ethical and rational manner. It is important in this regard to determine the degree to which ethics as a manner of behavioral display can enable an organization’s employees to observe the qualities of their superiors and apply the same while working.
A well drafted code of organizational ethics and principles is likely to ensure a greater impact by guiding the employer and employees of their expected behaviour and the manner in which they should behave (HEWITT et al., 2020). This in combination with strong ethics training would lead to proper grooming which in turn would cause them to behave and approach different situations in a rational manner.
Corporate social responsibility is a practice which is aimed at ensuring responsible behaviour on behalf of an organization or individual which would enable the employees to contribute towards societal goals by maximizing social welfare and being involved in voluntary and ethically oriented practices. The key components of corporate social responsibility involve maximizing the profit of the organization by also ensuring maximization of social welfare and ensuring that externalities are reduced (FARIAS et al., 2020). CSR activities are aimed at ensuring economic growth through maximization of social welfare. It also complies with the ethics and practices associated with legal regulations and obligations of corporate governance. These aspects should be taken into consideration in order to avoid the issues involving the use and application of ethical practices and principles in order to ensure a high degree of stability in business operations.
It has been observed that an organization may be susceptible to several issues which would make it difficult for them to develop CSR based strategies. This involves the factors such as the drawbacks of a strategic mission and vision and the lack of an appropriate system of measurement which often overlooks the guidelines associated with incorporation of corporate socially responsible practices (ESTRADA et al., 2020). The lack of knowledge among the employees is also an important factor which can be taken into account in order to meet the criterias of corporate governance practices over the period of time (SOBIERALSKI and HUBBARD, 2020). Most importantly, it is also important for organizations to draft appropriate reports of corporate governance practices which would enable the employees to abide by a definite set of guidelines in order to undertake activities in a proper manner. It has been observed that in most profit-making organizations, the board of directors are oriented towards ensuring that tasks and activities are undertaken in a proper manner to primarily confirm with the organization’s mission and vision statement as opposed to maximization of societal welfare.
Unilever is one of the largest multinational organizations which has a wide network of operations and is based in the UK. It is also important to take into consideration various factors such as the importance of highlighting the factors involved in business activities and understanding the significant degree of potential reachout (RUBINO et al., 2020). Unilever has been chosen as a suitable organization as it has a highly segregated market of operations and aims at increasing diversity by involving people from various communities in its business operations.
It is also a striking feature to note that the organization is involved in complying with a set of highly ethical practices and standards in order to ensure corporate social responsibility and practices. It aims at ensuring sustainable living. It has a well defined policy of code of conduct which the employees of the organization are expected to follow at each and every instance of business activities and operations. The decisions such as payment of dividend to the shareholders and assuming a new course of operation to fit the business needs should be communicated across all the stakeholders in order to comply with the business operations and notions (DVORSKÝ et al., 2020). The multinational organization is pillared by four notions which involve the concepts of accountability, fairness, a high degree of transparency, leadership and management of leadership. The organization arranges training for its new employees at various intervals in order to develop their skill and in turn contribute towards a greater degree of organizational success. The organization is also responsible for retaining its marketing talent and ensuring that the business activities are undertaken with a high degree of efficiency (ASGARY et al., 2020). The efficient management of the organization ensures proper execution of activities with task delegation which reduces the burden on staff thereby increasing their marginal level of productivity.
Creativity is one of most essential elements which must be taken into consideration while determining the degree of organizational success. It is important to take into consideration the components such as ensuring the exploitation of a highly skilled workforce in order to maximize organizational efficiency (MÄKI and TOIVOLA, 2021). Creative thinking can be fostered among employees by involving them in discussion sessions and exchanging ideas and points of view. This would enable them to contribute towards the decision making process of the organization and it would foster a high degree of creativity at the place of work. It is also essential to account for the factors such as training and developing the skills of the employees in order to promote their level of creativity and innovation at the place of work. The component of creativity would ensure that the development of work and activities would be accompanied with a first mover advantage which can seem to increase the efficiency in activities of operations.
Innovation is one of the key factors which is essential in order to understand the manner in which creativity would be fostered at place of work. It is important to take into account the importance of leadership and workshop sessions which should be attended by employees in order to ensure that creativity is fostered at the place of work. It is important to take into account factors such as the degree to which new ideas are exchanged and discussed at place of work (ASGARY et al., 2020). Innovation at the workplace can also be fostered among the employees by exposing them to new environments and ensuring that they are acquainted with a high degree of skill and motivation at place of work. It is important in this regard to account for factors such as understanding the activities which can foster innovation at the place of work.
A functional form of organization structure is important and it takes into consideration the aspects such as grouping of employees are various sets of roles and tasks. It is also important to take into consideration various factors which are involved in creating a structural form of barrier which can limit the knowledge of people and also communicate properly with other departments.
The product based divisional structure consists of division which is related to a particular product line and this form of structure is ideal for an organization which deals in multiple products (MÄKI and TOIVOLA, 2021). It is difficult to scale and ensure that an organization does not end up with duplication of resources.
The structure associated with market-based division is centred around the fact that the divisions of organizations which are based on markets, industries and types of customers is an essential structure which is ideal for an organization and is unique to specific and varying market segments. It also ensures a high degree of autonomy to each market segment.
The geographical segments take into account factors such as inclusion of territories, regions and districts which aids decentralized form of decision-making process. It can run the risk of creating campaigns which would compete with other forms of divisions and digital channels.
A process based organizational structure is framed to ensure appropriate end to end flow of varying processes. The process-based organization highlights the fact that the component of customer acquisition cannot begin until and unless, there has been a fully developed product which can be sold (ASGARY et al., 2020). A process-based structure of the organization may often lead to difficulty in communication and interaction across various levels of subordinates and hierarchies.
The matrix-based structure of an organization is an essential component which outlines the fact that employees of an organization have a dual form of relationships. It is also important to take into account various aspects such as determining if the relationship is secondary and is as strong or not. The most important component in this regard is that there are various layers of approval which any decision has to go through prior to approval.