Friday, 30 December 2011

Understanding the differences

Organizational culture is a mirror image of the personality of the organization. According to Katherine Miller, culture is composed of fragmented subcultural units which is complex and ambiguous, and is socially constructed through communicative interaction of organizational members. In a nut shell, culture itself defines the way an organization works and the way members communicate with each other.

There are two main types of corporations in the working world, the Multinational Corporation (MNC) and the Domestic Corporation (DMC). Both MNCs and DMCs basically have to handle similar regular internal organizational issues, problems, and challenges in coordinating, integrating, and controlling its activities. However, because of the diversity and complexity of an MNC, they require a far more effective internal communication as compared to a DMC. A MNC is described as a coordinated federation where many assets, resources, responsibilities and decisions are decentralized but controlled by the headquarters. It is different from a domestic company in a way that it works across markets, nations and cultures. Knowledge sharing and learning in a MNC is a cross-border process in two ways: not only organizational but also national borders have to be overcomed which is a highly difficult and requires complex undertaking. DMCs on the other hand are corporations or partnerships created or organized and exists or occurs inside a particular country; not foreign or international. Communication, unlike MNC, resides only in one region and location.

Evidently, communication is a major constituent in any organization; it plays an important role in delivering vital messages throughout the entire organization. Often the success of a corporation is dependent on the styles of communication that it uses. It is important that essential information is passed around accurately and efficiently. The rapid and steady flow of information enriches and empowers an organization, just as the flow of money creates wealth.

Both types of corporations, though different in magnitude and culture, employ indisputably similar ways of communication that runs throughout the hierarchy. Deploying human resource approaches by incorporating various rites and rituals within to make employees feel a sense of belonging and affiliation. These indirectly allow the employees to get a further insight of the organization’s culture and practices and also allow them to develop a deeper sense of commitment to the organization. Needless to say, however, a company as big as a MNC poses  various communication barriers and that the importance of well-functioning internal communication for MNCs becomes  more vital than that of a domestic company, due to the fact that, among other things, its units are dispersed across national borders. The simple fact that there are physical distances among the subunits complicates clear and effective communication.

Even with several barriers restricting effective communication amongst corporations and employees, MNCs and DMCs have nonetheless overcome this, by creating a new sub-culture, a culture with which employees of the coporation learn to adapt and adhere to. Likewise with inter-corporations communications, the corporate world will have its set of communicative tools and rules based on cultural settings.

As it is with everything else in this world, change is the only constant, and culture is no different. Understanding the differences in culture in MNCs and DMCs is not enough. We have to realise that over time, these cultures might not be suited to its day and age, and should therefore change according with it.

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