Committee decision making is by group or consensus. Committees may operate on a centralized or decentralized basis, but the concept of committee management implies something quiet different from the individualized functioning of the top management and decentralized decision making arrangements just discussed. Because Asian cultures and religion tend to emphasizes harmony and collectivism, it is not surprising that group decision making predominates there. Despite the emphasis on rank and hierarchy in Japanese social structure, business emphasizes group participation group harmony and group decision making – but at the top management level.
The demands of these types of authority systems on a marketer’s ingenuity and adaptability are evident. In the case of the authoritative and delegated societies, the chief problem is to identify the individual with authority. In the committee decision setup, very committee must be convinced of the merits of the proposition or product in question. The marketing approach to each of these situations differs.
The training and background) i.e. cultural environment) of managers significantly affect their personal and business outlooks. Society as a whole establishes the social rank or status of management, and cultural background dictates patterns of aspirations and objectives among businesspeople. These cultural influences affect the attitude of managers toward innovation, new products and conducting business with foreigners. To fully understand another’s management style, one must appreciate an individual’s values which are usually reflected in the goals of the business organizations and in the practices that prevail within the company. In dealing with foreign business, a marketer must be particularly aware of the varying objectives and aspirations of management.
Security and Mobility: Personal security and job mobility relate directly to basic human motivation and therefore have widespread economic and social implications. The word security is somewhat ambiguous, and this very ambiguity provides some clues to managerial variation. To some, security means a big paycheck and the training and ability required for moving fro company to company within the business hierarchy; for others, it means the security of lifetime positions with their companies; to still others, it means adequate retirement plans and other welfare benefits. European companies, particularly in the more hierarchical (PDI) countries, such as France and Italy have a strong paternalistic orientation, and it is assumed that individuals will work for one company for the majority of their lives. For example, in Britain place importance on individual achievement and autonomy, whereas French managers place great importance on competent supervision, sound company policies, fringe benefits security and comfortable working conditions. French mangers have much less mobility than British.
Personal life: For many individuals, a good personal and / or family life takes priority over profit, security, or any other goal. In his worldwide study of individual aspirations, David McClelland discovered that the culture of some countries stressed the virtue of a good personal life as being far more important than profit or achievement. The hedonistic outlook of ancient Greece explicitly included work as an undesirable factor that got in the way of the search for pleasure or a good personal life. Alternatively, according to Max Weber, at least part of the standard of living that we enjoy in the United States today can be attributed to the hard working Protestant ethic from which we derive much of our business heritage.
To the Japanese personal life is company life. Many Japanese workers regard their work s the most important part of their overall lives. Metaphorically speaking such workers may even find themselves working a dream. The Japanese work ethic – maintenance of a sense of purpose derives from company loyalty and frequently results in the Japanese employee maintaining identity with the corporation. Although this notion continues to be true for the majority, strong evidence indicates that the faltering Japanese economy has moved the position of the Japanese salary man from that of one of Japan’s business elite to one of some derision. Japan’s business culture is gradually shifting away from the lifelong employment that led to the intense company loyalty.