Cross-Culture Management Ravinaki Resort

Cross-Culture Management: Ravinaki Resort


TOC o “1-3” h z u Introduction PAGEREF _Toc376337906 h 1Background PAGEREF _Toc376337907 h 1Power Distance PAGEREF _Toc376337908 h 2Particularistic vs. Universalistic PAGEREF _Toc376337909 h 3Individualism vs. Collectivism PAGEREF _Toc376337910 h 3Neutral vs. Affective PAGEREF _Toc376337911 h 4Achievement vs. Ascription PAGEREF _Toc376337912 h 4Masculine vs. Feminine PAGEREF _Toc376337913 h 4Recommendations PAGEREF _Toc376337914 h 5The motivation of employees PAGEREF _Toc376337915 h 5Position of the resort in the community PAGEREF _Toc376337916 h 6Overall revenue of the resort PAGEREF _Toc376337917 h 6Conclusions PAGEREF _Toc376337918 h 8

IntroductionCross cultural management refers to the management of people from different cultures working together within the organizational setting. Cross cultural management encompasses a number of organizational behavior issues such as group dynamics, leadership, motivation and decision making (Adler, 2002: Tsui et al., 2007, p. 426). For any organization or business entity to be abreast with issues new uncontrollable problems of the host country and for the entity to attain and sustain high performance, the importance of local support from local operatives is vital. The cooperation of local employees and their sincere contribution to the business entity is a critical factor to its competitive advantage. The effective use of human capital is vital to the performance of the organization (Steers & Sanchez-Runde, 2002: Chevrier, 2003). It is important for business entity to consider host country’s culture because the importation of western management practices leads to failure. This is emphasized on the fact that management ideologies developed within one cultural context of one country with good effect cannot be guaranteed in another.

The culture reflects what people consider important or unimportant and this varies significantly across cultures. This implies that it impossible to utilize theories and concepts universally without considering a number of factors. The success of a business entity is dependent upon the understanding of the host culture, assumptions and expectations about how people should act and even think. Every culture is unique in the way it handles certain issues or problems and the solutions that they give, hence understanding cultural diversity in business is critical in the success of the business entity (Hyeong & Kamalanabhan, 2008, p. 2). This essay will examine a case of Ravinaki resort during its transition from one set of management to the other. It will examine the different forms of management during the transition. This paper analyzes this transition using the cross cultural framework. It will explain how culture and cross cultural management plays a role in the success of the resort. This paper will also give recommendations concerning the motivation, position of the resort and the overall revenue of the resort.

BackgroundCaroline is a former water sport manager at Ravinaki resort which is situated in Batiki. She used to work under the owners James and Sarah. During her tenure as a water sport manager, the management of the resort was diplomatic in nature in that everyone helped where they can. The resort cooperated with the surrounding community especially the chiefs and tried as much as possible to operate within the confines that the culture allowed. This can be seen in the resort being an “eco resort” where the resort did not have air condition and limited electricity. Caroline had a good working relationship with the local because the management of the time went out of their way to ensure that they understand the culture of the Lomaiviti. This ensured that employees in the resort felt appreciated. Under the management of Ross he did not take enough time to understand the culture of the people surrounding the resort and this led friction. He did not take into consideration “the Fiji time” and wanted to impose his culture on the people. This led to him being frustrated with the deadlines he set for particular projects.

In the following section we are going to evaluate the two forms of management and try and get to understand why Caroline’s form of management was more successful than that of Ross. We are going to use a cultural framework to get a better understanding of this.

Power Distance The concept of power distance was brought forward by Hofstede. This dimension concerns the distribution of power among individuals, organizations and institutions. Cultures which have a low power distance have power distributed equally. This form of power distance minimizes inequality because it considers all subordinates and superiors as equal. The superiors can ask for answers from their subordinates (Hofstede, 2001; Soares 2007, p. 280). In the case, we can see that during the day that the supplies for the resort came from Suva, James who was the owner would be the first one on the track to unload the vehicle and this ultimately set the tone of the day. The management and owners during Caroline’s tenure practiced hands on approach of management and this ensured that the superiors and the subordinates were equal. This led to the success of the resort because the cohesion that existed.

On the other hand, high power distance, there is an inequality and subordinates are different from their superiors. A high power distance ranking in the society indicates that inequalities of power and wealth are dominant within the society and have been allowed to grow. A high power distance indicates that the society is hierarchically differentiated. Superiors enjoy special privileges in their working environments while their subordinates do not enjoy the same kind of treatment (Fischer & Smith 2003, p. 258). In the case we can see that Ross executes a high handed approach to management with him giving orders to subordinates and setting targets. Compared to the management of James and Sarah where they exercised a hands on kind of management. This can be seen in the case, when everyone tries to help out with even Sarah helping in the kitchen. In his management Ross had all the answers and nobody questioned his decisions, for example no one questioned his judgment on suing the chiefs. In this form employees may not be willing to openly disagree with the manager or their superior like in the case of Fernando the chef and Malcolm. The friction that existed between the forms of culture the Canadians brought and the Lomaiviti made it difficult for the resort to succeed.

Particularistic vs. UniversalisticIn a particularistic culture the society focuses on relationships rather than rules. In this setting contracts are easily modified and changing mutuality is honored by parties involved, when a circumstance necessitates it or during changes (Trompenaars, 1993: Hyeong & Kamalanabhan 2008, p. 8). This can be seen in the management of Caroline, where they paid the chiefs a certain levy to visit some parts of the island. In a universalistic culture the focus is on rules rather than relationships. This can be seen in the management of Ross where he sues the chiefs for charging a certain fee to access certain parts of the island.

Individualism vs. CollectivismThis dimension focuses on the society’s degree of reinforcement of individual or collective achievement and interpersonal relationships. In collectivist cultures value opportunities belong to the group. In this type of setting members are not attracted by individual recognition and the opportunity to be above other members (Hofstede, 2001: Pheng & Yuquan, 2002, p. 10). Members in this thrive as a unit. This can be seen in the case where Caroline and the owners used to look for solutions through negotiations made dialogue with the members. This can be seen clearly in the situation where the management had a problem where employees who were not closely affiliated to the chiefs felt uncomfortable giving out orders to those who were closely affiliated. This can be seen also in the situation where Caroline and the owners discovered that offering individual incentives is not as effective as giving the incentives to their communities such as, building amenities for the surrounding communities. Individualistic cultures value individual growth and opportunities for individual promotion. In this kind of culture employees are attracted by the incentive system that provides opportunities for recognition for achievement and control over an event. This can be seen in the management of where he contracts the services of Fernando the chef from Brazil, who comes because of the ability for him to have control.

Neutral vs. AffectiveCultures can also be categorized on how people show emotions towards other people during a conversation. In neutral cultures, members tend to hide their feelings and tension is accidentally revealed (Trompenaars, 1993). This can be seen in the case where Caroline observes that Malcolm’s enthusiasm has waned and he was tense about him staying longer, because Fernando would scold him. This is further emphasized when he was complaining about the treatment by Fernando giving them orders that they did not understand. In an affective culture members openly reveal emotions and they are expressive. On the other hand, under the management of Caroline and the founders of the resort, dialogue and negotiations were encouraged to solve problems and come up with solutions.

Achievement vs. AscriptionIn achievement form of culture members are respected for what they do and there is limited use of titles. In the ascription culture, members are respected for who they are and there is extensive user of titles (Trompenaars, 1993; Hyeong & Kamalanabhan, 2008, p. 8). The management under Caroline and the founders can be termed as Achievement based. This is because in the case we could see that James and Sarah the owners used to set the pace for the day when he used to be the first one to help unloading the truck and Sarah helping in the kitchen. The workers respected the owners for this because the management was brought down to their level. On the other hand, the management of Ross can be termed as ascription this because of his high handed approach of management. In his management there is clear hierarchy of authority with Ross being on top. For example, during the construction of the deck mike was in charge to make sure that the workers do not do anything wrong. Mike was in charge because of his background as a civil engineer. Fernando in the kitchen clearly, the one in charge because he used to order everyone because of his title, even Malcolm admitted that he is a brilliant chef.

Masculine vs. FeminineMasculinity refers to a culture that embraces competitiveness, material success and achievement (Hofstede, 2001). Cultures that have high masculinity tend to prefer rewards on performance. This culture prefers receiving cash rewards, titles and other materialistic rewards. Masculine cultures are dominated by power relationships and are result oriented. This can be seen in the case where Ross tries to enhance the performance of the employees to finish the deck by offering them cash rewards. Feminine cultures prefer allocations of basic needs and placing primacy on one’s connection with other people. In this culture meaningful rewards are improved benefits and symbolic rewards. In the case of Caroline, their management focused on allocating basic needs to the surrounding communities as rewards for performance. This can be seen through initiatives such as building amenities such as churches, community centers and schools for the locals. The management of the resort during Caroline’s tenure, emphasized on the need to cement relationships with the locals, through sessions with the chiefs for example drinking kava with the chiefs to ensure the relationships was strong.

RecommendationsThe management under Ross compared to the previous owners is not succeeding in achieving its goals and objectives. There are a couple of areas of concentration that Ross should pay attention to for his resort to succeed. Recommendations will focus on three main areas, the motivation of employees, the position of the resort in the community and the overall revenue of the resort. These recommendations are made from the precinct of increasing guest numbers and guest spending while they are at the resort.

The motivation of employeesThe motivation of employees is increased if the individuals if members believe they are receiving fair treatment and respect (Fey, 2005, p. 375). In Hertzberg’s two-factor motivation theory, one of the motivators to improve motivation in the work place is advancement, recognition, achievement, and work itself and responsibility (Steers & Sanchez-Runde, 2001). Ross can incorporate this in his management in that instead of giving the workers cash incentives he should focus on giving the workers other incentives such as building amenities.

Ross should take the mantle from the previous owners who focused on providing to the community in order to motivate the workers. This is from the way the culture of the island dictates. The management should also look into the welfare of its workers to make sure that the resort has an atmosphere of cool and tranquility which will encourage more visitors to come. By building schools, community centers and churches, this would help cement relationships with the surrounding community and get the loyalty from the chiefs who are critical stakeholders to the resort. This would motivate the workers to work hard because they have the blessings of their chief. Ross should also ensure that he tries to strike a balance between the professionals he hires and the locals as this is critical to the success of the resort. Hiring too many experts who are not natives will not be seen in positive light by the community and demotivate the workers working at the resort due to their allegiances.

The goal setting theory proposes that goals regulate behavior and setting specific and difficult goals lead to enhanced performances (Locke & Latham, 2002). The goal setting theory requires that in the management of people in a workplace feedback and frequent proof on uncertainties is needed to achieve success. Ross should ensure that the goals set are understood and enhances a culture of competitiveness in the resort by leading by example, while at the same time ensuring that information flows within the resort effectively.

Position of the resort in the communityThe position of the resort within the community is compromised in the sense that they are in loggerheads because of their difference in culture. Ross should drop the suit against the chiefs and try to find a middle ground with the chiefs. The coherence between the business and its surrounding environment is vital in the success of the resort. This is mainly because the people employed in this resort are the natives of Batiki.

The difference in the cultures from Canadian to the Fijian culture, is bound to create friction, thus the management of this friction is critical aspect to the success of the resort. Culture is the tie that binds members of societies together consisting of such things as ideas, values, norms, constitutive rules and the modifications to the physical environment. These rules create traditions that go deeper than reason (Stuart, 2004: Fiske, 2002, p. 85). Ross should ensure that he does an extensive research on the culture of the Lomaiviti to gain insight of how to better manage the locals. He should ensure that he learns the culture of the surrounding and make a basis on how he can merge his culture with that of the surrounding community. With a better understanding of the culture of the community, Ross can be able to mitigate some of the areas of friction that exist within the current structure. Ross should also find areas in which his culture and that of the natives are similar and take advantage of the similarity to enhance the performance of the workers.

Overall revenue of the resortWith the recent upgrades to the resort, Ross should consider making the changes slowly in order to build a name for the resort. Because during the management of James and his wife they had a certain type of clientele, hence a sudden shift in prices will drive them. A slow shift in the prices ensures that the goodwill of the resort increases, while it builds on its clientele.

With the building of an airport near Batiki, the prospects of success for the resort are high. The resort should try and conduct a market research of the kind of clients that visit resorts and identify a target market for example tourists during their honeymoon. The market research can be conducted through the use of interviews or questioners. Focusing on a certain target market increases the prospect of success, because it distinguishes itself among other competitors. The location of Batiki as a remote island, with its spectacular sunset and the beauty of the surrounding can be an added advantage, as the resort can use its remoteness as a source of adventure.

The resort should also make attempts to increase allocations on advertisements. The resort should undertake an aggressive type of advertisement to ensure that the resort is recognized. With Fiji having a numerous number of islands and resort, the advertisement should focus on the unique features that the resort offers. It should distinguish itself among other resort, for example the fact that it is an “eco resort”. This can be a big advertisement tool with the increasing awareness to environmental conservation. The focus of the resort to environmental conservation through its policies and the amenities it offers can help endear the resort to tourists (Mead & Andrews, 2009, p. 6). Word of mouth referrals are the most effective form of advertisement, hence the quality of service offered should be exceptional.

The resort should also try and ensure that communication is flows efficiently and effectively through the ranks of the re3sort. The management should try and ensure that the information that is dispersed is understood clearly by the workers. In the case we can see that there is a miss-match in terms of understanding among the management and the subordinates. For example, Malcolm was complaining about how Fernando gives order5s but they do not understand him leading to friction within the resort.

The current management should find out the areas through which the previous management were successful and conduct a SWOT analysis the resort. This will help the current owner in ensuring that he utilizes his strengths, strengthens his weaknesses, neutralizes his weaknesses and capitalizes on opportunities available. For example, the resort should reconsider going to diving and snorkeling locations that were previous successful with the help of a local guides. The resort should also reinstitute a “Discover Scuba session” for guest who did not dive because it was previously a critical source of revenue stream for the resort.

ConclusionsCross cultural management is a critical part of a business entity especially for business entities operating away from their home countries. This paper has looked into the management Ravinaki resort during its transition from one form of management to another. It has also looked at how culture has impacted in the way the resort is managed and the difference in the treatment of culture between the two forms of management, and how it led to its success or failure. This paper has also given recommendations for the future management of the resort, on how it can utilize the various strategies to ensure success.


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