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It is very essential for corporations to take critical analysis of the host country in order to launch a product in an overseas market. Due to the significance of understanding the cultural diversity of the host country, El Pollo Loco’s market entry into Japan was very successful. Most scholarly studies have been dedicated towards strategic management of the cross border ventures because of the diversity of cultural issues. Culture being a determinant factor in international trade, El Pollo Loco used the Geert Hofstede’s model of standing cultural dimension. This essay reports on how the Hofstede’s model helped El Pollo Loco to succeed in the Japanese market.
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Tracing the El Pollo Loco’s Success in Japan
Hofstede’s cultural dimensions are essential in understanding workplace culture in any region across the globe. Globalization has opened the world hence the interaction of people from various cultural backgrounds. “The changed world makes marketing a cross-cultural process that requires marketers must be well informed with cultural differences nationally, locally, and ethnically to be the winner in the 21st Century market,” (Tian, 2009). The Japan people according to the findings of Hofstede fall under the 3rd dimension of masculinity (MAS). Masculinity in this model refers to how rigid a society would be willing to change the traditional gender-based roles. This society requires that both males and females stick to their roles in the society as it was defined in the past (Hofstede, 2007).
In the MAS societies, females have separate career choices from those of their mae counterparts. Moreover, the males are expected to take charge and be the breadwinner in a family. Men must also be assertive and tough and as such, these societies record high MAS scores in Hofstede’s cultural dimension (Hofstede, Hofstede & Minkov, 2010).
Even when the gender roles are reversed, the role of males and females in the society are still remaining unchanged. Low MAS scores indicate that the gender roles are not well defined as men appear sensitive while women struggle to climb the ladder of professional success by working hard. This observation holds for men and women working under one profession. According to Baumann (2007), “People from countries like Germany, Japan or Spain dislike uncertainty and therefore they have greater need for security, formality, and strong belief in experts and their knowledge,” (p. 53).
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In the application of the 3rd dimension, Japan is the highest masculine country at 95. This means that when setting up an outlet in Japan, El Pollo Loco had to recruit a male as the leader of the outlet. The male leader is respected by both men and women in that position because the society believes it are right to do so. The entire workforce respects the male manager and this will bring harmony and a cordial working relationship in the team. The Japan outlet also uses the traditional methods of organization learning as it is the most suited for the Japanese workforce. According to Wu (2011), mutual identity is critical in integrating a workable learning practice within a given community.
El Pollo Loco in the US
The most appropriate dimension in understanding the culture of the US is the Long TTerm Orientation, (LTO). Societies falling under this category hold on to their traditions for a long term. This dimension was added in 1990 after Hofstede established that countries that believed on the Confucian philosophy have high LTO (Mind Tools, 1996). Contrarily, US and the UK have low LTO, which means that the people in the countries are open to suggestions that would bring innovative ideas. They will not mind participating in the execution of good ideas as long as they become part of the project. For a firm seeking to open up an outlet in the US, barriers to entry will be kept to the minimum as long as the idea is implementable.
El Pollo Loco’s operations in the US will be boosted by the supportive and US citizens who would be ready to adopt new strategies if the business fails. By employing a manager who values the LTO ideals, El Pollo Loco will serve its customers satisfactorily as the entire workforce will treat them with respect. A combination of these virtues defines an ideal leader and a successful business venture. Sustainability of business lies in the ability to maintain a competitive edge, which is the satisfaction of clients’ needs.
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Hofstede’s cultural dimension is a good tool in understanding the diversity of people in a given social set up. An understanding of the cultural values of the Japanese and the US citizens helps in identifying the best leaders to trust with the running of El Pollo Loco’s activities. A good recruitment drive is the answer to good governance that defines a vibrant business organization. Therefore, Hofstede’s cultural dimensions have helped in understanding the reasons for the success of its operations in Japan and the US.
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