It is so important for International Negotiators to understand two fundamental concepts which play a vital role when any business is planed to be taken beyond national borders. They are National Identity and Corporate Culture.
As we saw in the last class, National Identity is the construction of a specific kind of culture through the regulatory and socializing institutions of the states. For example, law, education system and the media.
According to Gregory (2007), Corporate Culture describes the whole collection of assumptions, practices and norms that people in an organization adopt over time. That means that employees have to buy into them, eventually getting to the point where they take them for granted and pass them on to new hires.
Taking into account the last definitions, I consider that the Corporate Culture is limited by the National Identity.
The last statement can be analyzed from four points of view, in my opinion. They are the three institutions that were cited as examples above and the effect that they produce over the national population, which eventually will become the labor force that has to adopt the Corporate Culture. In other words, the National identity can be regarded as a framework and the Corporate Culture must adapt to it.
Law: It is so obvious that any company, before establishing those practices and norms which are going to compound its Corporate Culture, has to be sure that they get along with the law. For example, a company which is established in Colombia can not determined as corporate practices the payment of some salaries under the legal minimum wage. Neither could a company hire people under contracts of “Prestación de Servicios” and force them to work under specific schedules because it is against the Colombian labor law.
Education System: How workers are educated is an important fact to have in mind when managers want their workers to fulfill the company´s assumptions and practices because there may be a difference between what managers consider are important aspects and what workers think since the educational system of the country doesn´t teach the importance of those aspects, it will be so difficult for them to change their customs since personal behavior is mostly shaped during the student times. For example, Latin American people don´t consider punctuality to be so important and even though we see how vital it is for other developed cultures, we just don´t change that bad habit because we don´t learn the importance of punctuality from the educational system. Of course, the academic aspects also play an important role. It is easier to build a good corporate culture in a country with a high quality educational system because it gives workers a better understanding of how important companies are for their nation development and the policies that companies have to undertake in order to be more productive.
Media: Nowadays media acts as a judge. A company has to take care when defining its Corporate Culture in order to make it compatible with what media considers correct. I mean, a company cannot risk its image creating a practice that the media may consider unethical. The problem with media, at least in Colombia, is that, in great part, it doesn´t have any moral pattern of behavior and they just care about get news and they may manipulate the content of a fact in order to make it popular. Therefore, companies may find limitations when creating corporate policies because of the role of media. Anyway, media is a necessary disease.
Now, talking to the effect that the last institutions can produce over the population of a nation we can consider some examples. For instance, a country which is so close and not open minded, because institutions spur such sentiments, may be a hard place for a foreign company to establish because workers could be reluctant to adopt new ideas that come from a place different than their country. Another example could be the following. A country whose population feel so engage with the development of their nation may be a good place for a company to build a corporate culture based on productive elements
Millman, Gregory J. 2007. "Corporate Culture: more myth than reality?" The Free Library 23:44-47. Millman, Gregory J.