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How Culture Influences IT-enabled Organizational Change and Information Systems

The authors define culture as collective mind programming that distinguishes the society as well as organizations, professions, and industries (Hoftsede, 2001). Since every country seems to have a different culture, reporting was carried out in different countries to show the role the culture of the region plays in business process re-engineering (BPR). The five dimensions of culture involved in shaping BPR include Power Distance (PD), Masculinity (MAS), Individualism (ID), Uncertainty avoidance (UA), and Time Orientation (LTO) (Martinsons et al., 2009).

Power distance looks into the hierarchy and inconsistent distribution of power. This is seen in difference between the senior and junior staff. Masculinity touches on the revealing of tough characters in individuals as they assert excessive power over others. Individualism looks into the degree people would rather work at a personal level rather than as a group. Uncertainty avoidance looks into ambiguity in occurrence of situations and the measures set in place to take these into account or in controlling their occurrence. Lastly, time orientation looks into the degree at which short time pain is accepted for the long-term good.

Countries with High PD have an easy time in authorizing and initiating re-engineering processes since this is the task of the functional managers without involving the other staff. Nevertheless, they have a hard time in implementing the working of the process, and in some cases, the process is completely rejected by the staff. The opposite is the case in countries having low PD as it is easy to complete and implement a BPR (Davenport & Stoddard, 1994).

UA in countries that have high regard to future plans have efforts that are high detailed and the adoption of the process is systematic. Many individuals are involved in the process thus making it successful unlike the low UA regions that experience unidirectional plans with limited details (Martinsons et al., 2009).

MAS is seen to play a major role in processes. Using a military language form of MAS among businesses leads to manageable levels of resistance in an organization. Offering incentives along to curb any form of resistance that may come up has proved to be working for various nations (Martinsons et al., 2009).

LTO in a society has been effective in re-engineering processes. Looking at the speed of change has seen fast changes made by charismatic leaders widely accepted. This has worked to the advantage of fast developing nations (Martinsons et al., 2009).

ID in cultures that practice high levels of individuality sees lack of personal authority and relationships. Effectiveness is reduced as opposed to nations that work with low individuality levels as it sees key relationships made functional (Martinsons et al., 2009).

Managers should be settled on selecting an organizational change that is appropriate to their organization. Looking into the benefits and the risks involved should lead them to the right decision. Receiving support from stakeholders is key to successful processes. The effectiveness of a process in a region depends on the culture of a place. While one element may interfere with a process, it may boost the working of the process in a different manner (Martinsons et al., 2009).

Many managers have a hard time in identifying the correct manner that would help in the working of a process they have in mind. They lack the expertise needed to identify the critical issues at hand and effect a successful change. Cultural flexibility is not put into practice and this would be the ultimate source of ease in process re-engineering

The Time Orientation as a dimension of national culture has been modified in the case study to focus on the LTO. The mentioned STO/LTO stopped being collective but was reviewed as LTO. When using time orientation, comparing STO versus LTO has a difference than when considering a modified portion of the dimension. When seeking to benefit from a large success rate in the company, an individual needs to look into the effects on both short term and the long term. It involves sacrificing the pain, which is the short-term effect of a process for the greater good, which will be the long-term effect of the process. The STO was eliminated to avoid detailed review of the case study on the particular dimension.