1. Features of the Western European managerial macro-environment (economic, socio-cultural, demographic, and educational)
Economic: there was prevalence of capitalism in Western Europe which was accompanied by more government intervention than was the case in the United States. The early industrial revolution that was labour troubled (characterised by long work hours, substandard working condition, child labour and low pay) lead to more involvement of the government in the labour relations. The implication of the condition was that the European had inspired for more job and income security and material equality.
Socio-cultural: the Western European has over reliance on debt funding (bonds, loans) in proportion to equity (stock). The creditor investors have long been favoured over shareholders. The creditors for example the banks, Swedish and German insurance companies mostly sit on debtor boards of directors that has the capability of monitoring and influencing management. The companies in the Europe are likely to have their reported earnings downplayed or sometimes understated because of their least reliance on equity.
Demographic: the family owned shares which is constituted in owners shares have golden privilege hence they carry voting rights that are super-proportional. This means they have the capability to have the outsiders blocked from gaining control despite gaining control of the majority of the common stock. The block holders therefore can communicate directly with the management when they are displeased with the performance with no consideration of selling their shares.
Educational: there is less higher education in business (MBA degrees) but the Europeans tend to have more international experience. Addition to that they are likely to pursue good balance between private and work life. This approach to education regarding management of businesses by the Western European nations has been the one of the contributing factors to the development and establishment of businesses in comparison to other approaches.
2. What distinguishes US and Western European patterns of employer-employee relations
The European managers make use of long-term planning horizon. For example, the high manufacturing labour costs calls for more attention on the quality of the products. The counterparts in the US are less singularly stakeholder oriented. In this regard, the firms were slower to have their product mix diversified or get to adapt to multidivisional organizational structures; however, this has been changing. In another perspective, the Europeans have been less attracted to fads and more conservative as well as prepared to have the cultural workforce diversity managed. For example, the cultural differences between the south and North of European have had influence on the communication, leadership and motivation. On the other hand, the people at the south have become more at ease with leaders who are benevolent authoritarian while there is more decision consultation in the North of Europe like Scandinavia and Germany.
3. The distinctive thing about the Western management perspective, practice and style
The Western European management approach is not unitary in nature. In this light the management is comprised of many and distinct management cultures. Essentially there is blending of cultures to contribute towards management and this leads to diversity in the handling of issues related to management. This approach to management is of great importance in the world where there is nothing like the existence of white and black only. This might be the reason why the companies in Europe having both white and black personnel hence a mixture of cultures are doing well than other parts of the world. However this approach to management has its flaws so as to have the region to acquire competitive advantage.
4. Differences between a few European countries in regard to 1, 2 and 3.
For question 1, the following are the differences
The economic comparison: The difference with countries that take the contrary approach with regard to economic consideration is that there is less prevalence of capitalism that has less intervention by the government. This managerial feature results to less effective strategies because of inadequate support from the government hence resulting to labour troubled approach.
The socio-cultural comparison: in some of the European countries like German France and Italy, the cross shareholdings occurring between companies restrain takeovers.
The demographic comparison: The contrary approach to the family owned shares is the individual owned shares which have been the emerging trend in management. This though beneficial to an individual cannot be compared to family-owned shares as far as voting rights are concerned. This implies that the individual shares do not have sufficient capability to control outsiders.
The educational comparison: there is a less high education in business (MBA degrees) but the Europeans tend to have more international experience. Addition to that they are likely to pursue a good balance between private and work life. This approach to education regarding management of businesses by the Western European nations has been one of the contributing factors to the development and establishment of businesses in comparison to other approaches.
Emphasis on high education in management as is the case in many countries today is on the rise. This, however, is coupled with experiences that make management to be even more effective. However, there is less balance between private and work life that makes it less effective.
For question 2, the differences are as follows:
The opposite of long-term planning horizon that is used by most of the European managers is short-term planning. This is where the employees are engaged in short-term contracts which may or may not get renewed upon expiry. This has the effect that there is less job security in the countries that practice the short term planning.
For question 3, the differences are as follows:
Most regions in the world and some parts of Europe have a unitary management system where there is strict following of certain management culture. This lack of diversity with regard to culture in management has its flaws that are mainly into the lack of diverse ways of managing issues. In the event that the strategy that is recommended for management is not effective, there is a risk of default in management.
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