The journal article by Barbra B. Flynn and Brooke Saladin about the international relevance of Baldrige constructs looks towards examining the theoretical constructs that underlie the criteria of Baldrige can be applied in all the national cultures. They tend to use the dimension of Hofstede on national cultures as a source of reference in their examination. They had several findings that included the correlation analysis where the analysis of the hypothesis in manufacturing plants in countries such as England, Germany, the US, and Japan was made possible by the use of variance analysis and stepwise regression. Their study also advanced the interactions that are between the national cultures and the Baldrige constructs. They also made a finding on the significant role that national cultures play on the effectiveness that the Baldrige constructs have with market focus and customers being exempted.
Countries all over the world need to have awards developed and have quality initiatives combine with their respective national cultures. They talked about the four major dimensions that Hofstede was able to come with that included the power distance, uncertainty avoidance, collectivism/individualism, and femininity/masculinity. Power distance is seen whereby those that are less powerful in an organization expect that power be equally distributed among every member of the organization. Uncertainty avoidance is where people within a culture adopt what they believe to be the truth and the correct code of behavior because of being made uncomfortable by things that they view to be unstructured. Individualism/collectivism is where individuals in culture are facing the act of acting as an individual as compared to serving as a whole group. Masculinity/femininity holds the description of the value of success and aggressiveness as compared to the concern of the relationships. There is also the role of interactions and value congruence. They found out that all four dimensions of Hofstede had a relationship with the leadership construct.
Key Learning Points
The key learning points that are evident in the reading include the national culture dimensions of Hofstede are related to the performance on every single Baldrige construct except market focus and the customer. Countries that had a greater power distance, uncertainty avoidance and masculinity had a higher leadership construct while those with higher individualism had a lower leadership construct. The information and analysis construct scores were higher in countries that their uncertainty avoidance was greater, while those that were more individualistic had a lower score. The score was also higher in the states that were found to be more masculine. There was also an indication that the information and analysis construct scores were not in any way related to the power distance. The higher scores that were noted in the process management construct were related to the greatness in uncertainty avoidance, more masculine cultures, and the power distance. The lower ones were related to individualism.
The Baldrige award is termed to be fitting certain cultures as compared to others. The Baldrige award may be a reinforcement of change, but the research that was conducted made an implication that the national culture cannot be easily changed. Countries, therefore, need to have their own local quality award programs that align with their local conditions. Americans developed the Baldrige construct, but it does not fit well with the national culture of the US. The construct is mostly based on the culture of Japanese management practices. The quality management in the US is often dismissed, terming it to have had its time past, and this holds indications of lack of value congruence. Countries that adapt to the Baldrige criteria should make sure that they do some modifications to it.
Relevant Statements to the Session
The relevant statement that is aligned with the case under study, which is the relevance of the Baldrige constructs in an international context, is that it is relevant to all countries of the world as long as they make sure that they make necessary modifications to it. The national cultures that are associated with the Baldrige constructs do not apply to every country, including the US, who came up with it. Therefore, modifications need to be made to meet the local cultures of the country.
The writers have made findings that the Baldrige constructs are more relevant to the Japanese management cultures as opposed to any other country of the world. Their thesis was aligned with the relevance of the Baldrige constructs in an international context, and they ended up terming it to be relevant if only adjustments to it were made in line with the local cultures of the different countries that adopt it. What I, however, think is relevant is the following of the constructs just as they are to enhance international growth. Baldrige has got some core values and concepts that can be followed in the business to make it more successful. The Baldrige construct was combined by Americans to fit the US, but it has ended up fitting Japan, so this means any country can make it without the adjustments being made. When the six approaches are just followed to the latter, success might be reached in the long run. It is a long shot because it is not easy just to change the minds of the people in a culture, but the results are good if it can be tried.
The practical implications that are aligned with the relevance of the Baldrige constructs in an international context include the effect that the national culture has on the implementation of performance excellence. Their findings show that there is no such thing as the universal model for performance excellence. Each country should come up with practices and approaches that are relevant to their local cultures in their different contexts’ countries. They also implied that there is interaction evidence between all the dimensions of national culture. This means that instead of just going ahead to change the national culture by imposing other practices, it is crucial to be aware of the differences that are there between the national cultures and the different practices that are to be adopted.
The journal talked more about the Baldrige constructs and how it is relevant in an international context. I have been able to learn a lot from where it all started and the core values of the constructs. I have also been able to understand that Japan is the only country that has been able to fully gain from the Baldrige construct even though the construct was compiled by Americans. The four dimensions of national culture that were compiled by Hofstede were of great importance in coming up with the relevance of the construct in an international context. My feeling is that as much as they are insisting that countries should make modifications to the constructs while adopting them, which should not be the case. The construct has been able to work for Japan. The necessary thing that should be done is the following of the cores and values of the construct to meet their targets. Modifications will only act as a way of being in the comfort zone.
Barbara, F., & Brooke, S. (2005). Relevance of Baldrige Constructs in an International Context: A Study of National Culture. Journal of Operations Mnagement, 583-603.