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Haiti is a developing economy, and the GDP of Haiti was given at 9.66 billion USD in 2018 (Trading Economics, 2020). The country’s GDP has been boosted by the informal economy with majority of the companies investing in the formal economy. On the other hand, the informal economy has been impacted the cultural dimensions in Haiti. There are six cultural dimensions – power distance, individualism vs collectivism, masculinity vs femininity, uncertainty avoidance, long/short-term orientation, and indulgence vs restraint .
Power distance measures the degree in which the members of the society who are less powerful have accepted and expected that there is equal distribution of power. In Haiti, power distance is very low as there is people are not extremely thirsty for power (Haitian Travel Guide, . Individualism vs collectivism is another cultural dimension in which individualism measures culture based on the individuals’ ability to take care of themselves while collectivism is based on the societal views of the individuals. In Haiti, the county is a family-based where the population relies on the directions and decisions of the family. For the masculinity vs femininity, masculinity involves the preference of the society towards realizing material reward in determining success, but femininity involves cooperation and taking care of the weak within the society (In Haiti, the economic condition of the region shows that majority of the individuals are meek people. Femininity describes Haiti as there is a strong concern of the society to help the need.
Uncertainty avoidance involves the degree in which the members of the society are feeling uncomfortable due to ambiguity and uncertainty in the policies developed For Haiti, there is no certainty in the way they conduct their activities and there is no long-term plan and policies that can improve the quality of life of the population). On the other hand, long-term orientation is about searching virtue while short-term orientation is on absolute truth when conducting activities. Haiti is characterized by Christianity, and this shows that the society is focused on virtues that shape the society (Haitian Travel Guide, 2020). Finally, indulgence vs restraint is cultural dimension impacting the operations of Haiti. Indulgence involves the satisfaction realized from performing certain activities in the economy while restraint involves being conservative and not taking risks (Hofstede, 2020). In Haiti, there is a mix of both indulgence and restraint culture (Haitian Travel Guide, 2020). They are focused on social concepts and norms and they tend to feel free when undertaking their activities within the economy.
In understanding the impact of cultural dimensions on Haiti’s informal economy, the focus will be on power distance and uncertainty avoidance cultural dimension on two organizations level – operational and executive levels.
In Haiti, the population is not extremely thirsty in being identified with power. In the case of the operational level of organizations, the workers are involved in daily activities that include production. As such, it is difficult for the workers to be creative in handling the manufacturing process as they are not interested in becoming successful in scaling-up the career ladder Most of the workers are satisfied with the position that they are assigned, and this has led to stagnation in the informal economy. For the executive organization’s level, the link between the top management and the operational employees is a major problem. The operational level workers do not communicate with the top management as they are satisfied with the positions that they held; the same situation is reported on the executive team. The existence of power distance has affected the development and implementation of growth policies, and this has an implication on the overall productivity in the region.
Uncertainty avoidance affects the operations of the informal economy in Haiti. As earlier provided, Haiti is one of the countries that are uncertain in everything they undertake – this is their lifestyle. With this in place, uncertainty avoidance affects both the operational and executive level of organization. Operational level is affected as the workers are not sure about their future in the workplace, and they are not interested in sacrificing their time to work within the organization. According to Hofstede (2020), having an uncertain employee implies that the goals implemented are mainly short-term, and this results to high employee turnover as the employees do not have long-term plans for the organization. It creates a scenario where the organization is involved in employing the workers in a contractual basis, and this can affect the longevity and going concern of the business entities.
The executive level of organization is involved in developing plans and policies that can enhance the long-term growth of the business. The concern is on implementing measures that will improve the productivity level of the organization towards realizing competitive edge in the industry. In uncertainty avoidance, the executive team will not be interested in taking risks, and they will be comfortable in conducting their operations based on the prevailing conditions (Hofstede, 2020). Considering that the economy is experiencing significant changes, such as technological advancement, the executive team will not take risks in the policy implementation. This has a negative impact on the intention of the company to grow and expand its operations in Haiti. Having a conservative approach to management often limits creativity and innovativeness of the top management and subordinate staff.
Cultural dimensions affect the operations of the organizations by impacting the policies that are developed in the region. Haiti, being largely an informal economy, would have relied on creativity and innovativeness of the population. However, as evident from the analysis above, the workers are conservative and they are not risk-takers, and this has affected the growth of the organization.
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