Analysing an Australian workplace

In Australian workplaces many different cultures may be present.

Firstly, there will be organisational cultures which may be present in layers across an entire business, department or work unit. Alongside these, given the diverse nature of the Australian population, there is likely to be evidence of multiple national cultures in the way people interact and behave.

As a tool of analysis Hofstede may allow a student to investigate the cultural differences between their home culture and the experience of Australia. Using Hofstede’s model it could be argued that for Australian national cultural identity:

icon of Australia
There is a rejection of power difference, hierarchies are merely for convenience and superiors should always be accessible

Example: Your workplace supervisor may have an ‘open door policy’ in which they invite all workers to speak freely with them about ideas about how to make things better.

The society is highly individualised with employees expected to be highly self-reliant 

Example: In your experience you may be expected to be given a set of goals, not necessarily the separate steps to achieve these, and then you need to work out your best way to achieve these.

icon of Australia
icon of Australia
Australia achieves a moderate Masculine score. At times, traits of competitiveness and assertiveness may be evident

Example: A workplace may reward staff who achieve key performance indicators (KPIs) or sales targets.

People generally exhibit a willingness to realise their impulses and put a lot of emphasis on leisure time

Example: Discussions in workplaces may focus more on recreation and leisure, and within workplaces staff have access to a range of holiday leave.

icon of Australia
icon of Australia
The society tends to value stability of traditions, with relatively small propensity to save for the future, instead favouring quick and immediate result

Example: Australian workplaces are often focused on meeting key strategic goals over the short (1 year) to medium (3 years) terms, therefore, your workplace may be oriented towards achieving these goals.

Understanding Australian Workplace Cultures: Understanding workplace cultures

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