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Write An Essay On Multinational Corporate Culture

Multinational Organisations and Culture Essay

This Essay is about the extent to which working for a multinational organisation help you to understand other cultures.

The best way to understand other cultures is to work for a multinational organisation.

To what extent do you agree or disagree? 

This is an agree / disagree style essay.

So you need to decide what your opinion is and make sure that the essay you write is consistent with this opinion. 

You should also make sure whatever you do you end up discussing at some point how cultures can (or cannot) be learned from working in such an organisation.

In other words, if you disagree, don't write a whole essay about other ways to understand cultures. Make sure you also address the issue of learning about cultures through a multinational organisation.

In this particular essay, the writer thinks it's not the necessarily the best way. 

So to ensure the question is fully answered, the first part gives the reasons why culture can be learned by working in a multinational organisation. 

The next gives the reasons why it's not necessarily the best way. 

Multinational Organisation and Culture  Essay

Model Answer:

Multinational organisations can be found in most major cities around the world these days. Although working for such a company provides the opportunity to mix with people from a variety of cultural backgrounds, I would argue that this is not necessarily the best way to learn about other cultures.  

There is no doubt that for some people, working for a multinational organisation will enhance their understanding of other cultures. The first reason is that in a multinational organisation one can learn about the customs and traditions of other countries through mixing with people from different backgrounds who work in the company or in liaising with colleagues abroad. Exposure to other languages is also likely, something that gives a much greater depth of understanding of a culture. There may also be the chance to relocate to work in another country, which would mean complete immersion in that culture.

However, there are a number of reasons that it is not necessarily the best way. Firstly, there is no guarantee that you will be a person who gets such exposure to other cultures as it depends on your position within the company. Not all employees have roles where they regularly mix with other cultures. Also, there are also other excellent ways to achieve such a goal. For example, many people these days travel the world, and this is an opportunity to meet and spend time with people from other countries. It is also possible to do voluntary work with organisations and charities that work in other countries, something that would mean you meet a mix of people rather than just those who work in companies. 

In conclusion, despite the potential ways in which working for a multinational company can result in contact with people from other cultures, I believe that it cannot be assumed it is the best way as there are other options to do this.  

 (314 Words)


This multinational company and culture essay would get a good score for the following reasons.

The question is fully addressed and the essay is clearly organised. Each body paragraph has a clear central idea. 

Body paragraph 1 explains why a person may develop cultural awareness, giving three reasons. 

Body paragraph 2 explains that it's not necessarily the best way, giving two reasons why.  

There are examples of high level vocabulary and grammar too. 


You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

The best way to understand other cultures is to work for a multinational organisation.

To what extent do you agree or disagree? 

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own experience or knowledge.

Write at least 250 words.

What is 'Corporate Culture'

Corporate culture refers to the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company's employees and management interact and handle outside business transactions. Often, corporate culture is implied, not expressly defined, and develops organically over time from the cumulative traits of the people the company hires. A company's culture will be reflected in its dress code, business hours, office setup, employee benefits, turnover, hiring decisions, treatment of clients, client satisfaction and every other aspect of operations.

BREAKING DOWN 'Corporate Culture'

Google Inc. (GOOGL) is a company that is well-known for its employee-friendly corporate culture. It explicitly defines itself as unconventional and offers perks such as telecommuting, flextime, tuition reimbursement, free employee lunches, on-site doctors and, at its corporate headquarters in Moutain View, Calif., on-site services like oil changes, massages, fitness classes, car washes and a hair stylist. Google's corporate culture has helped it to consistently earn a high ranking on Fortune magazine's list of 100 Best Companies to Work For.

History of 'Corporate Culture'

While awareness of corporate or organizational culture in businesses and other organizations such as universities emerged in the 1960s, the term “corporate culture” was developed in the early 1980s and widely known by the 1990s. Corporate culture was used at this time by managers, sociologists and other academics to describe the character of a company, not only through generalized beliefs and behaviors, but also through company-wide value systems, management strategies, employee communication and relations, work environment, attitude, and even company origin myths via charismatic CEOs, as well as visual symbols such as logos and trademarks.

By 2015, corporate culture was not only created by the founders, management and employees of a company, but also influenced by national cultures and traditions, economic trends, international trade, company size and products produced. A well-cited historical example of distinctions between corporate cultures are the traditional business practices of the Japanese, and the American individualistic and entrepreneurial corporate culture of the 1960s.

There are a variety of terms that relate to companies affected by multiple cultures, especially in the wake of globalization and the increased international interaction of today's business environment. As such, cross culture refers to “the interaction of people from different backgrounds in the business world”; culture shock refers to the confusion or anxiety people experience when conducting business in a society other than their own; and reverse culture shock is often experienced by people who spend lengthy times abroad for business and have difficulty readjusting upon their return. To create positive cross-culture experiences and facilitate a more cohesive and productive corporate culture, companies often devote in-depth resources to combating the occurrence of the above, including specialized training that improves cross-culture business interactions.

Examples of Contemporary Corporate Cultures

Just as national cultures can influence and shape a corporate culture, so does a company’s management strategy. In top companies of the 21st century, such as Google, Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Netflix Inc. (NFLX), less traditional management strategies that include fostering creativity, collective problem solving, and greater employee freedom have been the norm. It has been argued that this is also the key to these companies’ success. Progressive policies such as comprehensive employee benefits and alternatives to hierarchical leadership – even doing away with closed offices and cubicles – are a trend that reflect a more tech-conscious and modern generation. This trend marks a turning away from aggressive, individualistic and high-risk corporate cultures such as that of former energy company Enron.

Some recent, high-profile examples of alternative management strategies that significantly affect corporate culture include holacracy and the shoe company Zappos (AMZN), and agile management and the music streaming company Spotify. Holacracy is an open management philosophy that, amongst other traits, eliminates job titles and other such traditional hierarchies. Employees have flexible roles, and self-organization and collaboration is highly valued. Zappos instituted this new program in 2014 and has met the challenge of the transition with varying success and criticism. Similarly Spotify, a relatively young but very successful company, uses the principles of agile management as part of its unique corporate culture. Agile management in essence focuses on deliverables with a flexible, trial-and-error strategy that often groups employees in a start-up environment approach to creatively tackle the company’s issues at hand.

Characteristics of Successful Corporate Cultures

Corporate cultures, whether shaped intentionally or grown organically, reach to the core of a company’s ideology and practice, as well as affect every aspect of business from each employee to customer to public image. The current awareness of corporate culture is more acute than ever. The Harvard Business Review identifies six important characteristics of successful corporate cultures in 2015. First and foremost is "vision": from a simple mission statement to a corporate manifesto, a company’s vision is a powerful tool. For example, Google’s modern and infamous slogan: “Don’t Be Evil” is a compelling corporate vision. Secondly, "values," while a broad concept, embody the mentalities and perspectives necessary to achieve a company’s vision.

Similarly, "practices" are the tangible methods, guided by ethics, through which a company implements its values. For example, Netflix emphasizes the importance of knowledge-based, high-achieving employees and, as such, Netflix pays its employees at the top of their market salary range, rather than an earn-your-way-to-the-top philosophy. "People" come next, with companies employing and recruiting in a way that reflects and enhances their overall culture. Lastly, "narrative" and "place" are perhaps the most modern characteristics of corporate culture. Having a powerful narrative or origin story, such as that of Steve Jobs and Apple, is important for growth and public image. The "place" of business, such as the city of choice and also office design and architecture, is also one of the most cutting-edge advents in contemporary corporate culture.

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