Organizational Behavior.

Two-page paper. Project GLOBE. Vietnam.

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In my opinion, Vietnam is low in Assertiveness, in Future orientation, in Individualism and in Performance orientation; high in Gender differentiation, in Power distance and Humane orientation; and moderate in Uncertain avoidance and In-group collectivism according to the dimensions of the Project GLOBE.I think Vietnam is low in Assertiveness given the degree to which individuals are assertive, dominant and demanding in their relationships with others. Many Vietnamese people find it difficult to formulate and communicate their own thoughts, opinions and wishes in a clear, direct, and non-aggressive way. As a result, the lack of assertiveness or weak communication skills may be keeping them from fulfilling their potential and reaching their goals. To some extent, the society does not encourage people to be generally dominant. For example, most of civil servants normally dare not behave/speak straightforwardly to their supervisors/managers regarding comments on their Managers’ management or recommendations/suggestions to reform the procedures, etc. resulting in low effectiveness of the prevailing administrative system.

I think Vietnam is low in Future orientation because the society has limited long-term orientation despite some efforts to encourage and reward future-oriented behaviors such as delaying gratification, planning and investing in the future. More people tend to live for the present than for the future. For example, there haven’t been any directions for undergraduates to equip themselves with knowledge/skills to prepare for jobs that suit their ability resulting in abundant graduates who cannot find a job and lack of skillful workers in the labor market. I think Vietnam is high in Gender differentiation because of gender role differences. The society has tried but hasn’t been able to minimize gender inequality.

For example, it is stipulated that women must retire from work on pension at age 55 whilst men is at age 60 regardless their position and/or qualifications. At work, some companies have the tendency to minimize the number of female employees given their maternity leave and difficulty in carrying out long time/distance business travel.I think Vietnam is with a moderate degree of Uncertainty avoidance because the society is opening doors for new things and changes meanwhile they have the need for clearly specified competence to avoid uncertainty. For example, Vietnam is keen to speed up the FDI (foreign direct investment) projects to attract more foreign investment into Vietnam. However, the subsequent policies discourage foreign investors due to complicated procedures that investors have to follow.

I think Vietnam is high in Power distance given the distribution of “power” among individuals and groups in the society. Inequality of power is a basic fact of life. In Vietnam, there is a “centralization of power”. Power gives privileges. For example, in the recent investigations, it is revealed that the Ministry of Health being the sole controller of all the import activities of medicines has allocated the license to Zuelig Pharma Co. to exclusively import and distribute medicines throughout the country. Taking advantage of this, Zuelig Pharma has imposed a selling price of imported medicines at 3 to 4 times higher than cost of goods hence highest profit margin.

As a result, many Vietnamese people have had to suffer from incredibly high price of medicines. I think Vietnam is low in Individualism/collectivism given Vietnam is a highly centralized society thus the probability of strong individualism is very low. Individuals are encouraged by societal institutions to be integrated into groups within organizations and society. There are many organizations/ associations for a number of members from the North to the South to get together to share their experiences, exchange the information and sing the same song to foreign competitors, etc. For example, seafood businesses are encouraged to join the Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Processors; rice exporters are encouraged to be members of Vietnam Food Association and so on.

I think Vietnam is moderate in In-group collectivism because individuals have moderate ties to their small immediate groups. For example, in Vietnam there are some groups for women, old people, retired people to join. In addition, it is Vietnamese traditional customs of family integrity that children should live at home with their parents until they get married. I think Vietnam is still low in Performance orientation because there is lack of a strategic plan to encourage and reward group members for performance improvement and excellence.

For example, there is no action plans to encourage students to strive for continuously performance and to have jobs that fit their ability. Many students have gone abroad to study but haven’t been able to find a suitable job after returning home. The reason is that what they have studied is advance knowledge/ technology that Vietnam is far to catch up. In fact, the initiatives should be something more practical than just words of mouth. I think Vietnam is high in Humane orientation because individuals are taught to be fair, altruistic, generous, caring and kind to others.

Vietnamese people have suffered from the aftermath of wars and have been suffering from natural disasters every year, e.g. flood, drought, storms, etc., so they are generally very tolerant of mistakes.

Can Tho City, 3rd April 2005

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