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a) What are the various types of information that you would

require to conduct an environmental scan for the Country X


office? You would need to analyse the political, economic
and social environment of Country X and compare its
differences (or similarities) with your own country, as part of
your answer.

Based on the environmental scan for the office in the country


Sweden, Based on the analyse on the political factor , Sweden's
government is a constitutional monarchy. In this system, the monarch's
powers exist within strict constitutional limits. In Sweden, the monarch is
the chief of state, but his powers and duties are entirely ceremonial. Real
power in Sweden rests in the country's unicameral legislature, the
Riksdag. This 349-member body elects a prime minister who serves as
head of government. The prime minister selects the heads of executive
agencies. Swedens government. One of the contributes of Swedens
government is thru work environment policy in which to contribute to a
work environment that prevents ill health, accidents and people being
excluded from working life. Work environment management must take
into account people's differing circumstances and contribute to the
development of both individuals and operations. Apart from that, Working
hours are also fixed by collective agreement, although the working week
was limited by the Swedish Parliament to 40 hours. The law also
guarantees 25 days of paid holiday per year plus 16 days of public
holidays and 6 de facto holidays (usually an afternoon off). Additional
holidays are agreed with the employer. Thru law the Swedish government
has implemented The Security of Employment Act in which it protects
employees against unfair dismissal Besides that , there are other benefits
given by the government such as sickness and work injury insurance
scheme , pregnancy and parental benefits .

Based on the economical factor, the economy of Sweden is based on


export-oriented economy aided by timber, hydropower, and iron ore.
These constitute the resource base of an economy oriented toward foreign
trade. The main industries include motor vehicles, telecommunications,
pharmaceuticals, industrial machines, precision equipment, chemical
goods, home goods and appliances, forestry, iron, and steel. Sweden is a
competitive mixed economy featuring a generous universal welfare state
financed through relatively high income taxes that ensures that income is
distributed across the entire society. Sweden has achieved a high standard
of living under a mixed system of high-tech capitalism and extensive
welfare benefits. Sweden has the second highest total tax revenue behind
Denmark, as a share of the country's income. Sweden has a large amount
of Work unions in which it ensures productivity growth and the welfare of
employees is taken care off thus improving productivity growth.

Based on Social environment in Sweden, Sweden has a demography


with a total population of 9,880,604 people. The age structure consist of
adults (age 20-30) as the highest and 65 years and over as the second
largest age structure, while adults aged 55-64 years as the least on the
age structure in Sweden. Based on the gender population, female
population (50.2%) is higher than male population (49.8%).Christianity is
Swedens largest main religion consisting of 87% while others such as
other (includes Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist, Muslim, Jewish, and
Buddhist) consist of 13%.its Between Finland and Norway in Northern
Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Bothnia. Its Capital is located
at Stockholm. The main language used by people in Sweden is Swedish.

Based on the analysis there are many common and differences


between Sweden and Malaysia after analysing all three factors. Based on
political factor, both Sweden and Malaysia have the same type of system,
which is operating within a constitutional monarchy. Both countries too
have common labour law, rules and regulation for employers but Sweden
has more stern laws protecting employees. In Malaysia, The Malaysian
Labour Law prescribes a minimum of 10 days of paid holidays in a year
compared to Sweden which guarantees 25 days of paid holiday per year
plus 16 days of public holidays and 6 de facto holidays
Based on the economical factor, the economy of Sweden is based
on export-oriented economy aided by timber, hydropower, and iron ore.
however , the economy of Malaysia is based on export-import economy
aided by Integrated Circuits ( electrical components) Refined Petroleum
,Palm Oil and timber. While Imports are mainly electrical components,
petroleum and many other. Like Sweden , Malaysia too has achieved a
high standard of living. However unlike Sweden, Malaysia has a small
amount of Work unions in which productivity growth and the welfare of
employees are not fully taken care off thus improving productivity growth
is much slower.

Based on Social environment Sweden has a small amount of ethic,


However in Malaysia multiple ethnic groups exist in this country. Sweden
has a demography with a total population of 9,880,604 people however in
Malaysia it is estimated around 28 million of total population. Sweden and
Malaysia has the same age structure with adults (age 20-30) as the
highest and 65 years and over as the second largest age structure.
Swedens main religion is Christianity however in Malaysia it is Islam.
Malaysia is located south of Thailand, north of Singapore and east of the
Indonesian island of Sumatra compared to Sweden in Europe which is
Between Finland and Norway.
B) Once you have a better understanding of the business
environment of Country X, you are required to apply
Hofstedes framework in understanding the unique culture
in Country X. Explain how Hofstedes framework enables you
to understand the culture in Country X

Hofstede's cultural dimensions theory is a framework for cross-


cultural communication, developed by Geert Hofstede. It describes the
effects of a society's culture on the values of its members, and how these
values relate to behaviour, using a structure derived from factor analysis.
Thru this, it is found that managers and employees vary on five different
dimensions of national culture which include power distance, individualism
versus collectivism, achievement versus nurturing, uncertainty avoidance
and long-term versus short-term orientation.

Based on Power distance, this dimension deals with the fact that all
individuals in societies are not equal it expresses the attitude of the
culture towards these inequalities amongst us. Power Distance is defined
as the extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and
organisations within a country expect and accept that power is distributed
unequally.

Sweden scores low on this particular dimension which due to the


following characterises of the Swedish style such as Being independent,
coaching leader, equal rights, superiors accessible, hierarchy for
convenience only , management facilitates and empowerment. Power is
decentralized and managers count on the experience of their team
members. Employees expect to be consulted. Control are not least liked
and attitude towards managers are informal and on first name basis.
Communication is direct and participative.

Based on Individualism vs. collectivism dimension , The main issue


addressed by this dimension is the degree of interdependence a society
maintains among its members. It has to do with whether peoples self-
image is defined in terms of I or We. In Individualist societies, people
are supposed to look after themselves and their direct family only.
Meanwhile, Collectivist societies people belong to in groups that take
care of them in exchange for loyalty.

Sweden is an Individualist society. This means there is a high liking


for a loosely-knit social framework in which individuals are expected to
take care of themselves and their immediate families only .In Individualist
societies, doing offence could cause guilt and a loss of self-esteem, the
employer/employee relationship is a contract based on mutual advantage,
hiring and promotion decisions are supposed to be based on merit only,
management is the management of individuals.

Based on achievement vs. nurturing dimension, the quality of life


is the degree to which values such as assertiveness, the acquisition of
money and material goods, and competition are important. Quality of life
is the degree to which people value relationships and show sensitivity and
concern for the welfare of others.

Sweden scores a weak achievement compared to nurturing, this is


because work organisation are characterized by cooperation at work and a
good relationship with the boss, belief in group decisions, promotion by
merit, lower job stress, and preference for smaller companies than
achievement which challenge and recognition in jobs, belief in individual
decisions, higher job stress, and preference for large corporations.

Based on uncertainty avoidance dimension, this dimension has to do


with the way that a society deals with the fact that the future can never
be known: should we try to control the future or just let it happen? This
ambiguity brings with it anxiety and different cultures have learnt to deal
with this anxiety in different ways. The extent to which the members of a
culture feel threatened by ambiguous or unknown situations and have
created beliefs and institutions that try to avoid these is reflected in the
score on Uncertainty Avoidance.

Sweden has a very low preference for avoiding uncertainty. Low


uncertainty avoidance societies maintain a more relaxed attitude in
which practice counts more than principles and deviance from the norm is
more easily tolerated. In societies exhibiting low uncertainty avoidance,
people believe there should be no more rules than are necessary and if
they are ambiguous or do not work they should be abandoned or changed.
Schedules are flexible, hard work is undertaken when necessary but not
for its own sake, precision and punctuality do not come naturally,
innovation is not seen as threatening.

On long-term vs short-term orientation, this dimension describes how


every society has to maintain some links with its own past while dealing
with the challenges of the present and future, and societies prioritise
these two existential goals differently. Normative societies. Which score
low on this dimension, for example, prefer to maintain time-honoured
traditions and norms while viewing societal change with suspicion. Those
with a culture which scores high, on the other hand, take a more
pragmatic approach: they encourage thrift and efforts in modern
education as a way to prepare for the future. Sweden is seen to not
express a clear preference on this dimension

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