The author has made an attempt to analyse the HRM practices of USA, India and Japan, in the context of cultural-differences in the perception of time. The choice of these cultures have been based on the fact that traditionally USA is recognised as a M-time culture, India as a P- time culture, while Japan is a mix of M- time and P- time behaviour. However these cultures do not exist in isolation, and the time perception in these cultures is being influenced and changed by cross-frontier trade and other interactions.
The implications of the difference in the perception of time in different cultures can be organization wide, individual directed or task centric.
Influence on Organisation
Those issues, which effect planning, scheduling and unionism have an organization wide effect and are in turn influenced by culture based perception of time.
The P – type culture takes short-term view of organization and its goals, while an M-time culture takes a long term view and emphasizes long term organization planning. For an organization that is planning to set up operations in P-type culture, it would have to acquaint the employees with its long-terms goals and align them with their personal goals to introduce a long-term vision.
Reworking the reward system to emphasis on attainment of long term planning goals would also reinforce the same. A culture having a mix of P and M type behavior shows long term planning and a strategic role of HR in planning. Rules are codified and decision-making is allowed adequate time.
For any organization with international operations unionism is an essential part of its external environment, which is often guided by the law of the land. M-type culture takes an adverse view of unionism. On the other hand, P-type culture has cooperative unions and collective bargaining and worker participation is the norm. A mix of P and M type culture shows enterprise unionism, which is positive and cooperative in nature and worker participation is encouraged.
Influence on Individual
Aspects like individual’s performance appraisal, reward and perspective towards employment are some issues, which are influenced by culture-based perception of time.
Performance appraisal can be based on individual achievement or it can emphasis group performance. An individual in an M-type culture concentrates on his own performance since group achievements are not the primary goal, while in a mix of P and M type culture, group performance is an important criteria for performance appraisal. In this issue the organization can be guided by societal norms and values. The interval between performance appraisals is also dependent on perception of time and a culture with long decision making cycles might require a longer performance appraisal cycle.