National culture can be defined as a set of shared values that distinguish individuals from a specific country from others. National culture differences between locations can have major challenges to practice transferring in operations management. Some practices are altered by culture, while others are more effective in some societies more than others. Specific values are consistent with the cultural characteristics of a country, which affects employees’ understanding and internalization of a practice. Employee behaviors differ in accordance to various national culture contexts, highlighting the importance of planned change in behavioral patterns. Elements such as power distance, in-group collectivism, avoidance of uncertainty, and performance orientation are all behaviors that depend on cultural management influence.
Instead of adopting a universalistic approach, HRM can adopt a cross-cultural lens that takes into account the effect of cultural values on employee attitudinal and behavioral outcomes, thus strengthening the HRM system. An element to consider is culture tightness or looseness, which describes the extent to which national values are observed in society and how comfortable people are with others deviating from these values, and the degree of sanctions used. Depending on national culture and management, the extent of control over employee behavior in organizations may differ. Taking into account national values, HRM systems should focus on creating consistency within the workplace that will coherently signal and influence employee understanding based on cultural tightness/looseness. Consistency ensures that individuals are aware of what is expected from them by management and are more likely to follow the rules and practices, with reinforcement of appropriate behavior.