Culture and Diversity - Nantyr Shores
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What is culture and how does it relate to global diversity?
– The shared set of beliefs, values, and patterns of behavior common to a group of people.
➢ Culture shock
– Confusion and discomfort a person experiences in an unfamiliar culture.
– Tendency to consider one’s own culture as superior to others.
➢ Stages in adjusting to a new culture:
1. Confusion – first contact
2. Small victories – continued interactions, confidence grows
3. The honeymoon – local ways viewed positively
4. Irritation and anger – new culture becomes a target of your criticism
5. Reality – enjoy new culture, accommodate less desirable elements.
➢ Popular dimensions of culture:
➢ Low-context cultures – via spoken or written word
➢ High-context cultures – rely on non-verbal and situation cues
– Interpersonal space
– Time orientation
➢ Monochronic cultures – do one thing at a time
➢ Polychronic cultures – time used to accomplish many things.
– Contracts and agreements – much more formal in Western cultures
➢ How values and national cultures can influence management practices
➢ Hofstede came up with five dimensions:
– Power distance – degree to which society accepts the unequal distribution of power among people in organizations.
– Uncertainty avoidance – degree to which society is uncomfortable with risk, change and uncertainty.
– Individualism-collectivism – degree to which a society emphasized individual accomplishment vs. interests of the group.
– Masculinity-femininity – the degree to which a society values material success and assertiveness vs. feelings and concern for relationships.
– Time orientation – importance of future vs. past and present.
➢ Understanding cultural differences (Trompenaars):
– Major differences in how people handle relationships with one another:
➢ Universalism versus particularism
➢ Individualism versus collectivism
➢ Neutral versus affective
➢ Specific versus diffuse
➢ Achievement versus prescription
– Attitudes toward time — sequential (time moves in a circle, moment will return again) and synchronic views (time moves in linear form, will lose moments).
– Attitudes toward environment — inner-directed (separate from nature) and outer-directed cultures (part of nature).
How do management practices and learning transfer across cultures?
➢ Comparative management
– Studies how management systematically differs among countries and/or cultures.
➢ Global managers
– Need to successfully apply management functions across international boundaries.
➢ Planning and controlling
– Complexity of international environment makes global planning and controlling challenging.
– Planning and controlling risks:
➢ Currency risk – possible loss because of changing exchange risk
➢ Political risk – possible instability and political changes in country.
➢ Organizing and leading
– Multinational organization structures
➢ Global area structure – by geographic area
➢ Global product structure – by product group
– Staffing international operations
➢ Competent locals
➢ Expatriates – employees who live and work in foreign countries
➢ Are management theories universal?
– North American management theories may be ethnocentric.
• Participation and individual performance are not emphasized as much in other cultures.
– Some Japanese management practices attract great interest in North America
➢ Global organizational learning:
– Companies can and should learn from each other.
– Readiness for global organizational learning varies based on managerial attitudes.
• Ethnocentric attitudes – considers home country the best
• Polycentric attitudes – assumes locals know the best way.
• Geocentric attitudes – value talent and knowledge from all over the world.
– Be alert, open, inquiring, but always cautious.
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