Examining the Influence of Cultural Differences on People Management

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Nowadays, the beginning of the 21 century, globalization promoted the progress of the world economy. Advanced technology is improving the way of communication and interaction in business area, which in other words is national boundaries mean nothing in this world as a consequence. In the past decades, the increasing number of universities learner study the knowledge of incorporate intercultural and international understanding is broadly known as cross-cultural communications. Cross-cultural management has become a significant element of enterprise management. There are many classic dimensions mentioned by the theorists extend the area of this subject, for example, Hofstede's 4+1 dimensions, and Fons Trompenaars' 7 dimensions(7-D) module, and Shalom Schwartz's universal values model, and Edward Hall's high-and-low-context societies, etc. This purpose of this essay concerns the influence of cultural differences in management, first culture and cultural differences is defined, second explaining the importance of 7-D module, third how the module impact the understanding of cultural differences on organisations and management, finally the road map of multicultural team management will be presented. Multicultural management connect culture type and way of communication closely. Moreover, diverse culture background makes the enterprise vigorously and powerful.

Trompenaars and Hampden-Tuner (1997,p.20) compared culture to a water,"Our own culture is like water to a fish. It sustains us. We live and breathe through it." Culture is the life-thread and glue that links our past, present and future. Particularly, communication is the carrier and the representation of culture, and the multifariousness of culture also embodies a variety of languages. Cultural differences stem from differences in the education system, economic environment, language, philosophical beliefs, political issue, history background, and physical environment. After several years' evolutions and social development, the consequence is the cultural diversity appears in different countries and nationalities.

The wonders of culture is different nationality have same things in distinct way. Belgium and Switzerland both have two or more language groups, whereas the relation between each language group is strikingly different in each country which is caused by historical and developmental factors (Hofstede, 2001). For example simply and vividly, Ambition, the word itself has received two kinds of meanings. The Chinese in its derogatory sense said 'ambitious', while the Anglo-American is taken its commendatory, said 'ambition'. Aggressive another word, Chinese commonly used to describe someone 'provocative' 'aggression', whereas Americans used to describe someone 'enterprising, aspirant, a pioneering spirit'. In some sense, the manifestation of cultural differences is a different group of people reflect same things but in completely different result. Furthermore, the differences exist in macro-level and micro-level, where the existence of human culture where is the cultural differences. The term 'cultural differences' concerns how to communicate with people who come from different cultural backgrounds, in which is hardly to understand others custom and tradition. Especially in the international enterprise, managing and communicating with multinational employees plays an essential role. Ray French (2008, p44) notes "culture remains a core concept both for students of business and managers in work organisations." Obviously, managing a company is a difficult thing, besides dealing with intercultural relations. Therefore, using theory to find similarity and differential between different cultures is the rudimentary and vital affair should be done in the initial period of culture contacting.

Fons Trompenaars' 7-D model is absolutely the most authoritative and practical theory in the area of cultural differences about managing and business, which consist of universalism versus particularism, Neutral versus affective, individualism versus communitarianism, specific versus diffuse, achievement versus ascription, inner-directed versus outer-directed, sequential versus synchronic. His theoretical stance had been supported by a database of over 50,000 participants, includes over 50 countries, and has been derived from -and reinforced by - over 1,000 cross-cultural training programmes (Ray French, 2008). The 7-D model include almost social style worldwide, and classify diverse types of culture in clearly way. Trompenaars' theory affords a new view to explain the human society in brand-new dimensionality, which is a historic normalization of cultural differences research. Otherwise, the 7-D model plays an irreplaceable role of culture in business, and directing people exchange the information fluently across cultural boundaries. Moreover, defining behaviours of different groups' people tend to be simply and efficiency by research the 7-D module. Specially, there is a depth gap between western culture and oriental culture which be able to interpret. For example, the majority of Chinese behaviours are summarized as communitarianism, whereas American is more tend to Individualism. Understanding the communication style and the way of conducting society through define the attitude and the ideology of the two countries by these theories and research turn to be intuitively. Obviously, the research findings and 7-D module had already influenced the organizations and management.

Trompenaars and Hampden-Tuner (1997 and 2004) note that their work and research have the ability to help managers to describe a subconscious view of the core assumption or foundations of culture. Management and organisation are developing rapidly of arise along the economic globalization. Importantly, the rise abruptly of a number of countries such makes the corporate cultures more complex and diversity. Particularism is the proper noun to describe the culture which sees relationship to be most important, especially the most of Asian countries. Actually, the formation of this type of culture was influenced by thousand years of Confucian culture. Now, guanxi is a popular Chinese word which used to illustrate the relationship in accurately and vividly way. Friend is the essential part of relationship in particularism. In some situations, protect or discount friends no matter what the rules say is the normally phenomenon (Trompenaars and Hampden-Tuner, 1997). Therefore, manager should build up a harmony work environment for employees' relationship that benefit to the company management. Trying to be a friend with staffs, and then create a closer guanxi with them in a private way. Occasionally, showing concerns to employees' families or emotional life or some informally activity which not concludes work issues would be highly effective. Otherwise, the personal reputation is also importance to particularistic group of people. The manager certainly has right to indicate faults or mistakes of employees, but it is necessary to conducting in the private way. In Japan, the event of the superiors insulted the subordinate or the reputation was ruined by gossip causes commit suicide was frequently occurring. In Japanese mind, death is the best way to prove their loyalty and piety, or the connotation that they would rather honourable death than ignominious breathing. Conversely, universalistic employees are more inclined to manage the work and relationship in public way, such as American. They rarely bring the work or business issues to the individual life compared with Asian employees. Consequently, the manager should build a clearly the relationship with the company, in which is supporting a convenient prerequisite for the communication and the interaction. Moreover, the amount of dimensions and theories analyse the cultural clash in management and organisation with diversity way.

Individualism and communitarianism basically present the western culture and oriental culture. Parsons and Shils (1951) described individualism as "a prime orientation to the self", and communitarianism as "a prime orientation to common goals and objectives" (Trompenaars and Hampden-Tuner, 1997, p.50). Oriental culture advocates that sense of self-worth is achieved in group work and cooperation. Japanese affected by Bushido culture since ancient times. There still a traditional spirit in their mind, if the collective accomplishment achieved, the individual sacrifice would not be of vital importance. Actually, this explained the reason of Japan has pranced to the world's second largest economy in 36 years after the Second World War. The strength of the collective is adequately believed by Japanese. As in China, Chinese also bring the concept of family to the business or management area, treat business partner or employees like family members. Interestingly, relationship also is the essence of communitarianism as same as particularise. Therefore, cohesiveness, moral and esprit de corps approve the daily management in orderly and keeping the corporate goal which is looking forward to leading the group keep improving. In other words, Individualism society, such as America, individualistic heroism is more easily appreciable by the public. Normally in American comics, the one hero who has the supernatural power saves the whole world after beating the final boss, such as Superman, Spiderman. These are objective examples to reflect the American basic values. To manage staffs with Individualism culture background, set a high goal and rewards to who is outstanding finish the work. Certainly, to give enough freedom for take individual initiatives is also essential for creating more inspirations and accelerating the progress of the work. According to Trompenaars (1997,p.55),"this is closer to my own conviction that individualism finds its fulfilment in service to the group, while group goals are of demonstrable value to individuals only if those individuals are consulted and participate in the process of developing them." In summary, individualism and communitarianism seem to be contradictory, but also complemented each other during the development.

Cultures develop with the tide of the interaction and communication, the variety of cultures is related so closely that they interacted a lot. Each culture has its own rules about proper behaviour which affect verbal and nonverbal communication. Thus respecting and understanding expatriate employees' tradition and custom is the fundamental rules for managing organisations of any multicultural enterprises. Actually, multicultural teams have numerous superiorities in work and business comparison to manufacture team. The strength of work teams will be embodied in which to approach a problem from different views and in widely diverging ways when project going. Ray French (2008, p.186) indicated, "Multicultural team have to be allowed to flourish, which shines a spotlight on the role of leaders of such groups." Therefore, reflections on leadership and authority of team members should be awarded clearly. The team will be hardly to concentrate on one item and the work process will be presented which are caused by lack of responsibility and leadership. Furthermore, 'doing' culture and 'being' culture is another considerable point. More individualism is the main characteristic of 'doing' culture, classic example is, America who do the work initiatively. Obviously, 'being' culture is more trends to communalism, in which relationship is, seem as the main element of working, such as China. Of course, most cultures are a mix of both doing and being. Finally, 'free-will' culture, such as America, changing will be easier to accept whatever in family life or career compared with 'deterministic' culture which is more stick to conventions. Basically, Change implicate unsafely in 'deterministic' people's subconscious.

In conclusion, the concept of cultural differences changed the method for people management. In other words, there was a revolution in corporate culture research field in recent years. In the past decades, there are great many scholars made significant contributions to this field. Trompenaars' study and theories expound the similarities and differences in dissimilar culture and also classify behaviour. Through discussion of 7-D module, excellent organisation and management for a company is based on mutual communication and understanding. Cultural conflict frequently happens in the workplace from against opinion or habitat, whether the conflict things possible to go serious or not, it is depend on how was the relationship or guanxi they have. For handling the conflict, it is necessary that the manager should have a better understanding and abundant knowledge of multiculturalism. Finally, if the company did not inject the concept of cultural integration and communication into management in modern society, it would be swept away by the tide of historical inevitability.