Management and Leadership Across Cultures

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MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP ACROSS CULTURES

INTRODUCTION

There are two main influences which affect the performance of individuals in the work environment. Such influences include: motivation and the type of leadership style. While neither of these influences has scientific nature, there has been done a tremendous amount of research which identifies few theories and conclusions about the reasons of people's performance, how are they performing, and why the behaviour of every person differs from the other which is responsible to put them in position of leadership.

Behaviour of humans is a subtle reflection of the individual differences in a similar as it is with the similarities. The differences in individuals are due to many characteristics and influences. For instance, traits of personality keep their focus on the differences which makes every person a unique being.

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Systems which were made up of regulations, rules and procedures which are now replaced by other necessary requirements for enhanced services to customers and greater flexibility which results in empowerment, personal initiatives and increased levels of decision-making in individuals. For achievement of this, it is really important to have a better understanding of the human behaviour and of the things which have a great impact on an individual's reactions and actions.

MOTIVATION

Motivation is defined as “the extent to which the persistent efforts are directed towards a goal” (Campbell, Dinette, Lawler &Wick).

An important aspect of motivation is the amount of efforts which are applied to any job. Along with efforts, willingness of an individual to accomplish the task assigned with complete patience and perseverance. It also requires a persistent effort in relation to the objectives to be achieved, only right direction can guide and motivate an individual.

MOTIVATION THEORIES

1. Maslow's theory of hierarchy

Abraham Maslow developed a theory of motivation hierarchy which states that every human have five basic needs in a hierarchy shown in the figure below:

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-nGu0o8MU46M/Ta1XYp0P5rI/AAAAAAAAABE/QfmVOXvHlps/s1600/maslow.png

source: pyschologyoflearning.blogspot.com

2. Alderfer's ERG theory:

Theory developed by Clayton Alderfer states that there are three basic needs which influence personal growth of an individual which includes existence, relatedness, growth.

http://www.csupomona.edu/~msharifzadeh/Ch.3,%20WHY%20STUDY%20MOTIVATION_files/Image45.gif

3. Herzberg theory of motivation

Herzberg gave a theory of the fulfilment of hygiene needs or the factors of maintenance of a person which then affects the motivation levels. Examples of hygiene needs include conditions at work, salary, relations with fellow employees, personal life, status, compensations, rewards. He also identified some crucial factors which act as motivators in true sense and these notably are recognition, work, advancement, responsibility and achievements.

COMPARISON OF THESE THEORIES

http://www.neiu.edu/~aserafin/421/motivation/aMotivation/img007.gif

Source: www.new.edu.com

There are many theories of motivation which were put forward by the pioneers but all such theories conclude that the positivity in a person's life is very crucial to motivate him to do any sort of work or to surmount any difficulties with ease. And this positivity is created by the fulfilment of needs or desires which keep an individual's mind stress free, this then gives a boost to accomplish all the tasks with perseverance, patience and persistent efforts.

LEADERSHIP

Leadership is defined as a process to influence people for directing their efforts for the achievement of particular aims or goals.1 It is widely recognized as a very important tool in the international management study, but still only little efforts have been made for studying systematically and for comparing approaches of leadership throughout the world.

Behaviours of leaders are commonly translated into three recognized styles: (1) authoritarian leadership (2) paternalistic leadership and (3) participative leadership.

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Authoritarian leadership is about using the work oriented behaviour which is designed for ensuring the accomplishment of tasks . Such behaviour of leader has the typical involvement of the use of mere one way communications from managers to subordinates. The attention is usually focussed on procedures of work, progress of work and the obstacles which need to be tackled for achieving the desired goals in time. Although such style of leadership is often effective to handle crisis, but some leaders also employ this style as the primary option regardless of the circumstances.

Paternalistic leadership is about the coupling together of work-centred behaviour along with a protective concern for employees. This style of leadership is generally a two way track because if an employee works hard for the company, then the company will certainly take care of him. Such leaders demand hard work from all the employees and for this company provides them with benefits of security such as retirement and medical programs.

Participative leadership involves the use of both people-centred and work oriented approaches. Participative leaders encourage the people for playing an active role in order to assume the control of the work, and such authority is usually highly and well decentralized.

RESEARCH METHODS USED FOR THIS EVALUATION

Qualitative research section discusses the cultural diversity in the tourism and hospitality industry for the perspective of qualitative research. This research is more likely to collect information about relatively small number of cases as compared to the quantitative approach which gathers more of the limited information but with greater amount of cases (Veal 2006).

There are different methods of doing qualitative research ; however the most widely used technique in development and research is an interview. Approaches of an interview vary with respect to the kind of the information a researcher wants to collect for supporting the development and research work (Ojasalo et al., 2010). This research work has used an in-depth interview to serve for the purpose of doing qualitative research method. An in-depth interview is very similar to the questionnaire-based survey but it gets deeper in the topic, and it also encourages much of the talk among respondents while explaining their answers (Veal 2006). The research article by Korjala, 2012 on the improvement of cultural diversity workforce provided an insight to the different aspects of diversity in the cultures at a workplace and other important issues related to this topic concerned. In this work, the researcher had done the implementation of about seven interviews to a target group of managers in a multinational organisation JW Marriott Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa, USA. The respondents were taken from different levels of management which involved two supervisors, two directors and managers and an executive manager. The researcher chose this method because there is a need to clarify the works of the project and for supporting the facts of cultural diversity at a workplace.

First part of the interview as given in the Appendix was done to gather back-ground information of a manager’s personal and cultural values and the researcher had asked the managers to give a general definition of cultural diversity and the definition of the same in a workplace. It was then followed by questions regarding present situation of cultural diversity, the interview included the parallel questions which were related to other questions. The purpose of such similar questions was aimed for the collection of varying perspectives and different situations at their workplace about cultural diversity.

RESULTS AND EVALUATION OF THE DIFFERENT VIEWS GIVEN BY THE MANAGERS

1. Views regarding background of the cultural values

For starting with, adherence of managers’ attributes regarding traditional cultural showed a significant variation. Two out of seven managers (28.6%) favoured to follow the traditional values whereas just one manager (14.3%) answered that cultural values are not that important and also he does not pay any attention to the importance of cultural values. The majority of responses (42.9%) were following cultural values on a rarer scale as indicated in Figure given below:

2. Perceptions regarding the importance of the cultural diversity

The cultural diversity stands for the managers to have a mutual understanding what cultural diversity denotes. They all had indicated that the mixture of different backgrounds when grouped together in any organization there is a sharing of the different values of every employee and this provides much broader perspectives to the aims and ambitions of that organization. One manager (14.3%) had stated that:

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it gets more related to one's ethnical backgrounds which must not be discriminated in every workplace.“

Instead, different workforces will be adapting and welcoming everyone’s culture along with the celebrations during the work day.

All the managers gave a positive opinion about the vitality and vigour of the cultural diversity when they were interviewed to define importance of diversity in cultures in the management of hospitality and tourism industry. Majority of them (71.7%) highlighted this factor to be extremely absolutely important. The question which then followed, requested a particular importance of cultural diversity in a workplace. The response given by all the managers was unilateral and they approved the phenomenal importance of the cultural diversity. The response quoted by them was as follows:

“Understanding the staff and co-workers, sharing ideas and educating them about different culture are needed in order to complete a great pro-ductive team in this industry. The company will have a great product at the end to deliver to guests.”

Two managers (28,6%) highlighted that it is important due to communication and relating to different backgrounds helps to understand where people come from. It is vital to understand both other employees as well as customers which may have unfamiliar etiquettes and customs, such as expressing things.

4.2.3 Influences in a workplace

The interview also focused on influences of cultural diversity in the workplace. All of the seven managers responded that cultural diversity has beneficial influences on the organization. Six managers (85,7%) agreed that cultural diversity management will even influence on productivity in the long run.

Four managers (57,1%) credited cultural diversity as a potential benefit to hospitality business due to global dimensions and customer service as a balanced approach (see Figure 4).

“The corporation operates on a global level and therefore needs to be aware of any changes in the hospitality business. It will prepare the com-piny for the future.”

One respondent (14,3%) agreed that people have mobility and access new markets to gain exposure to new cultures. This manager also noted that Asian markets in particular are becoming presently significant in the global market. Only this manager expressed a sole interest in global dimensions.

Two exclusively emphasized cultural diversity’s ability to increase the motivation of employees which results in improved customer service. Cultural diversity is important for employees to relate to and understand diverse clientele as well as co-workers. According to Devine et al. (2007, 22) a diverse workforce can sup-ply a greater variety of solutions to problems and become more innovative in customer service.

“The organization practices warm heart and family atmosphere which will automatically reflect to customers. They will have a cosy experience which brings loyalty and value.”

It will be an advantage to build a professional relationship with the clientele they are serving as well as the employees.

When asking about cultural diversity’s reflection to work environment, three of seven managers (42,9%) claimed that Human Resources Management is taking it into consideration and place a high value on cultural diversity in a work environment (see Figure 5). There are training and groups with respect to cultural diversity management. One respondent (14,3%) rejected it to obtain any reflection to work environment. The last three managers (42,9%) associated their responses with personal values which relating to Marriott values. These values highlighted open door polices and how to treat employees as family. One of Marriott’s core principles states that by treating employees well, they will in turn take care of the customer, resulting in the customer and the customer will come back (Marriott 2012).

In the area of organizational culture influences between departments, managers unilaterally responded that organizational culture differs from between depart-ments within the property. Functional cultures such as products and services have dissimilar characteristics from department to another (Schneider & Barsoux 1997, 57). Some differences are drastic like in the housekeeping de-partment. Four respondents (57,1%) mentioned housekeeping as a department that contains a concentration of employees with certain ethnic background. Ad

Best practices of implementing cultural diversity

The interview also gathered information about practical ways to implement cul-tural diversity knowledge in the workplace. Managers gave numerous sugges-tions, some of which are currently practiced by JW Marriott. Others were sug-gested hypothetically as ideal cultural practices for the organization. Managers had the option to give more than one suggestion. Four managers (57,1%) be-lieved that a diversity committee would be the best solution (see Figure 6).

People would get into group, express past stories in an open form and educate people.”

Four managers (57,1%) advocated for organizing a cultural event. Suggestions included:

“Every quarter of the year there could be a cultural day of certain culture with its music, food and language.”

All the managers agreed on participating in a cultural day if it was arranged by the organization.

All the managers mentioned a language bank to be an effective tool which is currently implemented by JW Marriott. A language bank is program where em-ployees are available to interpret different languages for other employees who need translators. A language bank facilitates understanding and communication between employees with different languages. According to one of the managers JW Marriott has over 30 languages spoken within the property


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