This report briefly analyses the role of different cultures in business and the importance of managing the people from those cultures, this way of developing and smooth running of the business in the present globalized world. This report also emphasizes on the role of management in bringing awareness among its employees, the importance of various cultural backdrops and traditions in the day to day business. This report also discusses the issues to be considered by the management who make strategic plans in the business. The source for the outcome of this report was taken from the peter's links after careful observation.
After performing the CRAP analysis (Currency, reliability, authority, purpose) for the peter's links the source is chosen from the Link 3 and Link5.
Link 3: Cross-cultural training: Learning to make the most of increasing internationalization http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/300d8cea-c1f4-11d9-866a-00000e2511c8.html
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Link 5: Anthropologists in cross-cultural management (Culture Matters) http://culturematters.wordpress.com/2009/02/28/anthropologists-in-cross-cultural-management/
Observations on Link 3: The report was written by Sarah Murray and was published on 11th May 2005. The report identifies the importance of cross-cultural training and how to benefit from this training in the globalized world. This report also throws light on why cross-culture training is important at different
stages of business which involves people from different cultures. The author used several quotations and references to support her statements. This report written by Sarah Murray, who works as a reporter for the wall street journal and it was published by financial times on its website which is worldwide popular. The report by Sarah Murray looks like its an extensive and well examined work mainly focused on cross-cultural training.
Observations on Link 5: This report was written by Alfonsvanmarrewijk and was published in February 2009.The article was written after wide research and the author has shown the method which he followed and how he used his skills in solving the issues which rose in an organization in Australia and when the organization has requested his assistance. The author also made some new suggestions in cross-cultural management and implemented them practically to bring some awareness for the managers. He also mentioned in his article two other European authors namely Trompenaars (1993) and Hofstede (1990) who worked and developed 'cultural maps of the world' and stated that culture can be managed and engineered. His blog also accomplishes several issues and not just limited to cross-cultural management. His blog contains several articles useful for anthropological studies. The author did research and proved us the point by applying it in real time situation which was appreciated well.
After observing all the peter's links, the source for this report was taken from Link 3 and Link 5. The choice for this selection was because both the article writers have clearly discussed, analyzed and suggested the factors involved in the cross- cultural management by quoting the work of the other authors and some real time events experienced by the author itself and the way he was approached by the organization for the assistance and how clearly and ideally he solved the issue rose in Australia.
What is culture?
According to Martin Hahn, Culture is a shared system of different beliefs, attitudes, values, life styles, expectations, and norms for behavior. A major culture forms with several unique subcultures.
(Hahn.M, available on http://cross-cultural-management.bestmanagementarticles.com/a-2428-ten-commandments-of-intercultural-communication.aspx, as on 28th May 2011).
Cross-cultural management is a systematic process specifically designed to bring awareness among the people who are involved in various aspects of business. This includes managing staff from different cultural backgrounds, businesses established around the globe, understanding the customer needs in those markets and provide services to their requirements and able to stand and manage the business in the local market..
In order to run the business smoothly for long time, people involved in the businesses need to learn more and more techniques to analyze the problems which might arise in the cultural gaps in communication. This might possibly arise during the course of operation of the business. Businesses perform well both in terms of profitably and reputation once they are aware of the effectiveness of cultural factors involved in the business which plays an important role by understanding and respecting different cultures.
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For example, Store managers and department managers in retail business have to run the store with their staff comprising team members from different cultural backgrounds. The store performance depends on the way how they train and manage their staff effectively. However, they need to manage their team well in the situations where issues might arise due to cultural differences in communications, behavioral patterns, working style and other.
Issues in Cross-cultural management
There are several issues which arise in the process of cross-cultural businesses. One of the issues is the problem of communication among the people who work in an individual organization. For instance, most of the multinational companies in UK hire any employee, regardless of their country of origin as long as they speak English which is the basic language of communication in UK. This is a phenomenal change as they are crossing the cultural boundaries and trying to be more diversified and interested in expanding their business.
Similarly, Tesco hires employees regardless of their country of origin. At the front-end all the employees do their best to provide excellent communication. There are few instances where some of the team members find it hard to communicate with others, as they are not from the English language speaking country. Their mother-tongue is not English, so they find it little hard to communicate as their English is not fluent and sometimes they cannot understand the language in some complex situations. Misunderstandings might arise due to these miscommunications which is not a good sign for the business development. With misunderstandings happening every now and then the business cannot sustain substantial growth and they might lose their profits and eventually their business goes down.
According to Mary Chapman, chief executive of the Chartered Management Institute, women are treated differently in different parts of the corporate world. Some women might feel comfortable in one part of the world and are treated in a totally different way in the other part of the world.
(Chapman.M , available on http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/300d8cea-c1f4-11d9-866a-00000e2511c8.html#axzz1NdQ9nM4T, as of 28th May 2011)
Issues in cross-cultural business across the borders
The world has become smaller with the technological inventions. Many business people have the intention to expand their businesses across the borders. Starting up a new business across the borders comes with several challenges. Most of the business people are willing to take the risk by understanding the potential threats involved in the process. Establishing the business in an alien world is a huge risk if they are not aware of the local culture, local government policies, and competing businesses in the labor market. It is a major challenge for them to understand the culture, behavioral pattern, marketing strategies and social life.
Many business people who want to expand their business are aware of these factors; hence they come up with some strategic plans like establishing the business with local company's collaboration. This way they are playing safe bets compared to others who want to start their own.
Recommendations and Conclusion
Managing cross-cultures has to be done efficiently, effectively as such no one is hurt one or the other way. There are quite a few ways in doing so. Primarily speaking, managing the cross-cultural community with in the country can be done by understanding the other culture, the way people behave, way of speaking, issues with their communication difficulties and then work out a strategy according to that and implement it by creating the environment to suit the best interests of every individual, conducting some seminars, respecting their culture, involving them in all the activities without any racial, sex, religious discrimination. Encouraging them in the working environment, conducting social get-togethers, solving any issues they face in the working environment by making them understand about the way things happen in the business.
Sarah Murray reported an event that happened where cross-cultural training was organized by Lehman Brothers. They organized interactive theatre programs to help the employees become integrated in the vastly culturally diverse working environment. The actors whom the Lehman brothers hire are from other company. The diversity director whom the Lehman brothers hire thinks that the business people involved in the training come up with their experiences and discuss what they identified in the interaction.
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Some of the multinational companies like Accenture face challenges often which arise due to cultural differences. According to Kedrick Adkins, the company's diversity officer, the cultural training cannot be done in one day. Sarah Murray,
(Murray.S, available on http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/300d8cea-c1f4-11d9-866a-00000e2511c8.html#axzz1NjeY7Ri8 as on 29th May 2011)
says that, Accenture has developed a computer based cross-cultural awareness program which helps in discussing the problems that arise because of various time zones and how effectively to communicate to avoid any misunderstandings. Handling the cross-cultural management effectively helps the business to bloom.
For the people who travel across borders in order to run their business, the management offers few classes or crash courses about the culture and social behavior of the visiting country in order to get familiar with how to handle the situations in various circumstances.