Understanding the issues faced in Culture

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According to my belief, the culture refers to the cumulative deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, religion, roles, spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and material objects and possessions acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group striving.

The another definition is also referred as a Culture- The culture is varied of elements which consists of traditional values, rules, food, art, music, language and literature of the particular group of people having similar kind of interest, knowledge & skill, and may have same kind of experienced.

The culture is also reflect the people dressing code, work ethics, outlook attitude and work done through their skills and knowledge, how to tackle the critical time of the life in demanding or change the paradigm of the environment or need of the life. Different cultural groups think, feel, and act differently. There are no scientific standards for considering one group as intrinsically superior or inferior to another.

Organisational culture:

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Organisational ethics and culture are co-related terms. Ethics are the moral values of the organisation and culture is an atmosphere of effort organisation is putting to achieve objectives with ethics.

It is also known as corporate culture. It provides the better understanding among the members or group of employees to perform their assigned tasks and basic functions of the duties. It provides the common ground or bridge for better inter-relationship.

For Example: It consists of common or general behavioral norms, values and beliefs of the organisation. The rules and policy, ceremonies, dress code (uniform) and the way they work together with co-operation and co-ordination as a team.

"The Corporate culture has a powerful effect on the performance and long-term effectiveness of organisation." The Concept of the culture and constantly develop the new ideas/ era and modification of the need and changes the thinking or the way to do the task towards to achieving the organisational goal. The organisational goals may be profit, return on investment, employee efficiency, production of quality goods and services, competitiveness, low absenteeism and low turnover of employee.

Ethic Culture:

The Ethic culture consists of a common identification elements as distinctive racial, cast, religious, language, cultural heritage of the particular group of the people which they have the way of life of a particular society or group of people including pattern of thoughts, beliefs, behavior, customs, traditions, rituals, dress and language as well as art.

Ethnic culture leadership definitely affects the personality of the leadership style and behaviour at the work place. They will behave according to their cultural influence.

Actions speak louder than words. A general organization wide ethics communication strategy is not enough to create desired outcomes. Employees need to see their superiors and peers demonstrate ethical behavior in the work they do and decisions they make every day.

For Example: Ethnic leadership style influence the follower in such a way that the follower can understand the requirement of the task by their own skills and knowledge. But when the followers have the same ethnicity, otherwise the leadership's positive points converted into negative effects and vice a versa.

The following major difference between ethnic and organisational culture are as under.

The organisational culture creates of the environment in such a way that all the group of the employee can feel the same kind of treatment and the basic understanding of the organisational goals and objectives. In Ethnic culture creates the internal environment for the members of the working group in the organisation.

Due to globalization different group of employee in the same organisation from different part of the world creates different attachments of individual. They create other strategies for coping the problem and finding the solution by their own perception and experienced.

The major differences are variety and diversity in culture among organisational culture and ethnic culture. Ethnic culture represents the similar kind of cast, religion, belief and behavior of group of the people, while organisational culture may have different variety of multi culture environment or common culture environment. Generally, it depends on the types of organisation and products and services of the organisation.

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I observed that the people even within the same culture carry several layers of mental programming within themselves. The culture can be classified in the different layers too.

The LAYERS OF CULTURE are:

The national level: Associated with the nation as a whole.

The regional level: Associated with ethnic, linguistic, or religious differences that exist within

a nation.

The gender level: Associated with gender differences (female vs. male)

The generation level: Associated with the differences between grandparents and parents, parents and children.

The social class level: Associated with educational opportunities and differences in occupation.

The corporate level: Associated with the particular culture of an organization.

Q.2 Select a leadership example from a culture other than your own and:

Explain how cultural perceptions may influence the leadership style and behavior of the individual or organisation selected. Give suitable and relevant examples to support your arguments.

Explain how your own approach might differ because of your own cultural perceptions and what will be the impact on your behavior. Give suitable and relevant examples to support your arguments.

(A)

I am from INDIAN culture, where our values and traditions are very high, we respect our elders and try to follow their instructions and suggestions. Indian leadership style is like Charismatic Leadership which consists of Charm and grace are all that is needed to create followers, Self-belief is a fundamental need of leaders, and People follow others that they personally admire.

Now I would like to select a leadership from KIWI culture which is other than my own culture.

The organisation leads by the leaders and their leadership style. According to the Principle of Management suggest that leader should implement the working environment and apply all basic strategies and moves according to the needs of the organisation.

Situational leadership is the best way to lead the organisation but it cannot be full fill the goal or purpose of the organisation for a longer time frame.

According to my perception about kiwi culture and leadership style, which is reflect in organisation that perform the high standard of health and safety issues, they keep focus on individual employee performance, target achieved by the group of the people, generally they feel like every individual employee are the assets of the organisation, which is very high standard of the organisation and they can improve the level of communication between the different level of organisation layer.

The kiwi leadership style is mostly individuals use will be based on a combination of their beliefs, values, skills and assumptions as well as the organizational culture and norms which will encourage some styles and discourage others.

My personal belief about the leadership style of KIWI is a "Participative Leadership".

It consists of:

Involvement in decision-making improves the understanding of the issues involved by those who must carry out the decisions.

People are more committed to actions where they have involved in the relevant Decision-making.

People are less competitive and more collaborative when they are working on joint goals.

When people make decisions together, the social commitment to one another is greater and thus increases their commitment to the decision.

Several people deciding together make better decisions than one person alone.

For Example:

A Participative Leader, rather than taking autocratic decisions, seeks to involve other people in the process, possibly including subordinates, peers, superiors and other stakeholders. Often, however, as it is within the managers' where he has to give or deny control to his or her subordinates, most participative activity is within the immediate team.

There are many varieties of the spectrum, including stages where the leader sells the idea to the team. Another variant is for the leader to describe the 'what' of objectives or goals and let the team or individuals decide the 'how' of the process by which the 'how' will be achieved this is often called 'Management by Objectives' (MBO).

The level of participation may also depend on the type of decision being made. Decisions on how to implement goals may be highly participative, whilst decisions during subordinate performance evaluations are more likely to be taken by the manager.

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There are many potential benefits of participative leadership.

This approach is also known as consultation, empowerment, joint decision-making, democratic leadership, Management by Objective (MBO) and power-sharing (empowerment).

Participative Leadership can be a sham when managers ask for opinions and then ignore them. This is likely to lead to cynicism and feelings of betrayal.

(B)

According to my own culture and perception the above leadership style influence the change of attitude and better understanding the team members and try to focus on the other issues of the organizational objectives and goals are satisfying.

The Participative Style of leadership of the kiwi culture inspired me to develop new era of the individual strength and skills, better communication between peer and different level of management.

This leadership style effects on "Leader proposes decision, listens to feedback, then decides", even more "Team proposes decision, leader has final decision" this kind of approach reflects more confidence and belongingness among the team members and management.

For Example:

The participative leadership influence on me to change the attitude towards the problem solving and taking the advantage of different skills and experienced team members, sharing the new concept of the management and find the different solution of the problem. Different culture clusters had different leadership profiles but some moral values and ethics of the personality can influence the followers some of them like honesty, planning, dynamism, motivation, foresight and intelligence.

Different level of management the leadership style can be reflecting the changes and the situational demand and environment change the objectives of the management paradigm.

Herewith, I would like to quote an interesting research work done by American organisation for understanding the concept of the cultures importance from the political and business opportunities around the globe.

The title of the topic: Culture Shock Challenges Firms Looking Abroad

"The U.S. construction industry has always been adept at winning work overseas, but the lure of reconstruction contracts in places like Afghanistan and Iraq could draw some firms in over their heads. Large international firms have many resources to deal with the enormous challenges of working in the global marketplace. But the massive reconstruction of countries devastated by war could trip up the best of them.

Political and physical risks are the most treacherous and must be reckoned with. Language and cultural differences can't be ignored either. Addressing them sensibly can unlock many opportunities for success.

The U.S. government's conference on rebuilding Afghanistan, held in Chicago last week, went a long way to outline opportunities there. These outreach programs are a good start because many firms need an education on how to work abroad. The first lesson is to drop ethnocentric views that the world should accommodate our method of contracting rather than the other way around.

In a separate meeting, also held in Chicago last week, ENR brought together construction executives at its annual leadership conference. U.S. firms interested in China's Olympic building plans and other work, particularly those willing to listen patiently through translation, heard rich detail from Chinese representatives.

Patience, attentiveness and sensitivity are not common construction traits, but they can help in cultures different from our own.

Language and cultural differences can be treacherous to negotiate."

[ENR(2003). Culture shock challenges firms looking abroad. Vol. 250, No. 23. New York: McGraw Hill.]

[www.businssdirctory.com]

Q. 3 Describe what you mean by a multicultural organization. And also explain the advantages and disadvantages of being a leader in this type of organization. You will be able to show you appreciate the positive and negative aspects of a leader in a multi cultural organization and be able to provide examples to support your comments.

Multicultural organisation means a combination of different cultures together in a same organisation for achieving the organisational goal by the objectives. Where employees of varied backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities, and experiences can contribute freely, and achieve their individual potentials for their own and their organization's benefit.

For Example:

The national businesses and organisations employ not only foreign workers coming from several different cultural environments (e.g. Arab, Portuguese, Spanish and African workers), but also foreigners working as supervisors, technicians, or managers. In some countries even small enterprises are now multicultural organisations. Even more and more organisations, international and national, public and private, large and small, are becoming multicultural this is an important trend in our global society.

Whether we like it or not, the current trends in international business, economic relations and politics which include developments in the field of culture, and in management training and consulting across cultures. Multicultural organisations are becoming a common phenomenon in the international business. There has been a rapid growth of international agencies, governmental and non-governmental, of which some are of the "federation" type of organisation.

The leadership ability to influence a group toward the achievement of a particular goal, the performance of managerial leadership determines the success or failure of organisation. The process of influencing an organized group toward accomplishing its goals by transforming followers, creating vision of the goals that may be attained, and articulating for the followers the way to attain those goals. In multicultural organisation the leadership is the influencing process of leaders and followers to achieve organisational objectives through change. All of the given concepts may be achieved when leader will focus the resources and the current multicultural organisations objectives, in this scenario leader should have good vision, better understanding of the culture, he has to give equal opportunities to all, respect to all the culture, motivation to members to achieve the objectives, mutual trust and cooperation between the members, development of members skills and confidence, learning and sharing the new knowledge and experience.

In multicultural organisation leadership should influence the followers by his actions or behavior, skills, experience. The multicultural organisation has the greatest advantages which are the different types of skills, beliefs, values, customs, traditions, languages, and ethics. In this scenario leaders should learn to work with multicultural group of employees and customers.

There are so many advantages and disadvantages of multicultural organisation leadership.

The main advantages are:

Learning new culture and their customs/traditions

Adaption of new culture

Learning new language

Developing new skills

Creative problem solving

Learning new culture and their customs/traditions: This advantage gives the organisation to develop new market for the products and services. Leaders generally focus on the new concepts of marketing, basic needs of people, understand their traditions of food, health and buying power.

Adaption of new culture: The biggest challenge for the leader to adapt the new culture because the culture itself consist different variety of traditions, customs, values and beliefs.

Learning new language: leader should learn new languages because it's a great concept for understating the culture. Language provides the bridge for the foreign and local. Through Language leader can understand music, arts, and literatures.

Developing new skills: Leader should develop new skills for analysis the problem, basic need, and develop the new range of products and services for the organisation.

Creative Problem solving: Different cultures have different problem solving techniques, which reflects budgeting, measuring, developing strategy, doing the right thing and developing successors.

For Example:

McDonald, U.S wants to start its business in India. But the major challenge for the McDonald was multicultural, variety of foods, different languages, different environment, religious, beliefs, values, customs and traditions, power distance etc.

Now, this organisation has good and winning strategies for starting a business in India. They done a very precise and deeply survey and in this survey they notice the following information.

1). In India there are 28 official languages and 205 dialogs

2). Similar kinds of products are there, that means healthy competitions

3). People have different food habits, like hardly 45-50 percentage people going

restaurant regularly for their lunch and dinner.

4). Traditional foods are preferred first.

5). Different working environment

6). Government rules and policies.

So in this scenario, the leaders of the organisation should develop the new vision and create a problem solving method, they should adapt the new culture and their traditions, McDonald, has done a fantastic planning and basic ground work for the lunching the business in India. After six and half years of planning and research they started first restaurant in New Delhi, India. But the challenge is still left, the local competition, and new marketing strategies has to develop to cover remote area and the mind set for the local customers for the new products.

The multicultural has also disadvantages, they are

Difficult to manage

Less social interaction

Communication and understanding problems

Increased conflict

More interpersonal problems

Difficult to manage: Different languages, different understanding creates difficult to managing the group of people, Disciplining people, developing strategy, explaining decisions, defining aims and objectives, organizing resources, planning schedules, etc.

Less Social interaction: Among the some certain group of people may have social interaction but not in common to all. It creates less personal and social interaction between groups of members.

Communication and understanding problems: Different communication languages and barriers of skills, understanding, behaviors and needs creates a reacting to requests, difficult to team building , reviewing performance, communicating instructions, running meetings, organizing resources, etc.

The leadership in Multicultural organisation has a wide scope of skills and experience and sharing the knowledge. Leaders should understand the basic concepts of culture, multicultural, needs, skills and experiences, they should adapt the culture, try to understand the common customs, values, beliefs and traditions. I think leader has to generate a new era for the change of adaptability, managing the resources for the new market, generate common strategies for achieving the desired goals and objectives of the organisation. It has both positive and negative reactions of leadership in multicultural organisation.