Culture In Our Life And Society Commerce Essay

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Culture is the way of life of a group of people or society [1]. Every society has a different culture, where people share a specific language, traditions, behaviours, perceptions and beliefs. Culture gives them an identity which makes them unique and different from people of other cultures. Culture is something that a person learns from his family and surroundings, and is not ingrained in him from birth [1].

The way we act and react to situations is a mirror image of our culture.

Culture is very vital to develop an order and discipline in the society and also in organisations. It's not only the mean of communication to each other but also creates a feeling of belonging and togetherness among people in the society.

Some types of culture:

Organization Culture

Cooperate Culture

Ethnic Culture

QUESTION 1 (I)

ORGANISATION CULTURE

[2]Organizational culture is the personality of the organization. Culture is comprised of the assumptions, values, norms and tangible signs (artefacts') of organization members and their behaviours. Members of an organization soon come to sense the particular culture of an organization. [2]

Culture is one of those terms that are not easy to express visibly but everyone knows it when they sense it.

Different organizations differ from each other in culture. For example, the culture of a large, for-profit making organisation is different than that of a hospital which is quite different than that of an institute. The culture of an organization can be identified by looking at the arrangement of furniture, their dress code and the way they work together.

Every organisation has their own rules and policy and differs from each other in the way they carry out their day to day operations. It has a major impact on the performance of the company as well. Changing the culture of the organization can be difficult but is not impossible. Ways in which we can identify the culture of an organization are:

Company's environment.

Employee's thoughts and behaviour.

Employee's perception.

Norms of behaviours.

Organizational values.

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ORGANIZATION CULTURE

Shared values: Wanted end result.

Strategy: Plan.

System: The pattern of communicating.

Skills: What are the skills of the individual staffs and the firm as a whole?

Structure: Organization structure of the company.

Style: Way the staffs and managers carry themselves.

Staff: What sort of people the organization employees?

ETHNIC CULTURE

The word Ethnic is defined as the trait of a sizeable group of people sharing a common language, ancestry, a common culture often including a shared religion.

Therefore, Ethnic Culture means the manner of living of a particular grouping of individuals or society including pattern of thinking, values, behaviour, traditions, customs, rituals, dress and language as well as art.

For example Maoris' have their own culture and way of doing things which differs significantly from the Japanese culture.

[3] There are more than 5,000 ethnic groups in the world. Since there are 6,909 living languages worldwide according to the 2009 Ethnologue, it can be safe to assume that each language is spoken by at least one ethnic group; therefore there would be at least 6,909 ethnic groups throughout the world. [3]

MAIN DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORGANIZATION CULTURE AND ETHNIC CULTURE

CREATION

Ethnic culture is not created at all. It's something that we get from our ancestors and forefathers.

Organization culture is created by the organisation and the leaders as it changes from time to time.

DURATION

Ethnic culture is forever, doesn't have a timeframe or time limit.

Organization culture is for a limited time. The culture of the organization changes with time as the circumstances changes of the organization.

ATTACHMENTS OF INDIVIDUAL

Every individual has more attachment to their own culture.

Attachment of an individual in their organization culture is less compared to the attachment to their Ethnic culture.

EFFECT OF CULTURE

Both ethnic culture and organizational culture have high effect even when they discover changes.

VARIETY AND DIVERSITY IN CULTURE

There is more diversity in an ethnic culture.

Diversity programs are considered to be good investments whose returns have been very beneficial to organization.

FLEXIBILITY IN CULTURE

Ethnic culture is not that flexible. Changes are very difficult and rare to take place in this situation.

In an organization culture changes are inevitable. It changes with time and management.

NO: OF PEOPLE INVOLVED IN CULTURE

In an ethnic culture there are a number of people involved and are of the same religion and culture.

Whereas in an organisational culture the number of people involved varies on the number of people in the organisation.

QUESTION 1 (II)

LEADERSHIP

Leadership is a method by which an individual influences others to achieve an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more consistent and coherent. Leaders have the skills and talent to persuade a group towards achieving the goals and missions of the organisation.

[6]Leaders assist themselves and others to do the precise things. They set trend, build an inspirational vision, and create something new. [6]Leadership is about mapping out where you need to go to "win" as a team or an organization. Leadership is dynamic, vibrant, and inspiring. [6]

People of different ethnic backgrounds possess different attitudes, values and norms' increasing cultural diversity in both public and private sectors focuses attention on the distinctions between various ethnic groups in attitudes and performance at work.

(A) CULTURAL PERCEPTION'S INFLUENCING THE LEADERSHIP STYLE

People of different cultures have different perceptions which challenges in their ability to understand someone else's point of view as they are a part of a culture that encourages individuality.

Each business organization has a culture shaped by the business it is in and the people who run the business. The organisation which I'm going to have a discussion is on FISHER AND PAYKEL HEALTHCARE as it was my first employment when I moved to New Zealand.

Over there we had a multicultural organization where combination of individuals of different backgrounds, cultures, gender, age, race, beliefs, ethnicities, attitudes work.

According to my observation the leadership style of the team leader was of an Autocratic leader.

An autocratic leader is a leader who makes their own decisions without consulting to anyone else. [9] This type of leader may resort to force, manipulation, or even threats to accomplish their goals.

An autocratic leadership style is used when leaders tell their workers what they want done and how they want it accomplished, without getting the advice of their followers. They often follow the policy of "MY WAY OR NO WAY". [9]

AUTOCRATIC

I want both of you to......

The team leader was a Samoan lady aged in her early 40,s.

The leader had her different ways of doing things at work and the end result was always what she wanted to do. I think she was more used to make her own decisions with any interruptions from the followers and co- workers.

There was this time when she asked me to do overtime and I refused to her giving her a very genuine reason. After this I noticed a change in her behaviour towards me. It was quite harsh too. I personally think that this behaviour was the cause of her strong cultural background.

Not only towards me but I also noticed the same attitude of hers towards other staffs who were refusing overtime. This concluded in a large number of absentees on the heavy days and also people resigning from work as well

With the world changing rapidly and today's importance on joint decision making and empowerment, workers just entering the labour force will be exceedingly resistant to this management style.

[8]So the autocratic leadership style should not be used when you want to get your employees engaged in the decision-making process.  Autocratic leaders are also not successful in situations where your employees might become offended or apprehensive.

Finally, if your company is struggling with low self-esteem, or is interested in building employee relationships, then an autocratic leadership style will only make the work situation worse. [8]

(B)

My own approach to this situation will surely differ from my Team leader and her autocratic leadership style because of my different cultural perceptions and way of thinking. My move towards to this will be quite diverse because I have a totally different way of doing things and handling situations. As been an Indo-Fijian and having lived in a multicultural society I was brought up in way that I would be able to adjust myself in such situations.

I would be more of Democratic leader.

[9]A Democratic leader is a leader including one or more employees in the decision making process (determining what to do and how to do it). However, the leader maintains the final decision making authority. Using this style is not a sign of weak spot; rather it is a sign of strength that your employees will respect. [9]

I have no intentions of giving people grieve and reasons not to like me. It's just who I am and the way I have been brought up in my culture. I have a more supportive approach so I would be helping employees be aware of how they contribute to achieving key business objectives. I would share information with employees on both how the business is doing and how an employee's own division is doing.

Good leaders are made not born. If you have the desire and willpower, you can become an effective leader.

For me being a positive person I would use rewards, such as education, independence, etc. to motivate employees and also make them feel that they are also important to the company.

PARTICIPATIVE (DEMOCRATIC)

Let's work together to solve this. . .

QUESTION 1 (III)

MULTICULTURAL ORGANIZATION

Multicultural organization is an organization made up of a combination of individuals of different backgrounds, cultures, gender, age, race, beliefs, ethnicities, attitudes and experiences work as one contribute experiences, and accomplish their individual potentials for their own and their organizational reimbursement.

This is a result of Globalization and the huge number of people migrating from one place to another, hence resulting in the companies to employee more and more people of every ethnic group, age and race. [4]With diversity in the labour force there not only has to be a transformation in our leadership style but also in our approach towards both internal and external customers. [4]

For an organization to reach its potentials vision, goals and mission, the leader here has the responsibility to learn and work with the multicultural group of stakeholders which includes the employees and customers.

ADVANTAGES OF BEING A LEADER IN A MULTICULTURAL ORGANIZATION.

Knowledge of new skills: Get ideas from each other.

Learning new culture and traditions: Will be able to experience the beauty of others cultural backgrounds.

New problem solving- Diversity is important to companies because with a diverse environment people can benefit and learn from others' ideas.

Creative problem solving- the problems are solved in groups and the group reaches to having 1 solution.

Adaptation to new culture. Broaden your experience and knowledge.

Learn new language: More communication and ease of speaking to each other.

[5]Multicultural organizations have an advantage in attracting and retaining the best available human talent. The exceptional capabilities of women and minorities offer a rich labor pool for organizations to tap. When organizations attract, retain and promote maximum utilization of people from diverse cultural backgrounds, they gain competitive advantage and sustain the highest quality of human resources. The diverse organization, for example, has a better understanding of foreign employees.

Multicultural organizations can understand and penetrate wider and enhanced markets. Not only does the multicultural organization embrace a diverse workforce internally, it is better suited to serve a diverse external clientele. The diverse organization has an increased understanding of the political, social, legal, economic and cultural environment of foreign countries.

A multicultural organization displays higher creativity and innovation. Especially in research-oriented and high technology organizations, the array of talents provided by a gender- and ethnic-diverse organization becomes invaluable.

Multicultural organizations display a better problem solving ability. Researchers show the culturally diverse organization to exhibit expanded meanings, multiple perspectives, and multiple interpretations.

Multicultural organizations are better able to become accustomed to adjust and exhibit more organizational flexibility. Women, for example, have a higher tolerance for ambiguity than men bilinguals have a higher level of divergent thinking and cognitive flexibility than monolinguals. [5]

Being a leader in a Multicultural organization has many advantages and helps to:

Understand and embrace diversity for a more enjoyable place of work. 

Handle multicultural customers better. 

Create a healthy working atmosphere for more efficiency. 

Do better localized business.

DISADVANTAGES OF BEING A LEADER IN A MULTICULTURAL ORGANIZATION

More interpersonal problems between the staffs.

Less social interaction because of differences in culture and habits.

Complicated to manage.

Increased conflict.

Communication problems for people who don't use English as their first language

Understanding problems as people of different cultures opinions differs from each other when it comes to decision making.

There is an underlying problem that is promoting racism.

Being a leader in a multicultural organization has both positive and negative aspects. The best example that I can think of is AGI (Auckland Goldstar Institute).

It is formed up of students and lectures of all ethnic backgrounds and cultures. There are always issues between the students and the tutors and one of the main problems is communicating. To handle this problem the school has come up with an idea to allocate class leaders. This allocation is made to help students open and share their problems with the class leaders, through whom the messages are passed to the lectures.

The school even provides English classes to the students thus it deceases conflicts and solves the communication problems. This also shows the diversity and the problem solving techniques by the school leaders.

RFERENCES

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/what-is-culture.html

http://managementhelp.org/org_thry/culture/culture.htm

http://www.numberof.net/number-of-ethnicities-in-the- world/

http://www.numberof.net/number-of-ethnicities-in-the- world/

http://www.spaef.com/file.php?id=329

http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_41.htm

http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/leadcon.html

http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/leadstl.html

http://www.money-zine.com/Career- Development/Leadership-Skill/Autocratic-Leadership/

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