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Cross culture management deals with the collaboration of different cultures in a business set-up. Business is an economic structure in which articles and amenities are interchanged for one another or money on the basis of their needs and values. However people in this world are at variance with each other in their behaviour, opinion, lifestyle and environmental state of affairs, and all this together design their culture. The term 'culture' is defined as a set of human dealings based on abilities, knowledge, values and behaviou which are formed historically, geographically, economically, socially and individually. "Culture in general is concerned with beliefs and values on the basis of which people interpret experiences and behave individually and in a group" (Vadim Kotelnikov,2007).
The report has scrutinized the compulsion of Cross culture management training so that everything could work in sync and harmony for the organization's stability and survivability.
Cultural diversity is generally advantageous and favorable for an organization and its members. When people of different cultures meet under the same roof, it results in creativity, improve the business reputation and also enhance the enrollment and marketing opportunities. However sometimes cultural diversity leads to cultural differences when not identified and treated suitably. When management fails to spot the cultural issues and to take action accordingly, it can precede to culture shock. Culture shock is a condition of bewilderment for an individual who is suddenly exposed to a foreign culture. The frequent symptoms of culture shock are:
If an individual who is prominent part of a business falls prey to culture shock, it can lead to a very off putting situation for that organization (Vadim kotelnikov, 2007).
Some firms do not treat cultural difference as an important issue. Either they do nothing to manage this subject or they do not know the right technique.
Cari Caldwell, the chief of 'Future Considerations' originated in London remarked that in 1980's, the main hub of the companies ,chiefly in Western Europe was on the training for cross culture management. But now maximum number of companies is performing scantily in this regard.
(Sarah Murray, 2005)
Cultural dimensions differ along many dimensions both on national and organizational level. In our day to day life, we encounter different types of cultural dimensions.
Some of them are:
Language, the principal means used by human beings to communicate with each other. The civilization of a state is represented by its language. Language is precisely the foundation of the communication. The lexis, composition and structure used by an individual reveal his background. Indeed same language is spoken in different countries and the best example is American English and British English. But they contrast a lot. The most distinguishing differences between American and British English are in vocabulary and pronunciation. Even though there are minor differences in grammar, spellings, pitch and stress as well.
"Britain and America are two nations separated by common language."
(George Bernard Shaw)
Correspondingly, a business cannot move forward without sharing of ideas, information's and message with others. Therefore language matters a lot.
INDIVIDUALISM VS COLLECTIVISM
This aspect refers to the individual capabilities and self dependence with relation to dependence on associates and team mates. 'Individualism' refers to the restrain on person's individual tendencies. An individual who belongs to individualistic society will be capable enough of making his own decisions. On the other hand, one who is possessed by collectivistic society will look forward to the suggestions and ideas of those he is surrounded by.
This dimension explains the viewpoints of person belonging to different cultures. Attitude of a person depends upon the factor that where and how he is raised. The echo of his culture can be perceived from his attitude. In a business set up, attitude carries a lot of weight. Right attitude is very important to determine the success of a business (Sarah Murray, 2005).
FEMININITY VS MASCULINITY
Gender is one of the fundamental traits that count in cultural dimensions. The attitude towards women largely fluctuates in different cultures. Some cultures have the stereotypical thinking regarding women. According to them women are weak both mentally and physically, whereas in some cultures they are treated equally as men. According to Mary Chapman, chief executive of chartered management institute, "Someone who finds it comfortable operating in one part of world might find that they are treated in a very different way in, for example, certain countries in Africa". Gender matters voluminously when it's about corporate world (Sarah Murray, 2005).
DIFFERENT WAYS TO CONFRONT CROSS CULTURE
Cross culture management is a concern which if diagnosed and treated in right manner can give tremendous results. But today international firms are not focusing on this issue genuinely due to which the performance and outcomes has aggravated rather than improving.
People consider others as weird, anomalous and wrong, when they do not understand the interaction and behavior of others generally faced by them. Cari Caldwell, the chief of Future Considerations originated in London remarked that corporate sphere is not intent in investing money for the purpose of cross cultural training since they think that they have already expended a lot in this field. (Sarah Murray 2005)
This all is due to absence of responsiveness and awareness among business people. Therefore, in order to create a positive work environment, awareness regarding the cultural difference is the basic need. There is a need to be respectful towards cultural difference and also to have an optimistic approach, because cultural difference if treated appropriately can be an asset to the firm. (Vadim Kotelnikov, 2007)
Today companies are spanning across innumerable nations, especially in Europe and hence created urgency for the cross cultural training. Where there is lack of awareness for cultural distinction, misinterpretation and confusion can appear, which consecutively leads to the failure of a business. There are different techniques to approach the different kinds of personnel cladding cultural differences. Simple and short courses can help to groom the employees for an overseas stationing or foreign business trips. In fact, lots of companies are using long term cultural training programmers to adjust in a totally culturally diverse place. (Sarah Murray, 2005)
OUTCOMES OF CROSS CULTURAL TRAINING
In business setup, companies which are taking up cross cultural training are showing fantastic results. The outcomes that are coming are approved globally. Lot of programmes are running that are managing the cross cultural differences. For example, Lehman Brothers are accommodating lot of creative programmes with the help of actors from outside the company. The intent is to make communication more alive and active. Fleur Bothwik, Lehman brother's diversity director comments that corporate panel come together and discuss about their observations during interaction with the actors. Another big name 'Accenture' with approximately 110,000 workers within 48 countries, are handling challenges very excellently arising from cultural differences, adds Kedrick Adkins, company's chief diversity officer. Accenture treats prominent issues such as working in different time zones and clear ways of communication that prohibits misunderstandings. It deals with social issues, namely different cultural attitudes towards gender. All this is done with the help of advanced computer based cross cultural awareness tool. (Sarah Murray, 2007). A multinational firm 'DuPont' underwent training for its employees from a US based multicultural team and changed their way of development and marketing for its decorating articles. Those members who were gone through training applied their skills and changed the colours of their products, which, which according to them appeal more to their overseas customers. This idea worked and DuPont gained approximately US $ 45 million marvellously. (Vadim Kotelnikov, 2007)
Above mentioned theory shows that cultural difference is a fact which exists in every international business setup. Every organisation deals with different kind's o cultural difference. If not handled in a proper way, it then leads to cultural shock which could be one of the causes for a business failure. In today's world of globalisation, culture management training is a must for every firm so as to have better results. The notion of Unity in Diversity can be fulfilled with the help of appropriate training. Diverse culture in a business plays a key role in building up of trust among nations. Therefore there is a need to craft an exclusive and inimitable culture without restraining moderately towards one so that we can make most out of it.