Functions Of Stereotypes In Understanding Other Culture Commerce Essay


Mental files used to compare new information with past experience - Here stereotype helps psychologically when a person entering in an organization and finds new culture, but he/she is memorable with the culture may be he/she already heard about it, you will discover him/her start comparing the past information with the new information. For example Snack Fit organization has been opened in Tanzania, they will need employees in Tanzania but they run their organization with their culture, you will find some of employees from Tanzania already knew the culture. (Retrieved from S.C.Schneider and J. Barsoux and NCC tutor, Managing Across Culture, pg 6)

Should be used as a starting point - here stereotype can help those who plan to do research of a certain organization or business man's who plan to shift their business to other country so the stereo type that they hear can help them on starting their business. For example SF's they are planning to open their subsidiary in Tanzania, SF's should have stereotype concerning Tanzania. (Retrieved from S.C.Schneider and J. Barsoux and NCC tutor, Managing Across Culture, pg 6)

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Constant updating and checking - Stereotype helps to understand other culture, when you find a person who joined to a certain organization you find him/her try to revising and get more experience with the culture that he/she faces, also you will find them questioning themselves if they are experiencing the culture through practice. (Retrieved from S.C.Schneider and J. Barsoux and NCC tutor, Managing Across Culture, pg 6)

Expression of emotion - Here stereotype can help people to know how they are described, some people express their emotions when they know/hear something, it is difficult for them to hide.  For instance SF's organization if they have been described absolutely with Tanzanian, most of people we use their products, they will respond positively rather than if they had a negative stereotype. (Retrieved from S.C.Schneider and J. Barsoux and NCC tutor, Managing Across Culture, pg 6)

  Problems of stereo types in understanding other culture

Stereotype painfully reminds those being judged - Here stereotype brings problems when organization's finds how society views them, this will cause negative effect to organizations. And this take long period time till they passed, for example Snack Fit (SF) they plan to start their organization in Tanzania and finds out that some people in Tanzania have negative stereotype about the products, the organization will find some problem on selling their goods and services in Tanzania. Retrieved from ( ",apr"problemHYPERLINK ",apr"/stereoty.htm,apr 4 2010,12:15)

Justification of ill-founded prejudices or ignorance - stereotypes can pass wrong information to organization, and can cause huge expenses to the organization. For instance Snack Fit (SF) organization before they move toward Tanzania they heard a stereotype that people of Tanzania are not hard working, this will cause SF organization to buy some machine before they came in Tanzania. So through that stereotype expenses will increase and also people of Tanzania will not get job. ( ",apr"problemHYPERLINK ",apr"/stereoty.htm,apr 4 2010,12:15)

Unwillingness to rethink one's attitudes and behavior towards stereotyped group, stereotype in organizations defines group of people with the same behavior all of them but within the group people are different even though they work in the same group. This means in organization if there was lazy workers it means not all employees from the organization will be lazy. ( ",apr"problemHYPERLINK ",apr"/stereoty.htm,apr 4 2010,12:15)

 How might managers and employees get beyond stereotypes

Have compassion - At this point in order to come to appreciate and understand people from different culture, compassion is very important. Managers and employees should learn each other culture so that they should appreciate each other view and respect views from others without bias by doing so stereotype will be away from managers and employees.

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Slot in - Involving others in your world and involving yourself in other's empowers and educate them, Managers and employees should work together, they should work without building a wall between them, but they should learn from each other views. Through engaging themselves managers and employees they will be away from stereotype.

Escape group mentality - Group mentality refers to a closed and one dimensional approach, managers and employees they should escape those groups which will reduce thinking creativity, innovation and advancement as people are restricted in how to think. By doing so managers and employees they will beyond stereotype.

Be wise - People need to be aware how to interact with people with respect and knowledge. At this point managers and employees they should know how to work with people, through thinking things out and have background knowledge to intercultural differences much of the communication problems witness within business could be avoided. Through being rational managers and employees will get beyond stereotypes.

Johari window - Through opening the Johari window managers and employees will be able to know each other culture, managers must know employees culture in order to know how employees work and employees must also know how their managers work, how they make decisions. This means managers and employees should have direct contacts.

Finally stereotypes helps managers and employees to work well in the organizations, its shows how employees work, how managers control organizations and other things, through stereotype functions SF's should use to control organizations, also SF's managers should be aware of stereotype problems.

Exploring culture

Assumption about space in an organization reflects how people interact with the limited environment to achieve their objective smoothly. Spaces can be expressed at what different levels, from what can be observed to what must be inferred, both personal and physical.

Assumptions about language in an organization show different ways people use to communicate, how they communicate and some organizations use much of jargon when they communicate.

Assumptions about time in an organization, managers have different views over time, some managers define time as limited so they don't have enough time to waste and other managers define it as unlimited and it is present.

Key characteristics of Space, language and time.

Space - Key characteristic of space are physical and personal space. Where physical space helps us on external adaption and also it helps to understand the environment on how to dress, architecture use physical space on employees doing their job. Also personal space helps us on internal adaption to determine the nature and degree of involvement with other employees, thus building close relationship among employees. (Retrieved from S.C.Schneider and J. Barsoux, Managing Across Culture, pg 43)

Language - Key characteristics of language are high-context and low-context, where in low-context culture communication is direct and clear, so it easily to be adapted, also shows what is said and how it is said. (Retrieved from S.C.Schneider and J. Barsoux, Managing Across Culture, pg 44)

And in high-context culture communication usually depend much of communication, not from what has been said but it is through non-verbal signs and body language, in high-context culture simply make us adapt culture depending upon person and situation, some people have more advantaged access than others. (Retrieved from S.C.Schneider and J. Barsoux, Managing Across Culture, pg 44)

Time - Key characteristics of Time are monochronic and polychronic, where in monochronic time is in order and linear fashion, here through culture time is limited and people do not fool around with time. Also in Polychronic time is unlimited and simultaneous, mostly it is assumed that time expandable. (Retrieved from S.C.Schneider and J. Barsoux, Managing Across Culture, pg 44)

How might they help us to understand culture and its impact on business more effectively


Through space assumptions we can understand culture easily and be able to realign the organization structure with new changes, physical space helps us on external adaption and how we can manage the environment and in personal space it can help us on internal adaption and emotional existence. For example Snack Fit (SF) managers from America can align with the Tanzania way of using physical space by working hand in hand with Tanzania manager way of using their space.

What, managers should do to understand other culture regarding Space

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Managers should use personal space in order to involve him/her with employees, by doing so it will help him/her to adapt culture easily.

Also managers can adapt culture through physical space, architecture and interior design can make managers know physical distance between a manager and employees.


Through time we can understand culture easily and influence our relationship with environment and with people. Monochronic managers usually use their time productively to achieve their goals, additionally; time is as seen limited in monochronic. In monochronic culture due to the way they use their time, it easy to know and to adapt culture.

And in polychronic managers usually time to them is unlimited and simultaneous, time is seen as stretchy. Most of Polychronic managers there are late in meetings, they have many excuses, due to the habit it easy to understand their culture. For example (SF) Snack Fit manager who is coming to Tanzania, he/she supposes to change our polychronic attitude, and learn their monochronic time culture on doing their work.

What, managers should do to understand other culture regarding time

Managers should learn also the assumptions of time and be able to know if that assumption of time is profitable for organization and employees, time is important on completing task of organization. For example SF's manager who is coming to Tanzania should earn assumption of time that Tanzania are using and then a manager should advice about that assumption of time sif it is good or bad.

American manager can be able to understand Tanzania culture regarding time by introducing new way of finishing tasks. For American manager coming to Tanzania should think other activities that affect the end product and integrate it with new environment he/she will encounter


Language is one of things that can help us to understand culture, through its assumptions we determine what is said and how it is said. In low-context culture manager's communication is clear and direct, so it easily to understand culture and it shows how things have been said and how to say them.

And in polychronic culture usually managers communicate through non-verbal signal and body language, through this it easily to adapt culture and know how to use non-verbal signal and body language.

What, managers should do to understand other culture regarding language

In internal adaption a manager from other country should learn the host country language that is used in order to have direct communication with employees. For SF's manager who is coming to Tanzania he/she should learn Tanzanian language in order to communicate well with his employees.

A manager should learn high-context culture in order to be able to read non-verbal signs and body languages.


In the case of SF's in order to explore culture well they should train their employee in order employee to adapt the way work has to be done, also host country managers should be used to help on translating culture of Tanzania, managers from SF's home country should interact with the managers in Tanzania in order to have the same Snack Fit organization.

Finally at this stage is where culture explore, SF's and Tanzania with different culture under the same organization and are able to work together make organization effectively.

Culture dimensions

From the results of this survey, which asked people for their preference in terms of management style and work environment, Hofstede identified four value dimensions, but to our case we deal with two dimensions which are Power distance and Uncertainty avoidance.

Power distance indicates the extent to which a society accepts the unequal distribution of power in institutions and organizations, in culture with small power distance people expert and accept power relations that are more constructive or democratic, and in culture with large power distance the less powerful accept power relation that are autocratic or paternalistic. (Retrieved from S.C.Schneider and J. Barsoux, Managing Across Culture, pg 87)

Uncertainty avoidance refers to a society discomfort with uncertainty, preferring predictability and stability. In culture with strong uncertainty avoidance, people prefer explicit rules and formally structured activities, and employees tend to remain longer with their employee. In culture with weak uncertainty avoidance, people prefer implicit or flexible rules or guidelines and informal activities. (Retrieved from S.C.Schneider and J. Barsoux, Managing Across Culture, pg 87)

The following are the two concepts:

Village market - Countries which are in village market are decentralized this means the hierarchy and power are low, there is greater evidence of sharing in decision making, everybody has the right to donate, there is less formalization, information is shared informally, communication is through interpersonal. Countries which are in village market there are low in uncertainty avoidance and low in power distance. They are flexible on doing their works and in decision making, people are free agents and countries which are in village market there companies are much concerning with output control, their companies are much concerned with products and customers. (Retrieved from S.C.Schneider and J. Barsoux, Managing Across Culture, pg 93)

Family or Tribe - Countries which are in family model are centralized, and have high hierarchy and are in low formalization, their government plays important role in determining company strategy and policy deciding who is acquiring and choosing top management. Family or tribe model has low uncertainty level and power distance that's why they have good personal relationship, they work more socially their companies are concerned with employees. (Retrieved from S.C.Schneider and J. Barsoux, Managing Across Culture, pg 93)

The following are the characteristic including similarities

Generalist - In country with generalist, its manager prefer workers who can do different functions in the organization, so that employees won't get tired of same job for long period of time. Snack Fit home country and Tanzania have the same generalist in their organization, SF's manager will be able to get employees who can do different functions.

Low formalization - In low formalized country, managers argued that the world is too complex to clearly define roles and functions. That's why they have generalist employees in their organizations. For Snack Fit home country coming to Tanzania they have same low formalization.

Low uncertainty avoidance - In culture with weak uncertainty avoidance, people prefer implicit or flexible rules or guidelines and informal activities. People in these country do not have much limitation and managers risks to them it's an opportunity, also rules can be broken if it makes sense for sensible reasons. For example SF's home country and Tanzania both there are in low uncertainty avoidance a manager from SF's country would find it easy to control employees from Tanzania because of low uncertainty avoidance.

The following are characteristics including differences

System and Control - The Snack Fit home county and Tanzania they differ on systems and control, SF's home country has emphasis on budgets, financial controls, and reporting procedures, which reflects output control. And Tanzania is careful about recruiting future senior managers from the top school. SF's is more concerning with the output so when they open its subsidiary they should continue with their system and control, and Tanzanian should be train in order SF's to be successfully.

Decision making - SF's home country they are decentralized most of his companies have low hierarchy and power, there is greater evidence of sharing decision making, everyone has the right to donate to a decision. But Tanzania are centralized where power and hierarchy are high, here the government plays important role in determining company strategy and policy deciding who is acquire and choosing top management.

Power distance - The SF's home country and Tanzania have different power distance, SF's home country are low in power distance their people expect and accept power relations that are more consultative or democratic. And Tanzania has high power distance the less powerful accept power relations that are autocratic or paternalistic. America should use low power distance it would help on informal communication, and it will minimize cost, also they should train their new employees.

Finally SF's subsidiary which is coming to Tanzania should consider those differences in order to have an effective organization also they should take those similarities in order the organization to perform well, the similarities will minimize the cost of running the SF's.

Culture and human resource management

Any international company hoping to implement global strategy must choose the human resource policies and practices that will best support that strategy.

Human resources management is the function within an organization that focuses on recruitment of, management of, and providing direction for the people who work in the organization. Human resources management functions deals with people related to hiring, performance management, organization development, employee motivation, communication and training.

Consideration that human resources management needs to discuss

Recruitment and selection - This is an area which there are important social and legal implications, but perhaps most important is the significant part played in the lives of individuals men and women by their personal experience of recruitment and the failure to be recruited. There are two ways of recruitment, there is internal and external recruitment, internal recruitment is considered as advantages from employer's perspectives, they deal with less expense to recruit internally, so they spend no money on job advertisement or recruitment agencies.

On external recruitment employers use variety recruitment methods at different times, employer can use advertisement in local press, recruitment agencies, corporate website, and many more methods. (Retrieved from S.C.Schneider and J. Barsoux, Managing Across Culture, pg 151)

Performance appraisal - Is a process of setting goals, measuring outcomes, and providing feedback to improve future performance. Also performance appraisal assess training and development of employees, it provides information for salary planning, it plans for future promotion, it provides feedback on individual performance in a given periods. (Retrieved from S.C.Schneider and J. Barsoux, Managing Across Culture, pg 162)

Compensation and reward - Cultural differences also play a role in determining who gets rewarded and how, different culture attach value to different types of reward, and vary in the extent to which they believe reward should be individual or collective. (Retrieved from S.C.Schneider and J. Barsoux, Managing Across Culture, pg 152)

Three considerations that will make human resources management functions meaningful across cultures

On recruitment and selection SF's should consider that Tanzania and America both like generalist employees so they should recruitment and selection of employees should consider generalist not specialist also they are low in uncertainty avoidance so this means they are risks taker

On performance appraisal SF's should consider that Tanzania use collective and America use individual, human resource management should use individualist in order for employees to work hard.

On compensation and reward SF's should consider that Tanzania are more collectiveness and America are more of individualist so human resource management should use collectiveness in order to have effectiveness in organization.


SF's should consider on human resources management in order to have employees who are qualified and are able to work in the organization, Tanzania and America differ in some places like power distance, hierarch level and other things, also human resources should consider those things and use resemble effectively like low uncertainty avoidance, risks taker, generalist and other things.

Finally SF's should open their subsidiary in Tanzania, also it will help Tanzanian to know other culture and America to know Tanzania culture through working together.

Culture and Strategy

The definition of culture as solutions to problems of external adaptation and internal integration could be taken as a fitting definition of strategy. In implementing strategies, organizations need to assess their external environments as well as their internal capabilities.

The following are the two views of strategy in the context of cultural differences.

The rational/economic view - This view assumes that environment and organization are recognized and analyzed similarly, they are more subjective realities rather than objective, this means that managers see different things, create different realities, and then act accordingly. Culture influence the way managers gather and interpret information. (Retrieved from S.C.Schneider and J. Barsoux, Managing Across Culture, pg 119)

Another view of strategy - This view shows the role of Islamic principles, it highlight the role of feelings and emotions. Also Japanese management show Japanese companies adopt a broader view of strategy, building corporate character provides the capability and flexibility to respond to environmental events. (Retrieved from S.C.Schneider and J. Barsoux, Managing Across Culture, pg 120)

The following are the two models of strategy in the context of cultural differences

Controlling model - This model is more centralized and formalized, environment is known, top managers are the one who make the best decisions and time is seen as limited, also managers implement task and achievement oriented, in order for goals to be met plan established, this model has high power distance and low uncertainty avoidance. (Retrieved from S.C.Schneider and J. Barsoux, Managing Across Culture, pg 123)

Adapting model - This model is more decentralized and informal, environment is unknown, they have personal relationships and interactions key, this model is in the country's which are in village market it has low uncertain avoidance and low power distance. For example SF's home country which is in village market. (Retrieved from S.C.Schneider and J. Barsoux, Managing Across Culture, pg 125)

View and model I recommend to SF's expansion into Tanzania.

Another view of strategy is the view that SF's should use for its expansion in Tanzania, this view provides capability and flexibility to respond with environment, this view will help a manager of SF's to cope with environment and to be flexible with situation. This view has Islamic principles which help to handle feelings and emotions on environment issue. Also Henry Mintzberg fills strategy formation helps on learning partially under control of conscious thought, so though this view SF's manager will manage Tanzania environment.

Adapting model is the model that SF's should use in Tanzania because this model is in village market as America, some assumptions are the same. It will be easy because SF's home country is in low uncertainty avoidance and Tanzania are low in uncertainty avoidance it will be easy cause workers prefer implicit or flexible rules. Also the model will help us to adapt culture due generalist both SF's home country and Tanzania prefer generalist employees as a result the manager of SF's will find it easy to manage the Tanzanians.

Finally these models will help on adapting culture easily, America through this culture will be able to adapt Tanzania culture easily. Also these views helps Tanzania and America on adapting culture, through view and models SF's will able to open their organization in Tanzania.

Working in Multicultural

As time pass by companies are now promoting their employees working in diversified teams. Breaking culture barrier enhance management to reach their goals by having a team member representing different function in organization. Multicultural team brings together a pool of experience that will facilitate company's achievement. By having a multicultural experienced team, company will be able to make good decision, greater creativity and advance innovation.

Working in multicultural cultural team organization will have the following benefits companies will have effective marketing, positive relationship in multicultural organization is an asset that should be further developed. By embracing this attribute organization can able to understand market and uncertainties

Organization can create competitive edge when the team members work together effectively and efficiency as oppose to competitors. It is necessary for organizations to keep a competitive edge through innovation and problem-solving.

Three key aspects associated with process strategies

Team building

Teams can be put together by assembling a group of individuals, settings the objectives and then expecting them to functions effectively. Building team strategies members should establish trust, personal relationship and hard working. Trust is thought to develop faster where teams are exposed to moderate risk and team members have to learn to rely on one another for support. For instance in case of SF's should have team building for their workers in order for organization to perform well. (Retrieved from S.C.Schneider and J. Barsoux, Managing Across Culture, pg229)

Team building has some key focus points which are:-

Reconnect with vision and mission - They provide the co-ordinates and context for all team activity and the motivational sources to drive performance.

Provide structure, clarity and direction - Allocate time to ensure everyone on team understand the business plan and priorities for the new financial year. Plans help people understand what needs to be done to fulfill the company mission.

Reduce overpower and provide responsibility - Break 12 month plan into 90-day plans. This assists with the prioritization and targeting of time and resources, while increasing action and responsibility.

Choose how to communicate

Being able to translate language and communication patterns is extremely important to negotiating strategies for working together, language make easy and how free people feel to speak up or interrupt greatly affect people's participation. In multicultural teams they have to discuss which technology to be used, as well as when and how they are to be used. For instance SF's when they come to Tanzania they should choose the way organization workers communicate so that every employee to be aware and to function successfully. (Retrieved from S.C.Schneider and J. Barsoux, Managing Across Culture, pg 231)

Key focus point on choosing how to communicate:

Consideration - To consider the role of delegation in team communication, delegation gives power to team members so they have some responsibility and ownership over the team's direction

Facts - Team communication is able to clear up misunderstanding and confusion that potentially can divide a team, with effective communication as a cornerstone, there will be unity, understanding and the freedom to express thoughts and ideas.

Clarity - Team communication provides clear direction to avoid pulling a team in various directions, causing discourse and confusion, if there is a common vision, each team member strives for a common goal. When the goal is achieved, the entire team celebrates, and when obstacles are thrown in the way, the entire team will will unify to overcome them

Resolving conflicts

For teams to function effectively they need to establish mechanism or ways of resolving conflicts. Modes of conflict for multicultural teams have been classified according to degrees of assertiveness and cooperativeness: competing, collaborating, compromising, accommodating and avoiding. (Retrieved from S.C.Schneider and J. Barsoux, Managing Across Culture, pg 236)

Key focus point on resolving conflicts

Managing cooperative conflicts - Cooperative conflict can contribute to effective problem solving and decision making by motivating people to examine a problem. The key is to understand how to handle it constructively, if members understand how to do it, differences that arise can result in benefits for a team.

Negotiation - This offers flexibility and viability other responses, such as avoidance, confrontation and diffusion lack, the process of negotiate involves listening to both sides, seeking out common areas of interest and agreement, and building on them so that individuals can understand each other's point view.

Listen for meaning - Apply listening skills when receiving a message, evaluate yourself for how well you listened at the end of any conversation, the tension of well-managed conflict allows teams to confront disagreement through healthy discussion and improve the decisions made. Effectively managing conflict allows teams to stay focused on their goals.

I recommend companies to recruit employee from different cultures in order to different working sorroundings.

Finally working in multicultural team can be challenging but through learning each other culture it easy way of making communication effective in the teams, process strategies help workers to communicate well in the working environment.