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Nowadays, International business has been spreading around the world, as I am an Asian, I would say that Asia has been emerging market and gained a lot of attention from the western world. In the present international business has been growing especially in Asia. Many Western countries have invested in Asia and also help developing economy in asia pacific. Not only Western countries that interested in Asian pacific but also eastern countries as well. From my experience of working with people from different countries and cultures made me realize that I have to study and understand people from the different countries. The problem that I found when I have been working with people from different countries is misunderstanding might be because we are from different culture of living and life style, sometimes, it leads to an argument. The second problem is Time, each of members in my group has their own business to do after class, I found that we are having a hard arranging a meeting. The third problem is team member's self-esteem, I found that we often run into an argument after we do not accept the idea of one another, everyone thinks that their own idea is correct and perfect. The next problem that happens to me is me, myself is afraid to negotiate when I have been grouping with people with totally different life style and culture made me having a hard time to get my work done because team is still having problems on concluding the project. I found that all these problems came from all of us who came from different countries and cultures. In this report, my team will provide the analysis of working in multi-cultural team by using SWOT analysis, PEST analysis, plus, another theories to analyze the situation we have been facing with while we are working for this business plan. Moreover, the briefing paper concludes with anticipate of the situation.
Terms of References â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦ 3
Overview of the situation â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦...â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦ 4
Analysis of the situation â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦. 5
PEST Analysis ...â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦..â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦.. 5-11
Solutions and recommendations â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦.. 11-12
Forecasts and outcomes â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦... 12
References â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦. 13
Terms of Reference
Who we are:
We are a team composed of members from Thailand, India, Banglades and Islamic Republic of Pakistan. we are doing business plan together.
Who our client/reader is:
Anyone who has been working in multi-cultural work place, or the one who is having a hard time understand people from the different countries and cultures. People with a culture-shock living, working or even studying in different countries but their countries.
What information does our client/reader want:
This briefing paper is provided information for people who interested the international business that has been spreading all around the world. Working with people from different countries and cultures, anyway, has advantages and disadvantages. In this report, my team will gather all the information we have and analyze them through the using of theories; SWOT analysis.
Overview of the situation
In this business plan group, initially, we have only two Thai and a member from Pakistan, but I was asked to have another three members to join the group. We can see that we are from different countries and cultures joined in a group of people who come from different countries and different cultures which made us going through a hard time understand each other. Team cannot gather together for a business plan meeting, for example, I have time all weekdays to discuss with team but when I called and made an arrangement with some of the members but they cannot make it but not even tried to tell me that they cannot come to the meeting. On the other side, the problem was from me because I have to go back home on weekend and working part time so I cannot join the meeting during weekend and most of my teammates are free on weekend as well. When the first meeting finished, we still did not get a solution of what we should do or even assign a task for each other, team still argue not to accept each other's ideas. Moreover, the misunderstanding we have among team leads to the non-progress of the project and never-ending topic of discussion. Sometimes, different types of behavior made us misunderstood each other very often, for other team members "silent" means "agree" but for me it means "I want to say something but I do not know what to say." From all this situations happened among or group, in the nest meeting, I would say all comments and I have and ideas to share with them with good reasons.
Analysis of the situation
Power distance: This dimension expresses the degree to which the less powerful members of a society accept and expect that power is distributed unequally. The fundamental issue here is how a society handles inequalities among people. People in societies exhibiting a large degree of power distance accept a hierarchical order in which everybody has a place and which needs no further justification. In societies with low power distance, people strive to equalise the distribution of power and demand justification for inequalities of power.
Individualism and collectivism: The high side of this dimension, called Individualism, can be defined as a preference for a loosely-knit social framework in which individuals are expected to take care of themselves and their immediate families only. Its opposite, Collectivism, represents a preference for a tightly-knit framework in society in which individuals can expect their relatives or members of a particular in-group to look after them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty. A society's position on this dimension is reflected in whether people's self-image is defined in terms of "I" or "we."
Masculine and feminine: The masculinity side of this dimension represents a preference in society for achievement, heroism, assertiveness and material reward for success. Society at large is more competitive. Its opposite, femininity, stands for a preference for cooperation, modesty, caring for the weak and quality of life. Society at large is more consensus-oriented.
Uncertainty avoidance: The uncertainty avoidance dimension expresses the degree to which the members of a society feel uncomfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity. The fundamental issue here is how a society deals with the fact that the future can never be known: should we try to control the future or just let it happen? Countries exhibiting strong UAI maintain rigid codes of belief and behaviour and are intolerant of unorthodox behaviour and ideas. Weak UAI societies maintain a more relaxed attitude in which practice counts more than principles.
5. Long-term and short-term orientation: The long-term orientation dimension can be interpreted as dealing with society's search for virtue. Societies with a short-term orientation generally have a strong concern with establishing the absolute Truth. They are normative in their thinking. They exhibit great respect for traditions, a relatively small propensity to save for the future, and a focus on achieving quick results. In societies with a long-term orientation, people believe that truth depends very much on situation, context and time. They show an ability to adapt traditions to changed conditions, a strong propensity to save and invest, thriftiness, and perseverance in achieving results.
Table1: The Hopstede Values Compared to Suggest Ratings (2012)
Table above shows ratings of Western countries, and Asian countries which Japan that has closer culture to Thai and Indian represent both Indian and Banglades, plus Pakistan.
As shown in table 1, India has highest rating on India society is significant difference in the Gap when look it in the results. India were British Colony in earlier time. There was a greater centralization in the organizations at that time because most of the supervisors were British people. Today, organization both in South East Asia and East Asia still manage their organization with hierarchical system. The scale in table has linear solutions. In my team, there is no problem with the power distance, everyone is in the same age. Teammates do their job and submitted to me to gather all the information at once.
Individualism vs Collectivism:
From table 1, Pakistan has the lowest rating but, as a matter of fact, we are all Asian and have a strong opinion in doing group work more than individual. On the other hand, western countries, people are expected to stand up for themselves and their immediate family, and to choose their own affiliations. Even in group, we assign everyone their own task, each of us has an individual goal but finally, we will gather all tasks together in one piece.
a society's tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity. It reflects the extent to which members of a society attempt to cope with anxiety by minimizing uncertainty. People in cultures with high uncertainty avoidance tend to be more emotional. They try to minimize the occurrence of unknown and unusual circumstances and to proceed with careful changes step by step by planning and by implementing rules, laws and regulations. From Bar chart and table 1 show that India has the lowest rating compared to other Asian countries. As India was colonized by the United Kingdom, they have such a centralize society that leads to the Indian people braves enough to express their ideas or be ready whenever they are facing the unexpected situation. In the meantime, Thai and Pakistan are more quiet, in order to avoid the unexpected situations. Anyway, team was able to receive new ideas and avoid the error team would have when encounter problems team.
Masculinity vs Femininity:
Based on information given, most of Asian countries have strong masculinity desire to achieve their goals. More than 50% aims at target goal, in order to receive the rewards in the form of good points or grades. In masculine cultures, the differences between gender roles are more dramatic and less fluid than in feminine cultures where men and women have the same values emphasizing modesty and caring. In the business view, business tends to have higher profit to see how successful they are. If compared to the fact that Thai will also have femininity not to make someone lose their faces, it is easy to say that Thai cares more when it come to an arguments.
Long Term Orientation stands for the fostering of virtues oriented towards future rewards, in particular perseverance and thrift. It's opposite pole, Short Term Orientation, stands for the fostering of virtues related to the past and present, in particular, respect for tradition, preservation of 'face' and fulfilling social obligations.
An example situation of long-oriented, High or low context cultures can be grouped by conversations. The concepts of high context and low context refer to how people communicate in different cultures.Â Differences can be derived from the extent to which meaning is transmitted through actual words used or implied by the context. (communicaid 2010)
High context implies that a lot of unspoken information is implicitly transferred during communication.Â People in a high context culture such as Saudi Arabia tend to place a larger importance on long-term relationships and loyalty and have fewer rules and structure implemented. (communicaid 2010)
Low context implies that a lot of information is exchanged explicitly through the message itself and rarely is anything implicit or hidden.Â People in low context cultures such as the UK tend to have short-term relationships, follow rules and standards closely and are generally very task-oriented. (communicaid 2010)
SWOT is an acronym used to describe the particular Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats that are strategic for a specific business. SWOT analysis not only result in the identification of a corporation's distinctive competencies but also in the identification of opportunities that the firm is not currently able to take advantage of due to a lack of appropriate resource.
Strength: Strengths are the firm resource and capabilities that can lead to a competitive advantage (Thompson, Strickland et al. 2010).
Weaknesses: Weaknesses are resources and capabilities that the firm does not possess but that are necessary, resulting in a competitive disadvantage (Thompson, Strickland et al. 2010).
Opportunities: Opportunities are the forces in macro environment and task environment that allow a firm to take advantage of organizational strengths, overcome organizational weaknesses, and neutralize environmental threats (Thompson, Strickland et al. 2010).
Threats: Threats are conditions in the macro environments that may stand in the way of organizational competitiveness (Thompson, Strickland et al. 2010).
SWOT (Team Working)
Our group members came from different countries and cultures.
One person has been chosen a leader to corporate among team and gather all the works together before handing in.
Each of team members were assigned based on their expert skills.
Team members have no problems doing their own works and always update the leader about the progress.
We are able to retrieve new ideas from various nationality team members.
Regards to different culture we came from, we often run into an argument but we can get it through and understand point of view of each other.
Some of the members never says anything in a meeting but they chose to tell professor about what is going on in our group because of the uncertainty avoidance.
From the situation above, team as all asian are not telling the truth about how they think of the project. As a result, we do not make any progress until someone who brave enough to explain so the project goes on.
Even some of team members has been through this kind of report, still, we are all new to this project and working process of the Western countries.
To be able to complete an individual task is easier than working in group in term of time limit that we have to work even harder to gather members together and understand each other, in order to achieve our goal.
To get to know each of everyone in team and understand each other, due to, we are from different countries and cultures.
To learn how to manage group work as a leader who organise and assign job to each of everyone based on their skills.
To gain more knowledge, according to each of us came from different places, we get to learn new things everyday by exchanging what we have learned from our countries.
From this project, we will get to know what we are expert at, moreover, this experience will guide us to work easier with the future project.
As our group are having members from different countries and culture, we even speak different languages, when it comes to English, we have a hard time understand each other accent. Sometimes, it leads to misunderstanding.
From threats no.1, we do not understand what we speak to each other sometime, team also needs to carefully work with each other because we came from different cultures and different life style. It might cause some of us in trouble due to personal behaviour.
High self-esteem of some members in our group has made some of us under pressure, never brave enough to argue against the confident one even when they were wrong.
Time is one of the threat, team cannot arrange meeting to review progress, each of us living far away from college so that leads to no-progress on our project.
We do not have very often meeting to discuss about our work because of personal time of each member.
The delay of sending information of member makes limited time to complete the work and make it perfectly.
Solutions and recommendations
From this project, team members came from different countries, cultures and even life style of livings. The problem of misunderstanding among team, no project progression, me as a leader of team, manage everyone of us for a meeting and discuss what we could do to proceed to the next step of our project. We are getting to learn each other personal behavior even though some of us is having a hard time adjusting themselves to the group but we do make some progress to help each other. As a result, working in a multi-cultural group have some advantages if each of us adjust ourselves to each other and open our mind for the new knowledge given by our team members. We have analyzed our situation through the use of theories as well.
The problem of misunderstanding each other because we came from different countries and cultures, as we are from the high uncertainty avoidance, after meetings we had, we decided to express our ideas or argue to get the best answers to team with out afraid of losing face. The problem of our group is TIME, as we came from Asian countries with high power distance even more living in a polychronic culture that time is not important. Next meeting, as a leader I will arrange meeting ahead of time and will set my final word to start meeting without the one comes late and will never go back to explain to that person again. The last but not least, I have include the problem of team members self-esteem and my problem of afraid of express my feeling. I decided to talk to team members frankly how I feel about problems we encounter and how we could solve this problems together.
Forecast and outcomes
Thailand as one of the Asian that a lot of Western Investors pay attention to invest, the problem is Thailand still has internal conflict of political situation. In the past few years, we had a lot of situations concerning to the security of people living in Thailand. Anyway, Thailand is one of the emerging market that still has potential to grow even though some of investors aware of the situation also slow down their project, especially now, Thai baht keeps decreasing which has an effect to the export companies in Thailand. In addition, Thailand is famous among the tourists, tourism industry tends to grow more and more during the high season of the year. Thai government has prepared and developed the big city for tourists to be able to travel comfortably and conveniently throughout their trip. Education pays more attention to the second language -English for student to be able to communicate with foreigners and for their further study in the future.