Managing cross culture

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Executive Summary

The ability to understand the differences and share cultural ideas of different background such as spirituality, experience, ideology, beliefs etc can be describe as management of culture. Although the inter-woven's of different culture brought about some positive and negative impact in the society, however culture is not stable because of the continuous change and development of human's ways of life, inclusive of the climatic change. Therefore we can only manage the various cultures by being aware of their values.

Introduction

Cross culture has been one of the greatest things that has happen in our world, it has been the major factor that has influenced the world's globalization and has been noticed that most countries, ethnic or religious groups need to reach a cultural balance or understanding to be able to interact, communicate and benefit from one another. However in our modern world, as people continue to migrate and interact, the demographics and culture of cities begins to change. An area occupied by whites becomes flooded by blacks, Chinese, Indians, Jamaicans and several other smaller groups. As people come from different parts of the world and converge in cities, they come along with their cultures and hence cultural interaction and integration occurs. People begin to move away from their conservative views to more liberal and accommodating view, immigrants change their manners so as not to be seen as obsolete and uncivilized and hence cope with conditions in their new locations.

Cross culture can be said in different ways. Literally, the word can be broken down into two: ‘cross' and ‘culture'. The word cross can be interperted in various manners depending on the type of background we come from. For example, from the Christians point of view cross can be a form of symbol or sign which portrays the Calvary of Jesus Christ, whom they believe to be the son of GOD. It can also mean a movement from one place to another; as on stage crossing. The word cross has various meanings. Scientifically it can be in form of cross breeding which means the combination of two organism to produce an offspring or a progeny.

In this context we will define ‘cross' as the combination or mixture of varieties of things. It can also be the meeting point that may be convenient for two or more parties. As we can see from the word ‘cross-culture' cross can be interpreted in various meanings depending on the perception of background we come from, which must be manage on its own.

Culture

Culture is the totality of peoples way of life, shaped by their history, their geographical locations and their spirituality. Culture itself may be based on different levels for example National level, Regional level, ethnical level, religious, linguistic, gender, generation, social class, organisational, etc. It is basically concern with experience, beliefs and behaviour which is interpreted individually or in groups, it may be referred to as a group or community which share common experience together. Anastasia bibikova & vadim kotelnikov (2005)

What makes up people may include the way they dress, their arts, music, their beliefs, their social organizations, their education and their religion. culture is the way of life in a particular region or environment which can be socially broadcasted through art, beliefs, institution, communication and all other result of human work and thought. Characterization is noticeable by thinking, acting and reaction within the groups or outside the groups. What makes up peoples may include the way they dress, their arts, music, their beliefs, their social organizations, their education and their religion. It is common practice for people of the same or similar cultures to live together in clusters when they find themselves in foreign lands most likely because of the social cohesion they share and the solidarity that such arrangements can offer.

Cross Culture

Cross culture is the sharing of research, experience, knowledge and practice internally, locally, regionally between two or more parties. There have to be a good form of communication pattern for successful cross culture to take place. The exchange of information and sharing of knowledge can be interpreted and digested manly through communication. It is so called because it is a phenomenon that explains the interactions that occurs between cultures when people move away from their natural boundaries or make transactions with people from other parts of a city, countries or around the world.

Management Of Cross Culture

Different culture have different ways of approach for example in America looking straight into another person's eye means courage, while in the Japanese world it means disrespect. The ability to manage different types of culture at different time in different environment is referred to as cross cultural management. Alfonsvanmarrewijk (2009), believed that ‘'culture is a (more or less) stable entity that can be engineered and managed''. However culture is not stable but can be manage, the management in culture cannot be perfect because when cross culture interactions occur, therefore it can lead to a loss of a weaker culture or modification of existing ones and an entirely new culture is formed. Cross culture interactions changes the way people behave, worship, learn reason, talk, dress and so on. Coming from Africa for example, one might have to do away with or reduce the frequency of wearing their cultural clothing such as Agbada, Kaftan, Buba and wrapper for those such as suits, T-shirts, jeans and jackets. This kind of situation dilutes the original culture, that's why in every cultural management anthropology background is necessary.

Communication Factor In Management Cross Culture

Communication is a major factor in cultural management; it is based on manly four different types of languages which are verbal, written, symbols or sign languages and body language. For verbal languages in Nigeria, for an example there are about more than 200 languages, though there are three major ones termed Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba, which specify them to three ethnic groups. These languages have really created barriers within the country, according to Ajezeera News 10th March 2009 it said ‘'religion can be recognize through ethnic groups in Nigeria'', which implies for the three major languages and ethnic groups, for those that speak Hausa are more of Muslims, while those that speak in Igbo are more of Christian, and those of the Yoruba's are mixture of the both religion. So the ability to communicate as a Christian to a Muslim in different language might be very difficult.

At times sign language communication can be interpreted in various ways, positively or negatively in different cultures. For example the diagram below shows different meaning of the same gesture.

source=. Anastasia bibikova & vadim kotelnikov

From the illustration above this particular sign has different meaning to different countries. In the American world the sign means O.K and in the Brazilian country in means an insult. For example let us imagine an American going to Brazil for the first time without the knowledge of what this sign portrays, and then give this sign to a ghetto citizen, the probability of the American enjoying or surviving in the place might be quite difficult. Management of cross culture enhances the scope of how to behave and adapt in different environment we find ourselves, but at the same time it reduces the concentration of an original culture. There was a lecture i received in human side of management from Sama Badar at university of Bedfordshire (3rd march 2010) she said ‘number four is a bad number in Japan because it means death'. So however imagine going to Japan and telling a Japanese that he will be on the fourth lane during the swimming contest and he was going to stay on the fourth floor of the hotel room. Lack of information produce low communication, and low communication result in a very bad cross culture.

Anastasia bibikova & vadim kotelnikov (2005) said the refusal of cultural issues can result to a culture shock. In order of priority, the most often found symptoms of culture shock are3:

  •  feeling isolated
  •  anxiety and worry
  •  reduction in job performance
  •  high nervous energy
  •  Helplessness.

Other Impacts Of Cross Culture

Looking at the impact of cultural interaction in the recent time it has contributed both positively and negatively into the societies

Globalisation is a major connection around the world today, and management of cross culture is one of the main indices of its networking, despite the fact that there was a general economy recession during the late 21st century, cross culture process was able to reduce the recession through understanding of sensitivity to verbal and nonverbal behaviour, sensitivity to differences within cultures, flexibility and open to change, awareness of values, beliefs and practices of other cultures etc.

Management of cross culture as boosted the relationships between countries and regions , such as trading, exchange of technologies, natural resources, ideas etc. And these technologies have also enhanced the management of cross culture, for example we don't have to go to china to learn or get information about the country, the technological instruments such as television, internet, and mobile phone, have made us to understand more about their cultural background.

However cross culture has really diluted cultures around the world through this ‘globalization benefits' for example in some regional cultural areas, birds are been used to send information or messages to other regions which were culturally related, but because of technologies which was enhanced and boosted by cross culture, although mobile phones have made communication easier but we should not forget that these technology work through radioactive waves which complicates our body systems, now this pattern of bird message transfer is fading out. Even in a country such as united kingdom, piecing of ear, wearing earring amongst males, and also piercing of the tongue amongst the females is now getting common, which looks very awkward to some new foreigners who come from different cultural background, but later this foreigners get use to it and see the piecing as a normal thing. Therefore its dilutes the cultural perception of the foreigner and then creates a new cultural view.

It may affect government policies because the government of the daymay be forced to modify policies to accommodate the views and cultures of minority voters so as to ensure the security of their tenure in office. The Nigerian Parliament is made of different political parties from different races and this definitely affects the resolutions of the house because a two-third majority may not be complete without accommodating the views of certain groups.

Conclusion

Management of Cross culture can be influenced by the prevailing climatic conditions because such might affect type of diet, time of feeding , mode of worship, social behaviours and so on

Therefore there is no doubt that cross cultural interactions affect to some extent who we are today whether in our native lands or in a foreign land and this interaction is not a one off thing but a continuous and unstoppable process.

Reference

Anastasia Bibikova & Vadim Kotelnikov (2005) Managing cross -culture differences (online) available from

http://www.1000ventures.com/ten3_operations/customized/cross-cultural_differences_china-us.html

alfonsvanmarrewijk (2009) Cultural matters ‘Anthropology in cross culture management' (online) available from

http://culturematters.wordpress.com/2009/02/28/anthropologists-in-cross-cultural-management/

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