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Each person bears with one's patterns of thinking, feeling, and likely ways of conducting one's self which were learned during their lifetime. According to Hofstede (1997) termed this pattern of thinking feeling and acting as "mental programs". The foundation of this mental programs lies within the social environments in which one grew up and collected one's life experiences. It starts with the family and continues with the neighborhood, to school, through various groups one is a part of during one's youth. And later on to the workplace and in living community
The tip of the iceberg represents a cultural subset: behaviors, words, customs or traditions. The biggest and most important part nevertheless - the cultural values, beliefs, assumptions, attitudes or feelings are hidden below the surface. This hidden part of culture is vital to how people all over the world operate, however largely unconscious and usually not articulated.
Culture is the learned shared and enduring orientation pattern in a society. People demonstrate their culture through values, ideas, attitudes, behaviors. According to Hofstede (1997) cultural differences occur according to region religion gender generation and class. Regional ethnic religious cultures make up the difference with in the country
Power distance is the extent of inequality among people which is the population of a country deems acceptable. In certain societies power is concentrated among a few people at the top who make all the decisions. Conversely in other societies power is widely diffused and relations among the people are more democratic (Jain & tucker 1995). Power distance is to a significant degree, determined by society. The inequality can be seen in a number of areas including social status and prestige, power, and wealth, among others. The higher the Power Distance Index score, the greater the power distance, or degree of difference between the most and least powerful individuals of that country. Power distance is the extent to which less powerful members of an organizations and institutions accept and expect that power is distributed unequally china has high power distance ranking
Masculinity is the degree to which the main values in the society stress assertiveness and acquisition of money and things while for the most part not stressing concern for people. Feminity is the degree to which the main values in the society stress relationships among people, concern for others and the overall quality of life. Masculine societies define gender roles more strictly than do feminine societies (Miroshnik, 2002).Masculinity-Femininity dichotomy refers to the gender role differences across society. Certain societies tend to value characteristics associated with masculinity (assertiveness and quantity) while some other societies value traits associated with femininity (nurture and quality). In a masculine society with strong uncertainty avoidance managers tend to be very assertive and materialistic
Conflict is an inevitable part of human experience. Consequently, people in relationships find themselves in conflict on a regular basis. Intercultural differences occur for various reasons including difference in assumptions made by different cultural groups about what are appropriate and desirable behaviors in a given situation, different attitudes and values and different attributes made by person from different cultures about the same behavior. Because of the intercultural communication in and between organizations today this topic became quite important. Conflict is definitely one of the major organization phenomena organization theories that do not admit conflict provide poor guidance in dealing with problems of organization efficiency, stability, govereence and change for conflict within or between organizations is intimately related as symptom cause effect to each of these problems. Organization conflicts Is important for managers to understand the organization behavior and organization process (Afzalur Rahim, 2001)
Rather than seeing conflict as abnormal, according to kolb and Putnam Conflict is the stubborn fact of organizational life (Kolb and Putnam 1992). According to Pondy (1992) arenas for staging the conflicts, and managers are both fight promoters who organize bouts and as referees who regulate conflicts. Furthermore, Pondy asserts that conflict may be very important essence in organization if conflict is not happening then organization has no reason for being .One study which is surveyed on workers found that almost 85 percent reported conflicts at the work (Volkema and Bergmann 1989). With an increasing awareness of cultural diversity it is important that we become familiar with the issues surrounding promotions and harassments. In fact one can see the training in organizations as a form of preventive conflict management (Hathaway 1995). Recognition of conflict occurrence at work has led to books on mediating the conflict in workplace (Yarbrough and Wilmot 1995), this shows how managers can learn the conflict management skills to intervene in the disputes in an organization. Core cultural conflicts are evaluated and shown (please refer Appendix4), Intercultural conflicts are influenced by three barriers (please refer Appendix 5) respectively.
In today's multicultural society with increasingly interconnected business world almost everyone benefits from the cross cultural awareness both public as well as private sector organizations gain enormously from an intercultural awareness programmes. In public sectors job centres, council offices, police, education departments and hospitals are partial list of organisations that greatly benefit from cross cultural awareness programmes and also in private sector, companies that do business globally or have the multicultural clients or employees from different cultures benefit from the cross cultural awareness programmes. Specially designed cross cultural awareness programmes for companies outsourcing or off-shoring their business processes to other countries is also conducted as a part of this. If working with multicultural clients with international teams, or with global manager, cross cultural awareness programme will give effective competency skills for the global success.
Global success of any international organization requires more than the ability to offer right products and services in an right markets. high level of cultural awareness and intercultural competence and right people are required to succeed when working across the borders and cultures. Cultural awareness is essential competency for all employees working across cultures and lack of cultural awareness at both professional and social levels can lead to miscommunication and ultimately rejection by the host culture colleagues, clients, acquaintances and the neighbours. It is especially important for employees being sent abroad to live and work, organizations planning to combine with or acquire another company or individuals who work with the counterparts and clients around the world.
For such a multinational company whose Head Office is located in the UK and has production centers in China, India, Malaysia and Latin America ,which has a policy of employing managers to the production centers outside their own cultural background, there will be cultural differences and due to its impact the company should definitely plan for intercultural awareness of managers since they are responsible for the effective operation of company's production centers, this can be done by conducting cultural awareness programs and by proper intercultural training such that in future they may not face any intercultural problems further.