Understanding The Different Cultural Backgrounds Cultural Studies Essay

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One of the hardest communication malfunctions is having different cultural background staffs. Staffs came from many different countries. Some of the staffs may not be as sensitive to the others while working or even while communicating. This is a serious problem as it may provoke or irritates one's culture without realizing. As a result, working together may be very difficult as unhappiness may be consistent. Because of this, some staffs might be afraid to communicate with each other to avoid insulting other staff's cultures and this will highly increase the rate of communication break down between the staffs.

As mention, many staffs came from different countries and in different countries, staffs were trained in different methods and ways. Staffs with different level of working experience make working together a big difficulty. Again, unhappiness may arise and communication will break down eventually. Although the work is the same, every different staffs may want to do in a way that they were taught and that would definitely not have the fullest result of their work. New employees are also put into consideration, as they have not much knowledge in their work yet.

There are certain staffs that have blocked mind. Blocked mind means that the person is unable to accept new things and always rejecting new ideas. When other staffs or higher management wants to do something new, opinions, attitudes and own beliefs starts to set in one's mind. People who have blocked mind are certainly a point that really affects the company's growth.

Language Imperfections

A place like Marina Bay Sands requires many staffs. They came from all over the world and one thing that causes communication breakdown seriously is their differences in language. Every staffs has this different standard of English language. Between the staffs, many might not understand each other that well due to the slangs and standards of the other staffs. A simple communication breakdown can lead to many problems either big or small. Eventually, staffs will start to communicate minimally so that miscommunication is avoided which is a wrong mentality. When staffs starts to avoid communicating with each other, information are not being able to pass correctly.

Task 2b: Solutions to minimize (318 words including titles)

Different Cultural Background

There are many ways to minimize different cultural background problem. The company can organize simple lessons for every staff that would teach the different cultures to others so that every staffs can understand each other more and that will make their work more efficient and productive. The company can also categorize the same country staffs to work together to have minimal communication breakdown and that will certainly reduce the mistakes and time wasted.

Working Experiences

The solution to minimize working experiences problem is to give time to new employees to learn about their job scope. Company can also appoint mentors to new staffs to assist for the first few weeks so that the new staffs get more confident in their work and know what to do in their work. Again, the higher management can conduct lessons so that all employees will have a common working style and that will benefits the staff as well as the company. When all start to work together as one, company will achieves more.

Blocked Mind

The solution to minimize blocked mind is to listen to other ideas more. Allow everybody to give his or her own opinions and ideas. Personal improvements lessons can also be conducted to improve one's ability and potential so that they can release their full potential and abilities when they are working.

Language Imperfections

The solution to minimize the language imperfections problem is to ask secretary, colleagues, superiors or anyone in department to read the message before passing to a typist or fax operator. Alternatively, the sender can expand more information as much as possible. Be sure that the receiver fully understands. If you have received message from a person and found that it is difficult for you to understand, ask the sender immediately. As a result, communication breakdown can be minimized through all these methods.

Task 3: Concept of Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism (723 words including titles)

Ethnocentrism

Ethnocentrism is a state of mind where the people in the society beliefs in their cultures with respect and superiority. They despise other cultures and thinks that their culture is the best. As a result, that leads them to become very narrow minded. Ethnocentrism not only has negative impacts but also have positive impacts. It helps to bring internal unity among the people and gives the people a sense of belonging to their society.

Singaporean Chinese are firm belief in the practice of pragmatism and meritocracy. Singaporean weights results, consequences, utility, and practicality higher and people are often judged by their talents and abilities. Malaysian Malay are given higher status in Malaysia compared to other races and treated with more advantages and privileges. The main difference between them are Singaporean Chinese will go all out to work for the results and often trying to show their talents and abilities whereas Malaysian Malay tends to work things out slowly. The Malay employees will gather among the other Malays as they think that their culture is more superior than other cultures.

An example to Singapore Chinese employee will try his/her best to outshine other employee but this Singapore Chinese employee will also respect other culture and other races among him/her. This Singapore Chinese employee will also be concern about consequences of his/her work and the results he/she produces. Understanding that Singaporean Chinese does not compare among races and treated equally in Singapore, communications with other colleagues regardless or races are often more effective.

An example to Malaysian Malay employee will do his/her work averagely and will have a strong bonding among his/her Malays colleagues. This Malaysian Malay employee will also have more loyalty to the company compared to other races as feel the sense of belonging together with other Malay employees. Trust between this employee and other races employee may be lower compared to his/her fellow Malay colleagues. This Malaysian Malay employee tends to have more arguments or unhappiness with other races and cultures colleagues due to their thinking of superiority in their culture. Biasness and favoritism may appear to other employees even there is none. Thus, effectiveness of communication with the other races employees is lower.

Cultural Relativism

Cultural relativism is a state of mind where there is a common respect in other cultures. No culture is any special or superior to other culture. This includes religion, ethical, aesthetic, and political. They think that every culture is as worthy and equal as their culture and there is certainly no judgment between other races. It is more of personal opinion than an absolute correct or incorrect.

Thailand is a collectivist country. They weight relationships and respect more than anything else. This has also led to unwanted human rights issues. Many take advantage of this as it is more towards accepting the inequality of the races as something natural and that promotes racism. American weights respect only to their fellow Americans most. They believe that they are the most superior due to their country's achievements. The main difference between Thai and American employee is Thais are tend to be more close to their fellow Thai colleagues where American treats American equally but has no respect to other cultures.

An example to Thai employee is friendlier towards his/her other Thai colleagues. He/She does not judge or criticize other colleagues and often bias to his/her fellow Thai colleagues. He/She makes exceptions to his/her fellow Thai colleagues too. This Thai employee also gives respect to all his/her colleagues. He/She also gives due respect to his/her superiors regardless of the culture differences due to the position level. It is easy for this employee to get along with other colleagues. As a result, the effectiveness of communication of Thai employees is better than the American employees.

An example to American employee is often more commanding. He/She does not give enough respect to his/her superior if he/she is not an American. As mention, they have this mindset due to the country's achievement. This American employee belief in his/her own skills and refuses to learn from any other employee from other countries or cultures. It is difficult to mix this employee with different nationalities and cultures employee. He/She does not listen to instruction given by others and that leads to a very ineffective communication.

Task 4: Five Cultural Dimensions (825 words including title)

Power Distance

The first of the five dimensions of national culture called 'Power Distance'. Human inequality can occur in many areas such as physical and mental characteristics (basic fact of human existence), social status, prestige, wealth, power, laws, rights, and rules. In different societies, give weights differently in this area. In some countries, politicians enjoy status and power without wealth or businesspersons enjoy wealth and power without status. This inequality is usually happening to the relationships between subordinates and their bosses. Singapore Marina Bay Sands exercises a relatively equal weight between the physical and mental characteristics. Bosses and subordinates do have their own power, rights, and wealth. Bosses do have higher power and rights to control the company.

Individualism

Every individual person in society has their own ideas and patterns for living up to society, unequal society and some people does not consider the social or feelings of those around them. Individualism people rely on legal rights and do not concern cultural and social concerns. Collectivism people do respect to the feelings of others or their own group members whereas individualism concerns over only the laws. Collectivism focus more on families and workmates, Individualism focus more on their own good and business. As explained, in Singapore Marina Bay Sands, there are also different people with their own ideas and patterns for living. Singapore society is Collectivism and believes in equality between man and women. While some countries such as New Zealand, Ireland, Sweden, and USA are individualism societies, which mean the staffs in Marina Bay Sands who came from these countries are most slightly does not consider the social or feelings of those around them.

Masculinity

Men and women is a big issue for any culture, society, or even companies. The opposite meaning of masculinity is feminine. In working terms, different countries have different cultures. Some have equal job opportunity for the men and women but some have very specific appointments. Some countries such as Japan and Islamic societies usually have this issue, as the women are regard as feminine, which will not be appointed as a leader. However, after time, many of these societies have changed and women have been given the equal opportunities to be leaders. Thailand is an example for now they have equality at work between genders. Previously the Thai culture was women have to be at home taking care of the house while the men will go work to support the family financially. Every different country has different speed of cultural change. Singapore Marina Bay Sands is a society, which has equal rights for man and women. Generally, women leaders can be found widely in Singapore and this has been going for many years.

Uncertainty Avoidance

The opposite meaning of uncertainty avoidance is uncertainty-accepting cultures. This group of people is more towards tolerating different cultures from them. They minimize rules as much as possible to allow many cultures to be beside them. As a result, this will make the employees focus on the success of the work. Coming back to uncertainty avoidance, these people oppositely create many rules and are often very emotional in their work. These people are mostly motivated by themselves. Society like Japan, Belgium, and America are countries, which implements many rules and laws to avoid uncertainty avoidance where as country such as Thailand looks more on uncertainty accepting cultures between the employees to the supervisors to create a more focused relationship work. Singapore is also a country like Thailand, which also promotes uncertainty accepting cultures as this will certainly boost up the staff's morale while working as a team and eventually this will boost up the business greatly as well.

Long-Term Orientation

Students in 23 different countries found this dimension in a study. Humans have different dimension in terms of getting along with each other in working place. Some of them take longer time, which is known as long-term orientation, and some of them take little time, which is known as short-term orientation. People determine relations through factors while working together. Long-term orientation people have many difficulties to work with new people while short-term orientation people have no problem with that. However, after the long-term orientation people get to know the new people better, they will have a long and firm relationship and for short-term orientation people they will have no commitment in the relationship after awhile. For Thai Society, Sex discrimination does not cause a problem but it is favoritism that causing problem. Because of the hospitality culture in Thailand, it is quite difficult to do not help others. Singapore also could not avoid but to have people that are long-term orientated and short term-orientated. Certainly, Thailand, and Singapore do not have any sex discrimination and in addition, Singapore does not encourage favoritism. With a good balance of long-term and short-term orientated staffs in Singapore Marina Bay Sands, it has resulted to achieve great heights.

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