CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS OF MANAGING CROSS CULTURAL STAFF

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Culture is related to beliefs and values which are the basis of behaviour and experiences of an individual in a community. Culture refers to group in which we gain experiences and shape our view to see the world.

There are many cultures in the world and they are different from each other

In many way. Differences are on the basis of communication, attitude,

approaches and decision making which can be easily identified but there

values, beliefs, perception and assumptions are difficult to evaluate from

distance.

In the modern globalising world we generally came across to peoples from

different cultures, when we interact with a person from other culture called

cross-culture. Whereas inter-culture is to interact with many persons from

different cultures at the same time.

MANAGING CROSS-CULTURAL STAFF

In modern organisational structure it is general to have cross-culture staff

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Nowadays, as organisations are reflecting an international image to

improve business in the fast moving economy.

This paper is to describe that what are the challenges that leaders face

during Managing cross-cultural staff and what are the solutions to have

better productivity which is an organisation aiming at.

This report is based on the handbook 'Cross-Cultural Psychology' (vol-3)

Chapter 9 'Cross-Cultural Training Multicultural Education' written by

'RICHARD W. Brsilin' and by his assistant 'ANN M. Horvath'. Also based on a website named 'www.1000ventures.com' by 'A. Bivikova' and 'V. Kotelnikov'.

CHALLENGES

Communication:

There are challenges in managing cross-cultural staff and

communication is a major difficulty for leaders. It is important to instruct

staff to achieve the targets that have been set for organisation's success. But it become hard when one is unable to understand not only the language but also the body language of other or took it completely wrong. As we know there are different sign language meanings in different cultures.

Communication gap:

It can create problems for leaders to achieve their targets. Cultural shock is other fact that affects the efficiency of the worker. In this state one who moved in new culture, start to feel isolated, worried, quiet and helpless. This resulted in the form of reduction in work or person will give negative outcomes.

Cultural impression:

This is the other way in which a person start to feel that the culture, he is living in getting over his own culture and that confuse him about which values are good for him. This stage makes him distractive emotionally. As Szonton gives the example of American PCVs example who become more emotional after working in the culture of Philippines.

Feeling guilty:

This also affects work efficiency of a person. In this situation a person

feel that he has made a mistake by coming to different culture or in

different workplace. He remains confused about the decisions that are made by him, which can affect his work capabilities.

Environment:

People coming from other cultures and places often feel unfamiliar to the new environment, social atmosphere and to the religion values of different culture. Sometimes it takes too long for them to adjust with.

Behaviour:

In workplaces behaviour plays a huge role in team work. In many cultures support and help from others is expected most of the time, whilst in other cultures individuality is the priority. This gap can give serious troubles in forming a good production team.

SOLUTIONS

We know that leaders are facing many difficulties in managing a staff from

different cultures. This part will highlight the solutions that are given by

R. W. Brislin and A. M. Horvarth, in the book 'Cross-Cultural Psychology' and also by V. Kotelnikov in '1000ventures.com'.

All these resources are describing the solutions which can be achieved by

cross-cultural training, education, psychological approaches and by

cultural intelligence.

TRAINING

There are many training programmes are design to train persons for

performing their best in cross-cultural environment. These programmes

are well evaluated by the psychologists so these can work effectively.

There are different approaches and methods involved in training

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programmes.

What training can change:

Changes in peoples thinking: Training can change the attitude of thinking

of an individual. If the person is known to the other culture, he will think

what is not good to do in other culture and how he can present himself,

without hurting the feelings of others.

Changes in people's affective reactions:

Training programmes help people to manage their affective reactions.

Training can aware people about the challenges and the way to overcome

from it. These programmes can help people to recover from cultural shock

In quick time and actively enjoy itself.

Changes in peoples behaviours:

Good training can change the people's behaviour and it can increase the

productivity in workplaces.

TRAINING METHODS

There are some different training methods which are currently used as a

Combined training programmes in many regions.

Cognitive Training:

This kind of training is useful when there is a large group of trainees from

different countries living in another country. Main activities in this kind of

training are watching films reading books, group discussions, case studies

and giving speeches. But there are difficulties in this kind of training

approaches because sometimes lecturing or story telling do not meet the

expectations of trainees.

Attributional Training:

Attribution training is good approach. It based on differing interpretations

of incidents mixing interactions among people from different cultures.

trainees make their thoughts on the incident and express whether they

are agree or disagree. Lots of reading and group discussion involved in

this approach and quality literature in ample quantity is needed. This

consumes time and money in big deal, it's the main disadvantage of this

approach.

Experiential Approach:

In this approach trainees get real life experiences. They get their

experiences by visiting the places and getting involved in an activity.

This is very helpful for trainees but some trainees become emotional

By the situation they face in real.

Self Awareness Training:

This approach is quite similar to experience approach. This is also called

as contrast culture technique. There is a set of statements used in this approach and trainer work to change the contrast behaviour of trainee with different recommendations.

EDUCATION

Aims of cultural education and cultural training are the same, both increase

Awareness of cultural differences, spread knowledge and knowledge of

different behaviours, among students from different cultures. Key

differences between education and training are length, degree and aiming.

Where the training is for short term and for people who are come to reside in a new country but cultural education is long term courses that run in

schools or universities to train students for their career. Many

professionals feel that cultural education is less effective than cultural

training but training programmes are designed for implementing cross-

cultural education.

PSYCHOLOGY

Psychologists do not play any direct role in making education policies or

they help teachers in class rooms. But they design education programmes and invent teaching techniques that can help peoples getting better education, more effectively.

CULTURAL INTELLIGENCE

Cultural intelligence is the capability of a person to gain knowledge by his

own about another culture, understand values and deal with people from

different culture. This is a new aspect of intelligence which can be learnt at

globalizing workplaces.

In modern world, it is necessary for leaders to have cultural intelligence

because every day they deal with staff, customers and competitors from

different cultures.

CONCLUSION

Leaders face problems in managing staff from different cultures but this is the feature of shrinking world, whether people like cross-culture or not, it will exist in every organisation now. But there are tools in the shape of education and training to cope with multicultural difficulties in management.

Cross culture has also played a role in psychological studies. Awareness of cultural differences is needed to implementing the changes in education system but only awareness is not adequate to set a better education structure. Research and techniques by the psychologists contribute in quality education.

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In given resources of information, most of the research and study is done about western countries and cultures. Many other parts of world remained untouched in both sources.

RECOMMENDATIONS

- Managers should have training to deal with cross-cultural staff in good, appropriate manner.

- Managers should be supportive and motivative to the staff because workers can do better in friendly and well known atmosphere.

- Staff can do better if managers have good behaviour towards them.

- Managers should be more understandable to the problems of staff. This will help to good environment at workplaces.

- Managers should arrange meetings with staff to help them. This will encourage staff and they will feel like in friendly atmosphere.