Museum is a place for leisure, education and protection of global civilizations. It is an important public service sector and tourism attraction. As an NPO (Non-Profit Organization), how it play in the context of globalization is an interesting and worth studying subject. Therefore, in this report, it will discuss the cross-cultural communication and marketing of the international museums in London. How the Science Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum perform in the background of globalisation will emphasis on how to attract diversified needs and improve service quality. The study will come out with some implications, through analysis of the observation held in the museum.
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Research was carried out in the forms of data collection. It randomly picked up the issues the visitors encountered while visiting the museum, by using the problem-oriented approach. This approach indeed added a lot of fun in my research, on one hand. A case in point, I saw an elder woman, who pushed a baby carriage, was wandering in a channel. In the beginning, I thought she had some problems and was in need for help, I stepped forward to ask her, and humorously was told that she just wanted to make her grandchildren sleeping. On the other hand, it is an effective, stimulated and enjoyable approach, so that I was encountered in the process. Later, I will describe four special events that meaningful for me and for this observation of globalization.
The first thing happened in a gallery of jewellery and other ornaments in the Victoria and Albert Museum, I met a Chinese tourist who was going to take a photo of a pair of sword. At that moment, an administrator blocked him. I went to talk to the man immediately and discovered that he just could not help to photograph the precise sword. In addition, he also mentioned that although the majority of the exhibits in this museum allow photographing, but there is still a small part of non-photos area. However, which are specific non-photos areas, he was not very clear, but he believed that there must have some reminder in those areas and if inappropriate, the administrator will told him. So he did not care about the rules and regulations of the museum, which is not a big deal for him and do not want to spare some time to note down these regulations.
The second incident occurred during my visit to a Chinese art exhibition. It is about the understanding of a French visitor towards a Chinese collection ?C a statue of. The tourist asked me about the history of this person, who is admired by most of the Chinese. When I was talking about the public faith of Kuan Kung as the God of Wealth in China, he interrupted me and said that this belief is very interesting. Then he explains his opinion that people need to success by themselves, but not ask for god for help and he also doubt that this was why Chinese doing business through Guanxi made sense. After this, we kept going on this topic.
The third thing is about a Japanese mother and her daughter in Science Museum. They are living in London for couple of years. This time, she planned to take her daughter to practice zone, named Launchpad to play a game called the Big Machine. Many people were there and every parts of the game were occupied. She said that she used to bringing her daughter to the Science Museum because children can practice the knowledge there, but every time they just enjoyed one or two parts of the game. ??Luckily??, she said, ??today we play the four parts of the game and this is due to a very kind American parent who let us play after noticing that we are waiting for a long time??. I ask her that why she did not grasp opportunity by them. The explanations she gives to me are impressive. The first one is, in her opinion, she did not want to disturb someone enjoying the game. Second she said that the child is too shame to play with others, she is now seven 7 years old. Finally, she said they had time to visit this museum, so she did not worry about any chance to practice.
The last one, it is very simple, but worth for analysis. It is an Australia woman. She came to me and asked me for the time. After I told her, she complain that the root design and layout of the exhibition in the Science Museum are so bad that she cannot use time efficiency and missed many collections. It is a pity for the tourist.
Although there exist the anti-globalization voices, such as German Martin and Schumann’s (1996) ??The Global Trap??, the British author – Alan Rugman??s (2001) ” the end of globalization, “”, for now, Globalization is an indisputable fact and continually affects everyone’s daily lives. As Held and McGrew (2000) emphasized that globalization is currently does not have a universally accepted definition by the world. In the past, the globalization is far more defined as the formation of the global market, where the goods, technology, services; capital can flow and trade freely in the world (Theodre Levitt, 1985). However, the results of theoretical research on the current point of view, this is only part of globalization. From Roland Robertson (1992), has started to pay attention to the broader implication of globalization. That is globalization is a set of globalization among economic, political, cultural, technological and other processes. Here we will focus on cultural globalization, and some of the theories on cross-cultural communication and marketing.
Giddens and others transformationlists (2001) thought that globalization is a comprehensive process of development and the economic globalization is bound to lead to the globalization of culture and value. Along with the acceleration of globalization, the impact of globalization on culture has also been keen to explore by scholars. The first understanding believes that cultural globalization is the formation of a common or a single culture, which can be described as a cultural homogeneity (Stephan Dahl,). They explored that cultural globalization refers to mutual penetration, absorption of the worldwide different lifestyles, consumption patterns, ideas, and awareness, thus the development of culture will show the trend of homogenization. The second major theory insists that cultural globalization is the parallel process of homogenization and heterogeneous, or the dialectic of globalization and localization in parallel (). The third main study directly denies the existence of cultural globalization. Samuel Huntington () is an important critics of globalization discourse. He made his famous clash of civilizations theory, which Demonstrate the development of world history will strengthen the differences and conflicts between civilizations. Throughout these theoretical insights, in line with materialistic point of view, cultural globalization is inevitable. Moreover, in reality, we can find the subtle changes are taking place in the world’s civilizations, whatever the western or oriental. (David Herder, 2001).
Therefore, this cultural is still diversified in the context of globalization. Cross-cultural communication and marketing of an organization will determine whether it is able to compete in the global market to survive. Cross-cultural communication is to study how people from different cultural backgrounds communicate effectively with each other through language, behaviour, etc. (Cross-cultural communication, 2008). Cross-cultural communication involves a lot of the edge of disciplines, including psychology, ethnology, culture and science. Cross-cultural communication theories are the mainly base on theories that study difference between the values of the culture. These theories include the Geert Hofstede??s (2001) five dimensions of culture, Fons Trompenaars and Charles Hampden-Turner??s seven dimensions culture model. The following will be further elaborated in Fons Trompenaars?? models, combined with the investigation to analyse how museums manage and market in cross-cultural environment, both of the achievements and shortcomings, through our investigation, although very simple and not comprehensive.
First of all, will be a brief introduction of Trompenaars?? model(). This model, like other onions model studies the culture by dividing into seven dimensions. Five dimensions of them are reflecting how people interact with each other. The first dimension is Universalism versus Particularism(). Universalism is more emphasis on the importance of the rules and regulation system. As described in his book, Americans do not tend to lie when disobey the regulation or rules. The second is Individualism versus Collectivism, which show whether the relationship between the individual and the collective is an Isolationism, or collectivism. The next is Neutral vs. Emotional expression is a measure of whether the emotion is naturally revealed. The fourth one is the Specific versus Diffuse. These are being considered when weighing the participation and responsibility of individuals in the organization. The fifth is the recognition of the position, named Achievement versus Ascription. Trompenaars argues that some people believe the position embody the personal contributions, but not your organization. In other words, they measure the loyalty towards organization. The last but one is a Sequential versus Synchronic, mainly to reflect the concept of time of the different cultures. The last one is Internal versus External Orientation, which are to examine the different cultural attitudes on the external environment. There are two arguments, some think that people are controlled by environment, while the others insist human being Dominate the environment. These seven dimensions are well defined and being used to analyse how cultural differences in the museum. However, there is a need to introduce one management framework to help us figure out some implications from the cross-cultural analysis.
Therefore, we would also like to use SERVQUAL theory() to study customer perceptions of service quality in the museum. SERVQUAL is based on the theory of total quality management theory and puts forward in the service industry. The core of this new service quality evaluation system is the Service Quality Model or 5GAP model. Firstly, SERVQUAL divides service quality into five levels: physical Tangibles, Reliability, Responsiveness, Assurance, Empathy, including total 22 small questions. The method used to analyse is to measure the gap between customer perception and expectation. Whereby, the company need to fix up the other four gaps ,which are less understanding of the customer’s expectation, wrong service design and standards, failure to standards of service delivery, not match between service performance and service promise. While some reviews on the theory argue, it needs for appropriate modifications when applied in cross-cultural study (Smith & Reynolds, 2002), nevertheless, because of time and a limited extent to research, we will still stick to the original theory.
The first step of analysis will focus on the customer’s cultural differences. From the above, it suggests that the cultural differences still exist, as the transformation theory argues. However, following the Trompenaars?? model, we can examine these differences specifically.
Above all, the photograph incident indicates that the Western view on rules and regulations are different from the oriental. As usual, most Western tourists have not the habit of taking pictures in the museum. This is because of their awareness of the requirements in the museum in one hand, in the other hand, that they pay more attention to understand the exhibits, rather than simply to mark the travel. Of course, we cannot judge the person who take photos in the museum is fault, but it did tell us that how different values and norms conveyed by different persons. The Chinese tend to disregard the rules, although he knew. In the meantime, there are many other tourists spend some time looking through the maps and rules in the brochure. This is somehow referring to the first dimension that Trompenaars said whether to obey the rules.
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Easily, the query of the French visitor that I met in the Chinese gallery, make me feel uncomfortable. However, it can refer to the fifth dimension and reveal the distinction between west and east towards personal achievement and the environment. The French person, represent the West, prefer to success by his own effort, but not the god. We can say westerners are more pragmatic and rational. In other words, Chinese rely more on the external environment, while westerners desire to control the environment much more.
Followed by, the Japanese mother’s shyness is unlike the West, where the parents who can speak calmly of ideas, more open and proactive. This is about the personal liberty. The westerners used to and dare to express their ideas, because in their opinion, everyone is equal to the world, besides the game in the museum. Yet, the mother did not think by this way, she was worry about the others or maybe avoid some risks that disobey their norms. As cite in the model, the mother is more neutral than the American parent is.
Eventually, the Australian woman seems to care about the quality of her visit and hope herself has enough time to look around and explore more about the exhibits. Unfortunately, she did not make it. As she complained, she does not like the open form of display in the museum, especially the large museum. She even regards this as time consuming. We can suggest that she takes time serious and tend to not to do one thing at one time.
As indicated in the V&A Report on Cultural Diversity 2007() , the manager has insight the trend that more BAME(Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic) background audience visit the museum(, but there is little forces on impact on service quality by the cultural differences, even more there is no reports for 2008 and 2009.
Recommended by the SERVQUAL model, that can offer some implication on five fields. For one thing, the museum needs to make more effort on tangible aspect, to avoid the irregularities. For example, Rules need to be modifying in a clear and well delivering and more clear signs are demanded, too. This not only makes the visiting smoothly for visitors, but also protects the heritage in the museum. To accommodate the customers who are not emotional, there is better to employ some advisors or rules in the practice zone. In addition, it can use some systems, like booking system for this kind of customers to book in advanced or when entry. This will assure the customer right to enjoy the facilities in the museum. Many of tourist use no more than one day to look around in the museum, this is a pity for them. How to make up this perception difference of service quality is worth analysis. In China, museums prefer to make some valuable roots for visitors, this will save time and value for customers. This is related to the reliability of the service, because if the visitor can not well experience the service, or the exhibitions provided by museum, that means the museum has neglect its aim due to responsible for its own loss and profit.
To conclude, this is just a small observation in museum. The result turns out without enough supportive evidence is a disadvantage of this paper. Over all, it is beneficial to discuss about how a NPO, as well as the public sector to face the globalization, especially manage in the cross-cultural environment.
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