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Culture Shock and the Australian Culture

The reaction to the culture shock of the foreign partners would be one of the most significant barriers to adaptation. Culture shock can be defined as the perceived uncertainty resulting from exposure to unfamiliar culture and environment (Furnham, 2019, p.1846). In this case, one of the significant cultural shocks will be related to the high degree of Indulgence in the Australian culture (Hofsted, 2022). Indulgence, in this context, is related to an optimistic outlook and following instincts to enjoy a high quality of life. This aspect can be a challenge for the foreign partners who belong from conservative national cultures. In this case, the challenge would be to adapt with the lifestyles in Australia. The strategic solution, in this context, would be to include the members of the foreign cultures in informal gatherings that allow them to get familiarised with the culture of the home country.

Trompenaar’s Theoretical Framework defines cultures based on a set of contradicting dimensions. One of the prominent sets of contradictions is between Universalism and Particularism (Pirlog, 2021, p.453). A culture based on universalism generally assumes that a set of principles and protocols should be sustained as constant aspects in any situation. On the other hand, a culture that relies on particularism posits that rules, regulations and protocols are contingent on situations and context (Trompenaars, 2018, p.6). The Australian culture essentially relies on the fundamental concept of universalism. Some of the foreign cultures, on the other hand, relies on particularism. This difference may affect the perceptions regarding compensation and rewards. For instance, a section of the internal Chinese labour market associates rewards eligibility with seniority(Jiang & Wang, 2022, p.5). Another section of the labour market is based on competency-based compensation. Therefore the Chinese culture is exposed to both forms of rewards. The inclination toward particularism can play a mediating role in this context. The foreign partners may perceive that the reward culture in the Australian work environment may offer higher compensation based on the seniority of some of the Chinese counterparts. However, the organisational culture would predominantly rely on a competence-based reward culture.

The role of the management can be assessed in this context. The management should ideally highlight the benefits associated with the competence-based reward policy. The overall satisfaction among the existing employees will be highlighted. One of the significant strategies would be to correlate the culture of competence-based reward and the potential efficiency and knowledge development of the team members (Ganie & Saleem, 2018, p.21). Moreover, the foreign partners would be familiarised with the differences between the comparative advantage of competence-based and seniority-based rewards. Competence-based rewards would motivate and complement the long-term knowledge base, learning, and development among the team members (Škrinjari?, 2022, p.5). The motivation of sustainable growth and development would ideally help the foreign partners to adapt to the prevalent reward culture in the home country

The foreign partners might be characterised by a high degree of long-term orientation. Long-term orientation may force the foreign partners to sustain their traditional customs related to work, communication, and inter-team dynamics, among other aspects (Dou, Su & Wang, 2019, p.2). Some of these aspects might not be compatible with the culture and work environment of the home country. The trend may create barriers to the expansion plans. The management, in this context, would create a focused attempt to highlight the benefits of the cultural norms of the home country. Moreover, the management would create sources of motivation to adapt to the new cultural norms. The sources of motivation would include both tangible and intangible rewards.

Universalism versus Particularism and Reward Culture

Acculturation can be considered a process of gradual adaptation to an alien culture (Gamsakhurdia, 2018, p.546). Evidence suggests that the process can be implemented based on four fundamental dimensions. Integration refers to the process of retaining the core cultural values and simultaneously absorbing the aspects of the new culture. Seperation, on the other hand, refers to the distinct perceptions regarding the original and new cultures. Assimilation, on the other hand, refers to the simultaneous absorption of the new culture and withdrawal from the original cultural values (Vacca, et al. 2018, p.2). The strategic aim of the management would be to create an infrastructure that enables the processes of integration and separation among the foreign partners. The rationale for these strategies can be referred to, in this context. One of the core objectives of the collaboration with the foreign partners is to introduce fresh perspectives and insights in the business expansion process. The fresh perspectives of the foreign partners, in this context, originate from the values of the home culture. Therefore, the management of the organization would encourage the foreign partners to retain the core aspects of their original cultural norms. The infrastructure would allow gradual assimilation with the Australian culture. The strategic objective would be to create an environment that allows the foreign partners to exchange distinct cultural values and norms during interactions with the representatives of the home country. This process would be accommodated as part of the formal and informal interactions between the representatives of the two countries. The strategic objective would be focus on exploring common points and overlaps between the two cultures through interactions.

Deculturation is one of the potential pitfalls of the efforts to adapt to a new culture. The process results from inadequate adaptation to the new culture. The most critical consequence, in this context, could be uncertainty among the foreign partners (Fanari et al. 2022, p.4). The foreign partners may attempt to imbibe the values of the host culture. However, inadequate knowledge and the lack of guidance can result in superficial replication of the cultural norms of hosts. The foreign partners might simultaneously lose their original cultural identities. The management would implement specific training, learning and development infrastructure to guide the foreign partners, in this context. One of the primary strategic tools, in this context, would be to implement coordinated attribute training. Attribute training refers to the process of familiarizing the foreign partners with the differences between their original culture and the home culture (Ratasuk & Charoensukmongkol, 2020, p.4). The training would be accommodated as part of the introductory phase of the foreign partners. The management would collaborate with agents who have specific expertise in providing cross-cultural training. The primary objective of the training would be to highlight on the differences between the host and the home cultural values. However, the attribute training would also focus on the overlaps between the two cultures. The foreign partners would be made aware of the common points that can create a bridge between the two apparently distinct cultures. Overall, the strategic objective would be to prevent decultaration by providing a holistic idea about the host culture.

Long-term Orientation

Some of the prominent global cultures is typically low-context in nature (Bröhl, et al. 2019, p.710). This trend implies that the culture does not prioritise explicit communication. Non-verbal and implicit messages are considered among the key communication modes. The Australian culture, on the other hand, is high-context. The culture relies on explicit and articulate communication. The foreign partners would be gradually allowed to get familiarised with the communication pattern of the home country. The management representatives should acknowledge and respect the cultural differences with the foreign partner in this context.

The cultural awareness plan would gradually encourage the foreign partners to share their opinions, insights and feedback clearly during meetings. The collaborative platform would facilitate participation. The foreign partners would be requested to provide explicit feedback regarding the opinions of the management representatives of the home country. The culture of feedback exchange would create a synergy of communication patterns in the long run.

The foreign partners would be conveyed some of the critical differences that could potentially create barriers to effective collaboration. One of the differences is that the Australian culture is significantly more individualistic (Zhao,et al, 2019, p.259). This difference may create differences in working styles among the representatives of the two cultures. The home country representatives would convey the benefits of self-leadership to the foreign partners. Specifically, the foreign partners would be made aware of the benefits of the Laissez-Faire working style. One of the significant benefits, in this context, would be the overall autonomy of the team members (Trépanier, Boudrias & Peterson, 2019, p.806). The foreign partners would be gradually introduced to a hybrid work culture that balances self-reliance and collaborative working styles. The management would introduce the foreign partners with resources and training that would shape the skills related to autonomy and self-management. The strategy would motivate the foreign partners to understand the rationale of implementing an individualistic work practice and culture.

The foreign partners might represent a high degree of power distance compared to Australian culture (Dolan, et al. 2019, p.3). Power distance indicates the degree of formal acceptance of authority among the followers. The low level of perceived power distance in the Australian culture implies that the dynamic between the leader and the follower would be comparatively less formal. The desired work culture can be assessed in this context. A clan-based work culture would ideally complement the overall collaboration (Reader, et al. 2020, p.21). Ideally, clan-based work culture needs to be supported by a positive leader-member exchange. The quality of leader-member exchange determines the overall consistency of output of the team members (Andersen, Buch & Kuvaas, 2020, p.3). The foreign partners should ideally be introduced with the informal dynamic among leaders and members. However, the significant difference between the work cultures ingrained in the two countries would result in culture shock. The management should ideally implement focused and specific strategies to help the foreign partners adapt and emerge from the culture shock.

The foreign partners would be introduced to a cross-hierarchical work culture that promotes enhanced collaboration and coordination among the team members (Hieker & Rushby, 2020, p.199). The supportive work culture would gradually help the team members to develop technical and leadership skills. Moreover, the management and the human resources team would introduce intrinsic, tangible rewards sources. The strategic objective would be to accelerate the adoption of the informal and collaborative work culture. For instance, the team members would be rewarded by the higher management for innovative ideas devised through lateral thinking capabilities (Kornelakis, 2018, p.3). The foreign partners can approach any preferred layer of the leadership team to share their inputs. Ideally, this work culture would help adapt to a low degree of power distance among the team members. The scope of self-leadership would gradually reduce the dependence on intervention by higher management in the long run.

Acculturation

Evidence-based research suggests that the some of the Asian cultures are communitarian by nature (Liu & Zhao, 2021, p.744). This aspect implies that the representatives of the communitarian cultures would generally be inclined toward developing a strong interpersonal bond with individuals who share the same values and norms. This aspect can create a barrier to collaboration among the representatives of the home country and the foreign partners. The foreign partners would prefer to create bonds with the team members who belong to the same culture. The challenges associated with this trend can be referred to in this context. One of the most significant challenges is the scope of collaboration among the team members would get minimised. The management should ideally focus on tailor-made strategies to address this potential issue.

The primary strategic objective would be to create diverse teams that facilitate collaboration among foreign partners and the home country. The work culture of the organisation would prioritise inclusion and diversity. However, the management would create a robust platform for accelerating the scope of inclusion and diversity. One of the primary strategic tools in this context would be focused on cross-cultural training for both the foreign partners and the home country representatives. The cross-cultural training for the home country representatives would focus on the specific customs and cultural norms of the foreign representatives (Alexandra, 2018, p.64). The specific aspects of the training infrastructure would focus on the etiquette, decorum and expectations among the foreign culture representatives during negotiations and meetings. Moreover, the significant cultural events and practices of the foreign culture should be highlighted.

The cross-cultural training of the foreign partners would essentially highlight the overlaps between the two cultures. Moreover, the management would focus on implementing informal meetings and events to foster bonding and communication among the team members. The strategic aim would create a diverse team that accommodates members from both countries. The focused training, along with the opportunity for informal communication, would ideally help the foreign partners to moderate the inclination toward communitarianism.

Overall, the management would implement a gradual process to help the foreign partners understand the positive aspects of the home culture. The inertia related to the inclination toward long-term orientation would be addressed through focused strategies. Moreover, the management would acknowledge the fundamental differences between the two cultures. The strategies would accommodate the differences and create platforms for adjustment for both the concerned parties in this context. The intervention of the leadership team would also be a critical aspect of the strategies.

Overall, it can be concluded that the long-term orientation, indulgence and universalism are the significant challenges. The business plan will include introducing the foreign partners to the nature of communication, leadership, and work culture in the home country. The high and low context communications of the cultures will be considered.  Moreover, the prevalent cultural norm of communitarianism would be among the potential barriers. The overall research has helped to identify long-term strategies that would gradually help the foreign partners adapt to the work environment and the cultural norms of Australia. The organisation can leverage the resources to create a strong rationale for adopting the new cultures. The rationale would include motivational factors such as higher efficiency, growth and competency. Overall, the infrastructure and resources of the oragnisation would allow the management to invest in the planned collaboration.

Deculturation

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