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Your assignments will be evaluated against the following criteria:
1. Application of models/theory (The sureness of your grasp of the conceptual frameworks/theories that have a bearing to the assignment and your ability to apply them to the assignment).

2. Clarity/consistency of your arguments (Are your arguments well supported and coherent? Is appropriate referencing used?).

3. Research (Have you shown evidence of substantial additional reading?). Less important for the case study, more important for the cultural metaphor project.

4. Your own contribution and creativity (e.g. selection of a challenging culture to visit, a very original choice of topic for your company project, use of relevant personal experience). Less important for the case study, more important for the cultural metaphor project.

5. Organisation of the assignment (Is the assignment well-structured, including an appropriate introduction/conclusion; does it have a clear and functional lay-out?).

6. Expression (How well you can communicate you knowledge/ideas in a brief written report. This includes, but is not limited, to spelling and grammar). 

The Initial Experience and Cultural Divide

My cross-cultural experience began when I first moved to South Africa for a business trip. The business trip was to last for a period of a month. At first, I had jitters travelling to a new country since I had little information about it let alone know people that I can trust and confide with during my stay. My home office in Australia had played a significant role in linking me with a family that lived in Durban where I was hosted for the period I was in South Africa. When I first arrived, I was surprised to see many black people than white since Australia has more whites than blacks. My host in South Africa was a white family living and working in South Africa since their parents had migrated to South Africa a long time ago.

The first days were normal since I was so busy attending to matters that had taken me to South Africa. During the first weekend, I happened to see an announcement on television about a football match between the local teams in Durban and being a football fan I decided to go and watch the match. The match was between Amazulu F.C and Durban City FC. Once I arrived, I noticed that there were many black people than there were white people. This was not surprising since I was in South Africa. However, I started to notice that the people looked at me with distaste which did not bother me at the time. There were barely a handful of people where I sat and those nearby communicated in a language that I could not understand while making funny gestures at me.

For some time, it did not bother me and I thought that it was because I was a stranger to them. So, I decided to introduce myself to the closest person in order to make a conversation. To my shock, the person refused to shake my hand and communicated to other fellows who started laughing at me. I felt embarrassed and pretended to pick a call before i left the stadium. On my way back is when it downed on me that all the neighbors of my host were actually white people and there was a strong barrier between the whites and blacks in South African and I was only a victim of circumstance which was later explained by my hosts.

The impact of Apartheid on Cultural Differences

The cross-cultural experience that I went through while attending a football match in South Africa is attributed to Apartheid era where South Africans were divided along racial grounds. Due to the political situation in South Africa, the black and whites were forced to live in segregated areas. As a result, the people in South Africa did things differently which influenced their behavior (Mkhize, 2015). It was until 1994 when the country gained its independence and a significant number of changes took place such as Africans being allowed to live wherever they want in South Africa. Before the freedom in 1994, few people took the opportunity to learn other people. This was encouraged by the fact that Africans lived in the rural areas while the whites lived in Suburban.

The Africans were the majority although the political system had made the whites wealthy and more powerful to have influence over the blacks. The Africans who lived during the Apartheid era were forced to learn the language of the white and as a result it encouraged the whites that they were more superior to the blacks. Based on the element of superiority, it gave rise to servant-master relationship where the blacks became servants to the whites. Further, the relationship encouraged the whites to demand respect from the blacks where the blacks were forced to call their masters “sir” while the masters referred to their servants as boys or girls irrespective of age (Sonn, Ivey, Baker & Meyer, 2017). In essence, the lack of knowledge or understanding about each other led to conflicting situations just like the experience I went through.

Perhaps if the people in the Stadium had known that I was not from South Africa, they would have treated me nicely and maybe we would have interacted even more after the football match. Besides, even today, most South Africans are known to avoid eye contact during a conversation with their white employers which often brings misunderstanding and sometimes the employers think that the employees have something to hide (Clark & Worger, 2016).

The people in the Stadium have never bothered to understand other peoples perspective especially the whites and the reason they feel that they have no obligation to the whites (Thomas & Peterson, 2017). Their gesture can be interpreted as an expression to mean they are no longer in bondage to the white and they can do whatever they want including mocking other people. Based on the reactions of the people I got involved with in the stadium, there perception was largely dependent on the circumstances that their parents or grandparents went through. There were blacks in the office I was stationed in South Africa whom we interacted without any conflicts and perhaps their interaction made them change their perception (Schwartz, 2017).

The Role of Cultural Intelligence in Cross-cultural Situations

Cultural intelligence is a concept that discusses the ability to create better relationships with people who tend to act and behave differently in a given setting. The concept is further classified under three dimensions that are centered on emotional aspect, reasoning and action. The emotional dimension aspect of cultural intelligence relates to emotions during a particular situation that helps to provide solutions (Cultural Intelligence (CI) - What is Cultural Intelligence (CI), as defined by Elisabeth Plum et al, 2018). This aspect is in duality which implies that the emotions can result to positive attributes as well as negative attributes. As a result, intercultural engagement involves motivation which often stems from external forces, goals and desires as well as internal forces such as curiosity or difference in people.

These factors play a significant role in determine how far one is likely to put up with a particular situation (Steers & Sánchez?Runde, 2017).  For instance, in my experience the emotional dimension as an intercultural engagement would have informed me to come up with a strategy that would make me help the people in the stadium to understand that I was from a different country and I could relate to them in a manner that showed respect and equality in order to improve the situation from getting out of hand. Further, the second aspect of cultural intelligence is the cognitive aspect that is centered on cultural understanding. This aspect primarily focuses in the rational component (User, 2018). It is a significant aspects as it requires reasoning in order to develop structures that will enable one to understand situations as well as ability to make judgment based on language. It focuses on understanding ones culture as well as other people’s culture.

More so, it requires a deeper understanding of cultural differences as well as characteristics which is significant in flexibility with which one is required to transfer ones experience to that of another individual. In regards to my situation, it was important for me to recognize that am white and I was traveling to an African country which would have been crucial for me to study the people of South Africans prior to my travelling (Tjosvold, 2017). With this knowledge I would have known how to handle the situation and prevent it altogether by not attending the football match to avoid such as situation from taking place.

The third aspect of cultural intelligence is action dimension which is focused in intercultural communication. This aspects relate to the activities that occur during a particular moment. It plays a significant role in informing us what we are supposed to do based on our analysis of situations as a result of emotional and cognitive abilities to collect information (Stahl, Miska, Lee & De Luque, 2017). This aspect is centered on what actions people take during a particular situation. Particularly, it consists of communication by listening, questioning, agreeing as well as other abilities that manage relationships such as language and etiquette. The aspect makes the other cultural intelligence aspects functional.

The Importance of Cultural Competence for Managing Diversity

Intercultural competence is another concept that discusses the ability of individuals to communicate and behave in appropriate manner that is different from other people. This is particularly significant for creating shared spaces, teams and institutions. Cultural competence is significant in various fields and contributes to improving relationships both at home and the society. Besides, understanding intercultural competence is significant in helping people to effectively manage diversity around them (Dumitru, Z. A. I. ?., Warter & Warter, 2014). Therefore, cultural competence is a good strategy to remove barriers of cross-cultural situations. This can be implemented in South Africa for purposes of bringing the blacks and the whites together through studies and performing various activities together.

There are several practical lessons that I have learned through this PAA. For instance, I have learned that there exist cross-cultural differences in the world and this contributes to people behaving different from others. Besides, I have also learned that it is important to acknowledge that people are indeed different as well as it is important that people take their time to learn others as well as themselves in order to create conducive environment to operate (Ang & Van Dyne, 2015). Moreover, I have learned the importance of facing issues rather than walking away from the issues which in most cases tend to encourage the problems as opposed to finding real solutions to the problems. Cultural intelligence is a crucial aspect of life in general and people should take consideration to learn their cultural backgrounds as well as those of others in order to coexist in harmony and reduce cross-cultural conflicts.

The first step for me to avoid such circumstances in future is to take it upon myself to study the different cultural aspects of Australian people as well as the people that I come across in order to get a deeper understanding on how to relate with other people without the element of conflict arising. The second step that I will take is study people close to me and try to address cross-cultural differences by communicating more with other people (Pudelko, Tenzer & Harzing, 2015). Further, I will not walk away from future cross-cultural conflicts but rather judge the situation or circumstances and apply the three steps of cultural intelligence with the intention of addressing the conflict. The third action step that I will take is try to reduce cross-cultural differences in my community through various programs that bring people together and encourage relationships. These activities will be organized based in common interests in the community to ensure maximum participation as a way of upholding cultural competence (Bird & Mendenhall, 2016).

As a result of writing this paper, I have learned several things about myself. For instance, I have learned that I have never been considerate about other people’s cultural background and I might have agitated conflicts in the past. I have also, learned that I am a social person as a result of trying to make a conversation with complete strangers. Besides, I am an outgoing based on the urge to go and watch football between teams that I knew so little about (Velo, 2012). I have also learned that I have control over myself because did not react in a bad way even though I was treated distasteful by other people. If I had no control at the time, I probably would have also overreacted and threw words at the people who were treating me badly. Besides, my actions steps suggest that I am a peace loving and caring person and would not wish for other people to go through the same situation as well as I have the need to influence the people around me positively through programs that encourage both cultural competence and cultural intelligence (Holden, 2002).

References

Ang, S., & Van Dyne, L. (2015). Conceptualization of cultural intelligence: Definition, distinctiveness, and nomological network. In Handbook of cultural intelligence (pp. 21-33). London. Routledge.

Bird, A., & Mendenhall, M. E. (2016). From cross-cultural management to global leadership: Evolution and adaptation. Journal of World Business, 51(1), 115-126.

Clark, N. L., & Worger, W. H. (2016). South Africa: The rise and fall of apartheid. London, Routledge.

Cultural Intelligence (CI) - What is Cultural Intelligence (CI), as defined by Elisabeth Plum et al. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.culturalintelligence.eu/theory.html

Dumitru, Z. A. I. ?., Warter, L., & Warter, I. (2014). Cross-cultural incentives for the FDI. Cross-Cultural Management Journal, 16(1), 209-221.

Holden, N. (2002). Cross-cultural management: A knowledge management perspective. Harlow: Financial Times/Prentice Hall.

Mkhize, M. C. (2015). Is South Africa's 20 years of democracy in crisis? Examining the impact of unrest incidents in local protests in the post-apartheid South Africa. African Security Review, 24(2), 190-206.

Pudelko, M., Tenzer, H., & Harzing, A. W. (2015). Cross-cultural management and language studies within international business research: past and present paradigms and suggestions for future research.

Schwartz, M. (2017). Academic apartheid and the poverty of theory: the impact of scholarly segregation on the development of sociology in the United States. The British journal of sociology, 68(1), 49-66.

Sonn, C. C., Ivey, G., Baker, A., & Meyer, K. (2017). Post-Apartheid South African immigrants in Australia: Negotiating displacement, identity, and belonging. Qualitative Psychology, 4(1), 41.

Stahl, G. K., Miska, C., Lee, H. J., & De Luque, M. S. (2017). The upside of cultural differences: Towards a more balanced treatment of culture in cross-cultural management research. Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, 24(1), 2-12.

Steers, R. M., & Sánchez?Runde, C. J. (2017). Culture, motivation, and work behavior. The Blackwell Handbook of Cross?Cultural Management, 190-216.

Thomas, D. C., & Peterson, M. F. (2017). Cross-cultural management: Essential concepts. Sage Publications.

Tjosvold, D. (2017). Cross-cultural management: foundations and future. London. Routledge.

User, S. (2018). Intercultural Competence?. Retrieved from https://www.culturaldetective.com/why/intercultural-competence.html

Velo, V. (2012). Cross-Cultural Management. New York: Business Expert Press.

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