Culture forms the fundaments of how one behaves; reacts or interacts with other individuals or institutions. Culture may depend on the religion or on the geographical location a person belongs to. Culture is the manifestation of ideas, thoughts, art, literature and mannerism of an individual. Cross cultural management in an organization plays a vital role in the management of the resources and the work force available at the disposal of the company. It can be defined as the study of the management of the staff and the work force in a cultural framework. It analyses and reviews the impact of societal culture on the management of a business organization and on the individuals working for the organization. A person’s behavior, mannerism, values, cognitive structures, and reactions are all a reflection of the cultural background they belong to (Ang and Van Dyne 2015).
Global ethics can be defined as an ethical point of view according to which there are important a several ethical relations between the society and between individual, institution or government living or participating in creating a society. Ethics, principles and values serve as the backbone of any organization. There are some pre conceived notions of guideline that a company should follow in order to operate in a culture or a society. Developing ethics based on culture is one of the areas of development for the cross-cultural management. One of the biggest contributors to the global ethics component is the human resource. For example: Amazon is an American multinational company that has several offices all over the world. Formal wear in America means shirt and tailored pants or skirt for a women, but in India saree is regarded as a formal wear and hence it is important for the company to understand the fact respect it and allow it in the organization. And Amazon India does allow female employees to wear saree as a formal outfit. Ethics is more than setting benchmarks for doing what is right it also has to do with what is the smart thinking(Mach and Baruch 2015). Culture is important and vital part of the life of most human beings and hence it is important for corporate to respect that. It is helps the company garner goodwill from the employee and the industry as well. Culture plays a great role during setting up of holidays in an organization. The company should allow holiday or give an opportunity to celebrate various kinds of festivals owning to the cultural diversity of the workforce. Festivals are associated with emotional value of an individual and that has to be honored by a company. To gather goodwill from the industry as well as the employee’s, ethics will be given priorities in the organization that I will set up keep in mind not to disrespect anyone’s sentiments and cultural practices.
It is the duty of the management of the company to bring together people from diverse background and guide them to follow the same path to achieve a same goal. It is significant and very important for the day to day operation of the business that the employees have a meaningful relation among one another. It is way more important for a group to work together and efficiently than a solo high performing individual (Jiang et al. 2016). If seen form a philosophical point of view, gathering individuals together who belong form a completely different background, to ideate and put an effort toward the same goal is what makes humans grow as a collective race. Communication is the key to team work and team building exercises motivational lectures and inspiration is very important in this case. In my business venture I would always like people to work as a team because only then will a startup be a success. A practice of tolerance and a broad mind is very important I feel for the growth of a business organization.
Communication is the key to any business organization’s way of operation. The universally accepted language of business is English but there is a very scarce population of people in the world who is able to read or write in English fluently. There are thousands of ethnicities around the world and thousand as of language that people speak. Hence it seems unfair to deal in just one language. Depending on the nature of the business and the industry the organization is operating in communication has to in accordance to that. For example: a company which has to deal with a lot of middlemen, the mangers should know when to use what language with the person he or she is interacting with (Sucher and Cheung 2015). Suppose an American company is operating in Spain and has to deal with a vendor who understands only Spanish. There has to be a flexibility in the nature of how the organization operates, may be the official work is in English but a vernacular can be used for regular communication based on a person’s mother tongue. Most people and experienced scholars believe that vernacular language is going to take over English in the long run as it facilitates business and makes the operation process much smoother and effective. I will keep English as the language of official communication but will always encourage vernacular language usage to communicate with the resources and the management as well. It creates a sense of belonging and for many it also creates confidence (Rode, Huang, and Flynn 2016). There are a lot of skilled and trained people who cannot communicate in English especially spoken English, but the value of an employee should not reduce on the virtue of how he or she cannot speak in a certain language. Many argue to this fact saying that if one is in a field of operation he or she should be prepared for the prerequisites of the industry which includes English language. But language has nothing to do with efficiency rather if language is imposed on a person he or she tends to lose efficiency and perform poorly (Eisenberg et al. 2013).
The culture of an individual depends largely on the geographical location of the person. For example: the formal attire of America is different from that of India or China. First colonization opened the doors to international waters and people for the first time experienced the taste of other cultures. Then came the globalization of business, every company wants to set a footprint on the globe by expanding and growing (Crane and Matten 2016). Due to globalization and advancement of technology and resources available at the disposal of business organizations, multinational companies have sprung up (Mor et al. 2013). Multinational companies started setting up operational sites in various countries. This is where the importance of cross cultural management has garnered importance. Business ethics are essentially the right things to do while running a business. There are a globally predetermined guidelines and rules that are essential for the development of. Cultures differ from time to time in between countries and geographic location (Mor, Morris and Joh 2013). Culture also depends upon groups and organizations an individual belongs. Hence the culture followed by an organization is highly likely to be different from the place of operation in other nation states. First and foremost it is very essential for an organization to respect and honor the cultural and ethnic background of every employee and customers of the business. For example: scheduling of holidays, celebrating festivals, giving incentives and bonus during the time of need is important for an employee. Etiquette and mannerisms are an important aspect of an individual which is highly influenced by culture. In the professional world there are a number of ways to communicate and these methods are different form one culture to another. Difference in mannerism and etiquettes bring out a difference in attitude. This is very crucial while taking into consideration some aspects of a workplace disagreement, guidelines and regulations, calculated working hours etc. For example: A sign of commitment and achievement is working late and long hours in the workplace, while for others working long hours in the office can portray a lack of ability and efficiency or the de-prioritization of essential family or personal time. Another example of business ethic’s difference in cultural context is the difference between an American or English background person may consider a kiss on the cheeks as a sign of approval, but in Asian countries it is considered to be disrespectful, people from India join their hand together and bow their heads to show a sign of approval and humbleness, while people from Japan bow to regard the other person (Matsumoto and Hwang 2013).
Punctuality is another concept which has different meanings in different cultures. Various ideas of what means to be on time can often lead to misinterpretation or pessimistic cultural point of view. For example, in the Korean culture it is always considered as a positive sign and a sign of respect to be on time and always ready. While, it is considered to be a bad ritual to be on time for a person who is from Italy or Mexico to be on time. All of this owing to the cultural believes and guidelines a person has been following throughout life (Stahl and Tung 2015).
CSR or corporate social responsibility is the duties that an organization has towards the society and the environment. In the present circumstances, the new and improved model of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) goes beyond donations and drives the focus of the company to act further ahead of the set requirement and to integrate the social, environmental and ethical concerns of the country into company’s business process. Like every other individual enjoys legal rights and performs legal duties towards the nation state, similarly an organization also has to serve some duties and take up some responsibility in the name of society. If seen from a broad perspective cultures can be divided in to two segments eastern culture and western culture. The Cultural background of an individual or a place reflects the values and moral attitude and viewpoint that set standards for the way people should behave and interact with others. Culture matters. In every aspect of our life and there is no doubt about it. Culture is considered as one of the most important aspect of corporate social responsibility. For example, sustainability is a part of CSR, for a large nation state when there is a huge part of resource and land available will consider sustainability lesser than that of small countries where natural resource is a pressing issue like Japan (Boulouta and Pitelis 2014).
A multinational company if wants to carry a CSR activity in some other country than in the host nation should consider the cultural aspect of that particular place. Concentration of the CSR policies and forms of CSR in different countries will be different. Societal problems might be the pressing issues of one country, while environmental aid is the need of the hour of other. CSR activities and policies of the company are based on the individual ethics of the management and the owner of the company. These ethics in an individual is again backed up by the cultural background that the person belongs from. This again manifests into organizational culture and work environment of the organization. Example: CSR policies to promote and elevate the conditions of a dying culture by pooling in resource to revive the art and literature of an ethnic background. The nation state a company belongs to have a culture of its own and owing to that the company has to understand the areas where the society needs help and push form the corporate. The new concept of business that companies are following is the triple bottom line, the three Ps which is people, profit and planet. Because people are one of the pillars of a business institution culture also becomes equally important (Groves, Feyerherm and Gu 2015).
A manager is a person who is the leader of a team and drives the team of a diverse population towards a single goal. As a manger he or she has several responsibilities and one among them is to build a team and be impartial towards the members of the team on any basis. Globalization has caused going beyond the geographical boundaries of a companies, which has in turn manifested in multicultural organizations. In multicultural organizations employees from various nation states come together to work towards a single goal. But it is a difficult task to manage a multi cultural organization in a smooth way without hurting the sentiments of the employees or the consumers of the business (Lenartowicz, Johnson and Konopaske 2014). There are several advantages of diverse cultural workforce in a company; firstly is the improved self-confidence and rising spirits among the workforce. It is important for the management to validate a person and regard his or her efforts keeping aside the cultural difference this in turn behaves like a boost and. This pronouncement of ethics and moral values uplifts the confidence of an individual and is also responsible for the positivity that surrounds the work environment. Cross cultural workforce also allows an individual along with the management to have a broader outlook and teaches positivity along with deeper ideas in every aspect of business dealings. When a group of people from different cultural backgrounds and life experiences come together they share their own perspective to the same topic which in turn helps the company innovate and generate creativity. The increase in the quantity of perspectives and ideas, the quality of the final conclusion or verdict is typically improved. Multinational companies are always on a hunt of expansion and exploration of the business market in the international level, in such cases a diverse workforce is going to serve a better insight about the location of expansion along with the countries or the regions government policies and prospects (Gelfand et al. 2017). The capability of an organization to interact and communicate efficiently with world’s business market aids to establish strong relationships with partners and suppliers of the business. It is important for an organization to think in a diverse manner in order to understand the requirements of the end consumers as well as the compliance and grievances of the workforce. If a company wants to go global it has to accept that there is a plethora of culture which has to be considered and can also aid to the governance of the business. A company essentially requires resources that can understand and speak the language of the customers' and comprehend to their requirements (Nie et al. 2015).
Managers in a business institution have to set standards for operation in order to handle critical and sensitive issues like culture in the workforce. Team work is crucial in the day to day operating system of an organization in order to ensure healthy team work and attain on single goal coordination becomes significant. Sometimes there are problems among the people belonging form different countries of cultural background, in such cases the managers are expected to work tactfully and try to build harmony among the people by arranging workshops and motivational lectures on cross cultural importance and harmony in the global context (De Jong, Dirks and Gillespie 2016). The blending of resources from varied ethnic and cultural background is one of the biggest challenges that a company faces while expanding in a foreign territory. Multiculturalism is defined as the process by which people from one or more cultural backgrounds come together to work towards the same goal. The leadership styles, communication process and various other practices need a little adjustment for the employees who are new to the cultural or the country. Cross cultural management seeks to understand how cultures affect management process of a company thereby implementing strategies to benefit from the culture (Farndale et al. 2015). One of the main challenges of a cross cultural management is the narrow minded outlook of many employees towards other cultural believes and faith. Employees who are new recruited to a new country interact and behave in ways which may not be in sync with the cultural background of the company and the work environment. Some of them may fail to understand key disparities in between their own and other cultures (Trueba, Jacobs and Kirton 2014). It is expected by both the old and the new employees to understand the state of others and adapt one, the managers can help in the understanding process by conducting session on organizational behavior and etiquettes. In some cases there will be people who basically just think about the interest of his or her own. One of the solutions to this problem is to assign tasks to people with similar mindset so that they can understand each other and find a solution to the work process. When a team is being built and the mangers choose the employees it should be kept in mind to have a diverse compilation of people in order to get a better insight about anything. For example: some companies before transferring their employees to a different nation gives them prior training about the basics of the language of the country. This gives the employee an upper to the individual while communicating with peers and managers who are in that country and would like to communicate in that language (Riemer et al. 2014). At times there are financial grievances on the behalf of the people who have been transferred to a new place as coping with the new society can be expensive in order to compensate that companies can issue bonus and incentive structure for the employee. This will keep the employee motivated and also bring about an urge in them to perform better even in foreign locations and circumstances.
Managers are advised to avoid any biased feeling towards any resource on the basis of cultural difference. There are several option for the managers to help in the development of skills among the employees, including videotape courses, cross-cultural consultants along with events organized by governments, universities, and training institutes. For a manager it is not possible to understand and to know about every basics of every culture but efforts of knowing some important aspects of the cultural background of the people who are in his or her team can prove to be useful in the management of the team (Moran, R.T., Abramson, N.R. and Moran, S.V., 2014).
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