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The purpose of this assignment is to give you a broad overview on the main issues involved in assessing your cultural perspective and those of others in a working environment. This assignment will also help you to reflect on your own cultural behaviour and to understand issues involved in organisational culture and interorganisational cross-cultural interactions in a real-time situation by applying your knowledge to a real business situation. Draw on the textbook for background and theory; however, you are expected to draw on academic literature and list them as academic references at the end of your Assignment. This assignment is based on building a reflective journal. There are examples of reflective journals that we can use in everyday life to reflect on our health and fitness or our learning in a class. 

Step one: Reflect on specific activities as conducted over Weeks 5-8 (list attached to Task 2). 


Step two: Work through the answers and notes that you have prepared in the tutorials and online activities. The activities were based on cases or it provided the opportunity to gather evidence to reflect on. 

1. Reflect on Trompenaar's "Onion model" or the seven dimensions of culture. Apply this model to your own culture.

2. Briefly discuss how statistics and other data on population demographics, such as the ABS Population clock, CIA World Fact book and others, assist International managers in their decision-making? How can this inform your thinking.

3. Describe Cultural intelligence according to theory. Reflect on your own cultural intelligence.

4. List 6 corporate values of Wesfarmers as mentioned by the Chairman in the video. Share your thoughts about this in a brief overview.

5. One element of transformational leadership is charisma. Research shows that it is a universal attribute of good leadership. However, certain facets of charisma are valued differently in different countries. Which aspects of the leadership prevail in your country, especially in domestic companies. 

A reflective journal is a personal account of an educational experience that offers a variety of benefits, from enhancing your writing skills and helping you retain information to allowing you to express your thoughts on new ideas and theories. Source: https://penzu.com/how-to-write-a-reflective-journal 

The Layers and Dimensions of Culture

Culture is like an onion. It has a multitude of layers. On the outside, one finds the expressions, the products of culture. For example, it is the architecture that a person builds, the food one eats, the language one speaks and the way one behaves. The next layer of culture is the layer of a multitude of norms and values. Norms can be defined as what we should do and values are something we like to do. Basic assumptions can be defined as values that have become various norms. Basic assumptions are structured in three different areas, i.e. the way one behaves with human beings, what one calls them as human relationships. On the one hand, we have universalism versus particularistic culture. Universalistic culture focus on rules and regulations and do not value exceptions. They have standards and love to standardize things. Particularistic culture on the other hand likes the exceptional case and goes around the rules. Those cultures are more flexible in nature.

The second dimension of culture, is the relationship we share with the group which can be defined as individualism versus collectivism. In individualistic cultures, one goes for autonomy and creativity while in collectivism culture it is all about team spirit and taking care of one’s group. The third dimension of culture is the way we express our emotions, thereby reflecting whether one is more neutral or affective? Neutral culture do not acknowledge and exhibit their emotions while affective culture exhibits their emotions. (Harrell, 2016). The fourth dimension of culture is specific versus diffused. In a specific culture, people relate to each other on very specific topics. In a diffused culture, once a person is in, one shares everything. The fifth dimension of culture is what gives a person status. Status can be achieved through achievements which is called the achievement oriented status and on the other hand we have ascribed culture where status comes from who you are as a person. The last two layers of culture relate with time and nature. Time has a lot of aspects. Short term versus long term cultures, and finally how does one organize time. How does one relate to Mother Nature? If one prefers to control nature, we call that internally controlled culture, or if nature is controlling a person, we call it externally controlled culture. We need to reconcile the differences when it comes to cultures coming together. When it comes to Nepalese culture, the food one eats is Nepalese cuisine which has a heavy Tibetan influence, and the language that one speaks is Nepalese.  The norms and values of Nepal is universal. Nepalese culture is collectivism culture. Nepalese culture is affective culture wherein people exhibits their emotions. Nepalese culture is achievement oriented. Nepalese culture is also externally controlled culture wherein nature controls them.

The Importance of Statistics in Decision-Making for International Business

Statistics and other data on population demographics, such as the ABS Population clock, CIA World Fact book and others, assist international managers in decision making. For international business wanting to expand its operations internationally, the statistics are a boon for one’s company because in Australia there is an overall total population increase of one person in every one minute so there is a strong customer base for managers to tap into. Also, the population of Australia consists of a diverse culture so there is a lot of opportunities for growth and development. It has had an effect on my thoughts because I have realized how culturally diverse Australia is and discovered the potential for growth and development.

Cultural intelligence can be defined as the ability to relate to different cultures and to be able to work successfully across cultures. The term ‘Cultural Intelligence’ was originally developed by Soon Ang and Linn Van Dyne  in their book entitled, ‘Leading with Cultural Intelligence’ as a way of measuring intercultural performance (Harrell, 2016). According to the authors, cultural intelligence is defined as a person’s ability to adapt to people from other cultures. Cultural intelligence or CQ is measured on a scale like emotional quotient. Those with higher cultural intelligence are able to blend into any cultural environment than those with lower cultural intelligence or CQ. Cultural intelligence constantly predicts performance in various multicultural settings. There are four CQ abilities. They are motivation (CQ Drive), cognition (CQ Knowledge), Meta- cognition (CQ Strategy) and behaviour (CQ Action)  (Harrell, 2016).  I have a strong cultural intelligence. I tend to make friends easily and I can work very well with people from different cultures. I can also adapt to various cultures and work in culturally different environments with people of all nationalities.

The six corporate values of Wesfarmers include the fact that they expect people to work in an ethical and in an honest manner. Employees are encouraged to be open and transparent in their dealings with everybody. Secondly, they expect employees to follow all the rules and regulations. Thirdly they focus on their customers and the needs and wants of the customers and tries to fulfill them. They are also respectful towards their suppliers and treat them with the utmost respect. Fourthly, they ensure that their employees are well taken care of and that they have a safe and a fulfilling environment to work from. Fifthly, everybody at Wesfarmer operate with environmental responsibility. And finally, Wesfarmers expects all their businesses to be able to make a difference to the society in which they live. One should always be honest and work in an honest and ethical manner. One should also be disciplined and conform and follow the rules and regulations of an organization. One should always focus on the customers and the needs and wants of customers. One should be respectful towards everybody, including suppliers. One should take proper care of one’s employees and help them in their growth and development. One should also ensure that employees have access to the best facilities. One should be responsible towards their environment and ensure that their business does not harm the environment, does not have a detrimental effect on the environment in any way. Lastly, it is imperative that all businesses make a significant contribution to society.

The Concept of Cultural Intelligence

There are various aspects of leadership. The leadership qualities that prevail in my country, i.e. Nepal, especially in domestic companies are Confidence. Most leaders exude confidence, which attract people to them. Charismatic leaders are also very optimistic in nature. They always look at the positive side of things, even during negative times. Being positive in a negative situation is not being naive, it is a mark of a true leader exhibiting leadership qualities. One needs to have self- confidence in order to be a great leader. Charismatic leaders are also very creative. When a problem arises, a true charismatic leader looks at the problem as an opportunity. In business, this kind of creativity can lead to a change which can motivate others. All great leaders have a vision and works hard towards achieving it. Determination is yet another quality of a true leader and they are determined to achieve their vision and goals, for the success of the company. When leaders talk they speak with a lot of confidence and charisma. They make eye contact which is also very necessary to hold the attention of the audience and make them feel that they are talking to them.

Conclusion:

Good leaders make people feel that they are a part of everything positive and are not on the periphery. Everyone likes to believe that they make a difference to an organization and play a role in its success. When people are made to feel that their work has made a difference, they feel motivated and strive to work even better thereby leading to the growth and success of an organization.

References:

Babatunde, Y., & Low, S. P. (2016). Cross-Cultural Management and Quality Performance. SPRINGER Verlag, SINGAPOR.

Calvin, J. R., Beale, R. L., & Moore, K. (2017). ACCULTURATION AND ALLIED CONTRIBUTING FACTORS THAT FURTHER ADVANCE CROSS-CULTURAL MANAGEMENT LEARNING AND EDUCATION: A CONCEPTUAL APPROACH. Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications & Conflict, 21(2).

Chen, A. S. Y., Wu, I. H., & Bian, M. D. (2014). The moderating effects of active and agreeable conflict management styles on cultural intelligence and cross-cultural adjustment. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 14(3), 270-288.

Gelfand, M. J., Aycan, Z., Erez, M., & Leung, K. (2017). Cross-cultural industrial organizational psychology and organizational behavior: A hundred-year journey. Journal of Applied Psychology, 102(3), 514.

Harrell, L. (2016). A Critical Review on the different Perspectives of Cross-Cultural Management. Splint International Journal of Professionals, 3(4), 39.

Jiang, X., Flores, H. R., Leelawong, R., & Manz, C. C. (2016). The effect of team empowerment on team performance: A cross-cultural perspective on the mediating roles of knowledge sharing and intra-group conflict. International Journal of Conflict Management, 27(1), 62-87.

Mach, M., & Baruch, Y. (2015). Team performance in cross cultural project teams: The moderated mediation role of consensus, heterogeneity, faultlines and trust. Cross Cultural Management, 22(3), 464-486.

McLeary, C. N., & Cruise, P. A. (2015). A context-specific model of organizational trust: An examination of cognitive and socio-affective trust determinants in unique cultural settings. Cross Cultural Management, 22(2), 297-320.

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.

Romani, L., & Claes, M. T. (2014). Why critical intercultural communication studies are to be taken seriously in cross-cultural management research?.

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