5 Key Concepts Underlying Structures of Cultures

Define at least 5 key concepts underlying structures of cultures. Answer: Speed of messages: It is the matter of how long a message can be understood or how long does it take to understand a person. Messages interactions can be in different speeds depending upon culture. Context: The concept is different in different cultures, so a balance is necessary for interacting within each culture. It’s the matter of how much relevant information is in the message, and already understood by both sides.
So we have context situations, like a message which contain lots of meaning without much information content in one hand, and low context like a message which may not contain all relevant information. Space: The space is different in different cultures. It’s the matter of what is I? For example, in office, some people have invisible boundaries in one meter. Actually people have a visible physical boundary and series of invisible boundaries Time: What is the opinion of time is very culturally dependent. There are many kinds of time systems in the world, but two are most important to international business.
How many things are done at once? One thing: monochromatic; many: polychromatic. To Asian, several things can be done at once, but it is very difficult to American or European. For example, American and European will think about the schedule is very important, they care about when, how and where. But Asian will think about goal is the most important and they will do some adjust and increase of efficiency. Information flow The mean is Path data takes from its original setting to its end users. In Low-context countries, such as USA, Canada, Israel, German-speaking countries and Scandinavia, information spreads slowly and bocused.

But the Higher Context Cultures: China, Arab countries, Italy, Greece, Japan, Spain, Korea, India, Brazil and Russia information will spread rapidly. So the information flow is different in different cultures. 2. Define the 4 types of global organizations. Answer: a. Ethnocentric corporations: the corporations are home-country-oriented. Ethnocentric managers believe that home-country nationals are more intelligent, reliable, and trustworthy than foreign nationals. b. Polycentric corporations: the polycentric firm establishes multinational operations on condition that host-country managers “do it their way”.
Host-country nationals have high or absolute sovereignty over the subsidiary’s operations. The polycentric firm is a loosely connected group with quasi-independent subsidiaries as profit centers. c. Regiocentric corporations: these corporations capitalize on the synergistic benefits of sharing common functions across regions. A regiocentric corporation believes that only regional insiders can effectively co-ordinate functions within the region. d. Geocentric corporations: the geocentric system is highly interdependent. Subsidiaries are no longer satellites and independent city-states. he entire organization is focused on both worldwide and local objectives. 3. Discuss the Yin and Yang of managing in Asia – 200 words or more. Answer: American management styles, almost universally, presuppose the importance of the individual. We value empowerment, proactive decision making, and ownership of the task. This style of management reflects our Western tradition of the power of rational control and the inherent equality of all people. Asian management styles typically subordinate the role of the individual to the greater demands of the group.
The power of obligations and relationships and the respect for order are of greater importance in the East. In the West, efficiency and change often equal effectiveness; in the East, passive acceptance of what is, and the ability to perfect one’s work with others within the existing conditions, might be a greater virtue – and the way to a smooth-running, successful organization. The Yin and Yang are contradiction and complementation. It is very difficult to work between Asian and Westerner, but the human resource managers and employees should recognize that deep differences of values and beliefs.
Then employees need to coordinate in dealing with Asian colleagues and subordinates. And build a bridge between Asian and Westerner. So, bringing yin and yang together would drum up business. 4. Define the following Boundary less concepts. Paradigm:underlying the rise of various forms of “new organization” to which have been ascribed the terms virtual organization, empowered organization, high-performing work teams, and process reengineered organizations is “a single, deeper paradigm shift that we call the emergence of the boundaryless organization”, (p. 2; Ashkenas st al. 1995).
This shift recognizes the limitations of the following four types of organizational boundaries: vertical (between levels and ranks of people), horizontal (between functions and disciplines), external (between the organization and its suppliers, customers, and regulators), and geographic (between nations, cultures, and markets). In the boundaryless organization, these boundaries are not used to separate people, processes and places, rather, the focus is how to move ideas, information, talent, and decisions where they are most necessary (Ashkenas et al. 1995). Employment arrangements: an increase in nontraditional employment contracts between the worker and the organization is cited as an example of blurred organizational boundaries (Miner ;amp; Robinson, 1994), as well as evidence of a post-job society (Bridges, 1994). The term contract denotes the different forms employment is taking in the 1990s: temporary, part-time, job-sharing, consulting, contracting, and leasing.
Although some employees have little choice but to accept one of these forms of employment, many employees welcome these options for more flexible hours and more control over where they work, how they work, and which projects they would most prefer (Belous, 1989). Job Analysis: is the measurement of tasks and / or worker attributes for a given job, thus, job analysis techniques can be classified as work-oriented or worker-oriented (Gatewood ;amp; Field, 1994). Work-oriented methods involve specific descriptions of the various tasks performed on a job, whereas worker-oriented methods examine broad human behaviors involved in work activities.
Skills Emphasis and work Analysis: given that functional boundaries will continue to blur (Ashkenas et al. , 1995; Miner ;amp; Robinson, 1994), boundaryless organizations may eventually collapse “jobs” into more comprehensive task of job analysis less cumbersome; it could contribute to a culture wherein workers are afforded more freedom and opportunity to engage in different work activities. Recruitment: gaining competent employees at all levels of the organization is more than a matter of training, it stems from changes in recruitment and selection philosophy (Ashkenas et al. 1995). Specifically, the boundaryless organization emphasizes the development of a shared mindset among all of its employees and the continuous support of this collective culture. Although Ashkenas et al. (1995) don’t describe specific recruiting approaches that aid in achieving this cohesive culture, they state the importance of thoroughly screening applicants, sometimes with the help of customers, based on skills and personality traits that match the technical and cultural needs of the organization. 5. What are the dilemmas of boundaryless recruitment and selection?
A dilemma regarding a high degree of person-organization culture fit surfaces: what about the potentially negative consequences of attracting and selecting too many like-minded individuals? For instance, Schneider (1987) has suggested that organizational dysfunction and eventual demise can be traced to an overabundance of homogeneous worker characteristics. As a corollary, some diversity of worker attributes may be necessary to respond to environmental threats and opportunities, ultimately ensuring the viability of the organization.
Another caveat to consider is the possibility of adverse impact. Any employment test which results in different acceptance/pass rates for individuals belonging to different groups must be validated and its continued use demonstrated as necessary. Thus, the very homogeneity of employee values proposed as necessary for the success of the boundaryless organization may lead to two serious problems: decreased organizational performance and adverse impact.
Approximately how much and what kinds of cultural parity between worker and organization are necessary for a productive mindset? Approximately how much and what kinds of cultural similarity between worker and organization lead to litigation and/or poor organizational adaptability? It may be that just as the organization needs different skill sets to accomplish a unified performance goal, organizations need different traits and worker characteristics to accomplish the longer-term goal of survival (Schneider, 1987).
However, worker heterogeneity does not necessarily preclude the selection of homogeneous traits that primarily serve to reinforce core values and pivotal norms. More research is needed to build theory and enhance practitioner success in recruiting and selecting workers for boundaryless organizations. 6. How does one build a global work force with recruitment? Answer: Every year, hundreds of companies expand their operations into the global marketplace. At the same time, corporations that are established in the international sphere redefine their business to maintain a competitive edge.
For organizations in both categories, recruitment and international assignment are key determinants of long-term success. Today, HR professionals in progressive global companies are discovering that it isn’t enough just to look for these skills among members of the expatriate community. Rather, every employee needs to have a certain level of global awareness, and many companies are finding that screening must begin at recruitment. Form many corporations, international recruitment is synonymous with expatriate selection.
Within this area, significant progress has been made to ensure candidates are screened for global competency, with includes such qualities as flexibility, open-mindedness, technical expertise, multiple language proficiency and the willingness to take risks. In addition to recruiting for expatriate potential, HR professionals are finding that employees who have international experience and language proficiency help the company function on a day-to-day basis. Mangers must understand differing cultural norms to perform well on business trips and short-term assignments in other parts of the world. 7.
Define the four faces of global cultures. Answer: Davos: from boardroom to bedroom This culture is globalized as a direct accompaniment of global economic processes. Its carrier is international business. It has obvious behavioral aspects that are directly functional in economic terms, behavior dictated by the accoutrements of contemporary business. Participants in this culture know how to deal with computers, cellular phones, airline schedules, currency exchange, and the like. But they also dress alike, exhibit the same amicable informality, relieve tensions by similar attempts at humor, and of course most of them interact in English.
Since most of these cultural traits are of Western provenance, individuals coming from different backgrounds must go through a process of socialization that will allow them to engage in this behavior with seemingly effortless spontaneity. Faculty club international: This is the internationalization of the Western intelligentsia, its values and ideologies. It is carried by foundations, academic networks, non-governmental organizations, and some governmental and multinational agencies.
The “faculty club culture” spreads its beliefs and values through the educational system, the legal system, various therapeutic institutions, think tanks, and at least some of the media of mass communication. If this culture internationalizes the Western intelligentsia, it also internationalizes the conflicts in which this intelligentsia has been engaged on its home territories. The McWorld culture: The McWorld culture is most credibly subsumed under the category of Westernization, since virtually all of it is of Western, and more specifically American, provenance.
These critics of “culture imperialism” also understand that the diffusion of popular culture is not just a matter of outward behavior. It carries a significant freight of beliefs and values. Evangelical Protestantism: Provide a distinctive process of globalization, especially in its Pentecostal version (which accounts for something like 80 percent of its worldwide growth). This globalizing force is best seen by comparing it with the other dynamic religious phenomenon of our time, that of the Islamic resurgence.
Evangelical Protestantism brings about a cultural revolution in its new territories (in that respect it is very different from its social function on its American home ground). It brings about radical changes in the relations between men and women, in the upbringing and education of children, in the attitudes toward traditional hierarchies. Most importantly, it inculcates precisely that “Protestant ethic” that Max Weber analyzed as an important ingredient in the genesis of modern capitalism – a disciplined, frugal, and rationally oriented approach to work.
Thus, despite it indigenization, Evangelical Protestantism is the carrier of a pluralistic and modernizing culture whose original location is in the North Atlantic societies. 8. Discuss and describe the challenges of Diversity Training in Texaco, UNUM, GTE and Gannett. Answer Texaco: work in progress Texaco’s strategy started to take shape two years ago when Gadsden the manager of U. S. workforce diversity and EEO compliance for Texaco Inc. came on board.
According to the diversity manager, the impetus stemmed from a number of sources: changing demographics in the workplace and Texaco’s customer base, the oil company’s quest to be a top-tier company, and the need to fully utilize every member of an organization that over the past five years has shrunk from approximately 27,000 to 19,300 employees. Thorough focus groups and a national survey of more than 3,000 of its workers, Texaco leaned how employees felt about the oil company in general, its training and development, its promotion policies and compensation, and whether Texaco and its managers valued a diverse workforce.
In the survey results, employees need to improve promotion of minorities. They want managers to be held more accountable on managing diversity and better educated on how to communicate with employees of differing backgrounds. A cross-function team was requested to ask for the promotion process by Texaco’s managements. The team discovered that employees wanted a streamlined application process and more feedback on the outcome of promotion requests. Therefore, the cross-functions team supplied work guide of how to get promoted.
In the other hand, they improved a diversity training component to highest-level executives, then extend diversity training to all employees. One of the more difficult aspects of workplace diversity is finding the funding for it. Gadsden has succeeded in part by being frugal. He worked with a group of 14 independent consultants rather than handing the contract over to one big firm. He bargained and haggled with his vendors, getting them to reduce fees in return for a guaranteed amount of work. While he uses outside facilitators for his workshops, he also employs internal staff to save money, plus the employees learn by running the programs.
Gadsden estimates his cost at $224 a person versus what Gadsden calls a company average of about $1,379 per person. Like any workplace diversity program, Texaco’s is a work in progress. UNUM: visible diversity 1989, the UNUM Life Insurance Company of America has experiencing high turnover among the very minority workers it was trying so hard to recruit. “We were in compliance mode, doing affirmative action, and trying to bring women and minorities into the company. ” Sandy Bishop, manager of UNUM’s diversity programs says. “We wanted our business environment to mirror our world, the people we were insuring. Its proactive program began simply enough with its HR staff developing a diversity philosophy. In addition, the HR department brokered meeting between senior executives, the majority of whom were white males, and representatives of minority groups. Like Texaco, UNUM began with an internal audit of what needed to be done. Out of that came a three-day diversity workshop designed to build “cultural competence. ” In its effort to integrate the diversity debate with other business issues, UNUM has an informal diversity structure.
Corporate communications, for example, publishes a newsletter addressing diversity issues. UNUM also has an education committee that set up “Lunch and Learn” talks on diversity. As part of its outreach activities, the company has also launched community programs that deal in diversity. While UNUM’s earlier efforts were restricted to company headquarters, the disability insurer this year is extending its diversity programs to its branch offices. And of the five diversity seminars that UNUM will hold this year, three of them will be in remote locations. GTE: mutual respect
Telecommunications giant GTE got serious about diversity in the early 1990s for two reasons, says Randy MacDonald, the company’s senior vice president of human resources and administration. “First was recognition of the changing workplace…more spouses working and more immigration. Second, and this is still evolving, is that while we’re U. S. based, the workplace is becoming global and we need to address marketplace diversity. ” GTE combines its workplace diversity efforts with its work/family programs (telecommuting, flextime, seminars on balancing work and family).
The diversity end consists of minority recruitment, employee career advancement, training on managing and being part of a diverse workforce, as well as multicultural awareness events that celebrate diversity. The telecommunications company has made a conscious effort to recruit minorities on college campuses, once a person is on board, he or she is eligible for career advancement training, regardless of ethnic background. The company does offer some specialized educational programs for minorities. Through its actions, the company has increased minority and female representation among its managers.
Gannett: total integration Gannett Corp. Inc. may well have the granddaddy of diversity programs. The media conglomerate first embarked on managing diversity in 1980. While minority recruitment was first emphasized by Gannett, the media company has expanded into career advancement training. The company also publishes an in-house newsletter devoted to the topic and sponsors noon seminars. According to the diversity manager, what has made Gannett’s program work is the fact that it is closely aligned with overall business aims. 9. Describe the adult learning theory culture-bound.
Answer: The underlying assumptions behind experiential training are worth investigating to begin determining the universality or cultural relativity of the field’s mainstream methodologies. Holvino (1982) found experiential learning to be: * Active and participatory * Learning how to learn * Based on interdependence or independence * Based on learner’s internal direction * Shared responsibility for leaning * Built on experience and knowledge of learners * Shared access to power and knowledge * Focused on problem identification and solution Information seeking and sharing 10. What are the cultural training techniques? Answer: Training techniques are commonly characterized as falling along a spectrum from Didactic (trainer-centered, low-risk, content-oriented) to Experiential (learner-centered, high-risk, process-oriented). In Hofstede’s terminology, Didactic techniques can be considered to have a high Power Distance and strong Uncertainty Avoidance value orientation, while experiential techniques can be considered to have a low Power Distance and weak Uncertainty Avoidance value orientation.
By juxtaposing Hofstede’s cultural value spectrum with this training technique spectrum, we create a guideline for predicting the relative appropriateness of different training techniques for different cultural groups. If we compare the two sides of Figure 20. 1, we can predict which techniques might be appropriate for a given cultural group. Appropriate techniques are those that might most effectively challenge the participants without eliciting a high level of resistance.

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