In today’s ever-changing and highly integrated world, corporations have a growing need to hire and maintain an exceedingly diverse and multicultural workforce. With globalization, multinational corporations have a great opportunity to work with people from different cultures and with a diverse pool of skills. However, there is a major cost of working in a foreign culture. Several problems arise when managing a culturally diverse workforce; management needs to solve them. Understanding different cultures improves employees’ efficiency and productivity. However, many issues in cross-cultural analysis arise because of the lack of understanding of other cultures and at times about that very culture we live in. This can result in confusion. This confusion results in distortions about the very cultures we are trying to understand. The paper will highlight several theoretical and practical cross-cultural management issues recommend solutions.
CROSS-CULTURAL MANAGEMENT ISSUES
A culture is a set of values which defines a way of life. It explains what a society considers good or bad and right or wrong.therefore culture is a value system. Using this value system, helps in understanding the cultural norms, thinking patterns and the social aspect of people’s lives. Understanding culture is a process and it is important to know that culture cannot be understood if one igmore’s the context in which culture is regarded. For example, above 18, it is considered normal in American culture ot drink however, in a Muslim society, generally it is not acceptable. However there are exceptions like an American can drink in a party if foreign delegates in a Muslim society so the context (party of foreign delegates) is essential when studying cultures.
At this point, it is important to define cross cultural management issues. The term cross-cultural refers to two or more cultures. Cross-cultural issues can range from simple stereotypes to complex paradoxes. Cross-cultural management is a growing field.
Cross-cultural training poses many problems, which need to be rectified before they become more serious. One of the major problems in cross-cultural training is the cultural paradox: a person growing in a one society has a specific perception about other societies. For example a person who was raised in the U.S. might assume that Singaporeans are poor but if or she goes to Singapore and theses that most of them appear to be wealthy, this is a cultural paradox. As mentioned earlier, context is an essential element of cultural understanding and if we ignore context, cultural paradox is a result.
Schemas are mental shortcuts. To understand societies, we rely on our schemas about other people. For example, Japan is a collectivistic society where married sons live in their parents’ house. However, not all sons live with their families. Therefore, we should not miss on cultural context.
Sophisticated stereotyping is a form of schema, which...