Study Guide on international culture and management

Published: 2019-10-31 07:30:00
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Culture is important in influencing organizational orientation and management. The managers and employees in any organization are products of external cultural influences that collectively interact with the organizational norms to form an exceptional continuum of relationships called corporate culture. Organizational culture is a shared incentive that determines the nature of operations within institutions and places them at specific operational standards despite the effects of employee turnover or changes in the members of the executive management. Therefore, the role of corporate management is to implement policies, frameworks, and provisions that leverage individual cultures through enhancing cultural convergence. Cultural convergence is important in fostering teamwork, contributing to the shared vision and mission of the organization for which one works. Despite the need to inculcate cultural convergence, management must be sensitive the individual employee's culture as a way of benchmarking their performance within their various designations.

Just like in the case of typical informal interactions, organizational culture is achieved through an understanding of the different aspects that form culture. These include beliefs, values, attitudes, and behavior. Within the context of organizational management, the mission and vision statements reflect the beliefs, attitudes, and behavior that the employees are expected to exhibit while undertaking various assignments within the organization. However, the diversity of a corporate environment portends numerous challenges in ensuring a universally acceptable corporate culture hence the need to develop proactive approaches to avoid negative implications of cultural diversity. Some of the feasible approaches to managing cultural differences within organizations include cultural accommodation, cultural compromise, cultural avoidance, and creating cultural synergy.

Cultural synergy is the ideal way of solving cultural challenges within organizations since it encourages the understanding and practices of the notion that cultural diversity is an asset that provides innovative solutions to the complex and dynamic problems to which organizations are predisposed. In essence, both individualism and collectivism play significant roles in defining self-orientation of workers and teamwork respectively, but they must complement to ensure the achievement or organizations success. The relevance of individualism in providing cooperation within organizations is the fact that the organizational culture is a composite of independent, personal attitudes and behavior, which must be oriented towards a common goal. Collectivism in organizational management binds workers together and limits the influence of individuality in the overall activities of an organization. This approach to the management of cultural diversity is critical in saving the reputation of an institution as a coherent and harmonious system comprising of complementary cultures.

Globalization and international business have been important in advancing the ideals of corporate culture. Through enhancing the significance of corporate culture, businesses and organizations limit the challenges inherent in employees divergent perceptions of the world. Some common challenges in managing cultural diversity include parochialism and ethnocentrism. Strategic management of corporate culture involves creating synergism, and encouraging heterogeneity, which is ideal for innovativeness. Through creating synergies, corporate managers can perceive the value in both similarities and differences among workers.

Culture also influences teamwork within an organization. Based on the cultural diversity, teams can be homogenous, token, bicultural, or multicultural. In the typical institutional or business environment, it is impractical to have homogenous teams hence the need for proactivity in harmonizing multicultural, bicultural, and token teams to achieve corporate goals. In addition, corporate management must acknowledge the fact that internal controls of organizational culture are not the only remedy for operational challenges but other external factors such as the state of the economy, prevailing wage ratios, and competition also influence it. A fatalistic approach to organizational management, which posits that individuals control of their environments is an inhibition to successful employee management, assumes that the world is in absolute control of everything. A management system that embraces the fatalistic approach argues that nature controls any decisions and actions made within the realms of organizational structure. This system results in managers who are unable to orient employee capabilities and activities towards the long-term goals of the organization effectively.

The organizational culture that defines employee behavior has an overreaching role in ensuring power balance within an organization. An active corporate culture provides a clear separation of authority between the senior and junior employees. High power distance cultures result in a system in which information flow in the form of instructions predominantly flows from the top management to lower level employees. High power distance organizations are guided by the belief that bypassing the manager is insubordination, and that the use of titles in a hierarchical leadership is more significant. On the other hand, administrative systems that embrace the notions guide lower power distance that bypassing people in the higher ranks of the management hierarchy are important to avoid bureaucratic processes and enabling work to be done quickly. In essence, a low distance power culture is characterized by the emphasis on issues that increase productivity and keep the organization within a success trajectory. The corporate culture also prescribes the universal standards that define right or bad. Commonly, the code of ethics often embodies these universal standards. Nonetheless, even in a culture that restrictively defines good and bad, flexibility is important since specific situations may impose individual workers to act contrary to the principles of universal ethics.

sheldon

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