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Cultural differences and people management Introduction Managers in any workplace are often confronted with the cross-cultural issues among their employees. More so in the current age of globalization where the work force has become culturally diverse, managers are often confronted with situations where they have to apply cultural awareness and sensitivity…
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Download file to see previous pages This study shall discuss the aspects which make up this cross-cultural awareness and sensitivity. It shall also discuss the aspects of organisational life which are particularly influenced by cross-cultural differences. Body Accomplishing any work with the assistance of other people calls for the engaging flow of data in the workplace. However, in the current diverse work setting this is difficult to accomplish. Managers would often find themselves frustrated by employees who nod at everything they say without manifesting any clear comprehension of the instructions. However, culture is a major part of people’s behaviour on the job (Gardenswarts and Rowe, 2001). It dictates the way people talk with one another, the way they speak, how they manage conflicts, how they relate with the opposite sex or with other religions, and how they participate in office activities. There are various cultural norms which impact on a manager’s reactions, including hierarchy and status; groups versus individual orientation; time consciousness; communication; and conflict resolution (Gardenswarts and Rowe, 2001, p. 2). Managers who do not fully understand the impact of culture in the workplace often end up misinterpreting behaviours and creating a culturally divisive workplace. There are four cultural dimensions which apply to any organization. Hofstede (1980) mentions these as: power distance, masculinity/femininity; individualism/collectivism; and uncertainty avoidance. Individualism/collectivism refers to the relations between individuals and groups within the organisation (Hofstede and Bond, 1988). For highly individualistic societies, individuals often do not exist well in the collective setting as easily as those who are in collective societies and they are expected to be fend for themselves and not to consider other people for support. On the other hand, the more collectivist groups are part of a greater group who offer support to one another (Lowe, et.al., 1988). These societies function in a group structure in a family setting or large regional communities. The individualist or collective culture in the organisation impacts significantly in the management of the work setting, especially in instances when the culture of the organization or the corporation is individualist (Lowe, et.al., 1988). The burden of making such an environment more engaged in a multicultural set-up is on the manager. Masculinity/femininity within the work setting refers to gender roles in the workplace and how these genders are managed and accommodated in the work setting (Hofstede and Bond, 1988). There may be differences in the values placed on men and women with male values being more assertive and female values being more nurturing. In the workplace, the manager is often faced with issues which relate to gender discrimination, including homophobia (Lowe, et.al., 1988). The demand for the manager in these instances is to make the decisions based on non-gender related considerations or gender-based biases. Power distance as a cultural aspect of an organisation is based on “individual interactions and communication differentials between executive and employee” (Kaskel, 2010, p. 22). Humans have the ability to accept the hierarchical structure of most situations; other times, they cannot accept these situations. Individual interact ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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