Reconciling and harmonising cultural conflict - Assignment Example

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When diverse individuals hailing from different cultures must work together in the organisation,conflict is virtually an inevitable outcome.Especially in the built environment,team functioning and inter-dependency is absolutely critical in meeting deadlines, identifying problem-solving solutions to a variety of business problems…
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Reconciling and harmonising cultural conflict
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Download file to see previous pages When diverse individuals hailing from different cultures must work together in the organisation,conflict is virtually an inevitable outcome.Especially in the built environment,team functioning and inter-dependency is absolutely critical in meeting deadlines, identifying problem-solving solutions to a variety of business problemsThe problem with establishing a team environment in which organisational members are representative of dissimilar cultures is that there may be disagreements about how to approach such conceptions as risk adoption, what is considered to be effective and appropriate communication style and language and even individual perceptions of political relativism regarding how power should be appropriately distributed amongst team members. In the role of manager or leader, it is necessary to reconcile such differences and establish a more cohesive and harmonised team ideology to achieve strategic, financial, efficiency or productivity goals. Not all conflict, of course, occurs between team members, but can also occur as a result of leadership and subordinate interactions. There are those in the organisation that will value a more aggressive and decisive leader whilst others want a more sensitive and compassionate leader to direct their activities. If the leader is not aware of their absolute importance in creating an environment where individuals are motivated and committed to following the leader, it is likely no conflict management strategy is going to be successful over the long-term. Reconciling and harmonising conflicts created by disparate cultural characteristics cannot occur within a proverbial vacuum, but requires direct strategy development and interaction by the leader to be successful. This essay identifies the potential catalysts for culturally-related conflict within the organisational model, inclusive of national customs related to ethnicity, attitudes associated with societal differences inherent within individuals hailing from different international regions, and communications styles that vary from individual to individual. The essay further examines the role of leadership in isolating these problems and developing effective strategies for productive conflict resolution. To achieve successful conflict resolution and re-establish cohesive team-working, evidence suggests the manager/leader must first identify the drivers of cultural characteristics, consider the psycho-social needs of different cultures, facilitate greater cross-cultural knowledge with diverse team members and also consider the role of internal organisational culture and individual management beliefs and values as a potential vehicle by which such cultural conflicts occur. Why cultural problems develop In the built environment, there are employees and managers that maintain specialised knowledge that is not understood by all members of the organisation. Considering a construction or engineering project as two relevant examples, there are those that maintain what is referred to as tacit knowledge, defined as the knowledge held by only an individual that is exceptionally difficult to transfer to others as it typically involves specialised understandings created through experience or through education (Lam 2000). Special projects in the organisation require that those with tacit knowledge be able to effectively transfer this knowledge to others in order to establish a collaborative and effective team environment. Complicating this process of attempting to make tacit knowledge explicit is that many tacit knowledge holders maintain unique cultural characteristics that oftentimes stand in the way of effective knowledge conveyance. People hailing from different culture decode communications differently, related to their inherent characteristics and personalities driven by their regional cultures which significantly ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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