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International Management - Essay Example

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The international business environment has been constantly pressuring workforce members to demonstrate high levels of professional expertise as well as recognition of cultural diversity. Organizations that rely on working teams have been increasing, thus the need to establish intercultural relationships and respond to the needs and expectations of every culture…
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International Management
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Download file to see previous pages Although ethnically diverse teams play a critical role in the success of companies due to the flexibility, receptiveness, and resource utilization that are expected of them (Marquardt and Horvath 2001), the management of cultural differences and conflict has become a challenge for many international organization. Diversity in culture can bring about misunderstanding, adverse relationships, and weak performance, thus the need to effectively manage geographic distances, facilitate control and coordination matters, establish strong communication, and maintain team consistency. Because of this crucial need, numerous studies, even early research such as that of Hofstede and Trompenaars, have been carried out to explain cultural variations in the working environment and the successful management of these differences among employees.

Theories on Cultural Dimensions
Through my experience as international director, I have learned about the essential components behind a successful expatriate assignment. Theories of cultural dimensions from well-known researchers such as Hofstede (1980) have been of good use in explaining why people are culturally different from each other. National culture plays a crucial part in understanding a workforce that is ethnically diverse as explained through Hofstede’s (1980) cultural dimensions including power distance, individualism, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance, and long term orientation. Power distance indicates the acceptance and expectation of the society, especially the less powerful individuals, that power can be unequally distributed, thus representing inequality. Anyone who has had experience in international studies can point out that all countries and societies have demonstrated inequality in wealth and power distribution, although some are more unjust than the others. Individualism refers to how people are integrated into groups; for instance, individualist societies tend to establish loose relationships among its members and each individual is expected to attend to himself and his family while collectivist ones are likely to stay committed to such relations and demonstrate unwavering loyalty to each other. Masculinity indicates how gender roles are distributed; men’s values significantly differ from those of the women such as in terms of assertiveness, competitiveness, compassion, and modesty. The index for uncertainty avoidance suggests how societies can tolerate and accept ambiguity, or whether or not they can find comfort in uncertain and unplanned situations. Unstructured circumstances are often different from the normal conditions and cultures that aim to avoid uncertainty place their efforts in minimizing the likelihood of ambiguous situations through the implementation of strict rules and regulations to ensure control over all. On the other hand, cultures that are accepting of uncertainty are ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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