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Decision Making for Leading Multi-Cultural Groups/Teams - Research Paper Example

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Decision Making for Leading Multi-cultural Groups/Teams As the workplace has become highly culturally diversified, managing multi-cultural groups/teams is no longer uncommon, that experts have continuously searched for various ways by which to effectively lead multi-cultural groups/teams…
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Decision Making for Leading Multi-Cultural Groups/Teams
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Download file to see previous pages 46). As various researches (Sparrow et al, 1994; DiStefano et al, 2003; Smith et al, 2006; McKenna, 1998; Reber et al, 2004) have shown, the manner by which managers view and approach their role is greatly influenced by their cultural frame of reference (cited in Sinclair & Robertson-Smith, 2008, p. 68). Concretely, an American and an Asian team leader, having an entirely different cultural frame of reference, would, more often than not, make very different management decisions for their teams. Following Hoftede’s (2007) five major dimensions by which to analyze differences among cultures: (1) power distance, (2) individualism as against collectivism, (3) uncertainty avoidance, (4) masculinity as against femininity, and (5) long-term orientation, the US business culture, Hofstede (1997) describes, illustrates low power distance, high individualism, low uncertainty avoidance, high masculinity, and low long-term orientation (cited in Ardichvili & Kuchinke, 2002, p. 101); whereas Asian culture, though much complex, can be characterized generally by high power distance, low individualism, high uncertainty avoidance, high masculinity, and high long-term orientation (Hofstede, 2009). ...
American leader may evaluate his/her staff differently from an Asian leader in four important points: (1) issues given importance, (2) meanings given to actions, (3) dealing with identified issues, and (4) informing the staff of the evaluation. Demonstrating high individualism, American leaders are more independent-minded and competitive. In evaluating their staff, they will most likely stick on performance issues based on the Toyota Production System’s standardized work. So, they will interpret actions of their staff mainly in relation to their work execution. As such, individual initiative and the courage to take risk are given weight, which Freeman and Brown (2004) say, are consistent with low uncertainty avoidance culture (p. 175). Furthermore, with a low power distance culture, American leaders could present their evaluation to their staff, whether good or bad without much difficulty because they welcome dissenting opinions even from their subordinates and in fact, would even seek for it (Hofstede, 1991, p. 28). Besides, they are work-oriented. Their main concern is getting to the bottom of the matter right away, because every minute counts. Such is consistent with a high masculine culture and low long-term orientation. Given Toyota’s philosophy: “We do not just build cars; we build people” (Liker & Meier, 2007, p. 3), the advantages of American leaders over Asian leaders in evaluating a multi-cultural staff working in Toyota can be attributed to the American’s objectivity, open-mindedness, and competitiveness. First, being objective enables American leaders to evaluate staff mainly on the basis of their production performance. As such, issues unrelated to the Toyota Production System, which are oftentimes the source of conflict among the culturally ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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