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Managing across borders - Essay Example

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Kelly and her family are clearly being affected by the cross-cultural differences between themselves and the Japanese people. The family of Kelly is having a difficulty to adapt to the new environment thus, finding it hard to live in Japan…
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Download file to see previous pages Kelly and her family are clearly being affected by the cross-cultural differences between themselves and the Japanese people. The family of Kelly is having a difficulty to adapt to the new environment thus, finding it hard to live in Japan. In addition, Kelly and her family have very little information concerning the area and thus, they keep on doing things in the American style thus, they end up having a hard time to survive with the Japanese. Kelly experiences a hard time at work due to the fact that she is a female while the Japanese are used to being led by males. Thus, gender discrimination is also a major issue in Kelly’s case. Clashes in culture customs Kelly’s case presents to us a number of clashes between the American culture and the Japanese culture. This is because; the Japanese culture is very different from the American culture and the two are characterized by different ways of handling issues. Kelly has worked in London and Boston as a female and yet, there was no one who thought it being funny or weird for a woman to be a boss. However, in Japan she has a hard time since; the Japanese employees expected that the boss would be a man as opposed to a woman. Thus, there exists a clash in cultures since, according to the Japanese culture, it is men that should lead the women while, according to the American culture, women can also lead the men. According to the cross-cultural management theory formulated by Fons Trompenaars, cross cultural differences at work between employees can be solved can by communication (Van Mol, 2005, 31). Kelly experiences difficulties at work due to lack of fluent communication between her and the Japanese people. Therefore, she has to seek advice from Peter, her assistant, each time she experiences difficulties. However, had there been fluent and perfect communication between Kelly and the Japanese employees, the former would be aware of what to do each time when working with them. In addition, the Japanese employees are also finding it difficult to adapt to the fact that their new boss is a female. Hence, they end up having trouble in doing their work. According to the cross-cultural management theory, cross-cultural differences can also be eliminated through accepting and respecting them. Kelly’s husband Joe is experiencing a hard time in Japan because he has not yet accepted the fact that Japan is different from America. For instance, he finds it hard to adapt to the Japanese meals and keeps on complaining to her wife. Joe’s expectations were that; they would have a new experience in Japan, full of new experiences. Contrary to his expectations, Japan has turned out to be a very expensive country to live in, with a lot of difficulty in finding a new job. The family also had expectations that the expensive apartment would be big and spacious to fit all their possessions. Contrary to their expectations, the house has turned out to be very small and tiny, with no back yard for the children to play (Sanger, Intercultural Press & Bull Worldwide Information Systems 1990). Kelly’s stage of culture shock The first stage of culture shock is usually Jet-Lag and Wonder (Tabak, 2007, 1). This stage is also referred to as the honeymoon phase, where an individual gets excited by the new experiences about food, culture and language (Munan, 2008, 33). Kelly’s family went through this stage at first when they arrived in Tokyo tired but very excited. At this time, all they could see was the beauty of Japan in spring and were just making plans to spend their weekend sightseeing and travelling around. The second stage of culture shock is frustration (Tabak, 2007, 1). This is a period during which a person gets to experience the hardship of living in a new country (Ellis, 2001, 34). The individual finds it difficult to understand the new language used and gets laughed at when he or she makes mistakes while communicating. The usual response at this ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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