Culture and Gender issues in managment how cultures vary, cultural variance cultural dimensions ,implications - Essay Example

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Name Date Course Section/# Cultural Variance, Communication Processes, and American Assumptions Regarding Leadership Midterm Exam Question 1) Cultural variance is a topic so broad that to adequately tackle the question would likely require a dissertation length analysis…
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Section/# Cultural Variance, Communication Processes, and American Assumptions Regarding Leadership Midterm Exam Question 1) Cultural variance is a topic so broad that to adequately tackle the question would likely require a dissertation length analysis. However for purposes of answering this in the short form of a brief exam question, one can review the Kluckhohn and Strodbeck’s six values orientation (Kluckhohn/Strodtbeck 2002). These are as follows: the aspect of time that is focused upon, relationship between humanity and its natural environment, how individuals relate with others (hierarchy), prime motivating factors for behavior, defining the nature of human nature (i.e. good/evil or mixture), and lastly the value of space; defined by the authors as here, there, or far away. Likewise Adler and Gundersen sought to measure the same attributes. According to these analysts, the issue could be defined as a matter of the following competing hierarchies of human understanding/interaction: power distance (PDI), individualism vs collectivism (IDV), masculinity vs femininity (MAS), long term vs short term orientation (LTO), and indulgence vs restraint (IVR). Likewise, understanding and applying each of these approaches towards understanding and seeking to define and predict cultural variance is one of the first steps towards understanding the many processes which drive it (Adler et al 16). This short analysis will briefly seek to describe how only two of these factors have a profound effect on cultural variance as it is exhibited in our current world model. The first of which is Kluckhohn and Strodbeck’s definition of the nature of human nature. Sociologists, philosophers, theologians, and anthropologists have attempted to answer this question for time immemorial. Using different measures of analytics, these scholars can basically be divided into two groups, those that believe in an evolutionary nature of cultural and biological variance and those that believe that humans are inherently flawed as a result of some type of sin/fall that occurred which has hampered their overall ability to perform good for the sake of good. Likewise, this understanding of cultural variance is perhaps the oldest form that our world currently exhibits; however, it is still widely in use and employed today by both sides of the argument (Laungani 29). Similarly, with respect to Alder and Gundersen’s analysis, one can rapidly infer the power that the tug and pull between masculinity and femininity has had on cultural variance. One need look no further than norms that are exhibited in the Middle East with regards to female genital mutilation and compare that with the norms that are exhibited in our own society with respect to the practice of male circumcision to see that the ongoing dichotomy between masculinity and femininity has a profound effect on how we view ourselves, our own cultures, and the individual (Dallmayr 15). Question 2) Adler and Gundersen’s communication process is one that is carefully tempered by cross cultural understanding and a clear respect for cultural diversity and the elements that it exhibits with relation to the way in which an organization interacts and interrelates with its respective parts. In effect, the underlying root purpose of their argument is one in which parochialism is exposed for the detrimental affects it has on communication, the business process, and organizational effectiveness (Mitchell 2). Accordingly, a general lack of empathy/concern for the cross-cultural needs of the organization’s component units, the desire to implement an ethnocentric view of the world on other individuals/parts of the organization, and a lack of respect for the cultural ramifications that help to guide the process of individual’s lives all contribute to major issues and problems as they relate to cross-cultural understanding. As a way to diminish these negative attributes of how individuals often behave, a company can work to actively provide training and counseling to employees that emphasizes the unique nature of cross-cultural communication. Further, a cultural shift in the organization/firm to place a high emphasis of importance on the way that different cultures respond to and react to various stimuli, words, and non-verbal communication can be a long way towards diffusing any issues that might arise. Question 3) Adler and Gundersen present a great deal of discussion regarding the current models of American leadership, motivation, and decision making in Chapter 6 of their work. However, before delving into the unique aspects of American leadership and motivational styles, it is worth mentioning that such improper American leadership/motivational styles cannot be fully understood without reverting back to the prior model of parochialism that was discussed at some length earlier in the analysis. Adler and Gundersen specifically state that this improper approach to leadership and management is oftentimes what proves to derail many of American firm’s efforts with respect to cross-cultural communication. Yet, what is of specific interest to Adler and Gundersen with respect to American norms of leadership, motivation, and decision making is the flawed way in which leaders/managers choose to champion the short term gains of the firm over the long-term health of the organization. Instead, Adler and Gundersen argue for a model that stresses creating a positive future for the organization. Adler and Gundersen state that American leadership styles often seek to focus on short term gain rather than long-term growth. Likewise, the authors note that American leadership styles often emphasize motivation over the superior model of inspiration. In so doing, the manager/leader is oftentimes attempting to maximize a given trait in order to fulfill a particular goal or set need. As such, if the leader/manager focused on inspiration, as the authors argue is indeed the superior model, instead of motivation, such a process does not have a definitive beginning and/or a definitive end. In this way, leadership would experience a greater net product of pursuing inspiration due to the fact that the ongoing nature of the policy is a constant encouragement to employees. By means of this model, the authors argue that all of the subordinate needs of the firm and/or organization can be met. It is interesting to note at this juncture that their recommendations lead back to the first portion of their work which emphasizes the importance of cultural understanding (Nguyen et al 33). As such, in order for management/leadership to create an organizational structure that is focused on the creation of a bright and positive future for all of its component parts globally, it must be done with a cross cultural mindset that accounts for and specifically deals with the unique flavors of its cultural component parts. Works Cited Adler, Nancy. Gundersen, Allison. International dimensions of organizational behavior. Mason, Ohio: Thomson/South-Western, 2008. Dallmayr, Fred. Integral pluralism beyond culture wars. Lexington, Ky: University Press of Kentucky, 2010. Hills, M. D. Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck's values orientation theory. In W. J. Lonner, D. L. Dinnel, S. A. Hayes, & D. N. Sattler (Eds.), Online Readings in Psychology and Culture (Unit 6, Chapter 3), (, Center for Cross-Cultural Research, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington USA, 2002. Laungani, Pittu. Understanding cross-cultural psychology : Eastern and Western perspectives. London Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2007. Mitchell, Charles. A short course in international business culture building international business through cultural awareness. Petaluma, CA: World Trade Press, 2009. Nguyen, Thi, and Atsushi Aoyama. "Does Hybridizing of Intercultural Potential Facilitate Efficient Technology Transfer? An Empirica Study on Japanese Manufacturing Subsidiaries in Vietnam." Asian Social Science 8.11 (2012): 26-43. Print. Read More
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