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World Cultures and Cultural Lifestyles - Essay Example

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he global connectivity of different regions in today’s world of global trade and foreign business investment has begun to radically change lifestyles of foreign citizens. The influx of business development in what had once been regions of the world where lifestyle is harsher has opened new opportunities for consumerism and education. …
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World Cultures and Cultural Lifestyles
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Download file to see previous pages With new attitudes, cultures and lifestyles flooding these regions brought forward by new business growth and job opportunities, very old-world systems of family and cultural relationships are taking on a modern appeal and value system. Depending on the type of culture in a certain foreign region, the impact of new attitudes greatly increases the chances of change in cultural systems all across the world. In regions of the world such as Saudi Arabia and India, there is a collectivist mentality that puts large emphasis on the needs of group loyalty and group welfare. People who hail from collectivist nations tend to view themselves as extended members of a larger family unit and generally these individuals have a great deal of respect for tradition and the reciprocation of favors (Blodgett, Bakir & Rose, 339). Collectivist nations often perform their business activities in such a way where group membership and group affiliation are demanded from domestic and foreign business leaders. This type of traditionalist culture and those who value its family-oriented concept will often demand a different style of business meeting where friendship, camaraderie, and informal discussions are the norm. What occurs in a collectivist culture when foreign business leaders who value more individualism and self-expression bring their new ideas forward is a change in attitude that is more Westernized rather than traditionalist in the region. Why is this? New changes in business presence and ideas that form from foreign business leadership begin to restructure business principles and therefore changes the attitudes of those working within this new globalized organization. For instance, new call centers developed in Saudi Arabia, as one example, might be originally focused on providing a forum for consumers to demand changes to product variety. However, after the influx of foreign business leadership from countries such as the United States, new styles of performing call center functions that now are geared toward individualized customer service have changed the local culture simply through business restructuring. It is important to identify that cultural interdependency is not only present in business, but can be found sociologically in a variety of different international communities. “Leaders aspiring to be effective in multi-cultural environments must develop an awareness of the different dimensions of culture that are and will be most central to their constituencies” (Shriberg & Kumari, 20). What this is suggesting is that leadership must be flexible in multi-cultural environments and be adaptable to foreign attitudes related to culture and lifestyle. It does not necessarily mean that individuals from foreign countries are, necessarily, going to be able to make changes to how domestic cultures perform their lifestyle and business activities. For example, in certain cultures, there might be a preference for older, traditionalist ways and therefore they resist any changes that bring liberal and individualistic attitudes into the local culture hailing from foreign visitors or business leaders. Cultural interdependency has become a product of a changing globe and the demands that are placed on what was once an under-developed country in order to make the local culture more in-line with flexible and adaptable individualistic mentalities. In an environment where group norms are powerful as it is related to traditionalist values, it becomes more and more difficult to change these attitudes to make them more flexible and progressive especially if the local cultural values greatly conflict with ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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