Readings : Ch. 01 – Culture and Management;
Ch. 02 – How Cultural Differences Affect Organizations;
Ch. 03 – Communicating Across Cultures;
Ch. 10 – Managing Cross-Cultural Transitions: Moving Abroad and Coming Back Home;
Ch. 07 – Motivating people from around the world: inspiring people tocontribute;
Questions : 01 – What are the key messages in each chapter?
02 – How do they apply to my experience?
Ch. 01 – Culture and Management
Business is everywhere and has existed for centuries. People and corporations have always made business. The evolution of practices during the twentieth century reaches to the implementation of strategies called global. The way to success to aworldwide activity is achieved through four successive stages: Domestic, Multidomestic, Multinational, and Global phase.
The complexity of running a company outside national boundaries implies the necessity to develop a more adapted management style: as parochialism is over nowadays, managers must be open-minded. Cross-cultural management describes organizational behaviour, compares organizationalbehaviour and interacts between all the stakeholders, from countries and cultures around the world.
As cultures vary from place to place on the earth, it is important to keep in mind four main interrelated notions: Culture, Values, Attitudes, and Behaviour. So diversity and global mindset are key factors for top managers to define business strategies and determine the success of the firm.
Myfirst and previous work experience was in Spain, because I was attracted by the Spanish culture and behaviour. The company is a global manufacturer and seller of porcelain figurines products and I could share its values and adapt my attitudes in my relationships between the headquarters and the different worldwide subsidiaries.
Ch. 02 – How Cultural Differences Affect Organizations
Everyone hasits own cultural heritage. Based on it, managers’ values, attitudes, and behaviours may differ in organizations. In order to measure the influence and the difference of the culture in work behaviour, several studies were realized.
André Laurent highlighted the differences in work situation for managers among many countries. From task to relationship orientation, hierarchy and authoritystructure are not seen in the same way. The same appears for the nature of the managerial role.
Geert Hofstede analyzed five dimensions for the relation between managers and employees: individualism/collectivism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, career success/quality of life, and Confucian dynamism.
Also, Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner focussed on the ethical issue of loyalty versus truth.
Allof those lead to the conclusion that culture is one characteristic of every worker, like their personality, and it is crucial for managers to deal with these cultural differences in the most effective way, whatever the kind of organization.
I was a French employee in a Spanish structure, and I sometimes bypassed the hierarchical lines and went directly to the people I though was the most expert.My Spanish boss, knowing it after, told me I had taken initiatives and not judged me as insubordinate.
Ch. 03 – Communicating Across Cultures
People are interconnected and exchange information through communication. Because of the complex process involved, the message sent and received is not always what it wanted to be. If this misunderstanding occurs inside ones family or betweenfriends, this miscommunication is even greater between a person from one culture to another person from a different culture. This cross-cultural communication can lead to misperception – perception is selective, learned, culturally determined, consistent, and inaccurate –, misinterpretation – which sources are subconscious cultural “blinders”, lack of cultural self-awareness, projected similarity, and...