Cultureand Cross-cultural Management
Cultureand Cross-cultural Management
Cultureis one of the most important aspects of a society. This is due to thefact that, it’s one aspect that differentiates an individual fromothers. Mansour Javidan defines culture as shared motives, values,beliefs, identities an interpretation, as well as, meanings ofsignificant events that usually result from the common experiences ofmembers and are usually transmitted across generations (Javidan,Dorfman, De Luque& House, 2006).In his own analysis, Geert Hofstede defined culture as the collectiveprogramming of the mind that is used to distinguish between membersof one group from members of another group of people (Hofstede,2003).On the other hand, Fons Trompenaars defines culture as the way inwhich a group of people solves problems and reconciles dilemmas(Trompenaars,& Woolliams, 2002).It can be seen that all the authors were directed to what defines onegroup of people from the other. The definitions indicate that one ofthe differentiating factors in the life of a human being is culture.
Theauthors indicate that cross-cultural management is important as itbrings out the differences in culture that exist in the changingdemographics evident in the world today and with respect to anorganization. This means that it has to be managed in order to makesure that the organization benefits from it. This means thatcross-cultural management is important as it helps in understandingthe dynamics within an organization as a result of the ethnic andcultural diversity that exists among employees. Today’s businessscenario shown that cross-cultural management cannot be evaded andhas to be studied with great emphasis on the details thatdifferentiate between one group of people and the rest. The need tounderstand different cultures is necessary owing to the fact thatcultures have different ways of interpreting things. This means thatwhat may seem to be good for one group may not be good for the othergroup. The gap between different group’s needs and wants can onlybe understood through studying cross-cultural management (Javidan,Dorfman, De Luque& House, 2006).This gap must be kept at a minimum in order to prevent any conflictthat may arise from the thought of diversity that arises fromdifferent cultures. Technological advances have led to situationswhere the boundary is no longer a problem when it comes toorganizations. Globalization has been positively influenced bytechnological advances. This means that challenges of culturalaspects in different organizations across the globe are eminent inthe recent past. This makes cross-cultural management a veryimportant thing for an organization. For example, the way one talksto employees in Switzerland is different to the way the same personwould talk to employees in the Middle East (Trompenaars,& Woolliams, 2002).
Cross-culturalmanagement is also important because it helps managers in dealingwith the challenges that they face in their day to day life. Managersface environments that are complex, dynamic, as well as, moreuncertain than ever before. These environments are also morecompetitive as dictated by the economic, legal, political aspects ofthe international business environment. This means that the managersmust be able to understand the various cultural diversities thatexist between different people in an organization (Trompenaars,& Woolliams, 2002).
Inconclusion, it is clear that every culture has its own way oflooking, and interpreting things, which acts as a challenge for themanagers who work in an environment that is cross-cultural. It istherefore important that managers are conscious of the cultures thatinteract within the organization in order to make sure that theycoexist. This assignment is important in that it creates awarenessthat even the minor details on cultural differences can become a bigproblem for an organization.
Hofstede,G. (2003). Cultural constraints in management theories. Readingsand Cases in International Management: A Cross-Cultural Perspective,1,17.
Javidan,M., Dorfman, P. W., De Luque, M. S., & House, R. J. (2006). Inthe eye of the beholder: Cross cultural lessons in leadership fromProject GLOBE. Theacademy of management perspectives,20(1),67-90.
Trompenaars,F., & Woolliams, P. (2002). A new framework for managing changeacross cultures. Journalof change management,3(4),361-375.