In contemporary world, businessperson adopts different way to perform business activities. Trend of multinational corporations and expensing business into other nations has opened up many opportunities for obtaining profit but at the same time associated with cultural barriers (Vangen & Winchester, 2014). Deresky and Christopher (2015) stated that developing diverse culture in the organization lures greater productivity, creativity, employee engagement and company reputation, but issues like difference in native language, political beliefs and ineffective communication makes the process challenging for the managers to overcome.
In the previous assessment, it is found that maintaining a friendly environment by diminishing cultural conflicts, eliminating language barriers, establishing effective language maintenance strategy for different cultured people in the workplace are the major challenges that a manager has to face while dealing with cultural diversity management. Though solution like training programs, establishment of regulations and developing contents that do not triggers any cultural conflicts are suggested in those selected articles. This piece of research will emphasize on finding in-depth analysis of other research papers based on similar topics. The discussion of the essay also highlight the diverse socio-cultural context in operating the global companies, detailed comparison of the organizational behavior across different countries and cultures, evaluation of effective solutions for contemporary global management issues considering major cultural attributes like effective communication. This essay will focus on the leadership and problem-solving techniques to the managers for enhancing their business operations and stakeholder management for greater productivity and profitability. The entire discussion will be summarized highlighting the main findings for overcoming the barrier for managing cultural diversity.
Socio-cultural context for effective operation of global companies
Martin, (2014) stated that when the concept of cultural diversity is considered, people from business world only accentuate more on the cultural and racial differences. However, it is equally important to consider dimensions like class, ability, sexual orientation, religion, learning conditions and styles as socio-cultural context. Managers aiming for expanding their business globally thus need to anticipate these factors for an effective workplace environment. Guillaume et al. (2017) moreover depicted that increase in creativity among teams is the most effective benefit that a manager can obtain for gaining effective operation of the business. It is evident from the fact that different minds from diverse culture and ethnicity are able to solve a problematic situation through different perceptions and different approaches. Taken for instance, Chinese leaders on expanding their business to other nation, prefers to hire people from the host nation so that they can communicate in the locality more effectively and provide them solutions through the organization’s products and services (Tjosvold, 2017). This will enable the company to gain effective reputation resulting in greater sales. Thus, if managers of a business manage diversity, probability for obtaining profitability gets higher.
Moreover, in order to manage the business operation effectively, employee engagement is necessary and impressive effort need to be taken in case diverse cultural people are working together. Binder (2016) portrayed that managers need to communicate with these diverse cultured employees regarding their culture and ethnicity and business approaches that is followed in their nation. This discussion will allow the managers to find new opportunities in those nations as people from those nation can better direct the leaders regarding the strategies through which customers can be attracted more and legal obligations can be attained easily. Managers can take effective steps to share these details with other employees. Bird and Mendenhall (2016) highlighted that constructive talks both formal and informal leads to the creation of a learning environment and allow other employees to enhance their skills. These aspects are necessary to ensure employee engagement that can be maintained by a manager by valuing all the people irrespective of their ethnic background and preference.
Organizational behavior across countries and cultures
Martin (2014) stated that business expansion enables a company a greater brand position in the market along with greater profitability. However, when a country aims for expanding their business to other nation, the cultural differences for managing business in the host nation need to be evaluated. (Zoogah & Beugré, 2012) highlighted that African nation, is strongly influenced by endogenous and exogenous aspects for managing their people. Socio-economic factors like demographic, culture, developing new ventures and market are considered in endogenous aspects; while, exogenous aspects are taken into consideration when trade between the other nations are adopted. China for instance consider Africa their key success for doing business and thus the country invests a significant amount of money in this nation. Tjosvold (2017) highlighted that in order to overcome the problem of work family culture, Chinese leaders recruit African Labor Force for semi-skilled and unskilled jobs. In this way, the host nation’s people become satisfied with the foreign company and put their effort for accomplishing organizational objectives for gaining more wages.
On the other hand Luo and Liu (2014) argued that when organizational behavior of China is measured, it can be said that leaders prefer to give the directives and the employees are not allowed to argue or suggest new ideas. However, the employees can suggest ideas in association with the imposed decision. This is problem when diverse people work under such leader as not every time these employees can get the work done according to the Chinese boss resulting in greater conflicts and poor organizational behavior. American leaders contradictorily allow subordinates to suggest ideas and encourage the employees even if they come up with completely new ideas better than the leader. Ferdman and Deane (2014) stated that this acceptance nature is beneficial for these leaders as people from different ethnicity can suggests effective ideas considering a different perspective. Ideas from diverse people based on their nation’s activity and conditions also allow US companies to expand their business in those nations.
Analytical skills for addressing contemporary global management issues
According to Galliers and Meadows (2003), when a manager aims for handling the business operation and along with managing cultural diversity, several issues arises that needed to be overcome. Parochialism is one of the problem that is difficult to identify among the employees but if retained assuredly impacts the business productivity and profitability adversely. The term Parochialism refers the quality of showing narrow-mindedness leading to failure in identifying the differences between their culture and people from other culture. Thomas and Peterson (2017) portrayed that even if these employees able to find the differences, they always have the tendency to point out the negativities of other culture fueling the organizational cultural conflicts. Managers need to overcome these adversity through effective decisions.
Another challenge is individualism, where some people are more concerned about their benefits and welfare. Triandis (2018) stated that these people failed to help other employees and also not provide any productive assistant to the employees from other background. The problem can be witnessed if an employee from western culture started working in Asian culture. Hofstede’s dimension shows that Asian culture prefer to work as a team and consider the failure or success of a project based on the entire team’s effort and not on individual’s progress. Ethnocentrism is the other major issue that an effective manager need to be consider. Mazanec et al. (2015) stated that Ethnocentrism is a situation where a person thinks that their culture is the best and they always compare the other country’s organization’s standards with their own cultural standards and the problem occurs mainly in those employees, who are being transferred to other nation. The manager thus need to be aware of their nation’s as well as employee’s nation completely so that they can omit any conflicting situation easily. The research paper named “Managing Cross-cultural Diversity: Issues and Challenges in Global Organizations” highlighted that the managers integrate the imported and local social systems through their workforces by establishing effective communication tools (Singh, 2010). This problem if not resolved can also lead to another crucial challenge called as cultural distance. Employees if sent to a country of their lower preference, they started judging the nation and working procedure of the new workplace affecting their and other’s performances. Presbitero (2016) on the other hand depicted that these actions can also be obtained through cultural shock. The above article also suggests that differences in management philosophies, work attitudes, other currency system, alternative living patterns and separation from colleagues are the main reason for cultural shocks and managers are liable for identifying the employees, who are suffering from cultural shocks. These managers on diminishing the difference for the employees can avoid the severe situation of isolation of the employee and ensure their engagement within the organization.
Major cultural attributes influence management decision making
Peltoniemi (2015) stated that understanding the cultural differences to work effectively by developing connection between different people require better attainment of the cultural aspect of the nation. Hofstede's Six Dimensions of Culture is often used by the businesspeople to utilize the difference between two cultures for greater benefit in the organization. These factors comprised of- Power Distances (PDI), Individualism Versus Collectivism (IDV), Masculinity Versus Femininity (MAS), Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI) and Long- Versus Short-Term Orientation.
Considering the factor of power distance, Malaysian team members are not likely to take any initiative on their own and they prefer to wait for their leaders for directions or guidance (Thien, Thurasamy & Razak, 2014, See Appendix, Figure 1). The reason is that managers are given higher power and their action is directly proportional to the importance of the work. Country like US, allocate same power to everyone and everyone participates in the decision making programs equally. Managers from centralized organizations thus faces problems if an employees from flatter organizations joins their company as those employees might not accept the scenario of unequal power distributions (Yuen, Yeow & Lim,2015). On the other hand, Thompson (2017) depicted that greater IDV score points another problem that is weak interpersonal connections as people focuses on their effort more than focusing on team. US nations has 91 IDV score meaning enjoyment of challenges and greater creativity in workplace. Managers need to foster this aspect in their organization to promote innovative thinking. Thien, Thurasamy and Razak (2014) stated that Asian country like Malaysia having low IDV score of 26 able to maintain harmony among each other. So a manager in Asian country should have to understand the leadership quality of a western employee and utilize their ability to provide effective ideas. On the other hand, US managers need to encourage the Asian employees and appreciate their ideas so that they can develop their problem solving skills and take effective decision themselves.
Leadership and problem solving strategies to enhance organizational business operations
One of the problem that the contemporary managers are facing in creating knowledge due to regular changes in customer preferences and competitive environment (Martin & Nakayama, 2015). Managers need to understand the communication preferences of their diverse workforce and then select the most appropriate communication strategy. Taken for instance- some people prefers to give suggestions; while, some are more comfortable in following direction whatever has been asked. Thompson (2017) however, argued that this assessment process take longer time to research of diverse culture and thus results in giving lesser time to manage organization and its operations. Thus, it is preferable to follow a style that is easier for everyone to adopt. Developing contents showing statistics for forecasted profits through decisions is the most effective way to convince people for following a particular decision (Luo & Liu, 2014). Managers on the other hand need to establish a learning environment for encouraging people to give suggestions for improving the proposed idea. Reserved employees on witnessing participative skills of other team members gets the confidence to speak and it helps in development of their problem solving skills.
Managers should also develop action plans for each organizational situation utilizing linguistic resources for developing content in all languages so that all the employees can become knowledgeable about the plan (Lee & Herold, 2016). Moreover, strategies on handling the situations based on prior experiences and diverse perspective of the employees need to be welcomed by the managers. The managers on comparing the situations ask for the most agreed upon strategies from employees resulting in zero conflicts and effective idea to tackle that situation. This also leads to better management of organizational operations with diverse employee in an office.
In contemporary style of organizational management, involvement of varied cultured people are necessary to resolve problems considering diverse perspective. In this essay the problem faced by managers in managing cultural diversity has been highlighted. The research found that communication and language barriers are the most prominent challenges in managing diverse culture in an office. However, better understanding of the cultural difference and communication preferences allow managers to cope cross cultural defies. Hofstede’s five cultural dimensions is utilized for supporting the suggested strategies to the managers which represents that a manager from the centralized organization has to make their employees understand about their working procedure with statistics and also provide them monetary and non-monetary rewards for following their norms. On the other hand managers from flatter organizations, need to encourage employees from other culture for being participative by creating a learning atmosphere in the workplace. Moreover, developing plans and training modules in all possible language and using visual mode of communication are other effective ideas for managing effective cultural diversity.
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