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CHAPTER 12 Powered By Docstoc
					                                                                                 CHAPTER 2
                         Cultural Awareness and Implications

Chapter Overview
       This chapter addresses national culture and it’s effect on the global marketplace and
       managerial issues.

Learning Objectives
       By the end of the chapter, students should be able to:
       1. Distinguish between national, organizational, and sub-cultures
       2. Identify major dimensions of culture that affect employee performance
       3. Discuss the differences and characteristics of strong and weak organizational culture
       4. Describe some of the research that has been done on culture
       4. Describe how an employee’s socialization occurs
       5. Explain Schein’s three levels of culture model

Barriers to Student Understanding
       Students should have no difficulty understanding the basic concepts presented in this
       chapter. However, a great deal of information and a number of new concepts are
       presented both in the text and in the Exhibits, which may make it difficult to process and

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Lecture Outline
     Notes on African Culture
     Defining Culture
     The National Culture: Frameworks
           Power Distance
           Uncertainty Avoidance
           Time Orientation
     The Manager and Organizational Culture
     The Characteristics of Organizational Culture
           Observable Components
           Shared Values
           Basic Assumptions
     The Evolution of Organizational Culture
           The Founders
     Cultural Strength
     Managing and Changing the Organization’s Cultures
     Managing Across Cultures
           Time/Relationship Cluster
           Power Cluster
           Societal Interdependence Cluster
     A Final Note on Culture

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Key Terms
       Students will be introduced to the following key terms:
       collectivism                 The opposite of individualism. People view themselves as a
                                    working and connected member of a team, family,
                                    organization, or clan.

       ethnocentrism                The belief that one’s native country, culture, language,
                                    customs, mores, and way of conducting an operation are
                                    superior to that of any other nation.

       femininity                   Femininity dominated cultures emphasize emotional well
                                    being, concern for people, and work/life balance.

       individualism                Exists when people look at themselves primarily as individuals
                                    and secondarily as members of teams or groups.

       masculinity                  Masculine-dominated cultures emphasize assertiveness,
                                    proaction, and acquisition of wealth as opposed to concern for
                                    people, growth, and development.

       national culture             Like organizational culture, provides the basic assumptions
                                    used to guide behavior.

       organizational culture       The system of values, beliefs, and norms in an organization. It
                                    can encourage or discourage overall effectiveness, depending
                                    on the nature of the values, beliefs, and norms.

       organizational               The process by which organizations indoctrinate and encourage
       socialization                new employees on the firm’s cultural norms and expectations.

       power distance               A measure of the extent to which those who have less power in
                                    society accept that power is distributed unequally among
                                    members of society.

       societal                     A society's attitudes about individual versus group behavior,
       interdependence              interactions with strangers, and adaptability to new situations.
       cluster                      Cultures low on group interdependence focus on individual
                                    achievements, individual rights, and encouraging individuals to
                                    excel. Cultures high in group interdependence emphasize,
                                    reward, and encourage group achievement.

       subculture                   Within a nation’s culture, a number of subcultures will likely
                                    exist. The subculture is a set of values, beliefs, and norms
                                    shared by individuals in the group making up the culture.

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Suggested Answers to Review,
Critical Thinking, and Discussion Questions
     1. If someone claimed that cultural values are the same worldwide, how would you
        Student answers will vary, but they should provide examples of values that are
        different between cultures. For example, Americans value individual achievement;
        Japanese value group achievement.

     2. Why should parent company managers learn as much as possible about a
        nation’s culture in which they work and live?
        Fully understanding a nation’s culture will make assignments there less stressful,
        reduce the number of management and regulatory problems encountered, and increase
        the likelihood of success in the assignment.

     3. Can ethnocentrism be reduced? How?
        This is a critical thinking question and student answers will vary.

        Suggested answer: Ethnocentrism is based on (and created through) limited life
        experiences, combined with national culture and pride. It is so ingrained that it is
        difficult to change, although it can be reduced (albeit slowly) through exposure to
        different cultures.

        Rather than trying to reduce ethnocentrism, a better course of action would be to learn
        to recognize and control the biases created by it.

     4. What are the dimensions that were found by Geert Hofstede? What value is
        provided to a manager by being aware of these dimensions?
        Hofstede’s research led to the identification of five cultural dimensions: power
        distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism, masculinity, and long-term

        Being aware of these dimensions can help a manager achieve higher performance by
        avoiding misunderstandings, social blunders, and risks. Recognition of the
        dimensions can also help managers develop more effective incentives and rewards.

     5. What is meant by the view that “cross-cultural communication must be
        cautiously conducted”?
        It means that words and gestures can have different meaning in different cultures, so
        forethought should be given to everything said or done in a cross-cultural situation.
        This includes postures, gestures, spoken words, written words, touching, and so on.

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       6. Why is the understanding and awareness of an organization’s culture an
          insufficient knowledge base when performing managerial roles in a country
          other than your own?
           Understanding an organization’s culture does little to prepare one for contact with
           host-country employees or the environment outside of the corporate grounds, or for
           dealing with host-country customers, vendors, and competitors.

       7. What did Schein mean when he referred to “observable components of an
          organization’s culture”? What are examples of “unobservable” components of
          an organization’s culture?
           “Observable components of an organization’s culture” means things that are visible
           and/or audible to people, such as the company logo, office layout, carpet color,
           stories, and social events.

           Unobservable components of an organization’s culture include the basic beliefs and
           assumptions shared by employees. Examples would be (a) the way the people are
           treated, (b) honest, (c) justice, and (d) compassion.

       8. Explain each of the three stages of socialization.
           During the first stage, anticipatory socialization, the new employee will gather and
           evaluate data, stories, and the history of the firm to see if there is a fit.

           This is followed by the accommodation stage, during which the employee adjusts to
           the new role, learns job tasks, builds relationships and so forth. He/she is attempting
           to fit, adjust, and cope with the organizational culture.

           The third stage is referred to as role management, during which the employee learn to
           perform the job tasks and cope with environmental pressures.

       9. Why would it be difficult to manage effectively in a situation where the manager
          lacks respect, knowledge, and understanding of subcultures that exist within a
          national culture.
           Managers, both domestic and global, must meld a common vision and establish and
           nurture a workplace culture in which optimal performance can be achieved. The glue
           that keeps employees working productively together is the manager’s behavior, tone,
           and competence. Without this “glue,” productivity and cohesion will suffer, and a
           manager is likely to fail.

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        10. A so-called expert states that “changing an organization’s culture can be
            accomplished relatively quickly if a strong, charismatic leader takes charge of
            the change process.” Comment.
              This is a critical thinking question and student answers will vary.

              Suggested answer: Corporate culture is highly ingrained and difficult to change,
              especially if a company is running smoothly and profitably. Suggested cultural
              changes under such conditions would be met with skepticism and resistance, even if a
              leader were strong and charismatic.

              When a company is unprofitable or poorly run, however, change is often welcome. A
              weak leader would likely be unable to effect changes, even under these circumstances,
              as employees would not have confidence in his/her ability to turn things around. A
              charismatic leader, on the other hand, should be able to effect cultural changes rather
              quickly by “rally the troops” with emotionally charged calls for change.

Additional Activities and Projects
1. Have students choose a country, then do research via the Internet to determine the number
   and nature of the subcultures therein.

2. Alternatively, have students identify subcultures within the college community itself, noting
   if and when communication between subcultures takes place. Examples of campus
   subcultures: teaching staff, administrative workers, service providers (cafeteria workers,
   janitors), anti-social, geeks and nerds, Goths, athletes, and so on.

3. Have students choose a country from the following list, research the country via the Internet,
   then write a paper that explains what aspects of the culture they like and dislike and whether
   they would be willing to accept a three-year work assignment there.

     Japan               France          China            Holland
     Canada              Germany         Russia           Poland

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