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Holistic Cross-Cultural Management


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A new definition of cross-cultural management

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Holistic Cross-Cultural Management

  1. 1. A Holistic Definition of Cross- Cultural Management Performance Dr. Peter Woods, Griffith Business School 9th IFSAM World Congress 2008, Shanghai
  2. 2. Co-Authors • Prof. Michelle C. Barker • Department of Management, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia Email: m.barker@griffith.edu.au • Dr. Ashlea Troth • Department of Management, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia Email: a.troth@griffith.edu.au 9th IFSAM Congress, 2008, Shanghai, PRC 2
  3. 3. Outline • Cross-cultural management performance • The adaptation approach • The skills and processes approach • Cross-cultural management and groups • Outcomes of cross-cultural management (organisational) • Proposed holistic definition of cross-cultural management 9th IFSAM Congress, 2008, Shanghai, PRC 3
  4. 4. Cross-Cultural Management Performance Perspective • Managerial performance is defined as “the cumulative stakeholder perceptions of attainment level on specific behaviours and actions that capture the full spectrum of job activities” (Fraser, 2001, p.3). • This definition reflects the reality of managers having to deal with a variety of stakeholders successfully, in order to achieve company objectives incorporating a broad and long- term perspective. 9th IFSAM Congress, 2008, Shanghai, PRC 4
  5. 5. Cultural Adaptation Approach • The social and psychological adjustment of individuals or cultural groups to the new cultural environment in which they now reside (Adelman, 1988). • Six-factor definition encompassing acceptance of the foreign culture, knowledge of the country and culture, lifestyle adjustment, interaction with local people, intercultural communication, feelings of well-being (and positive self-concept) and job performance (Tucker, Bonial, & Lahti, 2004). • The extent to which individuals are psychologically comfortable living outside their home country (Black et al., 1991). 9th IFSAM Congress, 2008, Shanghai, PRC 5
  6. 6. Cultural Intelligence (Earley, 2002, p.274) Cultural Intelligence Cognitive Motivational Behavioural Declarative & Efficacy Repertoire Procedural Knowledge Goals & Effort Mimicry Meta- Strategies Perseverance Habits and Rituals 9th IFSAM Congress, 2008, Shanghai, PRC 6
  7. 7. Problems with the Adaptation Approach • Adaptation and adjustment are used interchangeably in the expatriate literature • Adaptation, however, is conceptually different as it implies a mutual process of change between host and expatriate (Mio, Trimble, Arrendondo, Cheatham, & Sue, 1999). • In expatriate research, successful adaptation has usually been measured by the feelings of the expatriate (Black, 1988) revealing the ‘one-sided’ cultural adaptation approach predominant in expatriate research (Bonache, Brewster, & Suutari, 2001). • The adaptation approach focuses on the individual outcomes of cross-cultural management, rather than group and organisational outcomes. 9th IFSAM Congress, 2008, Shanghai, PRC 7
  8. 8. Criticisms of the Adaptation Approach • Co-cultural theory (Orbe & Spellers, 2005) - argues that good communication enables under-represented groups to define and present their own perspectives when they perceive cultural differences as salient during any interaction. • This theory recognises the power structure that limits effective cultural feedback to the manager in the supervisor- subordinate relationship. • An effective cross-cultural manager, therefore, is actively encouraging the incorporation of alternative cultural ‘voices’ rather than focussing on trying to adapt 9th IFSAM Congress, 2008, Shanghai, PRC 8
  9. 9. Criticisms of the Adaptation Approach • Post-colonial approach (Bhabha, 1994) assumes that power is exercised in a hegemonic and dominant way, so that even the identity of the cultural other is defined and fixated by the dominant group. • In applying this to critique the adaptation approach, the interpretations by the home country culture of the host country through pre-departure cross-cultural training or through the influence of the expatriate community in the host country can further reinforce the coloniser’s presentation of the host culture. • The effective cross-cultural manager, therefore, can utlilise an open-minded and active learning approach to engage with the other culture/s. 9th IFSAM Congress, 2008, Shanghai, PRC 9
  10. 10. Unique Attributes Approach • MBI Model – Map, Bridge, Integrate (Lane, Distefano and Maznevski, 2000) • Global Competencies framework derived by the International Organisations Network (ION), a multinational network of scholars and professionals (Lane, Mazneveski, Mendenhall, & McNett, 2004) • Personal skills, attributes and attitudes 9th IFSAM Congress, 2008, Shanghai, PRC 10
  11. 11. MBI Model From Lane, Distefano and Maznevski (2000), p.55 MAP BRIDGE INTEGRATE Understand Communicate Manage the across the differences the differences differences Value and - Build utilise the - Prepare participation - Cultural differences to - Decenter - Resolve achieve high Orientations - Recenter conflicts performance Framework - Build on ideas 9th IFSAM Congress, 2008, Shanghai, PRC 11
  12. 12. Global Competencies (Bird & Osland, 2004) System skills Level 4: Systems skills Make ethical decisions Build Span community boundaries through change Level 3: Interpersonal skills Interpersonal Creating and Mindful skills building trust communication Level 2: Attitudes and orientations Attitudes and Global Mindset orientations Cognitive complexity Cosmopolitanism Level 1: Threshold traits Traits Integrity Humility Inquisitiveness Hardiness Foundation Global knowledge 9th IFSAM Congress, 2008, Shanghai, PRC 12
  13. 13. Cross-Cultural Interpersonal Skills (Sue & Sue, 1990) They identified five key skills in helping across cultures: • articulating the problem • mutual goal formation • diminishing defensiveness • recognising resistance • developing recovery skills Rarely considered in considerations of cross-cultural management performance 9th IFSAM Congress, 2008, Shanghai, PRC 13
  14. 14. Problems with Current Skills Frameworks • ION framework does not incorporate culturally synergistic outcomes of cross-cultural management • ION framework focuses more on the traits, attitudes and skills of cross-cultural management, whereas the MBI model focuses on the processes of cross-cultural management. • Both areas are relevant to cross-cultural management performance, and so an integration of these concepts is relevant to the definition of cross-cultural management performance. 9th IFSAM Congress, 2008, Shanghai, PRC 14
  15. 15. Problems with Current Skills Frameworks • ION framework focuses on the performance of the manager, • The MBI model focuses on the processes of cross-cultural management. • A clearer definition of cross-cultural management performance, would specifically incorporate the three outcome areas of individual, group, and organisational, rather than current definitions that focus more on the actions of the manager. • Empirical research has not established the validity of the ION framework and the MBI model in assessing or measuring cross-cultural management. 9th IFSAM Congress, 2008, Shanghai, PRC 15
  16. 16. Attitude and CCM (Bennett, 2005, p.72) Experience of Difference Denial Defense Minimisation Acceptance Adaptation Integration Ethnocentric Stages Ethnorelative Stages 9th IFSAM Congress, 2008, Shanghai, PRC 16
  17. 17. Cross-Cultural Management and Groups/ Teams • Particularly relevant to collectivist cultures where effective management of teams is a particularly important aspect of management • Three major theories of cross-cultural management team processes - Adler (2002), Schneider & Barsoux (2003), Earley & Gibson (2002) 9th IFSAM Congress, 2008, Shanghai, PRC 17
  18. 18. Cross-Cultural Management Team Processes (Adler, 2002) 1. Describe the situation 2. Determine underlying cultural assumptions 3. Assess cultural overlaps 4. Create culturally synergistic alternatives 5. Select an alternative 6. Implement the culturally synergistic solution. 9th IFSAM Congress, 2008, Shanghai, PRC 18
  19. 19. Cross-Cultural Management Team Processes (Schneider & Barsoux, 2003) 1. Creating a sense of purpose (task) 2. Structuring the task (task) 3. Assigning roles and responsibilities (task) 4. Reaching decisions (task) 5. Team building (process) 6. Choosing how to communicate (process) 7. Eliciting participation (process) 8. Resolving conflict (process) 9. Evaluation performance (process) 9th IFSAM Congress, 2008, Shanghai, PRC 19
  20. 20. Cross-Cultural Management Team Processes (Earley & Gibson, 2002)  Role taking, status/ hierarchy and identity formation  Rituals/ habit formation and structuration  Enactment of social contracts and the development of a shared history 9th IFSAM Congress, 2008, Shanghai, PRC 20
  21. 21. Cross-Cultural Management Outcomes - Cultural Synergy • From the Greek word meaning 'working together‘ • Co-operative or combined action where the objective is to increase effectiveness (Harris & Moran, 2000) • The co-operative and combined action from two or more relevant cultural sources, which produces mutually acceptable and beneficial results for participants. 9th IFSAM Congress, 2008, Shanghai, PRC 21
  22. 22. Cross-Cultural Management Outcomes - Dilemma Reconciliation (Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner 2002) • Reduced trans-cultural competence to one skill: the ability to reconcile value dilemmas. • Based on the results of surveys of 3000 leaders and managers worldwide, and case studies of 21 international managers • The skill includes the ability to recognise and respect cultural differences, and to reconcile differences in order to produce synergies that meet stakeholder objectives. 9th IFSAM Congress, 2008, Shanghai, PRC 22
  23. 23. Cross-Cultural Management Outcomes - Productive Diversity (Cope and Kalantzis 1997) • A company-wide approach to cross-cultural management that includes the concept of managers achieving culturally synergistic solutions. • Defined as a ‘system of production that uses diversity as a resource’ (p.289). • Productive diversity includes creating organisational cohesion through managing diversity and negotiating differences to find common ground or create new ground (p.289). • Introduces the idea of organisational outcomes as part of effective cross-cultural management 9th IFSAM Congress, 2008, Shanghai, PRC 23
  24. 24. CCM Definition • ‘the achievement of productive diversity, intercultural effectiveness and cultural synergy in the performance of management across cultures, through processes including successful cultural adaptation and cross-cultural social engagement, and skills including the leadership of cross-cultural teams and the resolution of culturally related value dilemmas’ 9th IFSAM Congress, 2008, Shanghai, PRC 24
  25. 25. Summary • The different definitions/ models of CCM lead to different expectations of the outcomes of CCM • The outcomes and processes of CCM occur at an organisational, group and interpersonal level • Cross-cultural management is a complex process that involves aspects of skills, personality and attitudes 9th IFSAM Congress, 2008, Shanghai, PRC 25
  26. 26. References Adelman, M. B. (1988). "Cross-Cultural Adjustment: A Theoretical Perspective of Social Support." International Journal of Intercultural Relations 12: 183-204. Adler, N. (2002). International Dimensions of Organizational Behaviour 4th Edition. Cincinnati, South-Western. Bennett, M. J. (2005). Intercultural Communication: A Current Perspective. Understanding and Managing Diversity: Readings, Cases and Exercises. C. P. Harvey and M. J. Allard. Upper Saddle River, NJ, Pearson: 52-80. Bird, A. and J. S. Osland (2004). Global Competencies: An Introduction. The Blackwell Handbook of Global Management: A Guide to Managing Complexity. H. W. Lane, M. L. Mazneveski, M. E. Mendenhall and J. McNett. Malden, MA, Blackwell: 57-80. Black, J. S. and M. E. Mendenhall (1991). "The U-Curve Adjustment Hypothesis Revisted: A Review and Theoretical Framework." Journal of International Business Studies 22(2): 225-247. Cope, B. and M. Kalantzis (1997). Productive Diversity : A New Australian Model for Work and Management. Sydney, Pluto Press. Earley, P. C. (2002). A Theory of Cultural Intelligence in Organisations. Research in Organizational Behavior. B. M. Staw and R. Kramer. Greenwich, CT, JAI Press. 24: 271-299. Earley, P. C. and C. B. Gibson (2002). Multinational Work Teams: A New Perspective. Mahwah, NJ, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 9th IFSAM Congress, 2008, Shanghai, PRC 26
  27. 27. References Harris, P. R. and R. T. Moran (2000). Managing Cultural Differences: Leadership Strategies for a New World of Business. Houston, Gulf Publishing. Lane, H. W., J. J. DiStefano, et al. (2000). International Management Behaviour 4th Ed. Oxford, Blackwell. Schneider, S. C. and J. L. Barsoux (2003). Managing Across Cultures. Harlow, Prentice Hall. Sue, D. W. and D. Sue (1990). Counseling the Culturally Different: Theory and Practice 2nd Edition. New York, Wiley. Trompenaars, F. and C. Hampden-Turner (2002). 21 Leaders for the 21st Century. New York, McGraw Hill. Tucker, M. F., R. Bonial, et al. (2004). "The Definition, Measurement and Prediction of Intercultural Adjustment and Job Performance Amongst Corporate Executives." International Journal of Intercultural Relations 28: 221-251. Van der Zee, K., Van Oudenhoven, J. (2001). "The Multicultural Personality Questionnaire: Reliability and Validity of Self- and Other Ratings of Multicultural Effectiveness." Journal of Research in Personality 35: 278-288. van Oudenhoven, J., K. van der Zee, et al. (2001). "Successful Adaptation Strategies According to Expatriates." International Journal of Intercultural Relations 25(5): 467-482. 9th IFSAM Congress, 2008, Shanghai, PRC 27