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Cultural diversity

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  • 1. Cultural Diversity Shohail M. Choudhury
  • 2. The concept of culture (Bodley 1994:9) Category Description Topical Culture consists of everything on a list of topics, or categories, such as social organization, religion and economy. Historical Culture is social heritage, or tradition, that is passed on to future generations Behavioural Culture is shared; learned human behaviour; a way of life. Normative Culture is ideals, values, or rules for living. Functional Culture is the way human solve problems of adapting to the environment or living together. Mental Culture is a complex of ideas, or learned habits, that inhibit impulses and distinguish people from animals. Structural Culture consists of patterned and interrelated ideas, symbols and behaviours. Symbolic Culture is based on arbitrarily assigned meanings that are shared by a society
  • 3. The concept of culture  Culture: the unique pattern of shared assumptions, values, and norms that shape the socialization, symbols, language, narratives, and practices of a group of people.  Shared assumptions: the underlying thoughts and feelings that members of a culture take for granted and believe to be true.  Value: a basic belief about something that has considerable importance and meaning to individuals and is stable over time.
  • 4. Levels of culture Culture operates at three levels: 1. Observable or tangible level: Artefacts and attitudes can be observed in terms of architecture, rituals, dress codes, language, eating and so on. 2. Norms and Values: Norms- are statements of fact about the way things are. Simply rules of the society. Values- are to do with general preferences as to what is good and what is bad. 3. Deepest level – basic assumptions – difficult to explore. Observable elements: Practices, symbols, socialization, language, narratives. Hidden elements: values, norms and basic assumptions.
  • 5. Elements of culture Language: a shared system of vocal sounds, written signs, and/or gestures used to convey special meanings among members of a culture. Narratives: the unique stories, sagas, legends, and myths in a culture. Practices:  Taboos: culturally forbidden behaviors  Ceremonies: elaborate and formal activities designed to generate strong feelings
  • 6. Cultural perspectives One perspective views culture as an ideological entity encompassing values, norms, customs and traditions. Other perspective views culture as a combination of ideological and material elements such as what and how people eat, what they wear and what they use. (Reisinger and Turner 2003: 10) Which perspective is more relevant to the tourism and hospitality sector?
  • 7. Industry Culture Like nations, industries, organizations and occupational groups have their own culture. The tourism industry culture is more customer-oriented than banking culture. Different functions in organizations – finance, production, marketing are also characterized by distinct cultures – they have different task requirements, time frames and customers. (Cartoon: Functional caricatures – Schneider and Barsoux 2003:66)
  • 8. Tourist, host and tourism Culture Tourist culture is the culture that tourists bring on vacation. May be their own or that of their country. Host culture is the culture of the host country. All participants involved in the tourism process creates a distinct ‘tourism culture’, which is distinct from that of their routine and everyday culture. Tourists when abroad are in different state of mind and the hosts provide them hospitality service. However both groups retain a residue of their own culture when in contact. (Reisinger and Turner 2003: 10)
  • 9. Tourism cross-cultural studies Members of different societies have opposite cultural orientations and expectations. What one culture regards as normal and acceptable behaviour the other one may regard as insulting and irritating. American: Being yourself, open, friendly, direct, confident, outspoken and informal. Can be seen by Asian as: aggressive, lacking grace, manners and cleverness. It is important to analyse cultural differences and understand the effects. (Reisinger and Turner 2003: 28)
  • 10. Tourism cross-cultural studies Cultural differences are specially relevant to the tourism industry. It’s a service industry where people from different cultures can meet. Most studies found that national cultures influence tourist and host behaviour. Therefore, national culture of tourists warrants more detailed examination. On the other hand, tourism industry need the knowledge and skills necessary to lead and motivate workforces across many different cultural backgrounds. (Reisinger and Turner 2003: 29)
  • 11. Internal External Focus of Attention Stable Flexible FormalControlOrientation Clan Culture Entrepreneurial Culture Bureaucratic Culture Market Culture Basic Types of Organizational Cultures
  • 12. Bureaucratic Culture  Behavior of employees is governed by formal rules and standard operating procedures, and coordination is achieved through hierarchical reporting relationships  Focuses on predictability, efficiency, and stability  Tasks, responsibilities, and authority clearly spelled out  Internal Focus
  • 13. Clan Culture Behaviors of employees are shaped by tradition, loyalty, personal commitment, extensive socialization, and self-management Formal rules and procedures minimized High sense of member obligation and identity to the organization Long and thorough socialization process Mentors and role models Strong peer pressure Internal focus
  • 14. Andres Smith, Accountant, Analytic Graphics, Inc., Easton, Pennsylvania “There’s a family mentality here as opposed to just being another number. That trickles down from the top. He [the CEO] knows everyone’s name and says ‘hi’ everyday when I see him during morning workouts at the gym.” Clan Culture: Snapshot
  • 15. External focus and flexibility create an environment that encourages risk taking, dynamism, and creativity Encouraged and rewarded Entrepreneurial Culture Commitment to experimentation, innovation, and being on the leading edge Creates change and quickly reacts to change Individual initiative, flexibility, and freedom seen as fostering growth
  • 16. Market Culture Values and norms reflect the importance of achieving measurable and demanding goals, especially those that are financial and market based (e.g., sales growth, profitability and market share) Hard driving competitiveness dominates Profits orientation and quantifiable performance goals prevail Minimal informal social pressure on members Superior interactions with subordinates focus on performance-reward (economic) agreement and resource allocations
  • 17. Organisational Sub-culture Sub-culture exists when assumptions, values, and norms are shared by some—but not all—organisational members Departments and divisions within the organisation have their own subcultures • Occupational subcultures • Geographically based subcultures • Subcultures created by managers Positive cultures are created by managers who: recognize personal milestones, such as birthdays and employment anniversaries; hold public celebrations for professional achievements; sponsor picnics and parties; and listen to their employees and recognize the efforts they put into work
  • 18. Organisational Sub-culture Diverse workforce demographics create subcultures Ethnicity Age Gender and other demographics Ethnicity refers to a wide variety of groups of people who share a language, history, religion and identity themselves with a common nation or cultural system. Ethnic cultural traits are passed on to children.
  • 19. Cultural diversity Cultural diversity has been defined as “the representation, in one social system, of people with distinctly different group affiliations of cultural significance.” Researchers have gone further to define diversity in primary and secondary dimensions. Primary dimensions being age, ethnicity, gender, physical abilities/qualities, race, and sexual/affectional orientation. The primary dimensions “shape our basic self-image as well as our fundamental world view.” Additionally, they have the most impact on groups in the workplace and society.
  • 20. Cultural diversity The secondary dimensions include educational background, geographic location, income, marital status, religious beliefs and work experience. These impact our “self esteem and self definition.” These dimensions are not exact—there are times when the secondary dimensions will have as much impact as the primary dimensions.
  • 21. Managing cultural diversity and inclusion Cultural diversity: encompasses the full mix of the cultures and subcultures to which members of the workforce belong Organisational goals for managing cultural diversity include: Legal compliance Creating a positive culture for employees Create greater economic value for the organization
  • 22. Case Study Disney Expands Global Empire to Hong Kong
  • 23. Next Class Cultural Diversity Management: Theories