Meaning of trans cultural valuesDocument Transcript
Unit 4: Value Systems in Management Chapter 6: Values in managers Lesson 28: Meaning of Trans-cultural valuesToday, let us try to understand the importance of trans-cultural values.Points to be covered in this lecture:• Concept of Organizational Culture and Values• Trans-cultural values For understanding the meaning of Trans-cultural values, all of you have tounderstand the meaning of Organizational Culture and Values.ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE: It has been described as “the dominant valuesespoused by an organization”.VALUES: “A specific mode of conduct or end state of existence is personally or sociallypreferable to an opposite or converse mode of conduct or end state of existence isimportant.” • Values are concepts or beliefs about desirable end states or behaviors that transcend specific situations guide selection or evaluation of behavior and events and are ordered by relative importance.
• Beliefs of a person or social group in which they have an emotional investment (either for or against something); "he has very conservatives values". • Values are traits or qualities that are considered worthwhile; they represent an individual’s highest priorities and deeply held driving forces. (Values are also known as core values and as governing values; they all refer to the same sentiment.) • Value statements are grounded in values and define how people want to behave with each other in the organization. They are statements about how the organization will value customers, suppliers, and the internal community. Value statements describe actions, which are the living enactment of the fundamental values held by most individuals within the organization. • The values of each of the individuals in your workplace, along with their experience, upbringing, and so on, meld together to form your corporate culture. The values of your senior leaders are especially important in the development of your culture. These leaders have a lot of power in your organization to set the course andenvironment and they have selected the staff for your workplace. If you think about your own life, your values form the cornerstones for all you do andaccomplish. They define where you spend your time, if you are truly living your values.Each of you makes choices in life according to your most important four – ten values.Why not take the time to identify what is most important to you and to your organization.Why Identify and Establish Values? Effective organizations identify and develop a clear, concise and shared meaning ofvalues/beliefs, priorities, and direction so that everyone understands and can contribute.Once defined, values impact every aspect of your organization. You must support andnurture this impact or identifying values will have been a wasted exercise. People willfeel fooled and misled unless they see the impact of the exercise within yourorganization. If you want the values you identify to have an impact, the following mustoccur. • People demonstrate and model their values in action in their personal work behaviors, decision-making, contribution, and interpersonal interaction. • Organizational values help each person establish priorities in their daily work life.
• Values guide every decision that is made once the organization has cooperatively created the values and the value statements. • Rewards and recognition within the organization are structured to recognize those people whose work embodies the values the organization embraced. • Organizational goals are grounded in the identified values. Adoption of the values and the behaviors that result is recognized in regular performance feedback. • People hire and promote individuals whose outlook and actions are congruent with the values. • Only the active participation of all members of the organization will ensure a truly organization-wide, value-based, shared culture.The following are examples of values: Ambition, competency, individuality, equality, integrity, service, responsibility,accuracy, respect, dedication, diversity, improvement, enjoyment/fun, loyalty, credibility,honesty, innovativeness, teamwork, excellence, accountability, empowerment, quality,efficiency, dignity, collaboration, stewardship, empathy, accomplishment, courage,wisdom, independence, security, challenge, influence, learning, compassion, friendliness,discipline/order, generosity, persistence, optimism, dependability, flexibility. Although important aspects of your life and attention, these are not values: family,church, professionalism. If you define what you value about each of these, you areidentifying the core value. As an example, the core value in family might be closerelationships; in church, spirituality. These managers are not wrong about the importance of shared values. Sharedvalues lead to consistent behavior. They provide a basis for trust and minimization oftransaction costs within an organization. Particularly, when work calls for discretion,judgment, cooperation and relationship - building, values determine the kind of workmanagement can expect.
But the understanding of values by managers is usually superficial. In myexperience managers can improve their ability to lead effective change if they will takethe trouble to understand the relationship of values to both individual and organizationalbehavior.The process of instilling organizational values requires an interactive dialogue which: • Develops a shared logic of what kind of behavior is essential for the organizations success. • Educates people about the organization as a social system so that recruitment, training, measurements, and incentives can be aligned with goals, • Improves communication and trust • Develops leadershipWhat makes it difficult for managers to make values work is that there are three differentmeanings of the concept: values. Managers need to understand these different meaningsand address them. One meaning of values describes ideals. Another describes behavior.And the third describes character. When all three of these meanings are aligned with anorganizations strategies, the result is a highly motivated corporate culture. When they arenot, the result is sub-optimal organizational performance, costly conflict, frustration, andbad faith or cynicism. Aligning the three meanings of values begins with understandingthat each has its own logic. Each requires different kinds of dialogue.Values as Ideals What are the right ideals for an organization? The answer is that they shouldmotivate customers, employees, and owners (or other stakeholders) to behave in waysthat strengthen the organization and are essential for its success. These ideals shouldinspire the right kind of behavior. Customers should want your products. Employeesshould be motivated to work together to satisfy customers and continually improve theorganization. Their work should be meaningful in terms of personal fulfillment as well asorganizational success. They should want to work in this organization. Shareownersshould be motivated to buy and hold equity in the company. When a company is prospering, little attention is paid to values. People assumethe organizational values must be right. Top management typically rethinks values onlywhen it becomes necessary to support a change in strategy and organizational culture.
This may not call for describing totally new values but rather reinterpreting old values inthe light of a changing business environment. For example, a number of technicalcompanies are learning that the meaning of customer focus has changed from sellingboxes or meeting specs to understanding how to customize solutions that help thecustomer to succeed. The CEO, consulting with senior executives, typically proposes new values orideals. Together they agree on the relationship between the values and organizationalstrategy. For these ideals to be internalized and truly shared, everyone in the organizationshould be able to interpret them and through a dialogue, test that interpretation with theorganizations leadership. The same dialogue started by the CEO with direct reports mustbe cascaded down the organization.Values as Behavior Closing the gap between ideal vs. the actual behavior requires that the teamunderstand that behavior is shaped and sustained by the corporate culture, which is asocial system. If customer focus is an essential value, the first question to be asked is:What is the meaning of customer focus? The next question is: what kind of behavior doescustomer focus require of us? Does top management in fact model this behavior? Is thisbehavior recognized, measured and rewarded? Does the behavior require knowledge andskills that are lacking? Does the behavior require different kinds of information aboutcustomers? Does the structure of the organization; the roles and authority support thisbehavior? At every level, leaders have the opportunity to teach, and to develop a commonunderstanding of what kind of behavior is required, so that this behavior is shaped by thewhole corporate social system. Partial solutions like training, or recognition will not beenough, if other parts of the system are not aligned. Thus, the interactive dialogue both educates and develops a new model ofleadership. The leader has the responsibility of facilitating the dialogue, teaching andmaking decisions about how to close the value gaps on the basis of full discussion. Byexplaining the logic of these decisions, the leader will diminish resistance and equip thosehe leads to explain decisions to their own subordinates.Values as Character The difference between a value as behavior and character gets at emotionalattitudes that can resist logic. This can be illustrated in relation to the value of teamwork.Suppose there is agreement that a certain type of teamwork is essential to reach corporategoals. The behavior required is described, recognized, and rewarded. There is training inteam skills. Yet, an individual with a strong value of autonomy and strong drive forcontrol resists becoming a team player.
Suppose this is affirmed by a 360° evaluation by the individual’s boss, colleagues,subordinates, and, perhaps customer.Can people change their character values?This depends on how strong the values are and how much the person experiences theneed to change. Some character values, which are shaped and reinforced by a national orprofessional culture, are particularly resistant to change.FRAMEWORK FOR ASSESSING CULTURES: Five value dimensions of nationalculture are: • Power distance: Degree to which people in a country accept that power in institutions and organizations is distributed unequally. Ex: Philippines and Mexico have high power distance and Austria and Denmark have low power distance • Individualism vs. collectivism: Individualism is the degree to which people in a country prefer to act as individuals rather than as members of group. • Quantity of life vs. Quality of life: Degree to which values such as assertiveness, the acquisition of money& material goods, & competition prevail is known as Quantity of life. Quality of life is the degree to which people value relationships, & show sensitivity & concern for the welfare of others. • Uncertainty avoidance: Degree to which people in a country prefer structured over unstructured situations. Ex: Culture Of Greece & Japan show high uncertainty avoidance, while Singapore shows low uncertainty avoidance. • Long term vs. short-term orientation: People in cultures with long term orientations look to the future & value thrift & persistence. A short-term orientation values the past & present, & emphasizes respect for tradition & fulfilling social obligations.The key characteristics along which culture differ: • Individual initiative: Degree of responsibility, freedom and independence that individuals have. • Risk tolerance: Degree to which employees are encouraged to be aggressive, innovative and risk-seeking. • Direction: Degree to which organization create clear objectives and performance expectations.
• Integration: Degree to which units within the organization are encouraged to operate in a coordinated manner. • Management support • Control: Number of rules and regulations, and the amount of direct supervision that are used to oversee and control employee behavior. • Identity: Degree to which members identify with the organization as a whole rather than with their particular work group. • Reward system • Conflict tolerance: Degree to which employee’s are encouraged to air conflicts and criticisms seriously. • Communication patterns: Degree to which organizational communications r restricted to the formal hierarchy of authority.Large organizations have a dominant culture and numerous sets of subcultures.DOMINANT CULTURE expresses the core values that are shared by a majority of theorganization’s members.SUBCULTURE tends to develop in large organizations to reflect common problems,situations, or experiences that members face. Subculture tends to be defined bydepartmental designations or geographical separation.MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS: The acquisition of Electronic Data systems for $2.5 bn in 1984 by GM has been a mixed blessing for GM. On the positive side, it hashelped to diversify the large automaker & given it a strong source of automation expertisethat GM felt it needs to modernize its production plants. However GM has had problemsintegrating EDS into its operations. The basic problem seemed to be that while GM’sculture sought to minimize the conflict, risk & personal independence, the EDS culturethrived on competitiveness & aggressiveness. This example illustrates that if the twoorganizations have strong culture then the potential for “culture clash” becomes very real. The two most critical factors determining whether a merger or acquisition issuccessful Is the strength of each organization’s culture & the degree of differences thatexist between the organization’s key cultural diff. Cultural differences between countries constrain cross-national diffusion.Corporate culture within an MNC can help in diffusion of practices across borders
through the forging of shared understandings and values. Performance related pay is anexample of a practice that operates more easily in some cultures than in others. (Acceptedin Anglo-Saxon business cultures but not in France, Germany or Italy).WHY SHOULD YOU KNOW ABOUT TRANSCULTURAL VALUES:GLOBALIZATION: Globalization affects a manager’s people skills in lot many ways.At the managerial level you have to work with people who are born and raised indifferent cultures. What is right according to you may be is wrong according to them. Somanagers have to become capable of working with people from diff. Cultures andbecause values differ across cultures, an understanding of these differences should behelpful in explaining and predicting behavior of employees from different countries.TRANS-CULTURAL VALUES Trans-cultural values are those beliefs that people across the world are associatingthemselves with. These beliefs have come in various people because of social changesbrought by globalization, increased mobility and ethnic intermingling. As you work with people from multicultural backgrounds, you will find that thesedifferences raise barriers to trans-cultural communication.There are some barriers, which are discussed in detail in the following paragraphs.Fear: Each person perceives the other person as different and, therefore, dangerous.Usually as people become better acquainted with each other, the fear gradually dissipates,only to be replaced by dislike.Dislike: Group members have a tendency to dislike people who behave or communicatedifferently from what is considered “the norm” in that culture or group. For example, aworking class black person might dislike a middleclass white person because white
people tend to be less vocal and expressive than many black people, and thus appearinsincere and weak.Distrust: People from different cultures are often suspicious of each other’s actions andmotives because they lack information. Unfortunately, unless there is pressure to changetheir attitudes, some people never do progress beyond fear, dislike, and distrust to thenext stage of acceptance.Acceptance: Usually if two people from different cultures share enough goodexperiences over a period of time, they will begin to accept each other rather than resenteach other.Respect: If individuals from diverse cultures are open minded, they would allowthemselves to see and admire qualities in one another.Trust: Once people from diverse cultures have spent enough quality time together, theyusually are able to trust each other.Like: For people to like each other, they must share many things in common. To reachthis final stage, individuals from diverse cultures must be able to concentrate on thehuman qualities that bind people together, rather than the differences that pull peopleapartRacismIndividual racism: Individuals are discriminated against because of their visiblebiological characteristics; for example, black skin or the epicanthic fold of the eyelid inAsians.Cultural racism: An individual or institution claims that its cultural heritage is superiorto that of other individuals or institutions.Institutional racism: Institutions (universities, businesses, hospitals) manipulate ortolerate policies that unfairly restrict the opportunities of certain races, cultures, orgroups.One of the flaws in the profession is an unwillingness to recognize that racism isendemic. This unwillingness results in a lack of discussion about racism and leads toresponses that exacerbate the problem.Bias and Ethnocentrism Whatever their cultural background, people have a tendency to be biased towardtheir own cultural values, and to feel that their values are right and the values of othersare wrong or not as good. Many people are surprised to discover that the values and
actions people so admire in their own culture may look them upon with suspicion fromother cultures, which are equally biased. The belief that one’s own culture or traditions are better than those of othercultures is called ethnocentrism. The person who is ethnocentric tends to antagonize andalienate people from other cultures.Cultural biases can distort your perception of other people’s values and behavior, andthus damage your ability to communicate. To overcome your biases, you must firstacknowledge that they exist.StereotypingA cultural stereotype is the unsubstantiated assumption that all people of a certain racialand ethnic group are alike.For example: All sindhis are businessmen. A son of a doctor is a doctor.Stereotyping is particularly destructive when negative traits or characteristics are imposedon all members of a cultural group.Ritualistic Behavior A ritual is a set procedure for performing a task. Every culture has its own waysto perform a task. It might happen that different people may do same things differently.For example we can see that management style of U.S.A differs from Indian managementstyle, this happens just because of rituals taught to Indians by their family members andthe society.Language Barriers Language provides the tools (words) that allow people to express their thoughtsand feelings. Thus, language barriers present a grave threat to transculturalcommunication among different individuals.Conflicting Perceptions and Expectations When people from different cultures try to communicate, their best efforts may bethwarted by misunderstandings and even serious conflicts. Misunderstandings due tocultural differences commonly arise in situations involving food and drink. To prevent conflicts and misunderstandings, make sure that the message you sendis the same message that the receiver receives. When there is a language barrier, you willneed to work closely with an interpreter.
So, I hope now you must have understood that what are trans-cultural values and what arethe barriers faced by them at the time of implementation.Overview: Organizational Culture has been described as “the dominant values espoused by an organization.” Values imply “a specific mode of conduct or end state of existence is personally or socially preferable to an opposite or converse mode of conduct or end state of existence is important.” Trans-cultural values are those beliefs that people across the world are associating themselves with. These beliefs have come in various people because of social changes brought by globalization, increased mobility and ethnic intermingling.ActivityDiscuss the barriers to cross-cultural communication?