Handbook for Working with Culturally Diverse Geographically Dispersed Teams


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Handbook for Working with Culturally Diverse Geographically Dispersed Teams

  1. 1. Handbook for Working with Culturally Diverse Geographically Dispersed Teams OM 304 Global and Cross-Cultural Perspectives: Dealing with New People, Cultures, Places and Technologies with Gary Fontaine, Ph.D. Team Teal with Zeal Carol Preston Brown Patti Gilbertson Marcie Martin Darren Pitcher Pat Weiland July 30, 2005
  2. 2. Table of Contents Introduction 2 FAQ or Frequently Asked Questions 2 Chapter 1: Where do we begin? Assessment 6 Self Assessment 6 Team Assessment - Now That You Understand Yourself What About the Team? 8 Assessing Situational Environments 9 Chapter 2: Expatriates – So You Are Going on an Adventure 12 Chapter 3: A Word about the communication and how… 15 Technology and Communication 15 The Challenge of Asynchronous Communication 16 Chapter 4: Training and Leadership 20 Leadership Development 20 Intercultural Training Issues 22 Chapter 5: How Do You Know What Motivates Other Members of the Team? How do you Trust Your Team 27 Motivation 27 Trust 29 Chapter 6: What Do You Absolutely Positively Need to Know? 30 Psychological Processes in Intercultural Relations 30 Conclusion: The Happy Ending – in no way finished… 33 References 34 Index 35 2
  3. 3. Introduction “To understand one another, we must still depend on the oldest system of all: human imagination, tolerance, determination and the will to learn continuously (O’Hara-Devereaux, 1994.)” FAQ or Frequently Asked Questions Why is a handbook needed for global teams? “Anyone operating in or leading global teams must clearly take into account the team members’ cultural background in order to be effective…..When members of different national cultures come together, their basic templates for conducting interdependent action often differ greatly. ….These differences can damage business relationships, as one person interprets another’s words or behavior in a way in which it was not intended, and more important, neither person recognizes that the misinterpretation has occurred.” (Mendenhall, p.159) Cultural acumen is dependent upon the skill, the ability to receive information, dispense information, implement process and procedure, empathy, sensitivity, and willingness, to name a few. With lack of knowledge in a new cultural setting, the individual can be rendered immobile. Simple techniques, resources and tools, or where to find more information can ease the burden of a newly forming team. Why bother? “Two sets of empirical studies have shown that when multicultural groups engage in effective integration processes, they perform at least as well, sometimes better than homogenous teams.” (Mendenhall, p.160) “Business performance yields better results when management practices are congruent with national culture.” (Mendenhall, p.159) What do you mean by culture? There are many different definitions of culture dating back to the 1800’s. Here are some definitions…. Ting-Toomey definition: “Culture is a learned system of meanings that fosters a particular sense of group identity and community among its group members. It is a complex frame of reference that consists of patterns of traditions, beliefs, values, norms, symbols, and meanings that are shared to varying degrees by interacting members of a community (Landis, Bennett, Bennett, p. 218)". Defined as ‘the shared way of life of a group of people’: what is shared is their culture; who shares it is the social group or society. (Landis, Bennett & Bennett, p. 167) The first definition by Tyler in (1871) reads ”that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, laws, customs and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society (Landis, Bennett & Bennett, p.167)". 3
  4. 4. Linton (1936) defined culture as “the total social heredity of mankind.”(Landis, Bennett & Bennett, p. 168) Herskovits (1948) stated that ‘culture is the man-made part of the environment’. (Landis, Bennett & Bennett, p. 168) Kroeber and Kluckhohn (1952) suggested that there are six major classes of definition of culture to be found in the anthropological literature. • Descriptive –attempt to list aspects thought to be examples of culture • Historical – emphasize the accumulation of tradition over time rather than enumerating the total range of cultural phenomena. Often heritage or heredity are frequently used in these definitions. • Normative – emphasize shared rules that govern…usually not clearly observable found behind overt activity; implicit rather than explicit • Psychological – emphasize features like adjustment, problem solving, learning, and habits. • Structural – emphasize the pattern or organization of culture features that hold it together. (Implicit) • Genetic- emphasize the origin, or genesis of culture. Within this category there are three main answers given: culture arises because it is adaptive to the habitat of the habitat of a group, out of social interaction, and out of a creative process that is a characteristic of the human species. (Landis, Bennett & Bennett, p. 168) Culture is the product and result of labor, a part of the same process. Culture unifies, in GDTs or geographically dispersed teams, conception and execution. Synonymous with outcomes, it is the product of labor and is a metaphor of organizational history. It also summarizes how a GDT will identify and distinguish itself. Isn’t that stereotyping? “Participants in diversity programs sometimes resist the idea of subjective culture because it seems like a 'label.' They justifiably are trying to avoid cultural stereotypes. Unfortunately, the answer to how much stereotyping may be avoided is often to “treat everyone as an individual. This is its own form of cultural chauvinism, imposing a Western notion of individualism on every situation. It is more beneficial to avoid cultural stereotypes by using accurate cultural generalizations…based on systemic cross-cultural research. They refer to predominant tendencies among groups of people so they are not labels for individuals. A given individual may exhibit the group tendency, a lot, a little or not at all. So, cultural generalizations must be applied to individuals as tentative hypotheses, open to verification. Further, cultural generalizations can be used to describe cultural groups at varying “levels of abstraction.” For example, cultural groupings at a very high level like Eastern or Western cultures, or a relatively specific grouping such as African American and European American. Because people have multi-layered cultural identities, it is appropriate to use generalizations at several levels of abstraction simultaneously. For instance, someone could be described as belonging to groups like Americans, Latinos, South-Westerners, males, and engineers.” Because of their similarities to stereotypes, generalizations need to be used cautiously and be based on research not personal experience and comparisons made at the same level of abstraction. 4
  5. 5. (Landis, Bennett, Bennett, p.151.) Going back to the definition or any one of the definitions we find solace in the inclusion rather than the exclusion of any group within a culture. The difference being stereotyping is based in commonalities. So whose culture is best? Do we adopt yours mine or ours? Each culture has the power of survival and each culture exists on its own. By utilizing the inherent characteristics of any group you develop greater strength. “The most effective cultural teams develop a combination of (1) common norm followed by everyone and (2) a norm of adapting to individual’s own preferences. The latter strategy is possible because the various sets of norms are not as often incompatible as they are simply different.” (Mendenhall, p. 161) For example, one culture might encourage speaking out publicly whereas it is discouraged in another. Both preferences could be accommodated by adopting a strategy in which participants give feedback in email which is brought to the common meeting forum by designated individuals. Can’t we just get started and figure it out as we go along? “Davison discovered that it is necessary to implement “team basics” at the beginning. In particular the team has to bring to the surface and respect hidden cultural diversity, and the working method and performance goals must be agreed upon.” Starting work immediately without clarifying the basics will most likely lead to loss of efficiency in the course of teamwork. (Mendenhall, p.216) With a basis of respect and a willingness to listen you can start something, but with a basis of knowledge team development is smoother. The GDT participant, to become proficient in navigating cultural environments, must begin with, at the very least, knowing where to get information if the individual does not have the information. A handbook facilitates the ease by which to get the creative juices flowing. The presentation that this is an all-inclusive “we-can-get-you-out-of-any-shark infested-cultural waters” is not what this book is about. It is only the beginning. The motivation to develop expertise in cultural interaction in GDTs is incumbent upon the reader. 5
  6. 6. Chapter 1: Where do we begin? Assessment Self Assessment It has been said that what culture hides, it hides most effectively from its own participants (Hall, 1959/1981, p.30)" (quoted in Peppas, 2004). We must know how to deal with the person in the mirror before we can deal with those of whom we have little control. In the book Multinational Work Teams: A New Perspective the authors Earley and Gibson state, “There is the value of self-awareness, that is to say that all individuals seek to determine their position and purpose in the world. It refers to the fundamental question of who we are in our social system. Self- definition is the single most critical value and it underlies many of our actions”. Self is a complicated and diverse topic that is not at times easily understood. The way we act and react to the environment around us is based on many interlocking forces. It has been said that we don’t choose our parents. Likewise we usually have little power over the circumstances in which we grow up. Certain values and beliefs are instilled in us as we grow. Later in life we gain more control of the subject matter we choose to assimilate. We begin to travel down certain pathways of interest eventually settling on a lifestyle that suits us. This lifestyle may include leadership responsibilities. Those leadership responsibilities may include interaction with different cultures. Leadership means many things to many people but one universal theme that is always prevalent is the fact that leaders deal with people. Relationships must be developed. For that reason we will explore 5 dimensions of how we relate to other people. Once we know what our beliefs are, we create a lens from which we can view and interact with the world around us. Fons Trompenaars and Charles Hampden-Turner describe these five dimensions in great detail in their book Riding the Waves of Culture; Understanding Diversity in Global Business The group of five is listed below with a layman’s explanation in parenthesis. 1. Universalism versus particularism (rules versus relationships) 2. Communitarianism versus individualism (the group versus the individual) 3. Neutral versus emotional (the range of feelings expressed) 4. Diffuse versus specific (the range of involvement) 5. Achievement versus ascription (how status is accorded) We will discuss each trait enough to allow you to get a sense of which one pertains to you but we will not go as in-depth as Trompenaars and Turner did. Keep in mind that as you become aware of your own beliefs that you keep an open mind to those traits which may not apply to you but to people with whom you may someday supervise or interact. Many metaphors come to mind when we talk about the differences between universalism and particularism. Do you like things to be black and white or do you prefer the gray area? Universalists believe that a deal is a deal and if you say you are going to do something then by god you do it. They can spend valuable time just getting to know you, which can be unnerving for Universalists. Businesses can benefit by having people from 6
  7. 7. both groups work together. The culture blends the 'cold' business-like Universalist with the 'warm' people-friendly Particularist to create a balance. As in the case of universalism and particularism, it is probably truer to say that these dimensions are complementary, not opposing, preferences. They can each be effectively reconciled by an integrative process, a universalist that learns its limitations from particular instances, for example, and by the individual voluntarily addressing the needs of the larger group (Trompenaars, Turner 1998). Many people have found that they ride the fence with regard to this dimension. Depending on the circumstance a person may take the lead or settle into the group setting. Individualists are those people that ideally achieve alone and assume personal responsibility. Communitarians are more group oriented and usually need a consensus by others to make a decision. The two groups working together work as a check and balances system which prevents spontaneous decisions and long drawn out debates. The trick to dealing with this trait is agreeing on the concept of time. Individuals must be patient with communitarians and communitarians must be able to conduct group business in an efficient time sensitive manner. In relationships between people, reason and emotion both play a role. Which of these dominates will depend upon whether we are affective, that is we show our emotions, in which case we probably get an emotional response in return, or whether we are emotionally neutral in our approach (Trompenaars & Hampden-Turner 1998). Neutral people will always win the poker game when playing affective people. They are all business and personal issues rarely make it into the workplace. People who are affective wear their emotions on their sleeves. Most dealings become dramatic and animated. Personal baggage is always a threat to interfere with workplace issues. Gender plays a part in these differences but it is not meant to be stereotypical. Both traits can appear in both genders. Emotion can also be influenced by stress, eating habits, self-esteem and so on. Sifting through the outbursts will allow a good leader to get the most out of both groups. Closely related to whether we show emotions in dealing with other people is the degree to which we engage others in specific areas of life and single levels of personality, or diffusely in multiple areas of our lives and at several levels of personality at the same time (Trompenaars & Hampden-Turner 1998). Specific leaders can be characterized as very direct purposeful individuals. They have strong beliefs and are not shy about sharing those beliefs with anyone close enough to listen. Diffuseness in people is shown by ambiguity and tactful communications. As a manager you must realize those under you who need specific instructions and those who view vague instructions as a license to explore new horizons on company time. The fifth dimension addresses status; both earned and ascribed. This dimension has several components which can have a major impact on the culture of the company. Ascription oriented companies extensively use titles to clarify their position within the company. Some cultures still hang value on titles while others do not. Your situation will some times be decided geographically. Achievement oriented companies’ value the achievements of their people and reward those people based on those achievements. 7
  8. 8. Respect for superiors is based on how effectively his or her job is performed and how adequate their knowledge (Trompenaars, Turner 1998). Gender issues fade away because emphasis is placed on achievement and not whether the person is male or female. These five dimensions that we have briefly discussed are universal throughout the world. As was previously stated, geography may play a bigger part than one might think. That combined with differences in the concept of time present many challenges for today’s culturally diverse organizations. The lens from which one views the world is paramount to the actions one might take in dealing with that world. He or she may change perspectives based on the level of management one possesses and the class of people in which one may interact with. We believe that is ok. We stress however that one look inward before attempting to lead. We also stress that your way of doing things may not always be the right way. We offer this final bit of advice. “Seek first to understand, then to be understood (Covey, 2004) Team Assessment -- Now that you understand yourself what about the team? One of the important overall strategies for success of internationally dispersed teams is that of assessment. This is one of the initial steps and is a continuing process throughout an international assignment. Identifying the Participants Who may be the likely most successful candidates for international teamwork? There are many salient attitudes and characteristics. The Overseas Assignment Inventory identifies 14 predictors to help choose team members. A useful checklist may include: 1. Expectations: How realistic and informed are the expectations he or she holds regarding living and working in the context of this foreign culture? 2. Open-mindedness: How would we rate their receptivity to different beliefs and ideas? 3. Respect for others’ beliefs: A sincere and non-judgmental interest in the political and religious beliefs of others is evident. 4. Trust in people: Does she or he have the ability to convey and encourage mutual trust among co-workers and associates? 5. Tolerance: The capacity to withstand and even embrace the unfamiliar is a needed skill. 6. Personal control: Where is he on the continuum of internal vs. external locus of control? An internal locus of control is associated with persistence and extra effort when confronted with change. 7. Flexibility: How able is this person to consider new ideas, receive and accept feedback? 8. Patience: This is a major skill when dealing with differences in time perception for example. 8
  9. 9. 9. Adaptability: Is this potential team member able to socialize comfortably with new and unfamiliar groups of people? 10. Self-confidence/initiative: A person able to trust her own self- judgments while unafraid of accepting new ones is more likely to do well on an international team. 11. Sense of humor: This quality is an important aspect of effective intercultural adjustment. 12. Interpersonal interest: Sincere interest and concern for others is crucial to his effectiveness and happiness in this foreign workplace. 13. Interpersonal harmony: Are the social skills of ability to accept, empathize and mediate personal and professional relationships evident? 14. Spouse/family communication: Success in adjusting to a new culture is enhanced when communication is good among family members. Honest self- appraisal by the prospective team member can prevent premature departure from a foreign appointment (Fetterolf, 1989). A thorough needs assessment of the employee, spouse/partner and the HR liaison for the assignment should be conducted. Remember to gather relevant data on: • the assignment objectives • past international experience • the employee’s job responsibilities and developmental goals • spouse interests and requirements • children’s special needs • family dynamics • expectations of each family member • and any unique issues or concerns (Bennett, 2000). Identifying what are some characteristics of the specific work team culture, keeping in mind that each international team may be unique. By assessing these specific features well, there is likely to be a better match between the needs and skills of the participants and the requirements of task completion. Assessing the Situational Environment of the International Assignment Here we are looking for information about the skills, expectations, relationships between participants, as well as the physical environment and available resources for effective completion of the task. Where is the assignment? Is it a long distance from home, with a different climate and time zone? What about safety factors in the environment such as rules of the road, insects, illnesses and proximity to medical conveniences? What are the legal and political differences that could affect the assignees behavior and decisions? Is it in a bustling urban environment or a rural or small town setting? “There are major differences between assignment to a destination with a large international community and a high level of international business activity versus those with no such community or business activity (Fontaine, 1997, Ch 1) 9
  10. 10. An awareness of the skills needed to deal with the differences between types of organizations is critical. International assignments are common in these very different types of organizations: “Commerce, diplomacy, military, intelligence, advising, consulting, transportation, foreign employment, foreign study, relief work, goodwill exchanges, research, journalism, communications, athletics, entertainment, religious missions and pilgrimages, migration, tourism, and recreation. (Fontaine, 1997, Ch 1)” What about the task specific ecological characteristics? There will be a sequence of tasks to be completed in order to make a success of the assignment. “Each of these occurs within a task ecology that might differ considerably from task to task. They could include task objectives, their importance to the assignee, the physical setting in which the task takes place, the resources available, the degree to which the task is structured, the number of participants, their past experiences on similar tasks, their current relationships with one another, their anticipation of future interaction, and their motives, skills and personalities (Fontaine, 1997, Ch. 1.)” • The corporate culture of the assignment needs to be assessed and understood. This is addressed elsewhere in the handbook. What are the perceptions of procedural fairness of the organization? These are based on at least two categories of factors: 1. the structural aspects of decision processes, such as whether people are allowed to provide input into decisions , and 2. the interpersonal behavior of those responsible for implementing decisions - also known as interactional justice- for example, whether they treated the affected parties with dignity and respect . These perceptions have been found to be significant in measuring the likelihood of employees to give up vs. stay with an international assignment. (Garonzik, 2000) • A further critical area to assess is that of social support in the international assignment. While it is during the international assignment that the social support component becomes vital, it is helpful to assess one’s patterns of social support needs prior to the assignment. Identifying the social support provided at home is a skill, and involves noting who provides the support, what kind of needs are met, and is the support quite focused or is it more diffuse, across a number of people and groups. The next skill involves identifying the social support needs while on assignment. As Fontaine (1997, Ch. 8) notes, “Who is left behind and how much support will they continue to provide? The skill in identifying support needs on the assignment should involve an examination of the kinds of activities and experiences associated with optimal moods and the degree to which all or some of them require social support”. Next, identify the social support available on the assignment. • what support group come with the assignee • what support is provided by the organization 10
  11. 11. • does the destination have a well functioning and easily accessible expatriate community • to what degree might accessibility to host culture support groups be affected by language, culture, security and attitudes toward the assignee’s country A broad range of support opportunities should be identified, to make it possible for truly successful international work. Accurate and ongoing, increasingly deep assessment of all features of international work, is the foundation for achievement of employee and company goals. This means success for the organizations involved and for the individual employees and their families. 11
  12. 12. Chapter 2 – Expatriates – So you’re going on an adventure….. THE EFFECT OF Expatriates IN GEOGRAPHICALLY DISPERSE TEAMS OR Watch out!! Someone THREW A GRENADE in your intercultural landscape! A possible symbolic grenade might be the organizational culture expatriate. In today’s evolving global business environment, the expatriate is someone who has found it necessary, in order to perform her/his duties as part of a GDT, to move to a geographical area which has its own set of culture paradigms. The individual finds her/himself in a variety of unknowns and possible pitfalls. In this instance, as the GDT leader, the first conflict you may wish to avoid is any assumptive thinking. The Group As shown by Johnson and Johnson, a group of strangers will complete a task given the presence of the requisite leadership (p. 58). So basically, even in the absence of adaptive processes, the expatriate will do the job. Yet, with no map to navigate the cultural waters, the job may leave the group interaction in devastation. Ideas of ascribing certain behaviors based on peripheral knowledge of the originating culture of the member or the member herself/himself may create more conflict within the GDT. If the leader begins with an observational process of the expatriate, some conflicts may be avoided preliminarily (Johnson and Johnson, pp 25-26). Challenges to the Well-Functioning Expatriates Observational process for discerning the efficacy of the expatriate will serve you well. Team members who demonstrate observable high self-efficacy may be assumed to automatically possess the necessary skills to adapt to the new environment. If you look again, you will find, despite the high degree of ability, if the expatriate is without the knowledge of the environment, how can they adapt? In discussing community and the components that deny cohesiveness, Ruth Frankenberg summarizes that in terms of the environments we live in, or in this case work in, “…not only do we live in it but it, by some architectural trick, lives in us” (Thompson, p. 3). The trick for the transitioning of the expatriate is not only to find a niche within the group, but to allow, given the self- efficacy of the expatriate, the ability for the architectural design to reside within the expatriate. Finding a manner in which to disseminate knowledge of the current culture will facilitate the ease by which the expatriate finds rhythm within the new environment. (Mendenhall & Wiley, p. 613). Predictors of performance in the pre-departure phase include the following: • The parent company’s attitude and preparation • A positive and supportive attitude of the local unit • Cultural diversity and succession planning • Resourcefulness of expatriates (competencies, resources, skills, personality characteristics, previous experiences.) • Pre-departure expectations (expected difficulties and benefits of the assignment) • Motivational states (willingness and commitment) 12
  13. 13. Factors that facilitate adjustment in the post-arrival stage: • Expatriate acculturation attitudes (integration as opposed to assimilation and separation.) • Perceptions (e.g. perceived cultural distance) • Socialization and support in the local unit. (Mendenhall, p. 124-25.) Laying out the Map The exchange within this dynamic is of universalistic and particularistic dimensions. Sharing the information resource, the GDT Leader conveys a universal acceptance of the cultural paradigms. The expatriate will naturally value this with particularistical high regard. In contrast, the same resource exchanged by a non-leader may have less value and thus have a more universal dimension (Earley & Gibson, p. 157). In keeping with this theme, the GDT Leader must establish the cultural parameters with the expatriate, allowing the collective to reinforce such exchange. Designating cultural knowledge agents creates an environment of mutual dependence. In addition, this particular strategy provides the underlying components for future GDT success. This dynamic lends itself well to tacit knowledge sharing, from which the expatriate can garner the requisite skill and knowledge more often from the team, thus freeing the GDT Leader from an individual, hands-on training. Globalizing the cultural training unleashes the creativity within the group, as well as the expatriate’s knowledge value contribution. In addition, the assignation of cultural knowledge sharing within the team advances the future success by neutralizing possible challenges by the expatriate’s cultural “ignorance”, while improving the overall performance of the group (Von Krogh, et al.). Applying knowledge creation components to expatriate integration will establish preliminary steps to incorporating the expatriate into the group dynamic. Role Reversal So you think, okay, if I come across an expatriate in the GDT leadership experience, I will be okay if I learn several techniques for integration, observation, and participation? Well, let me rock your boat a little. What if you are the expatriate? How do you function within this dynamic facilitating the success of the team, while incorporating the existing culture in the panorama? You prep yourself ahead of time. Culture versus Culture Your adaptive behavior will be determined by the type of conflict with the culture at hand: “role” conflict or a “novelty” conflict (Mendenhall & Wiley, p. 615). Quite simply, a role conflict occurs when your superior is a host culture/group citizen, and your personal originating culture processes clash. In contrast, role novelty is the GDT leader who works without having an immediate superior to whom to report, and practices his cultural expertise by impression management. Impression Management Depending on the circumstance, the process will differ, but the desired outcome is cultural proficiency. The expatriate GDT Leader in varying cultural environments utilizes impression management to present an assimilative personality to the host culture. Impression management is simply the appearance of acceptable behaviors within the 13
  14. 14. culture norms. To accomplish the impression management tactic, the GDT leader must be able to intersect the cultural structure; identify behaviors scripted by hierarchy, classification, responsibilities, etc.; objectively analyze the dynamic; then create the persona palatable for the host culture (Mendenhall & Wiley, p. 610). In following certain cultural inclusionary practices from either side of the leadership fence, as well as tacit knowledge sharing, the GDT leader more readily promotes an environment of “we”, facilitating the adaptation of the expatriate to the new organizational culture. Assessment of group members, as discussed in earlier chapters, facilitates focusing on the outcomes. The alternate and final challenge to the expatriate GDT dynamic is what happens when the expatriate refuses to conform to the social norms of the new geographical and organizational culture in addition to the absence of ascription to any cultural norm? Conflicting group dynamics, observations and developing processes for resolution will be discussed in will be discussed in following chapters. The Home Grown Expatriate The term expatriate has gone through a linguistic evolutionary process. Withdrawing oneself from an existing environment, a culture or an allegiance is what occurs when one doesn’t ascribe to the culture that exists around them with the opinion there is an absence of mass culture within the United States. In addition, the definition of culture itself eludes concrete definition. Expatiation of criteria, evidence, existence, etc. gives a chaotic structure to the point of almost nonexistence. The expatriate on home soil, takes on different dynamics and must be treated as inclusionary and devoid of assumptive perspective in the same manner as the expatriate in strange lands. Recognizing the homegrown expatriate incorporates the history of U.S.-centric experience in cultural exile. The U.S. cultural norms dictate a perspective which does not embody all aspects of ethnological lenses. Cultural studies reveal that the perceived dominant culture norms are the cornerstone of all ethical, principled, and/or value based interaction in our society. Such philosophies reduce other cultures to insignificance. As shown above, the resolution for cultural collision is the widening of the cultural eye to include the different panoramas from the different angles. To explain further, in analogizing culture to the dynamics of a map’s creation: “Anyone who uses maps knows they are not the same as the world, that the point of view of the cartographer is crucial, and that no single map tells us all we might want to know” (Denning, p. 120). 14
  15. 15. Chapter 3 - A word about the communication and how …. "For people to be effective, they need to increase their 'span of communication', and thus their 'span of influence' (Lipnack, p. 54)" TECHNOLOGY AND COMMUNICATION When thinking of Al Gore, the 45th Vice President of the United States, one might immediately think of the election where electoral votes placed George W. Bush in office in 2000. Still, who would’ve thought that Al Gore would be remembered for facilitating the advancement of global society in one giant leap? But it is true. Gore pushed for funds to be provided for programs leading to the National Informational Infrastructure (NII) better know as the Internet. As a result, life as we know it has drastically changed from 1990 to today. Technology has changed the way business is done. "The global communications web that makes everyone on the planet neighbors, long imagined in science-fiction is in place. …nearly every country in the world has Internet connections" (Lipnack, p. 2). People have off handedly commented how technology has made things easier, but the truth is it didn't change the rules, it made them obsolete. Constant change is happening at a pace never seen before. The demand for new, newer, newest technology is pushing innovators to the limits. Like a pebble dropped in the glass surface of a pond, the technology is spreading and embracing global networking, making our large world smaller and making it easier to participate in markets with geographical distances. “Globalization and localization and a demand for social as well as financial performance all typify business in the Internet age.” Traveling long distances to conduct meetings with foreign partners, structure cohesive team interaction; resolve production issues, all these things still require face to face communications, but the frequency by which the requirement is carried is greatly reduced by technology. Technology has not only increased business profits, merged large corporations in to mega-corporations, and facilitated revenues for struggling economies, it has connected GDT's in ways that did not exist 30 years ago. Still within this technology lies the possibility of destroying the same things technology has been able to assist. In some instances, globally dispersed teams are still utilizing old paradigms in order to approach the new technological business environment. Defying communication barriers, technology opens up vast territories which are not restrained by time and space, tying teams with great geographical distances together. Yet, with all this ability, the way business is conducted in France may destroy the productivity of the business’ Japanese cohort. Integrating the diverse cultural perceptions into this technological GDT nightmare, the leader is challenged to bring the whole together in a shared goal. “Global Mind Change”, Willis Harman says: "Every society ever known rests on some largely tacit basic assumptions about who we are, what kind of universe we live in, and what is ultimately important to us” (1998, p 9-10) 15
  16. 16. Getting the team to transmit and share ideas with the facilitation of technology to keep the group informed and cohesive. The Challenge of Asynchronous Communication: How to conquer the clock We have operated largely in sync with the entities we do business with since the invention of the telephone. That synchronous communication has continued with other advances in technology such as teleconferencing and videoconferencing. For some, being in sync is the only way to do business. With the globalization of the corporate world synchronous communication has become harder and harder to do. We are tasked with holding meetings across great distances. This need to communicate with others all over the world creates challenges associated with time. The world’s time zones make it impractical to do business solely on our time schedule. Consideration and allowances must be made in order to collaborate with different cultures around the globe. Asynchronous communication has offered some relief to this challenge of global collaboration. You can leave information in a public forum and then wait for an answer from the other end. This isn't an instant satisfaction type of communication and some have trouble adjusting to this new pace. Personal issues such as trust and control must be dealt with when collaborating asynchronously. Although most people’s preference will always be to communicate synchronously, asynchronous communication will always be a viable alternative. Getting a clear message to the right person One must be very clear when communicating with people in different locations. You must be conscious of your writing style so that what you’re trying to say is actually what people are reading. There is no place for sarcasm and off color remarks because without the ability to see the nonverbal communication a message can be grossly misinterpreted. There are other challenges such as differences in language, differences in the meaning of words, and different cultural interpretations of certain words. A good rule to remember is to keep it simple and clear. By being more specific in your communication you decrease your odds of miscommunication. When Teams Talk Face to Face When technological advancements will not suffice in leading a team to high proficiency in attaining the common goal, the GDT leader facilitates furtherance of the success by interacting in face to face, synchronous communication. Each individual is capable of carrying on a conversation, but the sender and receiver must speak and hear the same message. The question isn’t “Can we talk” but “How can we talk”. In addition, the how will also include how we listen. The dynamic may shift if the GDT leader is part of the host culture or if the GDT leader is of a culture that is being introduced into the group. Yet, the basic systems of communication; the foundation to getting the goal, map, assignments, etc., across to the team will basically be simply structured by certain constructs of communication. 16
  17. 17. Selecting the Right “Tool” for Communication The GDT manager should be appropriately resourced with some basic background in diverse cultural communications. (S)He will be able to identify: - Similarity of perceptual orientations - Similarity of systems of belief - Similarity of communication styles These systems become the “sidewalks” of the communication networking. They are the conduit for the exchange of information within the GDT. GDT managers will be able to make a wide panorama of the reality of the multi-cultural element of the GDT. The manager’s approach will be to incorporate the reality of each culture present in her/his group. At the same time, the manager will reference the familiar and routine reality that s/he maintains in the geographical home as an understandable baseline, while incorporating the inferences of the varied cultures within the team. In this identification, the manager is able to develop methods of similar thought processes on a given project or element pertinent to the goal of the team and maintain the line of communication. (Samovar & Porter, pp. 27-44) Similarity of Perceptual Orientations: Tacit knowledge plays a very integral part of perceptual orientation. Indirect communication generally can be a conveyance of tacit knowledge. The speaker will transmit shared unspoken information indirectly and this type of communication can only occur when the communication system is well-functioning. Well-functioning systems will have parity in perceptions, but cultural deviations will challenge that parity. The sender and receiver in this type of communication may have variances in broad versus narrow perceptions. Such variances may include body language, eye contact (or absence of eye contact), positioning of hands, etc. Similarity of Systems of belief The concept sounds a bit esoteric, but simply it is the conclusions that one draws from their experience that sets the foundation for a system of belief. Thus, if the speaker and the listener have colliding systems, the listener may hear the message in negative tones, thus tainting the impact of the message. The GDT Leader cannot become fully aware of every belief that is held within her/his team, but will be cognizant of those pertinent beliefs that will integrate into the process and the functioning of the team. One of the components to establishing well functioning and successful communication is establishing a climate of trust within the GDT. Identifying values, philosophies, and stating the mission factors early on in the team process can assist the leader in establishing a open system of communication. The GDT leader can promote this component of communication by “pairing” shared the hierarchical belief systems of another group member (Samovar & Porter, p. 32). Similarity of Communication Styles In any of the above-mentioned communication components, the GDT leader must manage the flow of information. This component involves both direct and indirect 17
  18. 18. communication. Some of the things the leader must be cognizant of in determining styles: • prevailing approach to reality and the degree of flexibility manifested in organizing it • satisfaction from familiarity • high tolerance of ambiguity A significant percentage of nonverbal communications show up in face to face meetings. In technologically distant communications this element is absent. The leader must be clear and concise without sarcasm and other verbiage that may be interpreted incorrectly. Summary: Technology has made the world a more intimate planet. We are exposed to so many more cultures then ever before so the amount of players has also grown. In addition to expediting information from one end of the globe to another, there has to be some commonality not only in the language we speak, but the understanding of what is said. As Buxton explains, there has to be several different avenues for delivering services (1997, p. 1). Ubiquitous communication is not necessarily effective communication. Covering all the bases of the variety of ways in which we communicate does not mean that one of them will actually deliver the message you want understood. The GDT Leader will incorporate not only varied tools, but varied styles in working with geographically dispersed multicultural teams. Still, even with the technology, common perceptions of usage may challenge the GDT Leader. Even sending an email can be the death knell to effective communication if protocols of cultural communication processes are not attended. Using certain systems to effectively communicate ideas, concepts, instructions, will efficiently lend itself to intercultural understanding. Eliminating ambiguity of the environment and establishing some content of predictability encourages the communication and facilitates the understanding from one team member to the next. Recognizing that all communication has some degree of intercultural component, will preliminarily resource the leader and the group with a wide lens. Incorporating different systems to give way to avenues of networking from one individual to the next, will narrow that lens to a unified lens and move the team closer to the goal. Iteration in the best case scenario, the individual identity of a member morphs into the group identity: one group, one lens, one language. One of the underlying supports for a leader to effectuate productive communication is to promote communication within the group. Known bits of information shed light on the creativity initiated by rehashing shared knowledge as demonstrated by the process of writing this handbook. The authors, well-versed in the variety of subject matter covered herein, contributed to the evolution of other areas by speaking in the “tongue” of the subject matter, thus enabling the assigned author to further the compilation with this insightful dialogue. It is contained within the leadership role that development for 18
  19. 19. communication between group members to create commonality within the group no matter how diverse. Ultimately, the leader will recognize that in the geographically dispersed team there exists a variety of styles, referential baselines, experiences, skills. The bottom line is to get those varied and sundry positions to come together on the same path to the same goal. In essence, they have to communicate to be heard and then to be understood, whether that is technological or in the face to face dynamic. The whole basis of communication for GDTs is not to acculturate, but to develop the tools and an environment conducive to the generation and exchange of information, creativity, goals and values. 19
  20. 20. Chapter 4 -- Training and Leadership Development, Motivation and maybe Trust Leadership Development As we all know the world today is getting smaller and smaller. It used to be that when traveling to another country you were ‘out of pocket’ during that time. Now if there isn’t an internet café you find yourself feeling discombobulated. What happens with business as saturation of any given market domestically the only place to grow is to increase your area of domination. This is no different than Roman Empire days when you had to go take new lands to grow your power base. When conquering other lands in the pursuit of corporate or personal goals there are certain helpful characteristics that will allow for great success. This accentuates the enormous importance on leadership development with global acumen. It has been argued by organizational scholars that leadership is critical to organizational productivity (Bennis, 1989a; McFarland, Senn, & Childress, 1993; Yukl, 1998) and recent findings suggest there is a positive relationship between a multinational corporation’s (MNC) ability to develop global leadership and the MNC’s return on assets (Stroh & Caligiuri, 1997). (Mendenhall, 2001 p. 1) All leaders are today, or will be in the future, global,” says Corporate Vice President Patrick Canavan of Motorola. (Odenwald, P. 97) Global leaders at every level must evidence trans-cultural competence through: Competencies 1. Interest in different cultures and business practices 2. Nonjudgmental initial interaction with difference 3. Conceptual understanding of the power of difference 4. Modeling of product/service diversity related to culture (Odenwald, p. 97) Characteristics 1. Physical stamina 2. The ethnographic data collection skills of cultural anthropologists 3. An expanding repertoire of behavior 4. Sense of humor 5. Personal belief in life as a journey 6. Commitment to the greatness of their organization 7. A deep connection to a higher purpose being facilitated by participation in the organization (Odenwald, p. 97-98) Every Team Member competency 1. Communication Skills; listening, verbal, nonverbal, writing, language, 2. Conceptual Process Skills; Problem solving/decision making, negotiating, open minded, Innovative, perceptive, anticipating, discerning 20
  21. 21. 3. Technical Skills; Computer, task and function specific 4. Leadership Skills; Tolerant, Flexible, persuasive, consensus building, coaching, change oriented, patient 5. Project Management Skills; Delegating, scheduling, forecasting, strategic planning, process focused, prioritizing, interviewing, bottom-line focused (Odenwald, p. 100) Although technical skills and project experience are important, the most critical skill required to achieve group goals is interpersonal skills. Team leaders must be culturally astute, flexible, and able to deal with a great deal of ambiguity. They should recognize cultures have values and beliefs that team members will not violate, nor should they. Leaders must be able to deal with diverse cultural perspectives without compromising the integrity of their team. (Odenwald, p. 101) Global Manager or team leader must have these qualities: 1. Interpersonal, intercultural competence, 2. Capacity to work at a distance 3. Language skills 4. Capacity to manage ambiguity and stress 5. Personal excellence and discipline 6. Expertise and perspective 7. Capacity to work in multiple teams 8. Curiosity, capacity to learn and to forget 9. Rethinking loyalty-company, profession, family, country, religious value 10. Accountability and trust 11. Physical stamina Competencies (Mendenhall, p. 2) • Global Business Savvy • Global Organizational Savvy • Integrity/Managing Cross-Cultural Ethics • Thinking Agility • Managing Uncertainty • Maturity • Balancing Global versus Localization Tensions • Expertise in Negotiation Processes • Inquisitiveness/Curiosity/Self Learning • Conflict Management • Change Agentry • Community Building/Networking • Creating Learning Systems • Stakeholder Orientation • Motivating Employees • Improvisation • Entrepreneurial Spirit • Establishing Close Personal Relationships 21
  22. 22. • Commitment • Courage How to develop these competencies? “The fact remains that simply sending someone overseas does not ensure that they will automatically develop global leadership competencies. (Mendenhall p. 214) Management competencies develop through both training (e.g. training in time management, coping, conflict resolution, interpersonal relations, communications, etc.) and firsthand exposure to situations that pose uncertainty, diversity, and challenge.” (Mendenhall, p.128) The most effective method of creating global leaders is an expatriate assignment. The reality is this is the most effective way to secure competencies. Through experiencing the culture themselves they actually feel the experience. Expatriate Competencies through experience • Self- Efficacy • Spouse Adjustment • Resilience • Family Adjustment • Behavioral Flexibility • Social/Logistical Support • Curiosity • Cultural Novelty • Extroversion • Organization Culture Novelty • Broad Category Width • Role Conflict • Flexible Attributions • Role Novelty • Open-Mindedness • Role Discretion • High Tolerance for Ambiguity • Goal Orientation • Empathy/Respect for Others • Technical Competence • Nonverbal Communication • Reinforcement Substitution • Relationship Skills • Stress Reduction Program • Willingness to Communicate Intercultural Training Issues “Global teams are one way of cross-pollinating…in these situations, people develop themselves as well as help develop others. It’s a program of both learning and teaching that enhances the ability and taps into the creativity of all people in an organization.” (Solomon, 1995) 22
  23. 23. Intercultural training is differentiated from cross-cultural training in that cross-cultural training focuses on how other cultures do business; intercultural training focuses on how to do business with other cultures. (Fontaine, 1997) The idea of training for globally diverse teams is about adding to the skill set for assignees so that they can enhance their capacity to understand their work environment, adjust and perform well, and to develop themselves and their organization. Much of the content of this chapter will relate to training of employees who go abroad to work, and their families. Still the concepts can be applied to those working from home, in our continually changing work environments. “Today’s organizations have a workforce increasingly diverse in culture, ethnicity and nationality, age, gender, appearance, experience, education and training, personality and motivation, capabilities and skills, and the social networks to which they belong. (Fontaine, 2003). Assignees are often meant to be agents of change. They are expected to go beyond transference of skills and knowledge, and also to be acquirers of skills and knowledge. • “Training should be designed to support all these areas: performance, adjustment, and development. (Bennett, p. 240)” “If companies want assignments to develop both individual and organizational competencies in order to compete globally, then success requires that assignees: 1. must have the skills, knowledge, attitudes and attributes to perform effectively in a different cultural environment 2. and accompanying family members must be able to personally adjust to living in new locations 3. must understand how to maximize developmental opportunities Training must address one of the most fundamental success factors in cross-border assignments: the ability to form positive, mutually respectful, trusting relationships with local national and people of diverse backgrounds. (Bennett, p. 241)” Who benefits from training? Remember that the employee is not the only one who should participate in the benefit of training. For international assignments to be successful, the family unit needs to be regarded as a team, and one that needs to be mutually supportive. The spouse’s confidence level, skills, and knowledge needs to be as strong as that of the employee. Training can help. “A key goal of training is to enable the spouse to feel like a participating partner rather than unwilling victim of the assignment (Bennett, p. 242.)” What training is often used? “In the context of training, the focus is on identifying what skills are required to meet the challenges of international assignments, how to best acquire those skills, when to apply them, and providing information to help assignees develop and use them. They provide the context within which the more “active learning, or “hands-on” approaches must be placed. (Fontaine, 1997.)” 23
  24. 24. 1. Cultural and environmental awareness. Here we have programs that help the trainee learn about larger scale info such as the geography, socio-political history, stage of economic development, and cultural institutions of a particular area. One training exercise is called BaFa BaFa. This exercise forms the trainees into two groups and has them try to trade with each other without knowing the negotiation rules. “Most participants in this exercise make inaccurate attributions about the other team’s behaviors and motives, and this exercise encourages them to reserve judgment about other cultures (Sullivan, S. 1993.)” 2. Language Training. In addition to traditional language training, these sessions are more useful when they include training on nonverbal behaviors and business etiquette. • Remember, for example, to be conscious of speech patterns when talking with a compatriot in the presence of a foreign national. • Training in the selection and use of interpreters -whose role is to bridge the cultures, not just to translate words- is highly important. These people can play a significant role in development of the team. 3. Simulation exercises. Trainees role-play responses to vignettes depicting international situations, getting feedback from judges, who are often expatriates. This helps trainees imagine various reactions and their consequences, aiding in enhancing self-confidence. The skill of the facilitator of these exercises is crucial to help make meaning of the subtleties of the experience. • These are particularly helpful in ‘short notice’ situations, because many vignettes can be examined in a short period of time. 4. Sensitivity or Attribution Training. Through the use of group discussions, trainees can learn to accept unfamiliar behaviors and values systems. This type of training helps reduce ethnic prejudice and is used by the Peace Corps. Attribution training is designed to help trainees make isomorphic attributions, that is, develop the skill to understand situations from the perspective of the host culture. Similar to the simulation exercises, a technique for training presents the trainee with ‘critical incidents’ of commonly encountered interaction difficulties. The trainee progresses through the series by correctly choosing one of several alternative choices about the likely perspective of the host culture. (Fontaine, 1997) 5. Field Experiences. This can include pre-departure visits by employee and spouse, to the host country. It can also include time spend in nearby micro-cultures such as communities where one primary ethnic group prevails. These experiences can be used as interaction training, when specific tasks are carried out in the micro-cultures and then later discussed with facilitators for debriefing and increased learning. This can precipitate the beginning of understanding and dealing with the emotional stress which can be expected from working and living with people of another culture. (Sullivan, 1993) • The assignees need to be technically highly competent in their field. Often the receiving organization is sending their most highly competent people to the team, and is expecting the same from foreign employees. • Because of the greater novelty in international situations, these trainees need to have a higher level of attention and retention. Using a variety of methods to present material can help increase learning ability. 24
  25. 25. Intercultural learning model (O’Hara, 1994.) One framework for conceptualizing some of the stages of intercultural learning, and for measuring resolution of difficulties and where ongoing learning effort may need to be applied, is the following: 1. Anticipate Similarity Resolved • positive mindset • anticipation/excitement • self confidence Unresolved • discomfort with differences • resistance to engagement • rigid self-concept 2. Encounter Shocks Resolved • Amazement/bewilderment • Deep emotional reaction • Cautious optimism Unresolved • Irritability • Fear • Sense of inadequacy 3. Consider Possibilities Resolved • Curiosity • Excitement/stimulation • Interpret options Unresolved • Frustration • Magnified differences • Projection-based explanations 4. Open to the Culture Resolved • Observe emotional reactions • Recognize conditioning • Suspend judgments Unresolved • Withdrawal/avoidance • Routine criticism • Helplessness 5. Pursue Learning Resolved • See differences • Accurate interpretations • Seek cultural knowledge Unresolved • Denial of differences • Misinterpretation • Rejection of learnings 6. Transcend Boundaries Resolved 25
  26. 26. • Self-discovery/sense of security • Enjoy new customs • Broadened expectations Unresolved • Loneliness/sense of not fitting in • Maintenance of cultural boundaries • Over-identification 7. Appreciate Diversity Resolved • Expanded values • Desire to learn more • Comfort with differences Unresolved • Intellectual acceptance • Ethnocentrism Finally, attention should be given to the ongoing emergence of new cultural understanding and meaning. “A ‘learning to learn’ approach to training is most effective and produces more sustainable outcomes because it teaches the assignees how to continue their cultural learning far beyond the confines of the training program (Bennett, p. 244.)” 26
  27. 27. Chapter 5 -- How do you know what motivates other members of your new team? How do you trust your team? MOTIVATION “A strong cultural work ethic translates into higher motivation, zeal, and persistence – an emotional edge (Goleman, p.80.)” Success in one’s job is strongly related to commitment and willingness to succeed. (Mendenhall p.132) Seems pretty basic, right? But there are plenty of details outline just how that works. Some of the descriptors or motivating factors break down the process between pull and push factors. PULL FACTORS Intrinsic rewards may include growing personally and spiritually, developing an appreciation of human diversity by exploring different cultures, developing better interpersonal skills, achieving a broader view of life, contributing to the well-being of the country of assignment, and so on….. Extrinsic rewards involve monetary and/or career issues, such as enhancing the possibility of promotion earning money and prestige, developing technical and managerial skills, increasing the chance of finding better employment upon repatriation, and so on.. PUSH FACTORS may include a way to escape unpleasant work and/or non-work circumstances in the home country. (Mendenwall, p. 133) Expatriates motivated by pull factors are willing to use every opportunity to learn and grow individually and professionally. They are adventurous in nature and change as a result of experience. They learn from every experience, which again, is on of the key characteristics of global leaders (Medenwall, p. 133) Two sources of motivation; extrinsic money rewards and for the positive regard and support of their colleagues. In more communitarian cultures, this second source of motivation may be so strong that high performers prefer to share the fruits of their efforts with colleagues than to take extra money for themselves as individuals. Western theories of motivation have individuals growing out of an early, and hence primitive, social needs into an individually resplendent self-actualization at the summit of the hierarchy. Needless to say,, this does not achieve resonance the world over, however good a theory it may be for the USA and northwest Europe. The Japanese notion of the highest good harmonious relationship within and with the patterns of nature; the primary orientation is to other people and to the natural world. (Trompenaars & Hampden-Turner, p. 63-64) Members of organizations enter relationships because it is in their individual interests to do so. Their ties are abstract, legal ones, regulated by contract. 27
  28. 28. Family Culture In communitarian cultures the organization is not the creation or instrument of it founders so much as a asocial context all members share and which gives them meaning and purpose. Organizations are likened to a large family, community or clan, which develops and nurtures its members and may live longer than they do. The growth and prosperity of organizations are not considered bonanzas for the individual shareholders or gravy- train for top managers, but are valuable ends in themselves. (T & TH, p.64) Because family members enjoy their relationships they may be motivated more by praise and appreciation than by money. Pay-for-performance rarely sits well with them, or any motivation that threatens family bonds. They tend to ‘socialize risk’ among their members and can operate in uncertain environments quite well. Their major weakness occurs when intra-family conflicts block necessary change. Resolving conflict often depends on the skill of a leader. Criticisms are seldom voiced publicly; if they are the family is in turmoil. Negative feedback is indirect and sometimes confined to special ‘licensed’ occasion (In Japan you can criticize your boss while drinking his booze.) Care is taken to avoid loss of face by prominent family members since these are points of coherence for the whole group. The family model gives low priority to efficiency (doing things right) but high priority to effectiveness (doing the right things). (Trompenaars & Turner-Hampden, 1998, p. 170) In another example French employees of the Eiffel Tower Culture are ideally precise and meticulous. They are nervous when order and predictability is lacking. Duty is important for the role-oriented employee. It is an obligation people feel within themselves, rather than an obligation they feel towards a specific individual. Conflicts are seen as irrational, pathologies of orderly procedure, offences against efficiency. Criticisms and complaints are typically channeled and dealt with through even more rules and fact-finding procedures. (Trompenaars & Turner-Hampden, 1998 p. 175) Guided Missile Culture Motivations tend to be intrinsic in this culture. That is, team members get enthusiastic about, identify with and struggle towards the final product. In the case of Apple Macintosh, the enthusiasm was about creative and ‘insanely great machine.’ The product under development is the super-ordinate goal for which the conflicts and animosities of team members may be set aside. Unless there is high participation there will not be widespread commitment. The final consensus must be broad enough to pull in all those who work on it. This culture tends to be individualistic since it allows for a wide variety of differently specialized people to work with each other on a temporary basis. The scenery of faces keeps changing. Only the pursuit of the chosen lines of personal development is constant. The team is a vehicle for the shared enthusiasm of its members, but is itself disposable and will be discarded when the project ends. Members are garrulous, idiosyncratic and intelligent, but heir mutuality is a means, not an end. It is a way of enjoying the journey. They do not need to know each other intimately and may avoid doing so. Management by objectives is the language spoken, and people are paid by performance (Trompenaars & Turner-Hampden 1998, p.179.) 28
  29. 29. The Incubator Culture American start up companies…. Motivation is often wholehearted, intrinsic and intense with individuals working ’70 hours a week and loving it’ as the T-shirts at Apple Computer used to read in its earlier days. There is competition to contribute to the emerging shape of something new. Everyone wants to get his or her ‘hands on.’ There is scant concern for personal security and few wish to profit or have power apart from the unfolding creative process. If the whole succeeds there will be plenty for everyone. If it does not, the incubator itself will be gone. In contrast to the family culture, leadership in the incubator is achieved, not ascribed. You follow those whose progress most impresses you and whose ideas work. Power plays that impede group achievement will be reviled. Conflict is resolved either by splitting up or by trying the proposed alternatives to see which works best. (Trompenaars & Turner-Hampden, 1998) TRUST Without time and experience trust cannot develop. This is true for any relationship. How can global leaders bridge that gap? Trust and expectations of others reflect a degree of predictability of another person’s actions when given a chance for opportunism. Trust has also been thought of as confidence in the character, integrity, strength and abilities of another person. In the social psychology literature, the construct of trust has been defined in a number of ways. Two general categorizations of trust are people’s motivation versus credibility as well as generalized versus situational trust. Motivation-based trust reflects the expressed confidence that one party has in another’s motives and intentions. This reflects the belief that the other parties are motivated for cooperation and an unselfish orientation and that the other person(s) will fulfill their obligations. Deutsch focused a great deal on the motives and expectations of others in describing various forms of interdependence and cooperation. He suggested that these expectations lead an actor to interacting with others for whom these expectations are not met. Credibility-based trust reflects the informational uncertainty of situations and the sincerity of another’s words and deeds. For example, Rotter defined interpersonal trust as an expectancy that the verbal and written commitments of one person could be relied upon. In Rotter’s usage, trust does not require the actions or words of one person to be positive whereas others have this as part of their definition. (Early and Gibson, p. 106-107) 29
  30. 30. Chapter 6 -- What do you absolutely positively need to know……the basis for it all…..psych stuff Psychological Processes in Intercultural Relations Context - All human behavior develops and is exhibited in a socio-cultural context; there is no culture-free behavior. (Landis, Bennet & Bennet, 2004 p. 166) There is no culture without people. If you start with the basic order of human behavior then scrub down to different cultures and behaviors you get to learn a The connection between culture and behavior similarities drives three broad approaches; • Absolutism assumes that psychological phenomena are basically the same (qualitatively) in all cultures; honesty is honesty and depression is depression no matter where one observes them. (Landis et al p. 166) • Relativism assumes that all human behavior is culturally patterned. It seeks to avoid ethnocentrism by trying to understand people ‘in their own terms.’ Explanations of human diversity are sought in the cultural context in which people have developed. Assessments employ the meanings that cultural group gives to a phenomenon. Comparisons are judged to be conceptually and methodologically problematic and ethnocentric and are thus virtually never made. • Universalism approach lies somewhere between the first two positions. It makes the assumption that basic psychological processes are common to all members of species (that is, they constitute a set of psychological givens in all human beings) and that culture influences the development and display of psychological characteristics (that is, culture plays different variations on these underlying themes). Universalism seeks to understand the role of culture in stimulation behavioral diversity; rather than dismissing culture, universalism accepts it as the source of human variety. (Landis et al, p. 166 – 167) Six dimensions of cultural variation: Most concrete level cultures can be seen to vary in terms of their housing, dress, food and transportation. These aspects are not usually the source of intercultural difficulties. Although it is true that all of these practical issues do pose problems (where and when to sleep, what to wear and to eat, and how to get around are all challenges that need to be met), the greatest intercultural problems arise from the more implicit aspects of culture. 1. Diversity – some cultures are fairly homogenous in terms of what people do and how they think of themselves. For example, in peasant or hunting-based societies, almost everyone carries out the same limited set of roles, but in industrial societies, people tend to be specialized. Another aspect of diversity is whether most people share a common regional or ethnic identity. For example, in Japan and Iceland, there is a minimal variation, but in countries such as Australia and Canada, people have rather divergent senses of themselves. 2. Equality – When differences do occur, they can be treated equally or differentially in terms of rewards and status. In some societies, there are rigid 30
  31. 31. hierarchies in civic, military, and religious spheres (e.g. the Roman Catholic Church, which recognizes [among other divisions] the pope, cardinals, bishops, priests, monks, believers and heretics). In other societies, there may be no permanent authority or leadership; coordination of actions is by consensus or by the use of temporary leaders for specific activities. 3. Conformity – In some societies people are tightly enmeshed in a system of norms and social obligations to the in-group; in others, people are relatively free to ‘do their own thing.’ 4. Wealth – This is perhaps the dimension of cultural variation that is most obvious because it is the most concrete: Money, possessions, and leisure time can be seen by all observers. However, there are other aspects to this dimension that m ay be less obvious. One of these is the distribution of wealth (is it relatively equally distributed, or are most resources in the hands of a few ethnic or family groups?) A number of other features vary with wealth, including education, access to communications and information, health, and personal values. Moreover, the wealth dimension may be related to the first three dimensions. 5. Space- The dimension describing how individuals use space (housing, public space and how they orient themselves during interpersonal encounters has generated one of the largest research literatures in the field, as well as a rich anecdotal base. Anyone with intercultural experience immediately recognizes the importance of this dimension, although those who are not so experienced sometimes cannot understand what the space dimension is all about. However, on first experiencing an intercultural encounter with someone from a culture that uses space differently, there is usually an ‘aha’ reaction – of course! 6. Time- As with the space dimension, cultural variation in the meaning and use of time is not obvious to those having limited intercultural experiences. However, both empirical studies and personal encounters attest to the importance of the time dimension. Attempting to engage people who come from cultures with different perspectives on time can be one of the main sources of intercultural difficulty. (Landis et al, p. 169- 171) All cultures change over time (Berry 1980b) – some slowly, some quickly sometimes because of internal dynamics (e.g. innovation, invention), and sometime because of external contact with other cultures (e.g. acculturation, cultural diffusion). (Landis, Bennett and Bennett, p.171) Every action has an effect on the world around them. Even exposure to a news report of something happening in another country can change the way we think. The greatest gift we can use is our open attitude and a willingness to understand what is to be communicated not necessarily said. The following are the basis for acculturation between groups and the degree of ease or difficulty in the process. Nine dimensions of social context: 1. Provision of adequate relationships with the environment (both physical and social.) - This is needed to maintain a sufficient population to ‘carry’ the society and culture. 2. The differentiation and assignment of roles - In any group, different things need to get done, and people have to somehow be assigned these roles (e.g. by heredity, by achievement). 31
  32. 32. 3. Communication – All groups need to have a shared, learned, and symbolic mode of communication to maintain information flow and coordination within the group. 4. Share cognitive orientation. Beliefs, knowledge, and rules of logical thinking need to be held in common for people in a society to work together in mutual comprehension. 5. Shared articulated set of goals. Similarly, the directions for common striving need to be shared to avoid having individuals pull in conflicting directions. 6. Normative regulation of means to these goals - Rules governing how these goals might be achieved need to be stated and accepted by the population. If material acquisition is a general goal for most people, murder and theft are not likely to be accepted as a means to this goal whereas production, hard work, and trading may be. 7. Regulation of affective expression - Similarly, emotions and feelings need to be brought under normative control. The expression of love and hate, for example, cannot be given free rein without serious disruptive consequences within the group. 8. Socialization - All new members must learn about the central and important features of group life. The way of life of the group needs to be communicated, learned, and, to some extent, accepted by all individuals. 9. Control of disruptive behavior. If socialization and normative regulation fail, there needs to be some backup so that the group can require appropriate and acceptable behavior of its members. In the end, behavioral correction or even permanent removal (by incarceration or execution) may be required. (Landis et. al p. 171 – 172) Within the identification of the components of GDTs, users of this handbook should remember to refer to the humanity and psychology of team members. Without cognition of the behavioral patterns of the human species, this handbook is of no value and will only supply you with a pattern that will not fit. In other words….remember no matter how far or how different the individuals in your team we are still dealing with people, people. 32
  33. 33. Conclusions or The Happy Ending – in no way finished….or the pay it forward reward of a life learned…and shared! In summary, the well-functioning, globally dispersed and diverse team will transmit a concept that will replicate from member to member. In doing this conveyance of information, assessment of self and the team will take place. Ongoing training and development, with a view toward cultural perceptions and sensitivities will occur. Through all of this effective communication or commonality in the patterns of communication will essentially direct the group toward constructive ends. As we read culturally experienced excerpts from Gary Fontaine's writings, we will find that beneath all of the resources, tools, and experience is a "sense of presence" as illustrated on his website. It is this sense of presence that we must recognize with our globally dispersed and diverse teams. Assigning value and respecting value of each culture that is evidenced in the interaction. When we accept leadership, we accept that presence. http://www2.hawaii.edu/~fontaine/manbkweb.html "That is, these--frequently culture shocked--expats were nevertheless often learning a vastly expanded range of tools for dealing with global organizational challenges. They were involved with both the creation and exchange of knowledge associated with these tools. And they were learning to identify the organizational ecologies within which those tools worked best (Minbaeva, 2001)." In order to facilitate the resources and tools to have significant impact, the individual must practice cultural adaptation even when in familiar lands. Our connectivity to the global community must begin with our connection with our smaller communities, each one of us and those whom we touch around us and the ability to respect and accept each other on our common soil. Pay it forward means to pay it here. 33
  34. 34. Bibliography Barrett, B. (2000) Factors influencing the performance effectiveness of globally dispersed teams. Doctoral Thesis. Michigan State University. Fielding Library. Bennett, B., Aston, A. & Colquhoun, T. (2000). Cross-cultural training: a critical step in ensuring the success of international assignments. Human Resource Management. Vol. 39, No. 2, 3, p. 239 . Buxton, W. (1997) Living in Augmented Reality. Video Mediated Communication, Hillsdale, H.J.: Erlbaum, pp. 363-384. Covey, S. R. (2004). The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness. Free Press, New York. New York Denning, M. (2004). Culture in the Age of Three Worlds. New York, NY: Verso Books Earley, P.C. & Gibson, C.B. (2002). Multinational Work Teams. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Publishers. Fontaine, G. (1997). Successfully meeting the three challenges of all international assignments. University of Department of Communication, University of Hawaii, Honolulu: [Available to read or download at http://www2.hawaii.edu/~fontaine/manbkweb.html] Hall, E. (1959, 1981). The Silent Language. New York: Anchor Books. Landis, D., & Bennett, J. M. & Bennett, M. J. (2004). Handbook of Intercultural Training, Third Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Lipnack, J. & Stamps, J. (2000). Virtual Teams: People working across boundaries with technology. 2nd Edition. New York: John Wiley & Sons. Mendenhall, M.E., Kuhlmann, T.M.& Stahl, G.K. (2001). Developing global business leaders: Policies, processes, and innovations. Westport, Connecticut: Quorum Books. Mendenhall, M.E. & Wiley, C. (March, 1994). Strangers in a Strange Land: The Relationship Between Expatriate Adjustment and Relationship Management. American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 37 No. 5, pp. 605-620. O’Hara-Devereaux, M. & Johansen, R. (1994). Global work Bridging distance, culture and time. San Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass. 34
  35. 35. Runnion, T.T. (July, 2005) Expatriate Programs. Workspan. Vol. 48, Iss. 7; pp. 20-22. Peppas, S. (2004). Making the most of international assignments.: A training model for non-resident expatriates. Journal of Academy of Business. Cambridge. Hollywood.Vol. 5, No.1/2., p.41. Samovar, L.A. & Porter, R.E. (1997). Intercultural Communication. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company Scharmer, C (July 15, 1999). Developing a Knowledge-Based Theory of the Firm: Conversation with Professor Georg von Krogh University of St. Gallen St. Gallen, Switzerland [Online]. Available from: http://www.dialogonleadership.org/vonKrogh- 1999.html Sullivan, S. & Tu, H. (1993). Training managers for international assignments. Executive Development. Bradford: Vol. 6, No. 1, p. 25. Thompson, B. (1996) Names We Call Home: Autobiography on Racial Identity. New York, NY: Routeldge Press, Inc. Trompenaars, F. & Hampden-Turner, C. (1998). Riding the Waves of Culture: Understanding Cultural Diversity in Global Business. New York: McGraw-Hill. Von Krogh, G., Ichijo, K, & Nonaka, I, (2000). Enabling Knowledge Creation: How to Unlock the Mystery of Tacit Knowledge and Release the Power of Innovation. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 35
  36. 36. Index absolutism 30 Goleman 27 acculturation 13, 31 Guided Missile Culture 28 acculturation 31 Hall 6 Achievement 6, 7, 31 Hampden-Turner 6, 7, 8, 27 ambiguity 18 Herskovits 4 Ascription 6 Historical 4 Assessment 8 impression management 13 asynchronous 16 Individvualism 6 awareness 24 interaction training 24 BaFa BaFa 24 Intercultural learning model 25 behavioral diversity 30 intercultural training 22, 23, Bennett 3 Johnson 12 Bennett 4, 9, 23,26, 31 Kluckhorn 4 Bennis 20 Kroeber 4 Berry 31 Landis 3, 4, 5, 30, 32 characteristics 20 Language training 24 cognitive 32 leadership 6, 20 communication 15, 16 leadership development 20 Communitarianism 6 levels of abstraction 4 competencies 20, 22 Linton 4 conflict 28 McFarland 20 conformity 31 Mendenhall 3, 5, 12, 20, 22,27 Covey 8 Minbaeva 33 cross-cultural 22, 23 MNC 20 cultural chauvinism 4 motivation 20,27 ,28 cultural paradigm 12,13 Motorola 20 cultural structural 13 multinational corporation 20 Descriptive 4 non-verbal communication 17, 18 Diffuse 6 Normative 4 diversity 30 novelty conflict 13 Earley 6, 28 Odenwald 20, 21 Eiffel Tower Culture 28 O'Hara-Devereaux 3 equality 30 particularism 6, 7 11, 13,14, 22, expatriate 27 particularist 13 family culture 28 Peppas 6 Fontaine 9, 10, 23, 33 Porter 17 Garonzik 10 Psychological 4, 30 Genetic 4 Pull factors 27 Gibson 6, 28 Push factors 27 Relativism 30 specific 6 requisite leadership 12 Structural 4 role conflict 13 Sullivan 24 role of culture 30 sychronous 16 role reversal 13 tacit knowledge 13, 17 Rotter 28 technology 15, 16 sarcrasm 18 The Incubator Culture 28 36
  37. 37. Samovar 17 Thompson 12 Self Assessment 6 Ting-Toomey 3 self-awareness 6 training 20, 23 self-efficacy 12 Trompenaars 6, 7, 8, 27, 28 sensitivity 24 trust 20, 28 Simulation exercizes 24 Tyler 3 Situational Environment 9 Universalism 6,7,30 Solomon 24 Universalist 13 space 31 37