RL 1Cross Cultural & DiversityManagementFore School of Management
RL 2Introduction to the subject Why do we need to understand cross-cultural issues, besensitive to those from other cultures, to be comfortablewith & make others equally so in culturally diversesituations? Discussion. There is a need to understand cross-cultural issues inthe organizational setting; cultural dimensions directlyaffect organizational performance; This course aims to enhance knowledge, sensitivity andeven the practice of appropriate behaviours in thecultural context.
RL 3Session plan Introduction to culture: meanings, coverage, dimensionsand concepts. The nature of culture, quiz. Cultural diversity & priorities. Assigning of country-wisegroup projects on important points, issues &comparisons with India. Hofstede’s cultural dimensions. Ethics & social responsibility. Group discussion on Ethics.Mid-term assessment (objective-type testing) Managing across cultures. A self-appraisal. Grouppresentations. Organizational culture & diversity. Types oforganizational culture. Working through communication barriers in diverseorganisations & countries. Training take-aways &interaction session.
RL 4Evaluation method & weightage Group work on Indian culture: 10 marks Country-wise project: 20 marks Group discussion: 10 marks Internal assessment: 40 marks Mid-term assessment: 20 marks End term assessment: 40 marks
RL 5Ground rules Punctuality No cross talking Mobile phones Forming of groups & marking process Asking questions
RL 6Culture: meanings, coverage,dimensions and concepts The global economy has arrived & along withthe excitement is the increased need to beculturally sensitive & aware of cross culturalissues. Some instances of a protected economy & thedramatically different scene today. A major challenge of doing global business is toadapt effectively to different cultures. Commonblunders. Even small blunders can have huge negativeeffects, so awareness & sensitivity are notoptions any longer but rather imperatives.
RL 7The nature of culture The word is taken from the Latin cultura,related to cult or worship, also meaning tocultivate. For purposes of our study, culture is acquiredknowledge that is used to interpret experience& generate social behaviour. Such knowledgeforms values, creates attitudes & influencesbehaviour. Division into groups & group work on ‘Issueswhich create Indian culture as it is today –religion, society, family, festivals, cuisine, clothes,literature, activity, sports, television & cinema.’
RL 8The nature of culture The characteristics of culture: it is Learned Shared Trans generational Symbolic (e.g., language, art, religion) Patterned: this means that culture hasstructure and is integrated; a change in onepart will being changes in another. Adaptive: Regardless of the genes weinherit, we humans adapt. (e.g., throughchanging times, influences, marriage, etc.)
RL 9The nature of culture Personal examples of how cultural awarenesshas helped, or a lack of it has hindered. Work-related examples - our lack of knowledgeabout the culture of lands and religions whichare not our own. Something as simple as a handshake.
RL 10Cultural diversity Why is knowledge & awareness of culture important?Cultural impact on international management is reflectedby these basic beliefs and behaviours. Examples how culture can directly affect managementapproaches: Centralized vs. decentralised decision making Safety vs. risk Individual vs. group rewards Informal vs. formal procedures High vs. low organizational loyalty Cooperation vs. competition Short term vs. long-term horizons Stability vs. innovation. None of these is right or wrong, good or bad; justdifferent. Being aware of differences and honouring themis what is important.
RL 11What do you think? Are juniors the same kind of people as management? Should the boss know all the answers? Should he/she makeall the decisions as well? If a team succeeds, is it right to give special rewards to theones who worked very hard, or to the whole team? If an employee has tried to achieve a breakthrough for thecompany through an idea that is somewhat risky, shouldhe/she be reprimanded? Is it okay for the boss to have privileges such as drinkingcoffee on the job, which others may not have? Is it okay to call a boss by his/her first name? Which kind of boss do you think is best – one who isautocratic, persuasive, paternalistic or democratic? Do people from all cultures shake hands in a similar way?
RL 12A simple handshakeEven something as simple as a handshake is different indifferent countries.Culture Type of handshake United States: Firm Asian: Gentle (shaking hands is unfamiliar & uncomfortablefor some with the exception of the Korean, who usually has afirm handshake.) British: Soft French: Light and quick German: Brisk & firm Latin American: Moderate grasp; repeated frequently Middle Eastern: Gentle; repeated frequently.
RL 13Session 3: Cultural priorities Various cultures have varying priorities. (Discussion) Countries have varying priorities too. Please look at theattached table and note down relevant points in the‘India’ column.The need for sensitivity – group feedback.
RL 14Session 4: Hofstede’s culturaldimensions Researchers trying to understand why peoplebehave as they do, have provided a compositepicture of culture by examining its subparts ordimensions. The Dutch researcher Hofstede identified foursuch dimensions. Power distance, which is the extent to which lesspowerful members of organizations accept that poweris distributed unequally. Uncertainty avoidance: The extent to which peoplefeel threatened by unclear situations, creating beliefsand institutions that try to avoid these.
RL 15Hofstede’s cultural dimensions Individualism: The tendency of people to look afterthemselves & their immediate family only. Alsocollectivism, which is the tendency of people tobelong to groups and to look after each other inexchange for loyalty. Masculinity: ‘a situation in which the dominantvalues in society are success, money & things’ &Feminity, where the dominant values in society arecaring for others & the quality of life.
RL 16Smallest space analysis Aside from the dimensions identified, researchers haveclustered countries into similar cultural groups to studysimilarities & differences. They have done this using themathematic technique of smallest space analysis (SSA) This tool maps the relationship among countries byshowing the distance between each. When one looksat this two-dimensional map, it is possible to see thosecountries that are similar to each other & those that arenot. Ronen & Shenkar, who have provided perhaps the mostintegrative analysis of all available findings, found eightmajor clusters in terms of countries.
RL 17Smallest space analysis The studies examined variables in four categories: the importance of work goals need deficiency, fulfillment and job satisfaction managerial and organizational variables; and work role & interpersonal orientation. Some say that studies had focused only on one part ofthe world – however, it still seems to be the best thereis. What is very clear is the fact that sensitivity to othercultures is imperative - when dealing with people,working with them or even associating with them priorto (& even subsequent to) forming a work relationship.
RL 18Session 5: Ethics & socialresponsibility Why do we need to study this? Individual sharing To understand the major ethical issues & problemsconfronting MNCs in selected countries; To discuss pressures on & action taken by selectedindustrialized countries and companies to be moresocially responsive to world problems; and To explain initiatives for greater accountability tocorporate conduct & limit corruption around theworld.
RL 19Ethics Ethics is the study of morality & standards of conduct.Increasingly, MNCs have structured codes of ethics toguide the behaviour of their employees, to ensure theiroperations conform to these standards. Some of the ethical problems and concerns include thefollowing: Political & business scandals Hostile work environment issues Equal opportunity/gender issues Piracy, counterfeiting & industrial spying problems.
RL 20Ethics – a discussionGroup discussion on “Suggestions fordealing with ethical issues in companiesworldwide, particularly relating to India.”Methodology: Understanding of the rules of group discussion Introduction to the topic Group discussion Wrap-up.
RL 21Mid-term assessment Objective-type assessment on issues coveredso far in the course. Total marks for assessment: 20.
RL 22Session 7: Managing across cultures Multinational corporations use 4 basic human resources: Home country nationals: managers who arecitizens of the country where the MNC isheadquartered. When working away from home, theyare also called expatriates or expats, meaning thatthey live and work outside their home country. Host country nationals: These are local managershired by the MNC. Third country nationals: These include managerswho are citizens of countries other than the countryin which the MNC is headquartered or the one inwhich managers are assigned to work, by the MNC. Inpatriates: Those from the host country or thirdcountry nationals, assigned to work in the homecountry.
RL 23Working with foreigners – sometips Understand the work ethic of the home countryof the MNC, use your own input, then clarifyyour strategy with your seniors. For example, American managers make fastdecisions in comparison with those from someother countries. They are also taught tooperate without giving much direction. This may be contrary to the ways managersfrom other countries are used to, & it isimportant to understand their predominantways of working.
RL 24Working with foreigners – sometips Many managers in the west go home fromwork around 5 p.m., often taking work homewith them. Managers from other countriesoften work late, almost as a habit. People fromone nationality may need to convince othersthat while the ways of working may bedifferent, that they generally work just as hardas the others. The use of discipline is used differently indifferent cultures – it is important to know &understand each.
RL 25Criteria for overseas assignments What criteria should companies use whenselecting their executives for a foreignassignment? Some suggestions: Ability to adapt/desire to work overseas Technical competence & human resource skills Family circumstances & adaptability Previous overseas work experience Understanding of host country culture Academic qualifications/Knowledge of language Understanding of/open to home country culture Also physical & age-related issues & of coursethe appropriate leadership abilities.
RL 26Self-evaluation I would be good for a foreign assignmentbecause……….. I would not be good for a foreign assignmentbecause………..(Please give thought to the earlier learning & state twopoints each.)
RL 27Session 8: Group presentations Group presentations based on country-wiseprojects on the following: Important points relating to culture Country-related issues Comparisons with India.Internal component marks: 20.
RL 28Session 9: Organisational culture &diversity Some questions to ask ourselves: What is organisational culture? What are the guidelines for establishing astrong organisational culture in the presenceof diversity. Companies & countries have their ownculture. Additionally, people who come intoan organisation bring in their own culturalinput. Employees of MNCs are expected tofit in. Adhering to the culture of thecompany is key, for managers to besuccessful.
RL 29The nature of organisational culture It consists of the shared values & beliefs thatenable members to understand their roles &the norms of the organisation. Some qualitiesof company culture: Observed behavioural regularities such as commonlanguage, terminology & rituals; Norms, such as work to be done, cooperationbetween management & employees; Dominant values (e.g. high product & service quality,high efficiency, etc.) Corporate philosophy & rules (e.g. regardingcustomers, behaviour within the organisation, etc.)
RL 30Types of organisational culture The researcher Trompenaars describes 4different types of organisational culture: Family culture Eiffel Tower culture Guided missile culture & Incubator culture
RL 31Types of organisational culture –Family Culture Family culture is characterised by a strongemphasis on hierarchy & orientation to theperson. In a family-type environment, thecompany is headed by a leader regarded as acaring parent who knows what is best for all. In such a culture, people respect those incharge & look to them for guidance & approval.In return, the paternal relationship ensuresthey are treated well & continually employed.
RL 32Types of organisational culture –Eiffel Tower Culture Eiffel Tower Culture has a strong emphasis onhierarchy & orientation to the task. Jobs arewell defined, employees what they aresupposed to do, everything is coordinated fromthe top. This culture, like the tower it is named after, issteep, narrow at the top, broad at the base. The person holding the top position in thisculture can be replaced at any time, & thiswould not affect the work that others might bedoing. Like a formal hierarchy, it is impersonal &efficient.
RL 33Types of organisational culture –Guided Missile Culture The guided missile culture strongly emphasisesequality in the workplace & task orientation. Unlike the Eiffel Tower culture whereassignments are fixed, here people dowhatever it takes to get the job done. All typesof people work in close harmony & it is notknown in advance as to whose contribution willbe most crucial to the job. Those working in this culture are motivatedintrinsically for the job on hand rather than justfor money & benefits.
RL 34Types of organisational culture –Incubator Culture Incubator Culture is a culture characterisedby strong emphasis on equality & orientationto the person. It is based on the premisethat the role of organisations is to serve asincubators for the self-fulfillment of theirmembers. Such a culture has little formal structure.Those in it perform roles such as confirming,criticising, developing or helping completean innovative product or service, creatingenvironments where they thrive on anintense, emotional commitment.
RL 35Organisational culture The four types of cultures are described in their‘pure’ form – most company cultures beingmixed to various extents.
RL 36Understanding cultural differences Even though country clusters indicate regionalsimilarities, most countries have varyingcultural highlights. Those of some countries aregiven here.
RL 37Doing business in China Perhaps because of its long tradition ofisolation, doing business in China is a longprocess. Values & relationships rated highly. The primary criterion for doing business inChina is technical competence. The Chinese are punctual. However, they willtake their time making decisions. When negotiating a contract, the Chinese mayask many questions & nod their assent at theresponses. The nodding generally means thatthey understand or are being polite, not thatthey agree.
RL 38Doing business in China In negotiations, the Chinese give concessions &also expect some in return. An important dimension of Chinese culture isguanxi, which means good connections. This canresult in lower costs for doing business,increased business & sales. Who you know isimportant. The Chinese do not depict nor like excessiveemotion of any kind. Being a collective society, the Chinese pridethemselves on being members of a group. Thisis a contrast to the West.
RL 39Doing business in Russia Personal relationships & friendships withpartners are more important than businesslaws & contracts. Because the rules of business have changed alot in Russia, it is good to use local consultantswho have been there & understand the localbusiness climate. The definition of ethical behaviour may bedifferent as compared to other countries. Decision-making is generally a long process. Russians like to negotiate with just one firm ata time.
RL 40Doing business in Russia They also like doing business face-to-face. The Russians are not forthcoming with financialinformation until they know their partner wellenough. When starting a business relationship, it isimportant to: Stress mutual gain Clarify terminology (to be sure both understand) Not compromise or settle too quickly – oftenconsidered a sign of weakness. Reinforce written contracts with reminders of dealbenefits. Celebrate with a nice dinner afterwards!
RL 41Doing business in France It is important to know that the French arevery status-conscious, unlike those from othercultures. They are also friendly, funny &sarcastic, & may admire people who disagreewith them. While the French work very hard, they are notmotivated by competition. French firms are often highly centralised,making decision-making a long process. Some etiquette-related issues to remember: When shaking hands, use a quick shake with somepressure in the grip. Be on time for meetings & social occasions.
RL 42Doing business in France Conversation is acceptable during a meal, notpersonal conversation. Early friendliness is not okay– this includes first names, speaking of personal orfamily details, etc. In negotiations, the French try to find out all of theother side’s demands & aims are. They reveal theirown, however, only late in the deal. They do not like being rushed into making a decision& rarely make important decisions at meetings. They are logical & precise in their approach, notgiven to making compromises.
RL 43Doing business in Arab countries The sense of time in Arab countries is vastlydifferent from that of western nations. This isimportant to remember. Also important is the sense of destiny peoplebelieve in, that a higher power dictates theoutcome of important events. The Arabs often act based on emotion ratherthan logic. Their meetings may be constantlyinterrupted & those new to their culture willneed to accept this state of affairs. Business meetings typically conclude with anoffer of coffee or tea.
RL 44Doing business in Arab countries While titles are most often not in general useon the Arabian peninsula, the Arabs give muchimportance to status & rank. They do not appreciate others putting on ashow of self-importance, nor taking credit forjoint efforts. Red tape can generally not be avoided, makingpatience critical to success in business dealings Connections are extremely important, makingwell-connected people get jobs done fast. Important decisions are generally made inperson.
RL 45Session 10: Communicationbarriers – perceptions Advertising messages: The way we understandor misunderstand someone, advertisingmessages may or may not communicate thedesired message. Language differences in advertising (page 190) Message misinterpretation when not adheringto the culture of the country (e.g. presentingbusiness cards, bowing, attire, etc.)
RL 46Training takeaways Individual bullet-point sharing on what you aretaking from the training; Revision – a group exercise; Good luck to all of you!