LAZ B2 Language and Culture for Business Module I The Culture of Business Processes Prof. Peter Cullen 2009
Cultural axioms: Time <ul><li>Axioms: constructs which a group of people consider true without further question or proof. ...
Types of temporal constructs <ul><li>astronomical/geophysical = planetary orbit/rotation/seasons </li></ul><ul><li>(Galile...
Newtonian time <ul><li>Newton – classical mechanics = </li></ul><ul><li>Events seen by two different observers in motion r...
Culture and mechanical time <ul><li>Problem: whose frame of reference? </li></ul><ul><li>1 hour = 1/52,560.0 of a six-year...
History and perception of time <ul><li>Questions of Periodisation </li></ul><ul><li>What are our major historical periods?...
Periodisation and cultural learning Periodisation is a cultural production – usually  post facto Periodisation in North Am...
Questions of Periodisation Periodisation is a function of cultural understanding of significance in history. What does “an...
1900 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 2000 08 industrial growth demographic growth G1 G4 G3 G2 generational time-line Rep. presi...
Coping with change: value creation <ul><li>Humans readily associate value to time frames. </li></ul><ul><li>These values a...
Value creation and uncertainty <ul><li>Values are expressions of the  profundity  of beliefs (mentally constructed associa...
Leading people In  human  and  animal  societies and communities, certain individuals or limited groups act to organise an...
Learning and communication <ul><li>Authorities function to establish consensus and direction in group behaviour with respe...
Language and culture The language process uses a  code  to  communicate  a  message  from a  producer  to a  receiver  – b...
Authority and culture Authority accesses  cultural feedback loops  at different places for different purposes. Authority m...
Authority and culture Concentrated  authority  creates  and  imposes  message, enforcing rigid interpretation of  code . W...
What is the role of culture in the economy? Concepts : Production cost exchange Distribution price trade/exchange Consumpt...
What is the role of culture in the economy? The concepts and actions that we define as “ economic ” are  bound by culture ...
What is the role of culture in the economy? Value : The establishment of value is abstract, fluxuating, and dependent on t...
What is the role of culture in the economy? “ Time is money ” – an American concept This is not true in real terms, but th...
What is the role of culture in the economy? Answers to these questions are fundamental to success in global business and t...
What is the role of diversity in culturally diverse teams? Teamwork in the global arena requires  RESPECT  for diversity. ...
Food for thought Businesses are culturally formed  identity systems . NO  single business system is the  right one  for ev...
Culture and business processes <ul><li>Typical business  processes : </li></ul><ul><li>Production: supply, assembly/transf...
Planning processes – cultural expectations <ul><li>SWOT  – Strengths, Weaknesses,   Opportunities, Threats </li></ul><ul><...
Culture, mission and vision <ul><li>Mission = the  identity  of your company </li></ul><ul><li>Vision = your ideas about y...
Business process re-engineering <ul><li>&quot;Business Process Reengineering … seeks radical rather than merely continuous...
Planning – strategy and function <ul><li>Planning  is the prescription of business processes to perform a set number of  t...
Planning tools: Gantt graphs processes in order schedule
Project Life-cycle <ul><li>Defining: Planning: Execution: Delivery: </li></ul><ul><li>Goals schedules status reports train...
Strategies: the value chain <ul><li>The  value chain  (Michael Porter 1985): </li></ul><ul><li>A  series of activities  th...
Value chains and strategy <ul><li>Value chain concept allows valuation of identified activities: </li></ul><ul><li>Primary...
Value chains and strategy <ul><li>The Supply-Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) </li></ul>
Record-keeping and culture <ul><li>Transparency  and competition: </li></ul><ul><li>the prisoner’s dilemma: </li></ul><ul>...
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Laz B2 Module I Culture And Business Processes

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Laz B2 Module I Culture And Business Processes

  1. 1. LAZ B2 Language and Culture for Business Module I The Culture of Business Processes Prof. Peter Cullen 2009
  2. 2. Cultural axioms: Time <ul><li>Axioms: constructs which a group of people consider true without further question or proof. </li></ul><ul><li>Time is a social construct designed to measure change by relative means. (i.e., from the small to the big object/system </li></ul><ul><li>It includes observation of physical change as well as perceptions of change </li></ul><ul><li>SO – it has real-world and metaphorical applications. </li></ul><ul><li>Concepts: calendar, speed and velocity, rate, maturity and youth, growth and decline. Others? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Types of temporal constructs <ul><li>astronomical/geophysical = planetary orbit/rotation/seasons </li></ul><ul><li>(Galileo’s constant = scientific agreement of the axiom) </li></ul><ul><li>life-cycle = physical growth and decay of people, animals, things </li></ul><ul><li>(many business metaphors – companies, products, markets) </li></ul><ul><li>Historical and explanitory constructs: foundation myths, periodisation, progress, development, cut-off dates, deadlines, sequences – others? </li></ul><ul><li>Chronos: BC and AD? BCE and CE? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Newtonian time <ul><li>Newton – classical mechanics = </li></ul><ul><li>Events seen by two different observers in motion relative to each other produce a mathematical concept of time that works pretty well for describing the everyday phenomena of experience. </li></ul><ul><li>Critical point: Frame of reference. </li></ul><ul><li>Kappa effect: psychological perception of time depends on values associated with the process experienced. </li></ul><ul><li>Cognitive memory cycles: even the brain has it’s own “wave clock cycle”. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Culture and mechanical time <ul><li>Problem: whose frame of reference? </li></ul><ul><li>1 hour = 1/52,560.0 of a six-year old’s life </li></ul><ul><li>1 hour = 1/350,400 of a 40-year old’s life </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural Kappa effects and cultural bubbles. </li></ul><ul><li>The utilitiy of time is bound by the culture that uses it. </li></ul><ul><li>Different cultures have different needs for time: </li></ul><ul><li>Agricultural time </li></ul><ul><li>Religious time </li></ul><ul><li>Industrial production time </li></ul><ul><li>Delivery time </li></ul><ul><li>Payment time – and ascribe different degrees of importance </li></ul>
  6. 6. History and perception of time <ul><li>Questions of Periodisation </li></ul><ul><li>What are our major historical periods? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we know when one begins and another ends? </li></ul><ul><li>Why do we use names to identify historical periods? </li></ul><ul><li>Do those names apply to all aspects of a society, or only some? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Periodisation and cultural learning Periodisation is a cultural production – usually post facto Periodisation in North America: Mesopotamia Renaissance Egypt Early Modern Greece Reformation/C Reformation Rome Industrial Revolution “ Dark Ages” “Modern” Middle Ages Post modern Generational
  8. 8. Questions of Periodisation Periodisation is a function of cultural understanding of significance in history. What does “antiquity” mean? What does the “renaissance” mean? What does “modern” mean? Are these useful terms? Why? Periodisation is tied to concepts of “civilisation”
  9. 9. 1900 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 2000 08 industrial growth demographic growth G1 G4 G3 G2 generational time-line Rep. presidency Dem. presidency Multi-variate change
  10. 10. Coping with change: value creation <ul><li>Humans readily associate value to time frames. </li></ul><ul><li>These values are, in themselves, constructed in their own time frames, but applied in different ones. </li></ul><ul><li>i.e. </li></ul><ul><li>Religion – mixes the concept of eternal with everyday.P </li></ul><ul><li>Family – extrapolates personal connection before birth and after death = the family tree </li></ul><ul><li>Politics – attempts to create systems that last beyond its participants </li></ul><ul><li>Money – attempts to provide recurrance to a common value system </li></ul>
  11. 11. Value creation and uncertainty <ul><li>Values are expressions of the profundity of beliefs (mentally constructed associations of experience) </li></ul><ul><li>Beliefs and their expressions are variable, but humans try to ascribe a semi-permanent function to them. </li></ul><ul><li>This aids associative prediction (risk management), behavioural participation and explanation of human events. </li></ul><ul><li>These associations are learned – but not always taught. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Leading people In human and animal societies and communities, certain individuals or limited groups act to organise and regulate the behaviour of other group members. Conflict resolution was the prime motivator of the early functionality of leadership in human communities. It created a need for authority . This differentiation significantly changed the way primates view their cultural field , creating a culture of norms, rules and laws .
  13. 13. Learning and communication <ul><li>Authorities function to establish consensus and direction in group behaviour with respect to norms, rules and laws. </li></ul><ul><li>This requires cultural negotiation between leaders and the group. </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural negotiation may occur through linguistic communication </li></ul><ul><li>OR </li></ul><ul><li>Non-linguistic communication. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Language and culture The language process uses a code to communicate a message from a producer to a receiver – but: Each variable depends on its relationship to the other variables for understanding to happen. Culture operates with a similar series of feedback loops. (i.e. Bourdieu) Producer code message communication receiver understanding MEMORY Feedback loop at each stage
  15. 15. Authority and culture Authority accesses cultural feedback loops at different places for different purposes. Authority may be concentrated or distributed . Concentrated to distributed authority. Dictatorship Absolute monarchy Oligarchy Parliamentary monarchy Republican democracy Cooperatives or communes
  16. 16. Authority and culture Concentrated authority creates and imposes message, enforcing rigid interpretation of code . Why? Distributed authority creates message through active consensus, seeking legitimacy of both message and code through social accord . Why? Authority = responsibilty
  17. 17. What is the role of culture in the economy? Concepts : Production cost exchange Distribution price trade/exchange Consumption return value All of these concepts involve learning feedback loops. Some of them directly involve a relationship to the physical world . Some of them are abstractions created for the purpose of understanding the physical world.
  18. 18. What is the role of culture in the economy? The concepts and actions that we define as “ economic ” are bound by culture . What are some concepts of “economy” and “business”?
  19. 19. What is the role of culture in the economy? Value : The establishment of value is abstract, fluxuating, and dependent on the cultural feedback loop. It combines primary necessity with utility (abstract) Today, we use money to establish value. Luca Fantacci – money is: a means of exchange a measure of value a reserve of value All dependent on the cultural feedback loop.
  20. 20. What is the role of culture in the economy? “ Time is money ” – an American concept This is not true in real terms, but the metaphor guides American business practices. Can American concepts of time, expressed and learned in their business practices, be applied in other parts of the world – such as Italy? Why? Why not? How? i.e - business quarters, cost accounting, mark to market, business planning, etc., etc., etc. Why is this an important question for Italians?
  21. 21. What is the role of culture in the economy? Answers to these questions are fundamental to success in global business and teamwork. Finding functional answers requires cultural contextualisations of relationships. contractual, informal, communications consumption, service, production... History can help find explanations of culturally specific behaviour in different regions. i.e. America is not Italy – why?
  22. 22. What is the role of diversity in culturally diverse teams? Teamwork in the global arena requires RESPECT for diversity. Diversity of approach to authority, time, value, labour Respect = listen identify message contextualise meaning TOWARD team functionality establish message in team context (NOT easy!) Diversity produces strong teams since cultural and linguistic feedback loops with in the group are consciousely evaluated more often. This takes a lot of work! BE patient! Fewer cultural assumptions = stronger emphasis on current group identity . Functionality = identity-building opportunity.
  23. 23. Food for thought Businesses are culturally formed identity systems . NO single business system is the right one for everyone. Successful GLOBAL business respects identities in transit between local, regional and global arenas. Global business is in a push/pull relationship with global teamwork opportunities. Business benefits from learning about multiple existing socio-cultural and economic systems in order to build effective NEW interactional business contexts = better teamwork  better global business!
  24. 24. Culture and business processes <ul><li>Typical business processes : </li></ul><ul><li>Production: supply, assembly/transformation, sales, distribution </li></ul><ul><li>Management: purchasing, HR, accounting, finance, marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Expectations: </li></ul><ul><li>employment </li></ul><ul><li>income </li></ul><ul><li>objects/products </li></ul><ul><li>services </li></ul><ul><li>How, Where, When, do we want these? </li></ul>
  25. 25. Planning processes – cultural expectations <ul><li>SWOT – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats </li></ul><ul><li>Mission, vision </li></ul><ul><li>Human and capital resources </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation </li></ul><ul><li>Control </li></ul><ul><li>Who are you, where are you going ? Where do you want to be? </li></ul>
  26. 26. Culture, mission and vision <ul><li>Mission = the identity of your company </li></ul><ul><li>Vision = your ideas about your company’s future </li></ul><ul><li>American model – constant growth through competition </li></ul><ul><li>tradition of huge resource supply </li></ul><ul><li>culture of individual gain/morality/responsibility </li></ul><ul><li>culture of dominating the environment </li></ul><ul><li>Much North American business logic reflects the psychology of post-WWII recovery. Generational learning. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Business process re-engineering <ul><li>&quot;Business Process Reengineering … seeks radical rather than merely continuous improvement. It escalates the efforts of JIT and TQM to make process orientation a strategic tool and a core competence of the organization. BPR concentrates on core business processes, and uses the specific techniques within the JIT and TQM ” toolboxes ” as enablers, while broadening the process vision.” ( H. Johansen (1993), Business Process Reengineering: BreakPoint Strategies for Market Dominance ) </li></ul><ul><li>Just In Time </li></ul><ul><li>Total Quality Management </li></ul><ul><li>Business Process Reeingineering </li></ul><ul><li>Culture of ingenuity and innovation from groups of dedicated individuals </li></ul>
  28. 28. Planning – strategy and function <ul><li>Planning is the prescription of business processes to perform a set number of tasks according to a pre-established schedule . </li></ul><ul><li>Planning is one function of process coordination and delivery </li></ul><ul><li>Routine planning : annual budgets, production levels, supply chains, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Project planning : limited in time and performance expectations. Oriented toward the client </li></ul>
  29. 29. Planning tools: Gantt graphs processes in order schedule
  30. 30. Project Life-cycle <ul><li>Defining: Planning: Execution: Delivery: </li></ul><ul><li>Goals schedules status reports train client </li></ul><ul><li>Specs budgets changes transfer docs </li></ul><ul><li>Tasks resources quality release resources </li></ul><ul><li>Respsblts risks forecasts release staff </li></ul><ul><li>--- staffing --- lessons learned </li></ul>D+p Ex
  31. 31. Strategies: the value chain <ul><li>The value chain (Michael Porter 1985): </li></ul><ul><li>A series of activities that transform objects or services from component parts to finished product: </li></ul><ul><li>at each activity the product gains some value – the total = more than the sum of added values of the individual activities. </li></ul><ul><li>i.e. the diamond cutter: cutting the diamond (inexpensive) adds hugely more value to the stone than the process itself. </li></ul>
  32. 32. Value chains and strategy <ul><li>Value chain concept allows valuation of identified activities: </li></ul><ul><li>Primary activities: </li></ul><ul><li>Inbound logistics </li></ul><ul><li>Operations </li></ul><ul><li>Outbound logistics </li></ul><ul><li>marketing, sales and after sales service </li></ul><ul><li>Support activities: </li></ul><ul><li>administrative infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>management </li></ul><ul><li>HR </li></ul><ul><li>R&D </li></ul><ul><li>Procurement </li></ul>
  33. 33. Value chains and strategy <ul><li>The Supply-Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) </li></ul>
  34. 34. Record-keeping and culture <ul><li>Transparency and competition: </li></ul><ul><li>the prisoner’s dilemma: </li></ul><ul><li>Two suspected criminals are being interrogated – no communication between them about their situations: </li></ul><ul><li>A rats out B – A gets 0 year and B gets 10 </li></ul><ul><li>B rats out A – B gets 0 years and B gets 10 </li></ul><ul><li>Both rat out each other – both get 8 </li></ul><ul><li>Neither talks – both get 1 </li></ul><ul><li>risk calculation A </li></ul><ul><li>A talks B doesn’t = A 0 years </li></ul><ul><li>A talks B does = A 8 years </li></ul><ul><li>A doesn’t talk B does = A 10 years </li></ul><ul><li>A doesn’t talk b doesn’t = 1 year </li></ul>= individualist logic pushes prisoner to talk

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