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Question
hi i am a student of international management and i am struck in two questions cannot find any relevant answers. please help me. i will be great full to you.
Q. Identify some cultural differences in body movements. how might these influence negotiating sessions?

Q. how might a manager successfully influence his or her subordinates in a high context culture?

your response will be an anticipation for me.

regards
Tayyaba

Answer
1.   Identify some cultural differences in body movements. how might these influence negotiating sessions?

In cross cultural negotiations successful negotiations require each party to do self analysis and also analysis of the other party.
  
  A useful definition of negotiation is: "A process whereby parties with conflicting aims establish the terms or which they will co operate." So our answer would be that People negotiate because they have needs, which can only be met with the co operation of others, even though the others may continue to have conflicting aims.
  
  Both sides in a negotiation are there because they have needs. So to understand the negotiation process one must be able to diagnose those needs; theirs and ours. It helps, with this diagnosis to be able to recognise that both sides have organisational/group needs and personal/individual needs.
  
  Not so skilled negotiators only try to understand their own needs, organisational and/or personal. They may go as far as to try to identify the other party's organisational needs but that is where they will stop because the other party's personal needs are usually left unspoken, even hidden. Yet, it is often these underlying unstated hidden needs which are powerful influencing forces on the other party. What are the needs, both personal and organisational, of the other side?
  ======================================================
  You, as a  Negotiator, must have an impact on your opponent's  by influencing some of the factors, such as:
  
  1.The value you offer.
  
  2.The terms you offer.
  
  3.The period you offer covers, etc.
  
  4.The benefits   you offer.
  
  5.The convenience  you deliver.
  
  6.The delivery you offer.
  
  7.The options you offer.
  
  
  NEGOTIATION CONCEPTS
  
  Negotiating is the game of affecting behaviour by satisfying underlying concerns, interests and needs.
  
  (A)   ATTITUDE
     "Attitude determines altitudes" since it gives us the
     perspective to see beyond the given       to better
     understand the pattern, relationship and context.
  
  (B)   BEHAVIOUR
     Shaping the other sides' perceptions to influence action
     and stimulate desired activity.
  
  (C)   CONCERNS
     By satisfying underlying concerns, interests and needs.
  
  Offer/Demand
  
  Proposal
  
  Proposition
  
  Underlying concerns, interests and needs. Expectations Attitudes Emotions Feelings
  
  Past Experiences etc.
  
  The conceptual model to influence the way we perceive, evaluate, think and act in all negotiations
  depends on 3 variables:
  
  A.Power
  B. Information   
  C. Timing
  ==================================================
  THE  SCIENTIFIC  APPROACH  TO  NEGOTIATION  PROCESS  INCLUDES
  
  -understanding  attitudes
  -understanding  behaviors
  -understanding  concerns
  
  -appraising  needs
  -getting   attention
  -obtaining  information
  
  -giving  information
  -making  others  yhink
  -advocating  your  proposal
  
  -using  tactics
  -seeking  commitment
  -going  for  WIN-WIN  NEGOTIATED  RESULTS.
  ==============================================
Accordingly, significant rapid changes are continuously happening in the international market.  With these changes, the only way for the organizations to adapt and adjust is to consider management models and approaches different from the traditional practices.  Specified affective aspects such as increasing global competition as well as rapid technological change urged most companies to become more inclined with global operations and to managers to be transferred to manage employees with diverse cultures .
It can be said that culture is an essential aspects in comprehending a company, because in order for the company to operate efficiently, the must for some extent have a general set of assumptions, norms and belief.  Because understanding the context of culture is said to help organisations to be aware of how employees perceived about the company and to determine how different attitudes, beliefs, and values affect the workplaces and implicate the work of the manager.  Comprehending and assessing the national culture and organizational culture can mean the difference between the success and failure of a manager in handling diverse employees.  It can be said that cultural differences posts some of the issue and opportunities for a manager, specifically Hong Kong manager. Primarily, the main goal of this paper is to understand different theories of cross-cultural management. In addition, this paper will also discuss how this cross-cultural diversity affects Hong Kong managers.
Cross-Cultural Management Theories
Aforementioned, one of the elements which must be given attention by the management of the company is the cultural aspects, specifically if the company or the manager is managing different or diverse cultures. There are various cross-cultural management theories that have been provided by different theorists.
It was stated by Hall and Hall (1973) that the most essential factors for having a successful cross-cultural management system is to consider an efficient cultural communication. Herein, the management or the manager of the company must make it sure that there are open avenues for people to communicate efficiently.  Hall & Hall (1976) has been able to identify two categories of culture which have an impact on business operations and organizational performances. Such categories include the High Context Culture and the low context culture. High Context categories are regarded to have a very high established homogenous view in terms of religious values, nationality and beliefs and attitudes. This form of culture can be easily recognized among Arab countries and Japanese style of management. In this regard, the communication aspects are given consideration such as gestures and body language.        On one hand, the low context culture notes that the concept of communication is more identified in formal written records like what can be seen in the United Kingdom and United States.
The next theorist and cultural theory that will be considered is that of the cross-cultural management theory of Geert Hofstede. According to this theory, culture can be classified through different dimensions at a national level (Hofstede, 1991). Such dimensions include power distance, masculinity-femininity, individual collectivism, long-term versus short-term orientation and uncertainty avoidance.
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Ø  Large versus small power distance. it is noted that the large power distance is the extent to which the employees or staffs or the members of the society admits that power in organisations and companies is distributed unequally; while small power distance is the notion in which  members of a society or employees or staffs accept that power is distributed fairly (Hofstede, 1991).
Ø  Strong versus weak uncertainty avoidance. This aspect means that strong uncertainty avoidance addresses that the degree to which the employees feel uncomfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty, which leads them to support beliefs that promises certainty and to sustain institutions protecting conformity; while the weak uncertainty avoidance is the level in which employees tend to be relatively tolerant of uncertainty and ambiguity and needs autonomy and lower structure
Ø  Individualism versus collectivism. The individualism aspect is known to be the preference for a loosely knit social model in society; whereas collectivism referred to a preference for a tightly knit social model.  
Ø  Masculinity versus femininity. The context of masculinity refers to the preference for fulfillment, heroism, fierceness, forcefulness, and material success; whereas the notion of femininity referred to a preference for modesty, relationships, nurturing and caring for the weak and the quality of life.
It can be said that such cultural dimensions can assist the manager’s approach to managing diverse culture (Hofstede, 1980). In addition, this can also help management strategies easier to be implemented .
The next theory to be considered for analysing cross-cultural management is the theory established or formulated by Fons Trompenaars. As noted by Trompenaars (1997), there are seven dimensions of culture which is relevant to the relationships with employees or personnels in an organization. These seven dimensions are Individualism vs. Collectivism (communitarians), Universalism vs. Particularism, Specific vs. Diffuse, Neutral vs. Emotional, Linear vs. Circular and internal vs. external control and Achievement vs. Ascription, Such dimensions are attributed as the factors which can be useful for managing cultural diversities.

Implications to Hong Kong Manager
As Burack, et al (1994) pointed out, management; specifically managers had transformed it as more emphasis is stressed on commitment and control. Quality, competence, and flexibility among the employees had efficiently replaced quantity of task accomplished and dumb obedience. Furthermore, the objectives of the management become concentrated on the adoption of modernization, quality and cost reduction. As management, specifically managers requires and demands more from their employees, work is then intensified resulting to less slacking of the management.
Aside from globalization, changes in the role of the managers have occurred due to cross-national dissimilarities. The diversities among nations are likely to develop practices that are different from other countries.
In reality, management’ practices are subject to distinctive sets of national rules as well as sensitive analysis of labor unions whose strength and thoughts towards management differ. Thus, this concept is contrary to the idea of HRM as a high managerial autonomy.
Based on the analysis of different theories provides above, it can be said that cultural diversities or differences can have a direct impact or implications on specific manager. For example, Hong Kong managers who are assigned with culturally diverse employees should ensure that they are able to adhere to the needs of the employees to be managers.
Cultural differences among nations are interestingly predominant due to varying backgrounds, origins, traditions, and lifestyles. As culture influences much of people’s way of life, their principles, ideas, beliefs and personal character suggest their cultural background. Oftentimes cultural differences have been a subject of conflict among individuals and aspects which should be given emphasis by Hong Kong managers, in a culturally diverse organisation. Thus, open-mindedness and respect for each others diversity are necessary. For instance, Hong Kong managers who are assigned in a United States company should be able to have the ability to take responsibilities of the cultural differences.
One distinct characteristic among Hong Kong managers is their tendency to do things in a hurry. In their managerial processes, the environment appears to be filled with pressure and urgency. Thus, most perceived Hong Kong managers as efficient thinkers and workers especially when placed under stress. Americans on the other hand usually take their time especially in making management decisions. Thomas (2002) also pointed out the difference of these two cultures when it comes to leadership and authority. Westerners for instance, tend to be straightforward and focused on their tasks. Alternatively, Hong Kong managers are more concerned on the delegation of various tasks. As Chinese/ Hong Kong culture gives value to organizational hierarchy, Chinese bosses tend to be all-powerful. In turn, subordinates will just have to wait for their bosses’ instructions. This heavy dependence on bosses and less resourcefulness may seem to be an attitude perceived by Westerners as staying away from responsibility.        
In terms of cultural orientation, it can be said that the United States is a highly masculine-oriented and individualistic country. Herein, their managers emphasise on individual action and self-interest. On one hand Hong Kong is also a masculine-oriented culture because of the influences of Western culture in the nation. In terms of relationship among people, it can be said that the US culture are less relationship-oriented. Employee relationships on American leaders are directed to maximum achievement of goals and disregard personal attributes of employees. For American leaders, results should benefit the whole organisation while Hong Kong culture leaders, results should benefit both the organisation and the individual. Hong Kong culture is more are more relationship-oriented as they show outstanding concern on personal lives of their staff members. Trust is extremely dominant among Hong Kong leaders. Since relationship is governed by respect, guidance, and consultation, Hong Kong management value equality and group harmony.
Relationships in Hong Kong business play a significant role. The Hong Kong managers create business relations in a different manner as compared to their western counterparts. This is mainly because, mutual relations, gift-exchanging and doing favours are considered important elements that strengthen Chinese business relations; this is unlike the Western environment where business relations are not exactly based on emotions and friendships. Furthermore, the Hong Kong has a strong affiliation towards social responsibilities. Thus, it is important for the firm to do social provisions not only to the employees but to the community as well. This example then stresses the need for foreign investors to be aware of various cultural differences.
         The managers of Hong Kong should consider these cultural and national differences if they want to have a successful career in the US market. In addition, cultural differences affect how the manager will manage the American employees considering that the two have very diverse or different cultures.
Recommendation
Consequently, culture is something that is hard to customize and change. Thus, rather than cause conflict about cultural differences, it is probably wise to accept and respect them. Instead of identifying this issue as a problem, cultural differences should be learned and appreciated, specifically by the managers who are assigned to work in a diverse culture. This is because a nation’s cultural difference is what makes it special, unique, and distinct.
If the Hong Kong managers will be assigned with a United State’s or American’s company, the Hong Kong manager must see to it that they are able to sustain their cultural aspect which makes them unique from each other. Understanding the culture of Americans, enable the managers to know which leadership styles to be used when assigned to US companies.
It can be noted that that the process of becoming an effective international manager is to sustain the growth and maintain the relationships of people within the company despite their individual differences. In this regard, the managers who will work on American company should set a common vision and goal and allow their staffs to effectively accomplish their tasks, both in individual and collective level to comply with the cultural situation of each nation.
The cultural dimension is noted to be more strategic and intangible in nature than the technical one. Cultural factors explain the notion regarding the importance of the organisational and individual culture. This dimension, involves myths, rituals, games and symbols which are relevant to how the company strategise their operations. Because of the common behaviour, an internal incorporation within the company is enhanced. In this sense, all cultural learning indicates the original values of each staff and their sense of what ought to be as different and unique from what is.

Conclusion
Throughout the years, different theorists had been able to recognize and identify the significant role of culture in management.  The interest for these business aspects had been reviewed in various manners.  Among the helpful theories about national culture and cultural dimensions are those of Hall, Hofstede, and Trompenaars. The interests of the study of culture have been raised because of the constant evolution of such priorities that presently emphasize on work motivation as well as intellectual development of different employees.
         Under theoretical aspects, theorists have been able to illustrate the significant role of the managers and employees on the development of an effective organizational culture. In this regard, the leadership skills of the manager, in this case, Hong Kong managers, and the insights of the employees should have an equal weight in line with cultural dynamics.
         By and large, it can be said that in order for the Hong Kong managers to manage employees in American setting, the manager should be able to know the employees behaviour and know which cultural management approach to be used.

THE CROSS-CULTURAL ISSUES I

For our purposes let's define culture as the way
in which each of us is programmed to behave
in the environment.
Cultures are like icebergs; some features are
apparent to anyone not in a fog, while others are deeply hidden. Above-the-surface features include
overt behaviors: how people -
•   dress
•   eat
•   walk
•   talk
•   relate to one another
•   conduct themselves during public ceremonies such as weddings or funerals.
Also included are such things as social distance.
Other aspects are so far below the surface that they are hard to recognize. We may see evidence of these aspects, but we usually can't pinpoint them precisely and usually don't have a clue where they came from.
They are hard to define even for our own culture because we take them in with our mother's language.
This might include such things as:
•   how we encode and retrieve information
•   What is justice?
•   Music?
•   Proper parenting?
•   Beauty or ugliness?
•   What meaning is attached to "teaching" stories?
•   What does being well educated mean?
•   What constitutes status?

OTHER ISSUES INCLUDE
-DIFFERENT ASSUMPTIONS
-USE OF LANGUAGE
-INAPPROPRIATE DELIVERY MEDIUM
-CULTURAL SPECIFICITY


Communication
Miscommunication across cultural lines is usually the most important cause of cross-cultural problems in multinational cos.. Miscommunication can have several sources, including:
• differences in body language or gestures. The same gesture can have different meanings in different parts of the world. For example, Bulgarians shake their heads up and down to mean no. In addition, the way people count on their fingers is not universal: The Chinese count from one to ten on one hand, and eight is displayed by extending the thumb and the finger next to it. The same gesture is interpreted as meaning two in France and as pointing a gun in North America.
• different meanings for the same word. Like gestures, words can have different meanings or connotations in different parts of the world. The French word "char" means Army tank in France and car in Quebec. The word "exciting" has different connotations in British English and in North American English. While North American executives talk about "exciting challenges" repeatedly, British executives use this word to describe only children’s activities (children do exciting things in England, not executives).
• different assumptions made in the same situation. The same event can be interpreted many different ways depending on where one comes from. For example, although the sight of a black cat is considered a lucky event in Britain, it is considered unlucky in many other countries. Dragons are viewed positively in China, but negatively in Europe and North America.
These examples illustrate dissimilarities between cultures that are both large and simple in the sense that they focus on a single cultural aspect that keeps the same meaning regardless of context. As a result, such variations in communication will often be identified on the spot. By contrast, subtle or complex differences are often identified much later in the communication process, when corrective action requires considerable effort and money. Sometimes, this realization takes place so late that there is not enough time to address it, resulting in a missed deadline.
In extreme cases, miscommunication can lead to casualties. For example, a few years ago, a plane crash in the northeastern United States was caused--at least in part--by miscommunication between the pilot and air traffic controller. The plane was running short on fuel. But somehow the pilot did not manage to communicate the urgency of the situation to the air traffic controller, who put the plane on a holding pattern because of airport congestion. The plane then crashed when it ran out of fuel.
HOW TO MANAGE CROSS CULTURAL ISSUES
Here are a few tips that will help avoid miscommunication:
• Clarify: When in doubt, ask; if not, ask anyway. It’s important to ensure that your foreign colleagues have understood everything you meant to say and nothing else. Ask them to feed you back what you have told them in their own words. This will help you discover and address any major misunderstandings.
• Get into the details: Although it’s often tempting to agree on general principles and leave details to further discussions for brevity’s sake, this can create major problems at later stages. Indeed, an agreement on general principles may turn out to be empty, if it is not tested through negotiation on the finer details.
• Summarize: The time taken to summarize the decisions made during a meeting and to issue minutes to all participants is often a good investment. It helps to prevent future challenges of decisions reached at meetings and to ensure that action items agreed to at meetings are actually implemented.
• Simplify: Use simple words that are easily understood and be consistent. Using synonyms can confuse your non-Canadian counterparts unnecessarily, particularly if they are not native English speakers. For similar reasons, technical jargon should be avoided where possible and explained clearly when it must be used.

Cross-cultural training organizations can also shorten the learning curve by delivering training to companies in a timely and targeted fashion. The necessary cross-cultural information should be shared with all employees involved in international ventures, rather than being limited to those who have already had experience with them. Cross-cultural training organizations are experts in the area of cross-cultural relationships and can provide training on many topics, including how to:
• do business in a given country or region;
• make presentations in a given country of region;
• select the right people for international assignments;
• prepare employees for expatriate assignments; and
• improve the productivity of multinational teams.
*BUILDING A SHARED CULTURE
*CONCENSUS AGREEMENT ON IMPORTANT MATTERS
*BUILDING AN UNDERSTANDING CLIMATE
*IDENTIFY / USE THE RICH POINTS IN EACH CULTURE.
*CONCENTRATE ON THE THINGS YOU KNOW.
*UNDERSTANDING VARIOUS RELIGIOUS PRACTICES
*UNDERSTANDING VARIOUS FOOD PRACTICES
*UNDERSTANDING VARIOUS DRESS PRACTICES
*SHOWING PATIENCE ALWAYS
*SHOWING GOOD MANNER ALWAYS
*SHOWING SENSE OF HUMOR ALWAYS
*SHOWING TOLERANCE ALWAYS
*SHOWING RESPECT ALWAYS
ETC ETC
TO SOLVE THESE PROBLEMS,
-you should be patient.
-you should understand others.
-you should empathise.
-you should show flexibility.
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2. how might a manager successfully influence his or her subordinates in a high context culture?


INTRODUCTION
What is Culture? Culture is a concept describing “’ways of living’ built up by a group of human beings, which are transmitted from one generation to another” (Keegan, 2002). Culture includes proper ways of behaving in business, educational, familial, and religious situations. Organizational anthropologist Geert Hofstede defined culture as being “the collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one category of people from those of another” (Keegan, 2002). Culture is difficult to understand because both conscious and unconscious beliefs and values influence the formation of its rules and value systems. When people think of culture, they often picture a type of person different from themselves, whether in physical appearance or in language used to communicate. However, culture is much more than that. It also encompasses consumer preferences. For example, in some countries consumers prefer certain products to others. In the Middle East, consumers prefer their soft drinks sweeter than consumers in the United States do. In addition, in some countries, certain physical aspects of the products sold have a large impact on whether consumers buy or not. In the West, the color white represents purity and cleanliness whereas the same color signifies death in Asian countries. In a business context, there are many important activities, the appropriateness of which may vary from culture to culture. Such activities may include: correct behavior within business meetings, interviewing for jobs, negotiating, accepted behaviors in the workplace, and the giving/accepting of feedback. In order to perform well in these differing circumstances, people must be able to successfully adapt to the specific cultural demands.
CULTURAL VARIABILITY
In the past, describing cultural differences was a purely subjective experience. The only way to document differences was for someone to interact in a different culture and then to describe that culture in relation to his/her own culture. The problem with this is that it is a subjective description and does not necessarily describe true cultural differences and similarities. How can comparing cultures using a subjective description really describe the objective reality of either culture? After all, one person’s experience might differ from another person’s experience. If both observers described a particular culture and each person’s description was fundamentally different, then which one would be correct? As to the question of whether or not cultures are different or not there can be little doubt as to the answer. Anyone who has traveled abroad has most likely experienced certain things that not normally experienced within his/her home country. Whether it is the type of food eaten or the ways in which people interact with one another, differences abound. An explanation of cultural differences might be based on observation and description. Though descriptions of cultures based on personal experience can be potentially useful, there are situations in which descriptions might not apply. Furthermore, though descriptions show that cultures vary in their beliefs and behaviors, they do not explain why they do so and what to do to successfully adapt within a culture.
With the advent of more powerful scientific measuring devices, such as neuroimaging, scientists are able to more objectively study cultures. For example, recent research shows that culture has a direct impact on the organization of neural pathways. Scientists studied two groups of people, one from the West and the other from Asia. Subjects were further subdivided into generations- one subgroup consisted of older participants and another of younger ones. Subjects were shown a picture of an elephant in a jungle while having their brains scanned. The results indicated that a particular portion of the brain for object recognition was active in Western subjects but not in Asian subjects with the following implication: “An Asian would see a jungle that happened to have an elephant in it. Meanwhile, a Westerner would see the elephant and might notice the jungle” (Binns, 2007). Of even more interest were the results of the subgroups. While both old and young Western subjects showed similar activity in their brains, there was a marked difference between old and young subjects in the Asian subject group, indicating that the results are not due to genetic factors but rather environmental ones. As Western culture has spread across the world, it has changed the way in which people live their lives. Students in China today idolize professional athletes on television whereas students 20 years ago might not have even had access to this. Furthermore, the same article indicates that research has shown that even the structure of a particular culture’s language has an impact on members of that culture’s perceptive processes. Tested was the speed of color differentiation between Russian subjects, who mandatorily had a distinctive word for light blue and dark blue, and English speaking subjects who did not necessarily have to make this distinction. Russian speakers were able to more quickly distinguish between hues of color than Western subjects were. The results of these studies indicate that certain things in the environment are of greater importance to members of one culture than members of another culture and this importance determined whether members of a particular culture would even pay attention to a detail of the environment. “With an infinite number of ways to perceive the world, every culture’s guidebook helps to focus our brain’s attention on the characteristics most important to our life” (Binns, 2007). A theoretical example pertaining to organizations might be a job interview where both interviewer and interviewee are from different cultures. The interviewee notices that the person doing the interview frequently interrupts the interview to answer his phone. The interviewee may perceive this as an indication of disinterest and dislike by the interviewer whereas the interviewer may not even think twice about it. After all, it is part of his job description to answer the phone and cannot see why it is inappropriate to do so, even during a job interview.
Studies of nonverbal behavior also show marked differences between cultures. For example, these studies show that people from different cultures are attuned to different types of nonverbal cues. “The group found that Americans, who tend to express emotion overtly, look to the mouth to interpret others’ true feelings. Japanese, who tend to be more emotionally guarded, give greater weight to the eyes, which are less easily controlled” (Carpenter, 2007). From these results, it is easy to see how misunderstandings might arise from non-deliberate miscommunications. A possible explanation uses the complexity of social networks as an indicator of the amount of attention paid to the context of communication. “East Asians live in relatively complex social networks with prescribed role relations. Attention to context is, therefore, important for effective functioning. In contrast, Westerners live in less constraining social worlds that stress independence and allow them to pay less attention to context" (Chua et al., 2005). Thomas et al (2003) go on to state: “research indicates that social cognitions such as perceptions of events and attributions made about their causes both vary across cultures. Later on, they argue: “Different priorities for what stimuli deserve attention (selective attention), and the meaning we attach to these perceptions (encoding), are formed by gradual internalization of prevailing cultural patterns” (Thomas et al., 2003). With all of these subtle and diverse cultural differences, how are organizations to function in a globalized market place? Clearly, organizations must be sensitive to culture in order to perform well. An organization’s management orientation is one indication of how it strives to do so.
MANAGEMENT ORIENTATION
An organization’s choice of response within the environment depends on its beliefs about the environment and its beliefs on whether or not its actions can have an effect on the environment. For example, one company may think that it does not need to take into account potential differences in customer preferences around the world. Since Americans like product X Y or Z in the color blue, consumers in China will like the same color. What they fail to take into account is that the importance of something seemingly as seemingly trivial as color can vary enormously between cultures. When its product performs poorly, this company will be likely to misunderstand the reason why and will probably fail to rectify the problem in the future. On the other hand, another company with a different viewpoint of the marketplace might realize that cultures vary and will strive to understand the differences and similarities of each culture. Before selling a product, management will already understand things such as color preference within a certain culture. This way, this particular firm will avoid the costly mistake of the other company and will increase its probability of success in that marketplace in the future. These “viewpoints “ are described as management orientation and can be broken down into the following categories:
ETHNOCENTRIC MANAGEMENT ORIENTATION
Management holding an ethnocentric orientation believes that its home country is superior to any other country in the world regardless of any evidence to the contrary. An ethnocentrically oriented manager may think: “since a product or a service performed well at home, it should also perform well abroad. Since this is so obvious, no further research is necessary on foreign markets and no adaptations need to be made to the products or services to tailor them to global customer preferences and needs.” Some companies are so ethnocentric that they choose to ignore foreign opportunities in the first place. These companies are called domestic companies. Other companies holding an ethnocentric orientation do choose to conduct business outside of their home country and are called international companies. Ethnocentrically oriented international companies believe that anything that has worked at home must also work abroad. A company holding this viewpoint would be likely to ignore local managers within different countries who voiced an opinion contrary to the norm of the home-country. For example, a local manager may wish to change an advertisement’s background-color from white to red since, in his country, white signifies death whereas red signifies wealth. An ethnocentrically oriented company might ignore this valuable piece of information. Since white was chosen over red in focus groups inside of the United States, white must be preferred to red universally regardless of where the product is being sold.
POLYCENTRIC MANAGEMENT ORIENTATION
Management holding a polycentric orientation, on the other hand, believes that each country is unique and therefore it allows its subsidiaries to have more control in developing strategies that will work in a particular country. “Since each country is so unique, complete control should be given to local managers since they obviously know what is best for the company in that country.” As long as these subsidiaries are profitable, headquarters is apt to leave them alone. “Let the Romans do it their way. We really don’t understand what is going on here, but we have to have confidence in them. As long as they earn a profit, we want to remain in the background” (Perlmutter, 2001). Though an improvement over a purely ethnocentric view, a purely polycentric one has its flaw in that headquarters and subsidiaries are somewhat cut off from one another. Headquarters steps aside in the belief that it can not possibly understand local business processes and foreign subsidiaries are glad that headquarters does not “interfere” as they can not possibly understand the local market. So while a polycentric viewpoint is an improvement over an ethnocentric one in that a company realizes that strategies should be tailored for specific markets, it does not take into account the potential benefits of taking a more active role in the running of subsidiaries in those differing markets. Lastly, it should be noted that though it is realized that each country is different, the polycentric viewpoint often leads to ethnocentricity within each region where the company operates. Thus, though a company based in New York will gives its India-based subsidiary complete control over a project, management still believes that the home-country is superior.
GEOCENTRIC MANAGEMENT ORIENTATION
Management holding a geocentric orientation believes that the entire world is a potential market and strives to develop strategies that will work in every market. Instead of stating that things are inherently different in each market and thus must be handled in a distinctive manner, a geocentrically oriented company will look for universal as well as local best practices to help a company thrive in all markets. For example, in a Polycentric company, management would allow full reign over decision making to take place at the local level. If that same company began to operate in Switzerland, it would recreate all business processes based on what the local managers thought. But what if there were certain things that would work well in both countries? Would it not be more efficient to leave those processes alone while custom tailoring the processes that really needed to be differentiated? In geocentrically oriented companies, authority is not simply placed with headquarters at home or with subsidiaries abroad, but rather a is dispersed more equally between the two so that a collaboration is formed. Also, a view of superiority is not based on nationality. A geocentric orientation seeks to find a compromise between allowing headquarters to do things its way and allowing local managers to do it theirs. Geocentrism “involves a collaborative effort between subsidiaries and headquarters to establish universal standards and permissible local variations, to make key allocation decisions on new products, new plants, new laboratories” (Perlmutter, 2001).
ARGUMENT FOR USING A GEOCENTRIC MANAGEMENT ORIENTATION
In relation to cultural similarities and differences, management orientation is important to the success and efficiency of an organization. Should management run things the same way regardless of which country it is operating in? Should management give complete control to local management in different countries with a view that only local people can possibly understand the local culture? Or should management seek a way to identify business processes that work universally while at the same time seeking to identify cultural differences and allow local control over certain processes accordingly? The best company is the one that is able to consistently take in more money than it spends. In order to do this, it must be able to satisfy customers and ensure that these customers will remain loyal to the company. In addition, no company can operate without employees, so a successful company must be able to train efficient employees and keep them loyal to the company as well. An ethnocentric orientation simply does not work anymore because consumers can choose a different supplier that is willing to take their preferences into account. In addition, the usefulness of a polycentric orientation is also in question when the goal is global competitiveness. A company which relinquishes complete control over subsidiaries to local management is in a way cut off from those subsidiaries. If a company has no means of taking in meaningful feedback from these subsidiaries, does not make an effort to integrate this feedback into its business processes, or if the company does not seek ways in which to universally improve its business practices using foreign experiences, then how competitive can that company be when compared to a company that does? A geocentrically oriented organization seeks to find the best person for the job and the best business process for a particular market. A geocentrically oriented company is able not only adapt, but to shape business processes within different markets so that they are both more efficient and more productive. Geocentrically oriented organizations are able to perform well because they are able to implement successful strategies for adapting taking culture into account.
STRATEGIES FOR CULTURAL INTEGRATION
CULTURAL SENSITIVITY
Cultural sensitivity is important because, though humans share similar traits, they also differ in certain respects based on the culture in which they were brought up. It is easy to ignore or play down the importance of this fact. Because people from different cultures perceive the world differently, they also perceive certain situations within the business context as being different. So it is important for organizations to impart a clear and intended meaning when communicating across culture. Though a manager might perceive his/her instructions as being clear enough, an employee on the receiving end may perceive the message incorrectly by either taking in more than was really encoded in the message or paying attention to parts of the message which are intended to be irrelevant. For example, the organization wants to tell the employees that they are doing a great job and so they call everyone together. Certain employees may view the fact that everyone was called in together as opposed to individually as a sign that the organization does not value employees enough to give them personal attention when in fact the organization intended to show that it valued its employees by telling them all at once. So whereas the original goal of the organization was to praise employees and boost their morale, the very opposite may occur. If the organization is not receptive to the fact that employees of different cultural backgrounds are experiencing similar situations in a different way, then it runs the risk of being unable to control the outcome. These types of misunderstandings can spiral out of control until both organization and employee lose faith in one another and end their relationship with one another. On the other hand, custom-tailoring business processes so that they take into account every culture is time-prohibitive and unnecessary. A proper communicative method should be employed so that both organization and employee are clear in motive and in message. Misunderstandings should be anticipated and accounted for. This active role allows people to begin to look for things in the environment which they may not have looked for before. An understanding of and a sensitivity to cultural similarities and differences can make the difference between success and failure in the global market place. It is especially important for management to understand and be sensitive to cultural differences when interpreting a situation. For example, a reserved employee may be seen as being a poor “team player” until it is revealed that he/she is from a country in which employees are expected to focus exclusively on their task. This explanation can be the determining factor between seeing this person as an excellent employee or a poor employee. In addition to being sensitive to cultural differences, organizations should be able to adapt within cultures as well.
CULTURAL ADAPTATION
Once organizational members understand that cultures vary and begin to feel an understanding as to why they vary in certain situations, they will be able to more easily adapt to cultural variations. In addition, the more experience organizations and its members have with different cultures, the better they will become at adaptation."As individuals learn the rules for appropriate behavior in a foreign setting, they repeatedly face discrete situations involving cultural differences that test their ability to function successfully in the new setting and their comfort with new cultural rules" (Molinsky, 2007). Sometimes it is not easy to adapt to another culture. “Experienced performance difficulty is the extent to which an individual experiences the task of producing a cross-cultural code-switch as a challenge to his or her cultural knowledge and skill” (Molinsky, 2007). Thus, some situations are easier to adapt to than others, depending on how much the expected behaviors vary from what the performers are used to. Molinsky goes on to define the method in which people consciously make an effort to adapt to novel cultural situations with certain behavioral expectations. "Cross-cultural code-switching is the act of purposefully modifying one’s behavior in an interaction in a foreign setting in order to accommodate different cultural norms for appropriate behavior" (Molinsky, 2007). In living within one culture, we internalize the specific rules for acting within specific situations. While these rules may result in optimal consequences in one culture, they can have disastrous effects in another.
Cross cultural code switching refers to the ability of a person to consciously adapt one's behavior and thus behave differently and appropriately within another cultural situation even if these alternative behaviors conflict with what may naturally be comfortable for that person to do. An organization that has employees that are adept at code switching will experience less turbulence in performing within a truly global marketplace.
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THE CROSS-CULTURAL ISSUES I

For our purposes let's define culture as the way
in which each of us is programmed to behave
in the environment.
Cultures are like icebergs; some features are
apparent to anyone not in a fog, while others are deeply hidden. Above-the-surface features include
overt behaviors: how people -
1   dress
2   eat
3   walk
4   talk
5   relate to one another
6   conduct themselves during public ceremonies such as weddings or funerals.
Also included are such things as social distance.
Other aspects are so far below the surface that they are hard to recognize. We may see evidence of these aspects, but we usually can't pinpoint them precisely and usually don't have a clue where they came from.
They are hard to define even for our own culture because we take them in with our mother's language.
This might include such things as:
1   how we encode and retrieve information
2   What is justice?
3   Music?
4   Proper parenting?
5   Beauty or ugliness?
6   What meaning is attached to "teaching" stories?
7   What does being well educated mean?
8   What constitutes status?

OTHER ISSUES INCLUDE
-DIFFERENT ASSUMPTIONS
-USE OF LANGUAGE
-INAPPROPRIATE DELIVERY MEDIUM
-CULTURAL SPECIFICITY


Communication
Miscommunication across cultural lines is usually the most important cause of cross-cultural problems in multinational cos.. Miscommunication can have several sources, including:
• differences in body language or gestures. The same gesture can have different meanings in different parts of the world. For example, Bulgarians shake their heads up and down to mean no. In addition, the way people count on their fingers is not universal: The Chinese count from one to ten on one hand, and eight is displayed by extending the thumb and the finger next to it. The same gesture is interpreted as meaning two in France and as pointing a gun in North America.
• different meanings for the same word. Like gestures, words can have different meanings or connotations in different parts of the world. The French word "char" means Army tank in France and car in Quebec. The word "exciting" has different connotations in British English and in North American English. While North American executives talk about "exciting challenges" repeatedly, British executives use this word to describe only children’s activities (children do exciting things in England, not executives).
• different assumptions made in the same situation. The same event can be interpreted many different ways depending on where one comes from. For example, although the sight of a black cat is considered a lucky event in Britain, it is considered unlucky in many other countries. Dragons are viewed positively in China, but negatively in Europe and North America.
These examples illustrate dissimilarities between cultures that are both large and simple in the sense that they focus on a single cultural aspect that keeps the same meaning regardless of context. As a result, such variations in communication will often be identified on the spot. By contrast, subtle or complex differences are often identified much later in the communication process, when corrective action requires considerable effort and money. Sometimes, this realization takes place so late that there is not enough time to address it, resulting in a missed deadline.
In extreme cases, miscommunication can lead to casualties. For example, a few years ago, a plane crash in the northeastern United States was caused--at least in part--by miscommunication between the pilot and air traffic controller. The plane was running short on fuel. But somehow the pilot did not manage to communicate the urgency of the situation to the air traffic controller, who put the plane on a holding pattern because of airport congestion. The plane then crashed when it ran out of fuel.
HOW TO MANAGE CROSS CULTURAL ISSUES
Here are a few tips that will help avoid miscommunication:
• Clarify: When in doubt, ask; if not, ask anyway. It’s important to ensure that your foreign colleagues have understood everything you meant to say and nothing else. Ask them to feed you back what you have told them in their own words. This will help you discover and address any major misunderstandings.
• Get into the details: Although it’s often tempting to agree on general principles and leave details to further discussions for brevity’s sake, this can create major problems at later stages. Indeed, an agreement on general principles may turn out to be empty, if it is not tested through negotiation on the finer details.
• Summarize: The time taken to summarize the decisions made during a meeting and to issue minutes to all participants is often a good investment. It helps to prevent future challenges of decisions reached at meetings and to ensure that action items agreed to at meetings are actually implemented.
• Simplify: Use simple words that are easily understood and be consistent. Using synonyms can confuse your non-Canadian counterparts unnecessarily, particularly if they are not native English speakers. For similar reasons, technical jargon should be avoided where possible and explained clearly when it must be used.

Cross-cultural training organizations can also shorten the learning curve by delivering training to companies in a timely and targeted fashion. The necessary cross-cultural information should be shared with all employees involved in international ventures, rather than being limited to those who have already had experience with them. Cross-cultural training organizations are experts in the area of cross-cultural relationships and can provide training on many topics, including how to:
• do business in a given country or region;
• make presentations in a given country of region;
• select the right people for international assignments;
• prepare employees for expatriate assignments; and
• improve the productivity of multinational teams.
*BUILDING A SHARED CULTURE
*CONCENSUS AGREEMENT ON IMPORTANT MATTERS
*BUILDING AN UNDERSTANDING CLIMATE
*IDENTIFY / USE THE RICH POINTS IN EACH CULTURE.
*CONCENTRATE ON THE THINGS YOU KNOW.
*UNDERSTANDING VARIOUS RELIGIOUS PRACTICES
*UNDERSTANDING VARIOUS FOOD PRACTICES
*UNDERSTANDING VARIOUS DRESS PRACTICES
*SHOWING PATIENCE ALWAYS
*SHOWING GOOD MANNER ALWAYS
*SHOWING SENSE OF HUMOR ALWAYS
*SHOWING TOLERANCE ALWAYS
*SHOWING RESPECT ALWAYS
ETC ETC
TO SOLVE THESE PROBLEMS,
-you should be patient.
-you should understand others.
-you should empathise.
-you should show flexibility   


TRAIN   AND  DEVELOP  THE  EMPLOYEES’

Workplace Diversity
The  dimensions of workplace diversity include, but are not limited to: age, ethnicity, ancestry, gender, physical abilities/qualities, race, sexual orientation, educational background, geographic location, income, marital status, military experience, religious beliefs, parental status, and work experience.

The Challenges of Workplace Diversity
The future success of any organizations relies on the ability to manage a diverse body of talent that can bring innovative ideas, perspectives and views to their work. The challenge and problems faced of workplace diversity can be turned into a strategic organizational asset if an organization is able to capitalize on this melting pot of diverse talents. With the mixture of talents of diverse cultural backgrounds, genders, ages and lifestyles, an organization can respond to business opportunities more rapidly and creatively, especially in the global arena , which must be one of the important organisational goals to be attained. More importantly, if the organizational environment does not support diversity broadly, one risks losing talent to competitors.
This is especially true for multinational companies ,  who have operations on a global scale and employ people of different countries, ethical and cultural backgrounds.
Thus, a HR manager needs to be mindful and may employ a 'Think Global, Act Local' approach in most circumstances. With a population / the nation's strive towards high technology and knowledge-based economy; foreign talents are lured to share their expertise in these areas. Thus, many local HR managers have to undergo cultural-based Human Resource Management training to further their abilities to motivate a group of professional that are highly qualified but culturally diverse. Furthermore, the  professional must assure the local professionals that these foreign talents are not a threat to their career advancement . In many ways, the effectiveness of workplace diversity management is dependent on the skilful balancing act of the HR manager.
One of the main reasons for ineffective workplace diversity management is the predisposition to pigeonhole employees, placing them in a different silo based on their diversity profile . In the real world, diversity cannot be easily categorized and those organizations that respond to human complexity by leveraging the talents of a broad workforce will be the most effective in growing their businesses and their customer base.

The Management of Workplace Diversity
In order to effectively manage workplace diversity,  a HR Manager needs to change from an ethnocentric view ("our way is the best way") to a culturally relative perspective ("let's take the best of a variety of ways"). This shift in philosophy has to be ingrained in the managerial framework of the HR Manager in his/her planning, organizing, leading and controlling of organizational resources.
There are several best practices that a HR manager can adopt in ensuring effective management of workplace diversity in order to attain organizational goals.
They are:
Planning a Mentoring Program - One of the best ways to handle workplace diversity issues is through initiating a Diversity Mentoring Program. This could entail involving different departmental managers in a mentoring program to coach and provide feedback to employees who are different from them. In order for the program to run successfully, it is wise to provide practical training for these managers or seek help from consultants and experts in this field. Usually, such a program will encourage organization's members to air their opinions and learn how to resolve conflicts due to their diversity. More importantly, the purpose of a Diversity Mentoring Program seeks to encourage members to move beyond their own cultural frame of reference to recognize and take full advantage of the productivity potential inherent in a diverse population.

Organizing Talents Strategically - Many companies are now realizing the advantages of a diverse workplace. As more and more companies are going global in their market expansions either physically or virtually (for example, E-commerce-related companies), there is a necessity to employ diverse talents to understand the various niches of the market. For example, when China was opening up its markets and exporting their products globally in the late 1980s, the Chinese companies (such as China's electronic giants such as Haier) were seeking the marketing expertise of Singaporeans. This is because Singapore's marketing talents were able to understand the local China markets relatively well (almost 75% of Singaporeans are of Chinese descent) and as well as being attuned to the markets in the West due to Singapore's open economic policies and English language abilities.
With this trend in place, a HR Manager must be able to organize the pool of diverse talents strategically for the organization. He/She must consider how a diverse workforce can enable the company to attain new markets and other organizational goals in order to harness the full potential of workplace diversity.
An organization that sees the existence of a diverse workforce as an organizational asset rather than a liability would indirectly help the organization to positively take in its stride some of the less positive aspects of workforce diversity.

Leading the Talk - A HR Manager needs to advocate a diverse workforce by making diversity evident at all organizational levels. Otherwise, some employees will quickly conclude that there is no future for them in the company. As the HR Manager, it is pertinent to show respect for diversity issues and promote clear and positive responses to them. He/She must also show a high level of commitment and be able to resolve issues of workplace diversity in an ethical and responsible manner.

Control and Measure Results - A HR Manager must conduct regular organizational assessments on issues like pay, benefits, work environment, management and promotional opportunities to assess the progress over the long term. There is also a need to develop appropriate measuring tools to measure the impact of diversity initiatives at the organization through organization-wide feedback surveys and other methods. Without proper control and evaluation, some of these diversity initiatives may just fizzle out, without resolving any real problems that may surface due to workplace diversity.

Motivational Approaches
Workplace motivation can be defined as the influence that makes us do things to achieve organizational goals: this is a result of our individual needs being satisfied (or met) so that we are motivated to complete organizational tasks effectively. As these needs vary from person to person, an organization must be able to utilize different motivational tools to encourage their employees to put in the required effort and increase productivity for the company.

Why do we need motivated employees? The answer is survival . In our changing workplace and competitive market environments, motivated employees and their contributions are the necessary currency for an organization's survival and success. Motivational factors in an organizational context include working environment, job characteristics, appropriate organizational reward system and so on.

The development of an appropriate organizational reward system is probably one of the strongest motivational factors. This can influence both job satisfaction and employee motivation. The reward system affects job satisfaction by making the employee more comfortable and contented as a result of the rewards received. The reward system influences motivation primarily through the perceived value of the rewards and their contingency on performance .
To be effective, an organizational reward system should be based on sound understanding of the motivation of people at work.

Gain-sharing:
Gain-sharing programs generally refer to incentive plans that involve employees in a common effort to improve organizational performance, and are based on the concept that the resulting incremental economic gains are shared among employees and the company.
In most cases, workers voluntarily participate in management to accept responsibility for major reforms. This type of pay is based on factors directly under a worker's control (i.e., productivity or costs). Gains are measured and distributions are made frequently through a predetermined formula. Because this pay is only implemented when gains are achieved, gain-sharing plans do not adversely affect company costs .

Managing Gain-sharing
In order for a gain-sharing program that meets the minimum requirements for success to be in place, it is suggested a few pointers in the effective management of a gain-sharing program. They are as follows:
•   A HR manager must ensure that the people who will be participating in the plan are influencing the performance measured by the gain-sharing formula in a significant way by changes in their day-to-day behavior. The main idea of the gain sharing is to motivate members to increase productivity through their behavioral changes and working attitudes. If the increase in the performance measurement was due to external factors, then it would have defeated the purpose of having a gain-sharing program.
•   An effective manager must ensure that the gain-sharing targets are challenging but legitimate and attainable. In addition, the targets should be specific and challenging but reasonable and justifiable given the historical performance, the business strategy and the competitive environment. If the gain-sharing participants perceive the target as an impossibility and are not motivated at all, the whole program will be a disaster.
•   A manager must provide useful feedback as a guidance to the gain-sharing participants concerning how they need to change their behavior(s) to realize gain-sharing payouts The feedback should be frequent, objective and clearly based on the members' performance in relation to the gain-sharing target.
•   A manager must have an effective mechanism in place to allow gain-sharing participants to initiate changes in work procedures and methods and/or requesting new or additional resources such as new technology to improve performance and realize gains. Though a manager must have a tight control of company's resources, reasonable and justifiable requests for additional resources and/or changes in work methods from gain-sharing participants should be considered.
Executive Information Systems
Executive Information System (EIS) is the most common term used for the unified collections of computer hardware and software that track the essential data of a business' daily performance and present it to managers as an aid to their planning and decision-making . With an EIS in place, a company can track inventory, sales, and receivables, compare today's data with historical patterns. In addition, an EIS will aid in spotting significant variations from "normal" trends almost as soon as it develops, giving the company the maximum amount of time to make decisions and implement required changes to put your business back on the right track. This would enable EIS to be a useful tool in an organization's strategic planning, as well as day-to-day management .

Managing EIS
As information is the basis of decision-making in an organization, there lies a great need for effective managerial control. A good control system would ensure the communication of the right information at the right time and relayed to the right people to take prompt actions.
When managing an Executive Information System, a HR manager must first find out exactly what information decision-makers would like to have available in the field of human resource management, and then to include it in the EIS. This is because having people simply use an EIS that lacks critical information is of no value-add to the organization. In addition, the manager must ensure that the use of information technology has to be brought into alignment with strategic business goals .

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Leo Lingham

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human resource management, human resource planning, strategic planning in resource, management development, training, business coaching, management training, coaching, counseling, recruitment, selection, performance management.

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18 years of managerial working exercise which covers business planning , strategic planning, marketing, sales management,
management service, organization development

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24 years of management consulting which includes business planning, corporate planning, strategic planning, business development, product management, human resource management/ development,training,
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Principal---BESTBUSICON Pty Ltd

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