Management Consulting/MBA questions


Please send me answer for the below question.

1.      “Borderless world, Diversity   Management, and Knowledge power, are some of the overarching factors being encountered by the Human Resource Mangers of 21st century business world”. How do they affect the dynamics of Human Resource Management in today’s organizations? Explain with examples from the organization you are familiar with or have been working  for. Briefly describe the organization, you are referring to.


on a  political  map, country  borders  are clear  as  ever. But on the
competition  map, financial,trading, and  industrial activities  across
national  boundaries have  rendered  that  political borders increasingly

Not only  firms  that compete internationally  but  also  those whose
primary  markets  is  considered domestic  will be   affected  by
competition  from  around  the  world.

Why Globalization?

To some the word "Globalization" may seem a cliché. To others, it may
appear an end in itself. Competitive pressures are creating the need for
most companies to become Global.

Globalization is one means for
becoming and remaining a world-class competitor — a goal encased in
the mission statements of most corporations.

When developing a globalization strategy, it is clear that the emerging
markets present the greatest opportunity. The growth projections for
Europe, Japan and the United States pale in comparison to some of the
emerging markets.

Emerging Markets
Throughout the emerging markets an unprecedented consumer market
boom is driving up demand for western-style goods and services. The
largest segment of consumers in these markets is a decade short of its
peak spending years. In India alone, sales of consumer goods are rising
at 14% per year, while China is growing at almost 20% per year.
Couple the consumer-spending boom with the still burgeoning need for
infrastructure improvements and you’ll have a range of opportunities that
extends into the trillions of dollars. Projects are planned or underway in
many of these countries to upgrade transportation and
telecommunication systems, explore energy resources, build power
generation facilities and provide health care facilities.

In addition, the privatization efforts are presenting an incredible range of
opportunities for investors, lending institutions, service providers and

Four key trend  influence  emerging  market potential

There are four key trends that are influencing the emerging market
1. Demographics:
Overall world population growth is now concentrated in the
developing world. Where industrial nations are facing an
increasingly older population, the emerging markets remain
young. The developed world comprises only 11% of the world’s

2. Governments:
Many countries that once relied on centrally planned economies
are becoming market-driven. Industries that governments
previously restricted to foreign companies are now opening to
foreign investment.

3. Communications:
Access to the emerging markets is increasing due to huge
developments in communications technology such as the Internet
and electronic commerce. Cyberspace represents a profound shift
in the nature of communications as well as our perception of

4. Urbanization:
As infrastructure improvements are made, urban growth in the
emerging markets will continue to explode.
Estimates indicate that the emerging markets' share of world imports will
double by the year 2010, rising to over 38%. Companies dazzled by the
magnitude of these numbers must be equipped with the appropriate
knowledge, information, and strategy to make its market forays

MACRO  LEVEL  Industry Globalization
   is  due  to  such  factors  as :

•   Level of international trade
•   Intensity of international competition
•   Worldwide product standardization
•   Presence of key competitors in all key international markets.
•   Intra-firm trade
•   Technological intensity
•   International linkages of value-added activities among countries
•   International integration of value-added activities among countries
•   ETC  ETC


Market Drivers

•   Per capita income converging among industrial nations
•   Convergence of lifestyles and taste
•   Growth of global and regional channels
•   Establishment of world brands
•   Spread of global and regional media

Cost Drivers

•   Continuing push for economies of scale ( but offset by flexible manufacturing)
•   Accelerating technological innovation
•   Advances in transportation (e.g., use of FedEx to deliver urgent supplies from one continent to another)
•   Emergence of newly industrializing countries with productive capability and low labor costs (e.g., China, India and Indonesia)

Government Drivers

•   Reduction of tariff barriers (e.g., North American Free Trade Agreement)
•   Reduction of non-tariff barriers (e.g., Japan’s gradual opening of its markets)
•   Creation of trading blocs (e.g., European Union, and Euro Currency in 1999)
•   Strengthening of world trade institutions (e.g., formation of the World Trade Organization)

Competitive Drivers

•   Continuing increase in level of world trade
•   More countries becoming key competitive battlegrounds (e.g., rise of Japan to become a “lead” country)
•   Rise of new competitors intent upon becoming global competitors (e.g., Japanese firms in the 1970’s, Korean firms in the 1980’s, Taiwanese firms in the 1990’s, Chinese firms in the 2000s, and probably Indian and Russian firms in the 2010’s.


•   In a Globalized industry, firms must simultaneously accomplish:
•   Global Scale Efficiency
•   Local Responsiveness
•   World-Wide Learning


- creating a  global mind-set within the HR group, creating
practices that will be consistently applied in different
locations/offices while also maintaining the various
local cultures and practices, and communicating a
consistent corporate culture across the entire
-considering  the HR function not as just an
administrative service but as a strategic business
Companies are  involving  the human resources
department in developing and implementing both
business and people strategies.

- Communicate  to all locations about a common
corporate culture.
- Allow   local cultures to maintain their identity
in the context of the corporate culture.
- Establish   common systems (e.g., accounting,
marketing, MIS).
- Provide   management with education outlining
how the company does business.
- Create  an organizational mission with input
from all locations.
- Create a written strategy outlining the
corporate culture.

Technology-related skills
• Skills in identifying new applications of technologies
• Skills in developing new technologies, or advancing existing technologies
• Skills in identifying technological solutions to problems

Operative/Technical skills
• Skills in operating new tools or equipment, or applying new methods/processes
• Skills in applying new processes or tools to existing work
• Skills in installing and maintaining new products, and
• Skills in manufacturing new products.


Management skills
• Skills in identifying which innovation outcomes are appropriate for commercialisation
• Skills in knowing when and how to market a new product, tool or process (or other innovation outcome) successfully
• Skills in securing intellectual property rights over innovation outcomes
• Skills in setting up efficient manufacturing processes for new products
• Skills in negotiating appropriate training provision with education and training providers
*Building an educated and highly skilled workforce.
*Becoming a leader in knowledge creation and innovation.
*Developing linkages, clusters and networks to become a more integrated and networked local economy.
*Fostering high levels of enterprise formation and business growth.
*Becoming a globally focused and internationally integrated economy.
*Creating a business environment and infrastructure base that facilitates business success.
establishing a culture of innovations  THRU
#Co-operative Research Centres
#Knowledge and Technology Diffusion
#Technology, Research Parks and Precincts
-more  systems / more  software  for  the  business  means
different  methods  of  working, which  affect  the  working  human resources.
HRM have  to  face / meet/  manage  the  human  resources  to deliver  the  results.
-the  demand  for  cheaper labor  forced  the  companies  to
seek  more  destinations  in the underdeveloped countries.
This  created  an  enormous  challenge  to  the  HRM
to seek/develop/manage  overseas  HR.

-the  rapid  development  of   underdeveloped  countries
forced  many companies  to  shift  their  production  base
overseas.This  created  an  enormous  challenge  to  the  HRM
to seek/develop/manage  overseas  HR.
-the  rise in per capita  income  created  more  educated
human  resources.

-some  employees are losing jobs  due  to  global  job  shifts.
-employees  can  seek  jobs  in  other  countries.
-employees  are  moved to  other  countries  as  part
of  the  restructuring.
-more  jobs  are  created in  the business  service  sector.
-more  jobs  are  lost  in  the  industrial / manufacturing  sector.
-employees, who  are  shifted to other  locations, needs  to manage
employees  of  diverse background.
-employees  have  to live  with  different  cultural  issues.
-the  negative   effectiveness   is  loss  in employees' jobs.
-the  positive  effectiveness  is  gain in  skilled  jobs.
-employees  have  to  learn  new  skills to meet  the  modern  demand
on  the  job.
-employees  have  to  upgrade  their  knowledge   level
through  effective  knowledge  management  program.
-where a new interplay is called for between job  designed to improve flexibility
and those designed to provide security.
--Change in the gender balance in working life, where equal opportunities bring new issues and requirements in terms of social protection
- As labour markets have become more flexible, the forms of work have multiplied.
-Part-time workers and workers with fixed-term contracts (who are the first loops in the flexibility chain),
-turn into on-call and
-self-employed workers.
-Like unemployment, flexible forms of work pose a challenge to social security arrangements. Flexible forms of work lack continuity. Spans of work and unemployment alternate, as do weekly working hours. Defining the periods during which flex-workers are entitled to various benefits (e.g. to unemployment benefits), is becoming more difficult as the forms or work continue to multiply and definitions of various forms of work become blurred. Home workers resemble the self-employed, the self-employed resemble on-call workers, employees resemble entrepreneurs, etc.
-employees  with  higher skills   will  earn  more.
-employees  with  lesser  skills  will  earn  much  less.
-there will be  commitment  by  the company,
if  the performance  is  upto  the mark.
-right people  in the right  way  to  meet competitive  success.
-right  package  for outstanding  talents.
-profit  sharing/ productivity  based  payments.
-well  informed employees  for  successful   results/ competitive  advantage.


-increase  employee participation to  improve employee satisfaction.
-empower  to broaden  participation/ control  their  work/workload.
-for  effective teamwork.
-to retain talent.
-more  use  of  metrics.
-programs to  manage  work/life better.
Transformational Leadership

People will follow a person who inspires them.
A person with vision and passion can achieve great things.
The way to get things done is by injecting enthusiasm and energy.
Working for a Transformational Leader can be a wonderful and uplifting experience. They put passion and energy into everything. They care about you and want you to succeed.

Transformational Leadership starts with the development of a vision, a view of the future that will excite and convert potential followers. This vision may be developed by the leader, by the senior team or may emerge from a broad series of discussions. The important factor is the leader buys into it, hook, line and sinker.

The next step, which in fact never stops, is to constantly sell the vision. This takes energy and commitment, as few people will immediately buy into a radical vision, and some will join the show much more slowly than others. The Transformational Leader thus takes every opportunity and will use whatever works to convince others to climb on board the bandwagon.
In order to create followers, the Transformational Leader has to be very careful in creating trust, and their personal integrity is a critical part of the package that they are selling. In effect, they are selling themselves as well as the vision.

In parallel with the selling activity is seeking the way forward. Some Transformational Leaders know the way, and simply want others to follow them. Others do not have a ready strategy, but will happily lead the exploration of possible routes to the promised land.
The route forwards may not be obvious and may not be plotted in details, but with a clear vision, the direction will always be known. Thus finding the way forward can be an ongoing process of course correction, and the Transformational Leader will accept that there will be failures and blind canyons along the way. As long as they feel progress is being made, they will be happy.

The final stage is to remain up-front and central during the action. Transformational Leaders are always visible and will stand up to be counted rather than hide behind their troops. They show by their attitudes and actions how everyone else should behave. They also make continued efforts to motivate and rally their followers, constantly doing the rounds, listening, soothing and enthusing.
It is their unswerving commitment as much as anything else that keeps people going, particularly through the darker times when some may question whether the vision can ever be achieved. If the people do not believe that they can succeed, then their efforts will flag. The Transformational Leader seeks to infect and reinfect their followers with a high level of commitment to the vision.
One of the methods the Transformational Leader uses to sustain motivation is in the use of ceremonies, rituals and other cultural symbolism. Small changes get big hurrahs, pumping up their significance as indicators of real progress.
Overall, they balance their attention between action that creates progress and the mental state of their followers. Perhaps more than other approaches, they are people-oriented and believe that success comes first and last through deep and sustained commitment.
Whilst the Transformational Leader seeks overtly to transform the organization, there is also a tacit promise to followers that they also will be transformed in some way, perhaps to be more like this amazing leader. In some respects, then, the followers are the product of the transformation.
Transformational Leaders are often charismatic, but are not as narcissistic as pure Charismatic Leaders, who succeed through a believe in themselves rather than a believe in others.
One of the traps of Transformational Leadership is that passion and confidence can easily be mistaken for truth and reality. Whilst it is true that great things have been achieved through enthusiastic leadership, it is also true that many passionate people have led the charge right over the cliff and into a bottomless chasm. Just because someone believes they are right, it does not mean they are right.
Paradoxically, the energy that gets people going can also cause them to give up. Transformational Leaders often have large amounts of enthusiasm which, if relentlessly applied, can wear out their followers.
Transformational Leaders also tend to see the big picture, but not the details, where the devil often lurks. If they do not have people to take care of this level of information, then they are usually doomed to fail.
Finally, Transformational Leaders, by definition, seek to transform. When the organization does not need transforming and people are happy as they are, then such a leader will be frustrated. Like wartime leaders, however, given the right situation they come into their own and can be personally responsible for saving entire companies.

Successful change management requires a large commitment from executives and senior managers, whether the change is occurring in a department or in a complete organization. One recent survey respondent said, “a change effort cannot be optional for senior staff. They must lead or get out of the way. The new system will ultimately have to stand on its own feet, but every new system needs support and nurture.”
Senior leaders can do the following for successful change management.
•   Establish a clear vision for the change management process. Paint a picture of where the organization will end up and the anticipated outcomes. Make certain the picture is one of reality and not what people “wish” would occur.

•    Appoint an executive champion who “owns” the change management process and makes certain other senior managers, as well as other appropriate people in the organization, are involved.

•   Pay attention to the changes occurring. Ask how things are going. Focus on progress and barriers for change management. One of the worst possible scenarios is to have the leaders ignore the process.

•   Sponsor portions of the change or the change management process, as an involved participant, to increase active involvement and interaction with other organization members.

•   If personal or managerial actions or behaviors require change for the changes to take hold in the organization, “model” the new behaviors and actions. (Walk the talk.)

•   Establish a structure which will support the change. This may take the form of a Steering Committee, Leadership Group, or Guiding Coalition.

•   Change the measurement, reward, and recognition systems to measure and reward the accomplishment of new expectations.[/l
•   Solicit and act upon feedback from other members of the organization.

•   Recognize the human element in the change. People have different needs and different ways of reacting to change. They need time to deal with and adjust to change.

•   Senior leaders must participate in the training that other organization members attend, but, even more importantly, they must exhibit their “learning” from the sessions, readings, interactions, tapes, books or research.

•   Be honest and worthy of trust. Treat people with the same respect you expect from them.

Scope of change management
To support the change management debate series, the scope of change management and specific change management systems need to be defined. This tutorial provides a summary of each of the main areas for change management based on Prosci's research with more than 400 organizations in the last 5 years.
The purpose of defining these change management areas is to ensure that the debate topics are meaningful both to the panel and to readers. Tools or components of change management include:
•   Change management process
•   Readiness assessments
•   Communication and communication planning
•   Coaching and manager training for change management
•   Training and employee training development
•   Sponsor activities and sponsor roadmaps
•   Resistance management
•   Data collection, feedback analysis and corrective action
•   Celebrating and recognizing success

Change management process
The change management process is the sequence of steps or activities that a change management team or project leader would follow to apply change management to a project or change. Based on Prosci's research of the most effective and commonly applied change, most change management processes contain the following three phases:
Phase 1 - Preparation, assessment and strategy development
Phase 2 - Detailed planning and change management implementation
Phase 3 - Data gathering, corrective action and recognition
These phases result in the following approach as shown below in Figure 1.

Figure 1 - Change Management Process (the

It is important to note what change management is and what change management is not, as defined by the majority of research participants.
Change management is not a stand-alone process for designing a business solution.
Change management is the processes, tools and techniques for managing the people-side of change.
Change management is not a process improvement method.
Change management is a method for reducing and managing resistance to change when implementing process, technology or organizational change.
Change management is not a stand-alone technique for improving organizational performance.
Change management is a necessary component for any organizational performance improvement process to succeed, including programs like: Six Sigma, Business Process Reengineering, Total Quality Management, Organizational Development, Restructuring and continuous process improvement.
Change management is about managing change to realize business results.

Readiness assessments
Assessments are tools used by a change management team or project leader to assess the organization's readiness to change. Readiness assessments can include organizational assessments, culture and history assessments, employee assessments, sponsor assessments and change assessments. Each tool provides the project team with insights into the challenges and opportunities they may face during the change process.
•   Assess the scope of the change, including: How big is this change? How many people are affected? Is it a gradual or radical change?
•   Assess the readiness of the organization impacted by the change, including: What is the value- system and background of the impacted groups? How much change is already going on? What type of resistance can be expected?
•   Assess the strengths of your change management team.
•   Assess the change sponsors and take the first steps to enable them to effectively lead the change process.

Communication and communication planning
Many managers assume that if they communicate clearly with their employees, their job is done. However, there are many reasons why employees may not hear or understand what their managers are saying the first time around. In fact, you may have heard that messages need to be repeated 6 to 7 times before they are cemented into the minds of employees. That is because each employee’s readiness to hear depends on many factors. Effective communicators carefully consider three components: the audience, what is said and when it is said.
For example, the first step in managing change is building awareness around the need for change and creating a desire among employees. Therefore, initial communications are typically designed to create awareness around the business reasons for change and the risk of not changing. Likewise, at each step in the process, communications should be designed to share the right messages at the right time.
Communication planning, therefore, begins with a careful analysis of the audiences, key messages and the timing for those messages. The change management team or project leaders must design a communication plan that addresses the needs of front-line employees, supervisors and executives. Each audience has particular needs for information based on their role in the implementation of the change.

Coaching and manager training for change management
Supervisors will play a key role in managing change. Ultimately, the direct supervisor has more influence over an employee’s motivation to change than any other person at work. Unfortunately, supervisors as a group can be the most difficult to convince of the need for change and can be a source of resistance. It is vital for the change management team and executive sponsors to gain the support of supervisors and to build change leadership. Individual change management activities should be used to help these supervisors through the change process.
Once managers and supervisors are on board, the change management team must prepare a coaching strategy. They will need to provide training for supervisors including how to use individual change management tools with their employees.

Training and training development
Training is the cornerstone for building knowledge about the change and the required skills. Project team members will develop training requirements based on the skills, knowledge and behaviors necessary to implement the change. These training requirements will be the starting point for the training group or the project team to develop training programs.

Sponsor activities and sponsor roadmaps
Business leaders and executives play a critical sponsor role in change management. The change management team must develop a plan for sponsor activities and help key business leaders carry out these plans. Sponsorship should be viewed as the most important success factor. Avoid confusing the notion of sponsorship with support. The CEO of the company may support your project, but that is not the same as sponsoring your initiative.
Sponsorship involves active and visible participation by senior business leaders throughout the process. Unfortunately many executives do not know what this sponsorship looks like. A change agent's or project leader's role includes helping senior executives do the right things to sponsor the project.

Resistance management
Resistance from employees and managers is normal. Persistent resistance, however, can threaten a project. The change management team needs to identify, understand and manage resistance throughout the organization. Resistance management is the processes and tools used by managers and executives with the support of the project team to manage employee resistance.

Data collection, feedback analysis and corrective action
Employee involvement is a necessary and integral part of managing change. Managing change is not a one way street. Feedback from employees is a key element of the change management process. Analysis and corrective action based on this feedback provides a robust cycle for implementing change.

Celebrating and recognizing success
Early successes and long-term wins must be recognized and celebrated. Individual and group recognition is also a necessary component of change management in order to cement and reinforce the change in the organization.
The final step in the change management process is the after-action review. It is at this point that you can stand back from the entire program, evaluate successes and failures, and identify process changes for the next project. This is part of the ongoing, continuous improvement of change management for your organization and ultimately leads to change competency.

These eight elements comprise the areas or components of a change management program. Along with the change management process, they create a system for managing change. Good  managers apply these components effectively to ensure project success, avoid the loss of valued employees, and minimize the negative impact of the change on productivity and a company's customers. When the debate continues in January, the term change management will refer to this system of processes and tools for managing change.


**Perhaps the most visible aspect of culture.
**Whorfian hypothesis — considers language as a major determinant of thinking.
**Low-context cultures — the message is conveyed by the words used.
**High-context cultures — words convey only a limited part of the message.

*Time orientation.
**Polychronic cultures.
**Circular view of time.
**No pressure for immediate action or performance.
**Emphasis on the present.
**Monochronic cultures.
**Linear view of time.
**Create pressure for action and performance.
**Long-range goals and planning are important.

*Use of space.
**The study of how people use space to communicate.
**Reveals important cultural differences.
**Concept of personal space varies across cultures.
**Space is arranged differently in different cultures.

**A major element of culture.
**Can be a very visible aspect of culture.
**Influences codes of ethics and moral behavior.
**Influences conduct of economic matters.

*Values and national culture.
**Cultures vary in underlying patterns of values and attitudes.
**Hofstede’s five dimensions of national culture:
**Power distance.
**Uncertainty avoidance.
**Long-term/short-term orientation.

*Power distance.
**The willingness of a culture to accept status and power differences among members.
**Respect for hierarchy and rank in organizations.
**Example of a high power distance culture — Indonesia.
**Example of a low power distance culture — Sweden.  

*Uncertainty avoidance.
**The cultural tendency toward discomfort with risk and ambiguity.
**Preference for structured versus unstructured organizational situations.
**Example of a high uncertainty avoidance culture — France.
**Example of a low uncertainty avoidance culture — Hong Kong.

**The cultural tendency to emphasize individual or group interests.
**Preferences for working individually or in groups.
**Example of an individualistic culture — United States.
**Example of a collectivist culture — Mexico.

**The tendency of a culture to value stereotypical masculine or feminine traits.
**Emphasizes competition/assertiveness versus interpersonal sensitivity/relationships.
**Example of a masculine culture — Japan.
**Example of a feminine culture — Thailand.

*Long-term/short-term orientation.
**The tendency of a culture to emphasize future-oriented values versus present-oriented values.
**Adoption of long-term or short-term performance horizons.
**Example of a long-term orientation culture — South Korea.
**Example of a short-term orientation culture — United States.

*cultural differences helps in dealing with parochialism and ethnocentrism.
**Parochialism — assuming that the ways of one’s own culture are the only ways of doing things.
**Ethnocentrism — assuming that the ways of one’s culture are the best ways of doing things.

*Cultural differences in handling relationships with other people.
**Universalism versus particularism.
-Relative emphasis on rules and consistency, or on relationships and flexibility.
**Individualism versus collectivism.
-Relative emphasis on individual freedom and responsibility, or on group interests and consensus.

*Cultural differences in handling relationships with other people .
**Neutral versus affective.
-Relative emphasis on objectivity and detachment, or on emotion and expressed feelings.
**Specific versus diffuse.
-Relative emphasis on focused and narrow involvement, or on involvement with the whole person.

*Cultural differences in handling relationships with other people .
**Achievement versus prescription.
**Relative emphasis on performance-based and earned status, or on ascribed status.

*Cultural differences in attitudes toward time.
**Sequential view of time.
-Time is a passing series of events.
**Synchronic view of time.
-Time consists of an interrelated past, present, and future.

*Cultural differences in attitudes toward the environment.
**Inner-directed cultures.
-Members view themselves as separate from nature and believe they can control it.
**Outer-directed cultures.
-Members view themselves as part of nature and believe they must go along with it.
How does cultural diversity affect people at work?
1.THROUGH  ---Multinational corporation (MNC).
**A business firm that has extensive international operations in more than one foreign country.
**Have a total world view without allegiance to any one national home.
**Have enormous economic power and impact.
**Bring benefits and controversies to host countries.

2.THROUGH   ---Multicultural workforces and expatriates.
**Styles of leadership, motivation, decision making, planning, organizing, and controlling vary from country to country.
-People who live and work abroad for extended periods of time.
-Can be very costly for employers.
-Progressive employers take supportive measures to maximize potential for expatriate success.

3.THROUGH  ---Ethical behavior across cultures.
**Ethical challenges result from:
-Cultural diversity.
-Variations in governments and legal systems.
**Prominent current issues.
-Corruption and bribery.
-Poor working conditions.
-Child and prison labor.
-Business support of repressive governments.

4.THROUGH  --- Advice regarding cultural relativism and ethical absolutism.
**Multinational businesses should adopt core or threshold values that respect and protect fundamental human rights.
**Beyond the threshold, businesses should adapt and tailor actions to respect the traditions, foundations, and needs of different cultures.

Knowing  Culture
•Cultural identity
- Cultural identity is relational: a person’s identity, of which culture is a part, is established in
relation to and in exchange with other people.
- Different components of a person’s identity will be emphasized depending on the
framework of interaction with others, e.g. the local, regional, national, or global levels.
•Dynamism of cultures
- No culture is static, but changes over time.
Knowing  the  Realities of cultural diversity
•Global level
- More than 225 official languages spoken around the world point to at least as many different
cultural groups.
•Multicultural societies
- With the increasing intermixture of members of different cultural groups within (national)
societies, the exposure to different cultures is no longer limited to a few people who travel
abroad, but has become a fact of everyday life at all levels of society.
Knowing  the  Impacts of globalization
•Increased awareness of cultural differences
- Globalization is not a new phenomenon, but more readily available information about other
cultures – through the media, communication technology, travel – increases the sensitivity
to cultural differences.
•Homogenization of (popular) culture
- Certain cultural traits, in particular mass or popular culture, show a tendency of converging
Knowing   the  Reactions to globalization
•Active participation
- Persons with the means – educational, financial, logistical – to actively engage in global
cultural exchange tend to perceive culture as a process and develop an increased receptivity
towards other cultures.
- Cultural diversity is perceived as an enrichment, not a threat.
•Retreat into narrowly defined cultural identity



SUPPORTING  A Culture of dialogue
In order to actively participate in culturally diverse societies, every individual should be supported in
efforts to develop an attitude that is receptive to intercultural exchange, consisting of several
- Accurate information about the values, norms, historical experiences and cultural reality
underlying the words and actions of others serves to increase mutual understanding.
- While tolerance means not to interfere with others’ ways of living or thinking, respect
actually attaches a positive value to what one is or does, thus going beyond mere tolerance.
- This respect, of course, can be extended only if a person’s actions and ways of thinking do
not limit the rights and freedoms of other persons.
•Search for unity in diversity
- As every person or social group reflects a multiplicity of traditions and cultures, all
individuals differ in some respects, but in other regards have much in common.
- The search for what one has in common with members of other cultures, religions, and
ethnic, social or political groups should always be part of intercultural exchange.

- The lack of appropriate means of exchange or self-expression can lead to an alienation from
the process of globalization and a retreat into a narrow sense of cultural identity.
- Often, this process is accompanied by a tendency to reinterpret and idealize one’s cultural
heritage, ignoring the cultural realities of past and present.
- Such a narrowly defined cultural identity can be the basis for a translation of various root
causes of conflict into cultural terms: “difference” is used as an excuse for intolerance.

Approaches to cultural diversity
•Cultural relativism
- Implies that all cultures are closed systems: no cultural standard set by one culture can be
applied to other cultures.
- Shows tolerance towards other cultures, but denies cultural dynamics based on intercultural
•Cultural absolutism
- Assumes that there is a hierarchy of cultures: “minority” cultures are expected to
subordinate to the dominant culture.
- If these show resistance, strong barriers are erected between the dominant and minority
cultures that tend to be re-enforced by both sides.
•Cultural pluralism
- Accepts the diversity of cultural identities and expressions while at the same time
recognizing commonalities among cultures.
- Builds on the conviction that every individual has the capacity and should be given the
means to decide for herself/himself which cultural values to base their lives on.


Facilitating cultural pluralism
•Creating the basis for informed choices
- When discussing cultural characteristics, it is important to differentiate between idealized
images of cultures and their actual expressions in real life, both with regard to one’s own and
to other cultures.
- An exploration and discussion of the values and norms, traditions and social conditions
actually at work in influencing worldviews in different societies today help to identify real
as opposed to perceived cultural differences.
•Providing the means for participation
- Cultural pluralism is possible only if members of different cultural groups – within a local
community, a nation state, or on the global level – have equal chances to reflect their
preferences in political, social and economic decision-making.
- To meaningfully do so, every person has to be able to satisfy her or his basic needs – food,
shelter etc. This is where the promotion of cultural pluralism links to human development,
with both a necessary condition to attain the other.
- Every person should be able to gain access to all relevant information needed for effective
participation in society.


Awareness of the dynamism of cultures
- Keeping in mind that neither one’s own nor the culture of others are static lays the basis for
an open exchange that includes changing the perception of one’s own cultural values and
•Readiness to transform
- The recognition of differences alone does not yet lead to mutual understanding, but has to be
accompanied by a genuine receptivity to other viewpoints.
- Ultimately, one should be prepared to transform one’s own world views by integrating other
perspectives into one’s ways of thinking.
Developing the multi-cultural organisation: managing diversity or respecting differences.
Today's business and service organisations face a three-fold challenge. With management and employees of a variety of national and cultural backgrounds, they must:
1 enable this heterogeneous workforce to work together harmoniously toward their common goals;
2 maximise the contribution of each member of what is in fact a large team;
3 ensure fair treatment for all, irrespective of background.
Meeting this challenge demands systematic efforts on the part of these organisations, as many of them have come to realise. Whether the multi-cultural character of the company arises from its internationally mobile workforce and its local operations in various countries, or from the mixed backgrounds of a workforce in a single location, the organisation must address this diversity if it is to be successful.
Every organisation has a strategic choice to make in how it will face this issue, between a fundamentally defensive approach, and one that is developmental in nature and effect.
An organisation which adopts the defensive approach treats cultural differences as hazards - a series of weak links between people in which there is great potential for misunderstanding, conflict, mistrust and even resentment. It assumes at the start that certain people are inherently culturally insensitive to others. Handling 'cultural diversity' therefore means avoiding giving offence to groups or individuals, preventing harassment, and managing grievances. It may have an implicit political objective as well, to reduce the alleged dominance of one 'culture' or another.
The developmental approach, on the other hand, first of all sees cultural differences for what they are - potentially different values, assumptions, expectations, and behaviour which people bring to business as a result of their differing backgrounds. As expressed by one prominent writer in the field, culture is "the way in which a group of people solves problems" (Trompenaars). Moreover, the developmental approach recognises that these collective tendencies reveal themselves as individual differences. Members of a team are not there to represent a 'culture' or particular ethnic group - they represent themselves.
In this way, handling cultural differences means recognising
1 that these differences can have a significant impact on how people of different national or ethnic backgrounds approach the day-to-day issues of business and professional life, and
2 that people want those differences, where they exist, to be acknowledged. The developmental approach begins with the more positive assumption that while people may sometimes be unaware of these differences, they are not automatically insensitive to them.
The outcome of the developmental approach is a recognition of these different perspectives as alternative ways of handling particular situations. Cultural differences are no longer hazards - they are opportunities to strengthen the organisation through shared learning, better communication, and new perspectives.
How can one tell whether an organisation has adopted the defensive or the developmental approach? After all, any organisation can use terms such as 'diversity,' 'culture,' 'differences,' or even 'inclusiveness' to its general goals in this area, whatever the reality.
For a start, the defensive approach often arises as a reaction to grievances or conflicts. The organisation may define it through policies, procedures, and public relations statements, and make it visible through initiatives and 'programmes.' 'Training' is preoccupied with reducing insensitivity, often by trying to induce certain subjects to admit how insensitive they are. To the extent that such efforts are presented positively (or in the words of one company's website, "leverage[d] for competitive advantage"), it is as a question of equal employment opportunity.

The organisation I am  referring to

The  organization, I am  familiar  with  is  a
-a  large  manufacturer/ marketer of  safety products
-the products  are  used  as  [personal  protection safety] [ industrial  safety]
-the products  are  distributed through  the distributors as well as  sold directly
-the  products  are  sold  to various  industries like  mining/fireservices/defence/
as  well  as  to  various  manufacturing  companies.
-the  company employs  about  235  people.
-the  company  has  the following  functional   departments
*finance/ administration
*human resource
*customer  service
*warehousing/  transportation



-as  the  product  range  increased  significantly,
with  the  appointment  of  more  product  managers.
The  matrix  structure  helped  the  company  to
focus  more  on  the  customers  and  improve
the sales/service.

-as  the competition  increased, the  company
changed  the  distribution  system. It  went
from  direct  selling to  distributors  selling.
This  helped  the  company  to  sustain
a  growth  of   20%  over   5  years.

-as  the local / internal  manufacturing
became expensive, we  closed  the manufacturing
and  shifted   the  factory  to  china.

-as  the  products  were  technical,  we  decided
to orient  everyone  in  the  organization with
sound  knowledge  of  products /  applications.

-class  training/ demonstration.
-video  conferencing with  foreign specialists.
-video  demos.

-the  company  acquired  a small  specialist product

-as  the  company  introduced more  technical
products, the  customer  service  requirements
changed simulaneity -technical/ deiviery/ after sales/
and  training.


-process/ procedures/practices.

1.Explain  the  reason for  change  with  facts. If there  are  risks  ,
acknowledge  them  but  explain  why  it  is worth taking  the risks.

2.Objectively explain the  benefits  that  could  result from the

3.Get  ready  and sell  the  benefits  at  all times.

4.Anticipate  objections.

5.Listen  in  depth.

6.Seek  questions  and  clarifications  /  answer them.

7.Invite  participation  and  ask for  suggestions .

8.Avoid  surprise   because this  stirs  up  unreasoning opposition.

9.Acknowledge  the  rough  spots  and  show  you  plan  to
  manage  them.

10.Establish  a  timetable.

11.Set  standards  and  explain  your  expectations.

12.Contact  the  informal  leaders  and  use  their  resources.

13. Acknowledge  the  staff  cooperation / support.

14.Provide  feedback  on  the  progress.

15.Reinforce  the  positive .
16.Keep  the  two way  communication  open.



Often it is easier to carry out a job if there is a specific plan to follow. When major changes are to be installed, careful planning and preparation are necessary. Strengthening the forces promoting the change and weakening resistance to it are the main tasks.


How people react to proposed changes is greatly influenced by the kind of climate for change that the manager/supervisor has created in the department.


Supervisors and managers who have enthusiasm for progress and change build a healthy climate.

Creating the right climate is more than just passing on changes. It involves:

Encouraging employees to seek ways of improving their jobs.

Seeking suggestions and ideas from employees.

This requires the manager/supervisor to listen and seriously consider suggestions. It is easy to see that there is a great deal of ego involvement in coming forth with an idea for improvement. Change can become an exciting and dynamic way of life. The manager/supervisor determines the climate in which they initiate change.


Much of the difficulty in getting co operation stems from the employees lack of understanding of how the change will affect them. With a little effort, managers/supervisors can find most of the answers to employees' questions before they are even asked. Answers to these questions would be useful.

What is the reason for the change? Whom will it benefit and how? Will it inconvenience anyone, if so, for how long? Will training or re training be necessary? When does it go into effect?

Armed with the answers to these questions a manager/supervisor can head off many objections and can develop a plan to present the change.


Why should you, the managers and supervisors, shoulder the burden alone? Staff can frequently be a great help in preparing to sell a change by explaining technical aspects and demonstrating new techniques.

One of the most overlooked sources of help in introducing changes are the informal leaders in the work group. With their help the job becomes easier. Giving recognition to informal leaders puts them in a co operative frame of mind.

Since union stewards are often informal leaders, their co operation ought to be solicited. The backing of union stewards makes the job easier.


Change that upsets routines, requires new knowledge or skills, or inconveniences people are bound to meet with some objections or resistance. Looking at a change from the employees point of view will usually be enough to help determine what their objections are likely to be. Knowing the objections, we can, with a little creative thought, turn these objections into advantages.

Showing the staff with reason or logic will not do the job. Managers/supervisors have to convince people that the change is really best for them and that will not happen until their objections are dealt with seriously.


Everyone is concerned with, "What's in it for me?"

"Will the change mean more satisfying work. greater security. opportunity to show what I can do. more responsibility. more pay. less fatigue. less confusion. greater independence?"

The benefits used to motivate people to co operate should be put on as personal a level as possible. It would be dishonest, however, not to recognise any disadvantages that a change may bring. These can usually be countered with long range benefits.

One of the techniques that is helpful in identifying the characteristics and values of the proposed changed condition is a "Word Picture". The picture makes the new condition desirable in the minds of the staff.

A)One of the ways this concept of "word picture" is used, is the physical change in office layout or new equipment or any other physical changes.

B)To picture or model a change in policy, organization or operation is more difficult than the physical change. The principle is the same. The picture can help in communicating the desirability of the change and in fine tuning the change because it makes it possible to discuss how things will operate. It may take the form of a flow chart, an organization chart or a description of relationships.

To use this approach for deciding whether to initiate a change, you can take the following steps:

Describe as clearly as possible the present situation.

Describe as clearly as possible the desired situation.

Analyse what specific changes will have to take place in the key factors involved to produce the desired situation. Look at such key factors as bosses, employees, equipment, physical environment, policies and procedures, work methods, materials and time. Identify the relevant factors.

Assess the strengths of the forces promoting the desired situation and of those resisting it.

Determine what action to take. Choices are:

A)Do nothing, the resistant forces are stronger than the forces promoting change.

B)Act to strengthen the promoting forces and/or to weaken resistance, by concentrating one's efforts on the key factors.


Employees have a right to be heard. If employees are treated with respect, they probably will respond in kind. They will feel better too, if they know their concerns have been considered.


After having conscientiously sold the benefits of a change, it is tremendously important that the managers/supervisors see that their promises have materialized. A sincere interest in how the change has affected the employee and a willingness to make adjustments, help build the climate in which future changes will be initiated.


THE   Tactical Implementation Steps  we  used  during  the  change  process.

•   analyze the organization and its need for change: look at the company's history of changes (successes and failures), patterns of resistance; analyze the forces for and against change (Force field analysis)
•   create a shared vision and common direction: this should reflect the values of the company; the vision should include the rationale, the benefits, personal ramifications
•   develop a non-threatening and preferably participative implementation process: skillfully present plans, make information readily available; explain the benefits for end users; start small and simple; go for quick wins; publicize
•   successes
•   separate from the past:
•   create a sense of urgency
•   support a strong leader role: the change advocate role is critical to create a vision, motivate employees to embrace that vision and craft a structure to reward those who strive toward realization of the vision
•   line up political sponsorship: broad based support is important (both formal and informal support); identify target individuals and groups whose support is needed; define the critical mass of support needed; identify where each key player is on the continuum (from "no commitment", "may let it happen", "help it happen" to "make it happen"
•   craft an implementation plan: this plan maps out the effort
•   develop enabling structures: examples include pilot tests, off-site workshops, training programs, new reward systems, symbolic changes like redesigned work spaces
•   communicate, involve people and be honest: not every change effort calls for full involvement, communication and disclosure but most do; where possible there should be meaningful dialogue that gives people a stake in the change
•   reinforce and institutionalize change: it is important to reinforce the change, reward those who take risks and incorporate the new behaviors

The following steps will help you to minimize  resistance:

1.Explain why. Provide all the facts about the reason for changing. If there are risks, acknowledge them but explain why the risk is worth taking.

2.Objectively explain the benefits that could result from the change.

3.Seek questions/clarifications and answer them.

4.Invite participation and ask for suggestions because the people involved know the situation best.

5.Avoid surprise because this stirs unreasoning opposition more than any other factor.

6.Acknowledge the rough spots and explain how you plan to smooth the change.

7.Set standards and explain your expectations.

8.Contact the informal leaders and use their resources.

9.Acknowledge and reinforce the staff's co operation and give them feedback on the progress.

10.Keep the two way communications open for suggestions and corrections.


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Leo Lingham


management consulting process, management consulting career, management development, human resource planning and development, strategic planning in human resources, marketing, careers in management, product management etc


18 years working managerial experience covering business planning, strategic planning, corporate planning, management service, organization development, marketing, sales management etc


24 years in management consulting which includes business planning, strategic planning, marketing , product management,
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counseling etc




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