Managing Across Cultures


PART 1 Assignment
1. With reference to the works of Geert Hofstede discuss and evaluate what you understand by the term
‘culture’ in the context of international management.
2. From addressing the above, critically evaluate the skills needed by managers to effectively lead culturally
diverse teams.
PART 2 Assignment
1. When it comes to the selection and recruitment of an effective management team, what staffing approach
should you take, and what will global HRM’s role be in the process?
2. The approaches you should take to: leadership and motivation, communications and negotiating, decision
making and organisational relationships.
3. Finally, you feel you need to reflect on the relative importance of your own national cultural background to
understanding others from different cultures. What lessons can you learn about working in a multi-cultural


PART 1:-


Culture is the set of beliefs, traditions or the values. In other words, we can say that culture is the sum total of the learned behavior of a set of people that are generally considered the traditions of the people and which are transmitted from one generation to another generation. When the people of different background interacts with the people of another background, it is known as the international culture or the cross culture. International culture is a typical issue for the management because the success of the organization depends on upon the smooth interaction of employees from separate cultures.  Most of the organizations aware of the issues which arise due to the different culture and takes various steps to resolve these issues. (Zhang, 2013) Organizations trained their employees in the cross culture so that they can easily manage all this. It is necessary for the organization to prepare in advance and should also take various initiatives to train their employees as per the need of different cultures. Internal culture communication becomes strategically important because of the growth of the global business or the technology. International culture communication requires the knowledge of other culture language, traditions, and beliefs. In this assignment, we will study about the various theories which are propounded by different theorists and various cultural issues which act like as a barrier to the growth of an organization. 



Professor Greet Hofstede propounded most important studies of how culture is influenced by the values. He propounded the six dimensions which help the organization in understanding the cross culture environment. These dimensions are following:-
1.    POWER DISTANCE INDEX: - This dimension of the Hofstede defines the level to which the less powerful peoples of a particular society expect that all considered powers are distributed among them equally. The main important issues here is inequality of the power among the people of the society, how the society handle these issues. (Hsu, 2013) In a hierarchical order, there is large degree of power distance among the peoples in the societies. 
2.    INDIVIDUALISM VERSUS COLLECTIVISM: - In the individualism dimension, people are only liable to their families and to themselves, and they don’t care about anyone in the society. While in collectivism individuals can expect their relatives or their social group of different individuals.
3.    MASCULINITY VERSUS FEMININITY: - The masculinity side of the Hofstede dimensions represents an interest of the society in achievement, rewards, and success. Society at a big level is becoming more competitive nowadays. While in the other hand femininity stands for caring for the weak, cooperation, best quality of life or modesty.
4.    UNCERTAINTY AVOIDANCE INDEX: - This index shows the degree to which the members of any society feels uncomfortable due to uncertainty or complexity. In this members deals with the concept that the future can never be known, uncertainty is always available in the future.
5.    SHORT TERM ORIENTATION VERSUS LONG-TERM NORMATIVE ORIENTATION: - it is necessary for the organizations to maintain their links with past while faces the challenges of a present as well as future.  (Hsu, 2013) Those with a culture which scores high adopt a pragmatic approach. 
6.    INDULGENCE VERSUS RESTRAINT: - Indulgence represents a society which allows their members free gratification related to human drives. Like: - enjoying life and making fun. Restraint represents a society which is based on strong norms.


This model is used to understand the members who belong to different culture backgrounds by preventing occurrence of any misunderstanding between the members.  This theory is most important for those organizations which are engaged in the cross-culture business. This model cannot measure preferences of members on an individual basis, but it is used on the general guide basis. (Trompenaars, 2016) In the Trompennars theory there are seven dimensions which are included in it:- 
•    Particularism versus Universalism 
•    Individualism versus Communitarianism
•    Diffuse versus Specific
•    Emotional versus Neutral
•    Ascription versus Achievement
•    Synchronous Time versus Sequential Time 
•    Outer Direction versus Internal Direction


It was stated by the hall that the most important factor which plays an important role in the cross culture management is efficient culture communication. Here the management should focus that there will be an efficient or open communication system in an organization for working efficiently. (Ezawa Zyun, 2013) Hall introduces two categories of culture which influence the operations of an organization and its performance. These categories are following:- 
•    High context culture: - This category is regarded to have a high establish homogeneous views regarding nationality, briefs, and values.
•    Low context culture: - This type of culture notes that communication concept is identified more informal or written records.


Today there is huge competition between the various organizations. It is important for the organizations to involve in international business if it wants growth in the future. This makes the cross culture communication very crucial, and organization should take various steps to improve it. For effective cross culture communication, it is necessary for the organization to identify potential factors of cross-culture communication and work upon them.  There are following culture issues which influence the organization in a great manner:-
1.    CULTURAL IDENTITY: - Culture is s set of beliefs and norms that a person comes with them from their birthplace where they were as a child. All these beliefs and values influence the working of the organization because there is a difference between the norms and behaviors of the employees. This can arise conflicts at the workplace. (Nader,2013)
2.    INDIVIDUAL IDENTITY: - It is the main important issues arises in the cross culture communication. The success of the communication between different cultural employees is upon their individual personality or attitude. An individual person can be broad minded or the narrow-minded. Individuals with broad minded are proved very adjustable, but the narrow-minded individual never thinks about anyone and cannot adjust easily to different culture environment. (Nguyen,2013)
3.    LANGUAGE: - all cultures have their own language. When an organization is working internationally, then their employees faces lots of problems related to their language. Due to language employees feels uncomfortable during interacting with the peoples of the other cultures. So, an organization should take initiatives to provide different culture language training so that they don't need to face this issue again in their lifetime.


1.    LEADERSHIP: - Leader plays an important role in an organization. The leader is the sole person who directs a complete team for achieving the goal of the organization. A leader always reacts with the sound of their subordinates. Today leader must have a potential for managing a team of different culture members. The leader should listen the sound of all the employees, understand it or give their opinions regarding their issues.  As the global trade organization business faces the following problems while interaction with the cross culture organizations:-
•    What qualities should be there in an international leader?
•    Where do organization find the best leader able to grow our organization?
•    How organization run all operations successfully in the cross culture environment.
These problems can be controlled by using two approaches. One approach is that we should use expatriates which are experts in dealing with a particular country. Secondly, we can use bi- cultural intermediaries in our organization. These intermediaries are the persons who have lived in different countries and have experience of minimum two years.
2.    MOTIVATION: - Motivation is the key factor in an organization. If motivation is there than the organization is leading growth in future. There are following motivational challenges in cross culture communication:- 
•    Cross-cultural challenges: - All the theories which are related to the motivation meant only for the peoples of America. Maslow's needs hierarchy theory is also based on the Americans. (Nguyen, 2013) This theory is not applicable to a high profitable organization which ranks high in the world. In the same way, the achievement motivation is also based on the people of America which done biases in their working. It is critical for the managers of the organization to have the knowledge of different cultures.
•    Motivating particular group of persons: - As all the employees in the organization are from the different cultures that they all have different abilities and skills. This difference exists here due to the diversity of their cultures and background. Some employees are there who can be motivated by money only or there can be some employees who can motivate by personal growth only. An organization should identify the reasons of motivating a particular group than motivation should be provided as per their demands. This can enhance the performance of the group and also lead the development of the organization.
•    Designing appropriate Rewards Programs: -  If an organization wants growth in different leading countries than the organization should develop an effective reward structure which motivates all the employees and they contribute their efforts towards avoiding all cultural issues. 
3.    COMMUNICATION: - There are many challenges which are facing by the management in cross culture communication. Following of them are mentioned below:-
•    AMBIGUITY:-Culture provides people's various things like ways of seeing, Interpreting the world or the personality. These same things are different as per the difference of the members from various cultures even when they talk in the similar language. When there is the difference in language than translation has to be used to communicate in that language, this will increase the misunderstanding. Ambiguity enters when peoples are not aware the language of the other culture members.
•    INFLEXIBLE ATTITUDE: - Some peoples while facing different cultural context avoid exposure and experience of the different culture. This is developing introvert behavior or closed mindset of the employees. All this brings the worst result for the management because employees are missing out an opportunity to learn the culture of the different country.
•    DIFFERENT ATTITUDE AND STYLE: - Peoples belonging from different cultures are different from each other. Every culture has their own values, and traditions people learn the same thing and their attitude is developed as per their culture. Management of an organization should have skills of managing all these difference which enables them to gain a competitive advantage in the market.


 Skills cannot be achieved only by reading. Skills develop through learning and practices. In a team, various peoples are there which belongs from the diverse culture. It is necessary for the management to manage effectively the team, which results in a better position of the organization in the market. In managing a team effectively manager play an important role. Following skills must be there for a manager to manage the cultural diverse team effectively:- 
Firstly the manager should be aware of their own culture and should know how their culture influences their behavior or attitude. This helps the manager in understanding the cultural impacts of the different culture members. 
A manager should be global minded. He should be aware bout all global trends and happenings of the country. Global thinking makes the manager a globally minded people who have knowledge of all aspects of the world.
A manager should have the interest of learning new things. This helps the manager in developing various skills as well as enhance his knowledge about different cultural aspects. This brings various opportunity for a manager.
A manager must be flexible. Flexibility helps the manager in learning various operational practices and the social environment. A manager must not be rigid and limited to only a particular work style; he should be ready to work in every culture. 
A manager should be a good nature which helps the employees in feeling comfortable in their organization. A manager must give respect to the perspectives of the employees; this will enhance the respect of manager in the eyes of the employees.
A manager must have the skills of managing the diversity of the team members. This will help the manager in bringing their employees close to each other and resolving all conflicts among team members.
The manager should be such who have skills of leading the team by motivational efforts. This will lead the better performance of the team and achievement of the goal of the organization.

PART 2:-


Staffing is an important function of the management. All human resource professionals which working for global organizations have distinct staffing choices. There are three main approaches of staffing which are following:-
This approach is propounded by Gayle. Ethnocentric involves staffing as an important position in foreign subsidiaries. In this expatriates selected from available employees in the organization for transferred to a foreign subsidiary. Expatriates are those persons who are transferred to host country for company work. (Merkin,2014)
•    Controlling system of setting up: - when the parent country organization requires control on the operations of the organization, then it is better to choose ethnocentric staffing for foreign branches. Employee which belongs from the parent country have deep knowledge of working with the company and its procedures, and they also take care that all the guidelines should be followed as per timely manner. 
•    Maintaining corporate culture: - All employees aware of the customer perspectives, or the ethical system of the company. All this helps the management in maintaining the culture of the organization.
•    Giving international exposure to employees
•    Hiring expatriates prove expensive for the organization
In polycentric staffing company hire the candidates from the host country nationals for different positions in the country.  This staffing approach is suitable only for the developed countries like - Canada or European countries where it is easy to identify educated and trained employees. 
•    Host country nationals prove better guide in managing foreign branches.
•    The absence of any commitment from the company.
•    Problems related to the language and adjustment of expatriates completely missing in it.
•    Employment of host country nationals is less expensive in comparison to parent country nationals.
•    Complete support from the government of the host country.
•    Enhance opportunities for growth for local employees.
•    Lack of effective communication between the managers of the HCN & PCN.
•    Difficulty in controlling the functions of the subsidiary organization.
•    In coordinating the overall activities of the subsidiary, various difficulties are arises due to the less link between the subsidiary and the parent country organization.
•    Lack of career opportunities for the manager of the HCN @ PCN because both have little chances to gain international experience.
•    Lack of international experience among all the members of the organization.
3.    GEOCENTRIC: - In this staffing policy the best people are appointed to all the important jobs throughout the organization, without considering any nationality. (Defraeye,2016)
•    This enables the whole organization in developing a pool of talented employees with the international experience.
•    It minimizes the tendency of identification of national managers.
•    Difficulty in implementation because of high costs of training or compensation.
•    Successful implementation of this policy requires high centralized control on all the operations of the organization.
•    It requires advance planning for matching the potential candidates.
•    It involves high cost. 


Global human resource, management helps the management of the organization in building effective decisions. Investment in human resources considers an effective system of the organization. Decision making involves the decision regarding the investment of the money or procurement of resources or many other important issues. (Merkin, 2014) In the global environment, HR managers have to face a dynamic environment. HRM helps the organization in decision making in following ways:-
•    Remaining competitive: - HR decision making involves developing the strategies related to the various aspects of the business. All these strategies help the organization in gaining competitive advantages over their competitors. In the international environment, only the few HR strategies are successful. So, HR strategies should be developed after keeping all aspects in mind.
•    Ethics: - Ethics is considered as a vital element of the international business environment. Ethics in human resources means HR should develop all strategies by thinking what is acceptable or what is not regarding the personnel of the organization.  Outsourcing and offshoring can be the best example of an international environment which affects all the peoples within the organization.
•    Building cross- cultural relationship: - Effective HR decisions develop the effective relationship between the cross-cultural employees of the organization. On the basis of it, an organization can survive for a long time.
•    Overcoming Global challenges: - Developing better intercultural communication between the available employees of the organization helps the employees to think about their own organization as a single global firm. All this brings various changes. This helps the management in making decisions which help the organization in overcoming all the global challenges.


Employers try to hire those employees who have international experience. It is especially required for managing all the cross-cultural affairs. These skills help the employees in managing the cross-cultural diversity and adjusting to the new culture. Following management skills should be there in a candidate to manage all cross-cultural affairs:-
•    Positive attitude: - A candidate who is looking for the international culture job should be the positive attitude. The employee should be such which never resist for change but always try to bring some new changes. The employee should be open with changes and easily adjust himself as per the requirements of the culture.
•    Enjoy working with the diverse population: - Employer should always prefer those candidates who want to earn new international experience. Candidate should be such who have more interest in working with the peoples of diverse nature. This leads more success of the organization by satisfying their all the employees.
•    Recognize and respect a diversity of people: - An employee must have the feature of giving respect to other country citizens. If candidates are laughing on the behavior of the other country citizens, then it impacts the whole organization negatively. So candidate should be such which give respect to other candidates.
•    Feeling comfortable while working with the diverse culture employees: - Candidate should be ready to work with the employees of the different culture. Feeling comfortable of the expatriate must be required by the organization, but management should also take various steps in the favor of the expatriate so that they can feel comfortable while working in another environment. 
•    Ability to develop close relationship quickly: - A candidate who is chosen for the international assignment should be such who can easily establish their close relationship with the members of the cross culture. Candidate should be of friendly nature. This will lead the overall growth of the organization and helps in effective controlling of overall organization functions. 
•    Ability to interact people with different personalities: - For a foreign assignment the selective candidate must have the ability to interact with different personalities. Expatriate should be full of confidence and never hesitate while interacting with the different peoples. This leads the development of the overall image of the organization in front of other important persons or the investors.
•    High degree of physical stamina: - an expatriate should have high work stamina. This helps the expatriate in performing their work with high concentration. 
•    Able to notice details which other miss: - this is the most needed requirement of the employer. A candidate should have the capability to look the other perspectives of a particular task. This will enable the organization to establish a proper control on their functions and reach to other important information which can be the sole reason for the success of an organization. 
•    Significant experience in cross culture environment: - Every employer wants to hire those candidates who have experience of another foreign country. This capability of the candidates enables them to face different challenges of the cultures.  This enables the candidates to work in a very efficient manner than other inexperienced persons. 


If the organization wants long term success in future, this can be done after a deep understanding of other cultures. Cross culture theories helpful in overcome cross-cultural challenges in the following manner:-
1.    Helpful in understanding the communication style: -   All cultures have their own language, this lead difference in communication styles. Identification of all these differences by using appropriate theories helps the organization in removing all hurdles in the communication. This results in better communication style between all employees of the organization. (Defraeye,2016)
2.    Helpful in understanding the cultural values:-  According to the Hofstede theory , there is not any universal management method. Management also deals with other aspects of - politics, family or beliefs. Understanding the culture of the host country on the basis of the five dimensions of the Hofstede theory helps the management in understanding the cultural chasm that management recognize and makes various efforts consciously to establish a bridge. This bridge removes the gap between the members of the different cultures.( Defraeye,2016)
3.    Developing right competencies: - Once we are aware of all cultural aspects, then we need to develop effective competencies for managing cross-cultural functions.  These competencies like - the right flame of mind, alternative management skills help the organization in enhancing its productivity. All these theories help the organization in developing all required competencies in their employees. 


Every culture is important for every member, but every culture has their own characteristics which make it distinct from the others. Our culture helps us in building our thoughts and behavior. All these thoughts and behavior influences the way of our working style. For example: - in particular society women not treated equally to men. This all because of their culture. Culture affects the perception of an individual.  Thus the culture affects the thinking of a particular person directly. Moreover, the environment which has more cultural influences shapes our behavior. For example: if a particular culture does not teach men to respect women than all this naturally reflect in his behavior. Peoples are behaving in a different manner as per differentiation in their cultures; some people interact very openly with the members of the other society, but some people hesitate while talking with others. This all is happening just because of influences of their cultures. 
All this leads a beautiful experience for anyone. Knowledge of cross culture helps them in becoming familiar with the peoples of the other culture. This taught them to respect peoples who belong from a different culture. This experience can be new or exciting for anyone which enhances their level of performance.
Cultural awareness is considered the foundation of effective communication.  Through awareness of different cultures, peoples get aware about the facts and traditions of their own culture. Awareness of different cultures brings confidence in an individual which helps them in bringing self-control which helps them in overcoming all barriers related to their work. 

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