Importance of relationships in organizationsA lot of full-time employees spend most of their time with co-workers than they do with their families.
Therefore, it is important to allow employees to build good relationships with their co-workers.There are many benefits for organization that foster good relationships in the workplace.(McFarlin, n.d.)Eg; Improved Teamwork – When co-workers have good relationship, they can communicate with each other better and they understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses better.Higher Employee Retention Rates -When employees has a sense of belonging to a company, they will be less likely to seek employment at a different company.
According to the Gallup Organization, people who have good friends at work are seven times more likely to be engaged in their jobs. (McFarlin, n.d.)Increased Productivity – People are more likely to be motivated and inspired when working with close ones, therefore higher productivity.
Power Distance has a great impact on relationships in workplace. Basic areas of inequality:Physical / mental abilities and characteristicsSocial status and prestigeWealthPowerLaw, rights, rules(Andrews.edu, n.d.)On the cultural scale of Hofstede’s analysis, the Hofstede’s Power Distance scale indicates a high degree of power distance within the Thai culture.Thailand scores 64 and Italy scores 50.(Hofstede Insights, n.d.
). This phenomenon can be seen in Thailand’s respect for their King and religious practices.(Pdx.edu, n.d.
)Thailand is a hierarchical society where relationships are based on social status and it may be determined by education,job,family name, and social connections. (Pdx.edu, n.
d.)Employees in high power distance are reluctant to take part in decisions and are satisfied with their managers making decisions and giving instructions. Communication takes place vertically downwards, with little or no horizontal communication.
Overall communication is anemic. Unethical decisions and behavior tends to happen because managers don’t need to explain or justify their decision to lower level employees.(Khatri, 2009).In Italy, everyone’s voice matters, everyone’s opinion counts.Thai people prefer to be humble than being right or finding a better solution.
(Tuohy, 2016)For Thais,age, ranking and social status must be taken into consideration when deciding whether they should say what’s on their mind.This is a situation where tensions and miscommunications arises between Thais and foreigners. Thais feels that foreigners don’t know their place and foreigners feels that Thais are self-satisfied when they don’t spot mistakes.(Tuohy, 2016)Language DifferencesLanguage differences is a distinct barrier to intercultural communication.Words don’t normally translate from one language to another exactly the same. The same English word may have different meanings to people from different cultures.
(Farnen, 2017)Feelings and EmotionsMost Thais keep a close control of their emotions, while Italians are more comfortable showing their feelings to others.Talking aloud might be embarrassing for an Asian, but an Italian might just be expressing their excitement. Differences in culture and communication styles can even cause anxiety. As a result of these negative emotions, people from different cultures may refuse to communicate with each other.
(Farnen, 2017)Remaining calm, smiling, and not raising voice during any type of conflict is the way to handle situations in Thailand.Thai people avoid open confrontations. Their culture dictates that conflicts hurt the harmony of a group and that relationships are permanently damaged from confrontations. They also believe that arguing is embarrassing and makes everyone uncomfortable.(Tuohy, 2016)Foreigners such as Italians are raised to think that confrontation is positive and constructive. Disagreements are good for the growth of a work team. They don’t hurt personal relationships since business and personal relationships are completely separate.
This leads to miscommunication because foreigners often think they can confront a Thai colleague and that the relationship won’t be damaged. The Thai colleague will be very hurt and not understand why their foreign colleague is so cruel sometimes yet so friendly other times. (Tuohy, 2016)The Western style of communication favors direct negative feedback while Thai people find this unpleasant.The Thai style favors indirect negative feedback. If a Thai friend or colleague has something negative to tell you, they will do it privately and gently.
They might try to disguise negative feedback as advice.(Tuohy, 2016)Body LanguagePeople sometimes take offense because of differences in body language across cultures. (Farnen, 2017)Level of ContextThais sometimes say “yes” or “maybe” when they actually mean “no,” according to the Diversity Council. Asians often consider an outright refusal blunt rather than honest.
(Farnen, 2017).Foreigners are taught low-context communication, so this is how they talk. They say what they mean and mean what they say. They specialize in simple, straightforward conversation with little subtext and expect the same from others.Thais, on the other hand, use high-context communication. Whatever they say, there is subtleness that foreigners don’t often pick up on. The trouble starts when foreigners expect their Thai friends to simply say what’s on their mind and communicate in Western ways.
Thais often get offended when their foreign friends don’t follow the communication rules.(Tuohy, 2016)Solution for Italian Manager to overcome intercultural differences.communicate your intentions, seek feedback , involving HR , Be accommodating.