The phenomenon of globalization has caused companies to work outside theirhome country.
Transnational organizations have now come into picture with majorlocal management being handled by their respective regional heads and managers.To maintain a smooth flow of systems and procedures in the organization, anestablished communication channel encourages a variety of interactions amongthe employees across boundaries and at all levels. It is here that cultureplays an important role.
An idealistic situation would be one where there is nobarrier to communication => no difference in encoding and decoding themessage => no conflict. However in reality, there might be differences dueto personal beliefs, background, values, perception etc. To understand howthese differences leads to conflicts, it is crucial to know that culture is a multifacetedaspect which includes language, religion, material facts, individual valuesystem, personality etc.
Therefore managing cross cultural conflicts becomesimperative for the success of the organization. One of the ways to avoid such conflictsis by being culturally intelligent, or being able to exhibit behaviors whichare culturally tuned with that of others. The success of any organizationdepends on the fact that how culturally aligned its employees are with the organizationas well as with each other.
It can bring a number of benefits for the organization.The fact that this adds a competitive edge to abusiness, as culture intelligence improves communication, cooperation, teamworkand overall performance. Keeping an open mind, having basic knowledge ofother people’s cultural background, active listening and maintaining a personaltouch are some of the ways to effectively manage internal cultural conflicts. Thesealso have an effect on how the top level managers chose the model of the organizationwhile working with a multi cultural workforce. Whether the organization structureis individualistic or collectivistic or deciding on the number of layers in theorganization, culture is one of the driving forces in determining the organizationdesign.
Cultural norms play a large part in interpersonal relationships at work.While growing up in a certain culture, it is natural to take the behavioralnorms of the society for granted. However, when stepping on to a foreignculture, things are different. By using Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions as astarting point, managers can evaluate decisions and actions, based on a generalsense of how people in a particular society might think and react. Thesedimensions are:1.
PowerDistance Index 2. IndividualismVs Collectivism3. MasculinityVs Femininity4.
UncertaintyAvoidance Toconclude, every individual is unique, and no society is uniform, but by using thismodel to make the unknown less unknown, we can provide a motivational boostwhile working in an unfamiliar country.