The phenomenon of globalization has caused companies to work outside their
home country. Transnational organizations have now come into picture with major
local management being handled by their respective regional heads and managers.
To maintain a smooth flow of systems and procedures in the organization, an
established communication channel encourages a variety of interactions among
the employees across boundaries and at all levels. It is here that culture
plays an important role. An idealistic situation would be one where there is no
barrier to communication => no difference in encoding and decoding the
message => no conflict. However in reality, there might be differences due
to personal beliefs, background, values, perception etc. To understand how
these differences leads to conflicts, it is crucial to know that culture is a multifaceted
aspect which includes language, religion, material facts, individual value
system, personality etc. Therefore managing cross cultural conflicts becomes
imperative for the success of the organization. One of the ways to avoid such conflicts
is by being culturally intelligent, or being able to exhibit behaviors which
are culturally tuned with that of others. The success of any organization
depends on the fact that how culturally aligned its employees are with the organization
as well as with each other. It can bring a number of benefits for the organization.
The fact that this adds a competitive edge to a
business, as culture intelligence improves communication, cooperation, teamwork
and overall performance. Keeping an open mind, having basic knowledge of
other people’s cultural background, active listening and maintaining a personal
touch are some of the ways to effectively manage internal cultural conflicts. These
also have an effect on how the top level managers chose the model of the organization
while working with a multi cultural workforce. Whether the organization structure
is individualistic or collectivistic or deciding on the number of layers in the
organization, culture is one of the driving forces in determining the organization
design.

Cultural norms play a large part in interpersonal relationships at work.
While growing up in a certain culture, it is natural to take the behavioral
norms of the society for granted. However, when stepping on to a foreign
culture, things are different. By using Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions as a
starting point, managers can evaluate decisions and actions, based on a general
sense of how people in a particular society might think and react. These
dimensions are:

1.     
Power
Distance Index

2.     
Individualism
Vs Collectivism

3.     
Masculinity
Vs Femininity

4.     
Uncertainty
Avoidance

To
conclude, every individual is unique, and no society is uniform, but by using this
model to make the unknown less unknown, we can provide a motivational boost
while working in an unfamiliar country.

 

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