Managing Across Cultures: Cross-Cultural Interaction

Topic: Management
Words: 3949 Pages: 14

The universalization of trade and the market, for all its benefits, has been a worldwide challenge. Companies are becoming progressively more transnational, and management schools are highlighting the importance of the globalization managers’ perspectives. In the case of operating companies, this includes the need to be more sensitive to the differences in national cultures (Romani, Mahadevan and Primecz, 2018). The world of the business world extends far across national lines, involving an increasing range of people from various cultural origins. Consequently, cultural distinctions start to dominate organizations and profoundly affect the ultimate performance of business activities (Luthans and Doh, 2018). Consequently, there are transcultural issues and tensions in international operations in a new social and cultural climate due to cognitive diversity and stereotypes of particular groups of people. Thus, it is appropriate to examine the culture’s relation to the issues of management and organizational behavior.

The Interaction Between International Management and Cross-Cultural Management

International management is a special kind of leadership, the basic goals of which are the creation, evolution and application of the competitive benefits of the firm due to the possibilities of performing business in various nations. Consequently, it demands the applicability of the political, cultural, demographic, sociological and other factors of these states and of cross-state collaboration. The essence of international management consists in the need to address various economic interests, passing them through the prism of global, local, and, a priori, personal (Tjosvold and Leung, 2017). It should be designed to create a balance between the different levels of business objectives and optimize their own, considering the limitations of the global and national situation.

Through international management, the firm not only permeates a country through its cultural awareness but also amasses international and national knowledge and experience. This enables the company to achieve a specific combination that benefits the business (Tjosvold and Leung, 2017). This way, the corporation can reach a particular country and create an effective market. That is, from cultural sensitivity to the active form of a favorable business environment through the transformation in the appropriate direction of the local cultural peculiarities. According to the current global administration, culture is a unique corporate resource, and cultural distinctions are a special form of organizational knowledge which contribute to the solution of cross-cultural challenges (Tjosvold and Leung, 2017). Hence, the international manager uses a cross-cultural management strategy to operate businesses in a multicultural context.

Cross-cultural leadership is an essential element of the people department’s human resource administration system. It includes the elaboration of technology for learning how to effectively conduct operations in a multicultural environment in order to eliminate multicultural disputes. Cross-cultural management is a system of methods and procedures that, firstly, minimize the negative influence of intercultural differences and solve management problems. Moreover secondly, they contribute to the formation of intercultural competence, which is understood as the capacity to implement “culturally integral solutions” to challenges in international business (Adler and Aycan, 2018). Methods of cross-cultural management can be implemented at the macro level, which is the intersection of state and regional cultures. It can also be applied at the micro-level, which is understood as the intersection of professional, organizational, age, and other cultures.

Cross-cultural management has developed through three different stages; the first phase was started when, during the period of active globalization, many large transnational organizations were able to enter the markets of other countries. Studies of cultural challenges at this phase consisted basically of studying different models of cultures of various countries. This contributed to developing technologies that were not focused on the “leveling” of peculiarities (Adler and Aycan, 2018). The second period included the active development of typologies of corporate cultures in connection with the international division of labor. Studies have demonstrated that cultural features have a significant impact on forms of management and the types of organizational behavior (Adler and Aycan, 2018). The results obtained enabled one to consider that any adjustment of corporate culture should be performed with a thorough analysis and study of people’s mentality, language, and customs.

The third stage brought to the center of the research in the field of interaction of cultures. This phase is characterized by the elaboration of new, qualitative approaches to personnel management due to the transformation of traditional concepts. This is associated with increased xenophobia, the spread of interethnic conflicts, and racial intolerance (Jain and Pareek, 2019). In the system of human resource management, cultural characteristics become an essential reserve for the advancement of the organization.

Thus, global management is the application of concepts and instruments of leadership in a multicultural context and thereby gaining additional advantages and economies of time. National enterprise culture has a powerful influence on different elements of corporate life, approaches to administration and perspectives toward power, negotiation techniques, perception and enforcement of regulations, planning, structures, and management strategies. Cross-cultural management is the supervision of considerations that appear on the periphery of national and corporate cultures, exploring the reasons for cross-cultural disagreements and their neutralization. (Jain and Pareek, 2019). Effective cross-cultural management contributes to the successful outcome of international management.

The Relevance of Culture to Issues of Management and Organizational Behavior

The significance of cross-cultural leadership is defined by the fact that the engagement of individuals from various nations and cultures exists in the context of the increasing diversity of multinational firms’ leadership styles. Cross-cultural leadership involves the exploration of cultural differences both internationally and nationally, both across and within national boundaries (Mullakhmetov, Sadriev and Akhmetshin, 2019). It involves describing individuals from various cultures employed in the same institution and comparing the conduct of persons in entities based in at least two different countries. Therefore, cross-cultural management extends the area of organizational conduct through a multicultural measurement. The introduction of cross-cultural management in the enterprise is aimed at creating a standard enterprise principle of values, which is understood and appreciated by each team member of a multi-national group. (Mullakhmetov, Sadriev and Akhmetshin, 2019). It is about creating a specific corporate culture, which would appear based on national business cultures, harmoniously combining certain elements of the distinctive culture of each nation, but without replicating any of them in their entirety.

The introduction of cross-cultural management techniques is, in fact, desirable not only for international businesses but also for small companies and local organizations. The market is developing rapidly and often unpredictably; for example, a company can find partners abroad quite unanticipatedly (Caruso, 2017). Then there is the relevance of implementing the cross-cultural management sphere, which should start with the education and awareness of managers. They are the face and representation of the organization in any external interaction and set an example for their subordinates. The leadership of the company has the authority to begin implementing cross-cultural policies and principles within the firm (Intezari, Taskin and Pauleen, 2017). Therefore, the organization’s manager should be the favorite of the company’s entrance into the world of globalization. For this purpose, different pieces of training and educational programs for executives are realized successfully.

Meanwhile, the question of educational programs and training is relevant. The next step should be to educate all of its personnel about the specifics of cultures and the proper interaction with them. Both managers and employees may encounter the problem of misunderstanding cultures in direct interaction with the second company and when hiring a foreigner, a person of another culture (Al-Ali et al., 2017). This person may correspond to all required competencies and be an excellent performer but may possess some incomprehensible cultural peculiarities to the director, manager, or colleagues. However, this should not become a reason to fire or deny hiring (Al-Ali et al., 2017). This is why it is essential for all levels of management and all their subordinates to understand the life and mentality of other countries and cultures. Especially in the context of large waves of migration, employing a foreigner is no longer uncommon.

The situations described above presuppose that the action is conducted on the company’s territory and according to its rules. However, one should not forget that companies often organize business visits or internships for their employees in other countries. This implies that these employees have two groups of competencies at once. First, it is knowledge of a foreign language and familiarity with the cultural specifics of a particular country before they are deployed there directly (Cohen and Kassis-Henderson, 2017). Being in another country and a specific organization, the company’s representative, is the face of the company and can both produce a great impression and build long-lasting relationships. This is especially important during negotiations when it is a question of signing a contract or promising collaboration. Thus, a small communication mistake can destroy the possibility of a positive outcome.

It is significant to emphasize that cross-cultural communication becomes the basis for the formation of the labor potential of the enterprise. It occurs through the effective combination of the advantages of knowledge, education, and experience of each employee in the system of shared values in strategic management. The productivity of cross-cultural communications is directly connected to understanding the national and cultural peculiarities of representatives of various countries and nations (Warren, 2017). It is one of the crucial indicators in cross-cultural management because it determines the productive cooperation of transnational companies at the international level.

Effective communications fulfill such criteria as reliability, timeliness, objectivity, transparency, availability of response, and targeting. The last three measures of intercultural contact are related to their implementation in the cross-cultural field. It is possible to transform the existing system by adding the criteria of spatiality, tolerance, and flexibility, which will reduce the uncertainty of environmental influences (Warren, 2017). The structuring of relationships is carried out in the context of cross-cultural management. It proceeds by expanding the perception of meaning, essence, and necessity of creating unique competitive advantages in strategic and corporate management. This is also relevant to the generation of knowledge in the cross-cultural field, realized through the interaction between employees in the enterprise (Warren, 2017). Consequently, such communication enables an expansion of effective management in the enterprise.

Corporate culture is founded on the idea of cross-cultural management. For instance, corporate culture should include support for and acceptance of diverse cultures, equal attitude to workers of various ethnic backgrounds, and observance of corporate ethics and social responsibility principles (Schein and Schein, 2019). The relevance of culture in organizational behavior is explained by the fact that in human capital management, the focus shifts to each individual’s values and behavioral attitudes (Hitt et al., 2017). Appropriate technology provides the tools, while values provide guidance and form the internal compass.

Values influence a person’s thoughts and actions, and under the impact of a personal value system, attitudes emerge concerning work, people, and technological progress. In the past, values were defined locally in each culture, but now they have been freed from geographical boundaries and limitations. As a result of globalization processes, the international manager is constantly confronted with different personal values systems from different national cultures (Buchanan and Huczynski, 2019). Consequently, it is necessary to create special methods and tools to identify not only the needs of consumers as representatives of other national cultures. Moreover, it is essential to form life attitudes and values that create their worldview.

Creating a corporate culture based on the concept of cross-cultural leadership demands the creation and development of cross-cultural competencies. Specifically, the development of knowledge, skills, and abilities in cross-cultural interaction and relations is relevant. At the micro-level of a multicultural environment, cross-cultural competencies are a prerequisite for developing personal contacts; they influence the enterprise’s corporate culture (Bratton, 2020). At the mesolevel of the multicultural environment of the enterprise, cross-cultural competencies are used and influence intercorporate communications required for cross-cultural facilitation of the personnel of these firms. While on the macro-level of the multicultural environment, cross-cultural competencies are used for the interaction of the enterprise with another business environment in the residence nation (Bratton, 2020). They aim to enhance relevant communications in this foreign country’s political, organizational, administrative, social, and educational processes.

The Changing Organizational Context and Methods of Managing Cross-cultural Teams

In the perpetual problem of sustaining the viability and efficiency of a company, top managers are aided by strategy and culture. The vision supports the corporate goals with formal logic and guides employees toward them. Culture translates these aims through corporate philosophy and values, enabling action with shared standards and expectations in view. The strategy provides direction for collective decisions and actions. It is based on plans and rules, with rewards for achieving objectives and sanctions for not accomplishing them (Zeng et al., 2017). Ideally, it incorporates tools to analyze the environment and determine when something needs to change to sustain progress. Leadership is inconceivable without strategy formation, and executives tend to be able to follow it. Culture is a more subtle management instrument because it is determined considerably by implicit rules, attitudes, and behavioral models. Unfortunately, frequently managers attempting to construct an effective organization destroy its culture. It is either neglected or delegated to the human resources department, where there is always a shortage of time for culture (Alshurah et al., 2018). However, it is impossible to implement even the most sensible strategic plan if the value of corporate culture is not considered.

Cross-cultural management involves not only monitoring cultural variations but also to develop competencies for dealing with culture shock. That is the challenge of engaging in a new business cycle while dealing with members of other different styles of business (Larson and Gill, 2017). Cross-cultural groups are defined as teams composed of individuals from various backgrounds in order to accomplish common objectives. In comparison to mono-cultural groups, they are dominated by diverse cultures, multiple languages, and styles of interpersonal cooperation (Larson and Gill, 2017). Accordingly, to guarantee the performance of such a team, it is essential to understand the extent to which the crucial distinctive traits of each team unit affect the functioning of the collective as a whole.

In cross-cultural teams, there are two possibilities for developing relationships within the team. It is possible to ascertain cultural cohesion and solidarity, or the predominance of a particular group and the effect of elimination. In the field of team design, the prevailing three factors most significant for incorporating a personality into a cross-cultural command are competency, capacity to work in a team, and respect and acceptance of diversity. Cross-cultural team leaders and their individual staff members may deal with these problems in different ways, depending on their specific cultural characteristics (Romani et al., 2018). This identifies the specificity of their team control attitudes and methods.

The literature identifies many fundamental factors that are crucial to the productivity of a multicultural team. These are leadership type, team architecture, and choice of its partners (Usunier, Van Herk and Lee, 2017). Furthermore, control of cross-cultural command advancement, intercultural communication, transcultural teamwork, cross-cultural confidence, cross-cultural administration, and the degree of multicultural ambiguity. The final two elements, cross-cultural management and multicultural ambiguity, are essential parts of the others (Usunier, Van Herk and Lee, 2017). Therefore, successful cross-cultural management is a function of successful efforts in team building. Moreover, it implies the establishment within them of communications, the option of the most influential leadership type, the construction of mutual confidence, and the culture of collaboration.

However, cross-cultural uncertainty is a combined feature of most of the challenges that cross-cultural teams encounter in their formation and functioning. For instance, it includes communication obstacles, contrasting views of common goals and standards among commanders, disparate power relationships, and other distinctive aspects of culture. This is promoted by gathering as much data about the cultural specifics of the individuals from different nations and then considering those features in the process of administering the command. According to the research, Kirkman, J. Cordery, J. Mathieu, B. Rosen, and M. Kukenberger describe multicultural teams as multinational parties (Eisenberg and DiTomaso, 2021). They use constant shared learning and combine the experiences of various actors on an enduring foundation to address problems (Eisenberg and DiTomaso, 2021). The analysis experimentally discovered four main determinants of multinational team performance.

It is a significant degree of collective incentives, cumulative awareness, and positive evaluation of their assignments in the framework of organization objectives. Encouraging and focusing on group leadership culture, such a strategy contributes to maximizing the level of communal inspiration. It usually assists in establishing occupational objectives and areas of responsibility, building interpersonal relationships, and increasing the entire team’s cumulative performance sense. Another factor is the status of the multinational team as the “core”; their work directly impacts the overall outcome of the parent organization in critical activities (Eisenberg and DiTomaso, 2021). Additionally, the high interdependence of team members’ objectives and the interrelated challenges contribute to more dynamic collaboration. This contributes to the high degree of creativity, sharing of ideas, knowledge, skills, brainstorming, which influences the performance of the decision.

Thus, a flexible and culture-oriented leadership style provides a high rank of execution across cultures. It is important to create connections among employees in order to understand and accept the specificities of specific cultures (Glikson and Erez, 2020). This will enhance the communication between workers and perform the work for the collective outcome. Accordingly, these management techniques improve the intercultural teams’ performance and reduce the occurrence of challenges.

Key Issues Impacting Cultural Differences

In many industrialized countries, leadership is considered a collaborative process between a manager and members to pursue team, institutional, and social objectives. Leaders in American society are required to provide decision-making, initiation, and activism in the organization and individuals. A leader may possess many of these traits in other cultures, but the leadership and management style itself is not automatically understood as moving or directed by activity. For instance, some of the most successful managers and chief in India are perceived by those around them as caring people who assume a parental role toward their subordinates (Warrick, 2017). Instead, they are directing the performance and assignments of subsidiaries, in contrast to just distributing instructions.

The optimal leadership style in India is participative and concerned on the one hand and authoritarian on the other. In Japan, there is a new leadership theory where the leader’s primary function is to preserve the social stability of the group rather than to innovate, as an example in some American systems. Another characteristic that distinguishes leadership and management styles in different cultures is leadership boundaries. For instance, employees clearly separate work from personal time in American culture. At 5 p.m., when the bell rings, many American employees assume that work is finished and their time starts (Meng and Berger, 2019). However, in other cultures, the boundaries between work and personal life are not explicit. In many countries, a person’s work-life becomes an inseparable part of their own life. Leaders in these cultures may require subordinates to work additional hours and obedience with less effort than in American culture (Rosenbach, 2018). Moreover, leaders and managers in India and Japan are expected to watch their subordinates at work and in their personal lives.

As with many other cultural differences, variations in defining the nature and boundaries of leadership and management are related to the parameters of individualism and collectivism. Executives and supervisors in collectivist populations are much more inclined to believe that their duties transcend the workplace than are executives in individualist populations (Anderson and Sun, 2017). The results of cross-cultural studies in electronics plants showed that for the Japanese, motivation to work depended on the relatively frequent use of documentation and interference with the process by controllers. At the same time, American and British controllers intervened in the process only on occasion (Anderson and Sun, 2017). These results suggest a higher degree of managerial tutelage among Eastern workers. However, all cross-cultural studies have documented cultural differences, and there are similarities in leadership behavior across cultures (Anderson and Sun, 2017). It was established that those leaders who scored high in behaviors related to performing objectives and maintaining the group through motivation demonstrated a higher quality of work.

Managers encounter significant problems when leading multicultural project teams. Communication is highlighted as the most common and widespread challenge in the functioning of multi-cultural societies. Thus, in the example of Western culture there is a clear prevalence of expressive modes of transmitting messages. The value of sentences is restricted to their outer shape; all options are stated explicitly and implicitly in the context of the negotiation (Hua, 2018). For Eastern-type cultures, the context can have much more than the communication itself; an implicit method of transmitting message prevails. For American and Western employees, the performance of e-mail communication is much higher than for employees in both Japan and China (Hua, 2018). Meanwhile, the effect of face-to-face encounters with executives is more elevated for Asians than for Western employees.

Nevertheless, managers can reduce the impact of these factors on business conduct. For example, they impose various time zones based on the geographic position of team players; alternatively, they assign managers individually to each command in accordance with the ratio of members in each zone (Hua, 2018). The conduct of private managers meetings with team members and of team members with each other. The differences in communication styles and level of contextualization between the various cultures should be addressed.

Another challenge in groups between members of Western European and Eastern Asian spiritual traditions is characterized by perceived hierarchy. For Western business people, the range of power is considerably narrower than for their Eastern colleague. In the context of oriental cultural groups, the lack of a clearly defined hierarchy can negatively influence the general performance of teams (Hall, Covarrubias and Kirschbaum, 2017). Western styles are marked by a tendency to solve project tasks in the shortest period of preparation and minimal usage of available funds. Nevertheless, this approach diverges from the views of the adherents of Oriental cultural traditions, for which a more complete and detailed approach is characteristic (Hall, Covarrubias and Kirschbaum, 2017). While this approach has many benefits, it requires considerably more time, focus, and other inputs, which can have a detrimental effect on the results of work by project groups.

Examining the peculiarities of cross-cultural team management demands an appeal to the cross-cultural dimensions of institutional crisis. In cooperative societies, avoidance of confrontation is the result, while in individualistic ones expressing one’s views is an essential feature of an honorable individual. In cultures with significant authority detachment, the tension between authority positions is usual and anticipated. Cultures with low power distances appreciate the balance between higher and lower ranks, and co-workers prefer cooperation. Cultural disparities affect the selection of organizational conflict resolution strategies and tactics. In male oriented cultures, conflict is settled by struggle, in the female ones by mutual agreement and concession (Oumlil and Balloun, 2017). The English-speaking peoples value a tendency toward conflict. The Japanese and Chinese tend to settle disputes through mediation and dialogue. The cultural element determines the approach to the problem in a crisis situation (Oumlil and Balloun, 2017). Hence, in a culture with significant separation of authority, the manager chooses not to participate in the dispute; in a collaborative culture, it values mediation.

The following should be highlighted: among the critical circumstances of cross-cultural conflicts: inconsistency and feeling of lawful and institutional standards regulating affairs in various nations; factors of cross-cultural contact; interpersonal disputes. Hence, managers need to provide the formation of positive responses and the facilitation of understanding of the goals and objectives. Accordingly, it is imperative to ensure that individual meetings between managers and team members are continuously organized. This is extremely crucial when operating with Asian counterparts who are not eager to represent themselves through the Internet or long-distance call (Oumlil and Balloun, 2017). At the same time, visualization in the formation and distribution of tasks is essential.

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