Leading and Managing Across the Generations (Knowledge Pills Series: Intercultural Skills Book 5)
Its presence gives hope to the characters throughout the series. Other notable themes in the series are the role of family and friendship; sexual maturation and the conflicting worldviews of teenagers and adults. He wondered how they might react if they were placed in the same position that their grandparents were at their age. With Tomorrow, When the War Began and its sequels Marsden set out to write an "old fashioned adventure story". He sought to emulate their approaches to timing, pacing and building tension and suspense and combine them with "the new teenage genres, where feelings, relationships and character development were all-important.
The inspiration for the rural setting of the series was what Marsden saw as the disappearance of the bush tales that he had enjoyed growing up. He had noticed that many novels for young people published in recent decades were about issues arising for families and children living in the suburbs.
Both are stories about groups of young people battling enemy forces intent on the invasion of Australia. The character of Homer was based on a number of students from rural backgrounds that Marsden had taught. He noticed that many of these students, who at home drove cars, ploughed fields, harvested crops, worked as shearers and more, had trouble adjusting to an environment where they "were not trusted to change a light globe or put a Band-Aid on a cut". Marsden was inspired to write the character when he noticed that while many teenagers identified themselves as Christians this group was not represented at all in fiction written for them.
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Though unlike Chris, Marsden never used drugs. When asked why young people related to the characters in his books, Ellie in particular, Marsden speculated that, like himself, they found their strength and self-reliance inspirational. Upon publication, the series was met with overwhelmingly positive reviews. Critics praised the series for its insightful look at a wide range of issues and suspense filled narrative. The Age proclaimed the series "the best series for Australian teens of all time Dodds from the SF Site described the series as "an elevation of adventure literature to heights that are only achieved once or twice in a generation".
Five of the seven books in the Tomorrow series excluding Tomorrow, When the War Began and The Night is for Hunting were listed by the Children's Book Council of Australia as a notable title for older readers for its respective year of publication. The series has also received accolades from outside Australia.
The Impact of Globalization on Cross-Cultural Communication
The American Library Association recognised Tomorrow, When the War Began as one of the best young adult novels published in the United States in , then again in as one of the best books for teenage readers published since The three books detail Ellie's struggles in post-war life in Wirrawee. Ellie finds herself running the family farm after the murder of her parents, and dealing with Gavin, the deaf boy she rescued during the war.
Shortly after the death of her parents, Ellie faces bankruptcy and turns to Homer's parents, Mr. Yannos, for help. In addition, a group called "Liberation", headed by the mysterious "Scarlet Pimple" a play of words on " The Scarlet Pimpernel " , are conducting secret border raids against the new nation. Reception for the movie was mixed. Reviewers frequently cited a poor script and poor acting as flaws. A television adaption of the Tomorrow series has been produced, though the cast from the film adaption will not be reprising their roles. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Tomorrow series Tomorrow, When the War Began' s front cover. Main article: Tomorrow, When the War Began film. Children's literature portal Speculative fiction portal. Retrieved 22 July John Marsden; Darkness, Shadow and Light. The Sydney Morning Herald. Pan Australia. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 31 July Waiting for Tomorrow 2: The Dead of the Night!
Horn Book Magazine. Tomorrow, When the War Began: Tomorrow 1. Pan Macmillan Australia. Retrieved 9 September Retrieved 21 September Board of Studies. Retrieved 27 May Frequently Asked Questions". Archived from the original on 26 March Retrieved 1 September Archived from the original on 3 September Young Adult Library Services Association.
Archived from the original on 17 March Retrieved 21 October The Bookshelf of Oz. Retrieved 19 October Archived from the original on 5 November Retrieved 20 October Library Thing. Archived from the original on 6 December Archived from the original on 17 January Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Archived from the original on 27 July Archived from the original on 9 October Australian Booksellers Association. Nine News. Archived from the original on 12 September Retrieved 28 October Its dealers reected the elite status that the company strove for, and Daimler employees took great pride in their products and in the hierarchical, disciplined structure they were part of.
Although Daimler sold fewer cars than Chrysler, its revenues were higher. In fact, both organizations were strong manifestations of their national cultures. The capacity for rapid change, innovation, and risk taking that made Chrysler successful was the antithesis of the meticulous detail that was synonymous with Daimler.
We See the World through Our Own Filter Both companies corporate values and cultural differences existed from the outset. They were obvious and readily visible. However, if you see only what you want to see, you choose not to recognize impending cultural land mines. What was announced as a merger of equals to the world press was quietly called a takeover in Stuttgarts inner circles.
Although the strategic marketing, the business positioning, and the deals economics were worked out carefully, the different cultural perspectives of the people. Without adequate planning and attention, how could these hugely different corporate cultures and national cultures integrate well enough to take advantage of the economic opportunities? Figure shows how in regard to the seven key cultural values the Americans and Germans on the Chrysler and Daimler teams were dramatically different.
The differences between the Germans and Americans, while appearing small on the scale shown here, translated into profound challenges. Figure American and German cultural characteristics. Low Time is where time is thought of as being fluid and therefore is not really controllable and can only be moderately managed. Culture is such a strong phenomenon that it comes out even when you think youve put a lid on it.
It was clear to any observer that Daimler had emerged as the dominant partner in this merger of equals. The new company was called DaimlerChrysler, not ChryslerDaimler, which would have been alphabetically correct. The headquarters were in Stuttgart, not in Auburn Hills, Michigan, or another neutral location Amsterdam was considered. Shrempp emerged as the CEO of the combined company, and Eatons tenure as vice chairman was defined as three years by contract. Chrysler employees, who were higher paid but came from a regular-guy company, were required to y coach to their meetings in Germany, whereas their German counterparts traveled in the premium classes, reflective of the companys prestige brand.
They did everything differentlyfrom the way they dressed, to the way they made decisions, to the way they worked together, to office manners. The Daimler and Chrysler organizations were dramatically different see Figure Whereas Daimler was hierarchical with many layers of approval and steps up the ladder for decision making, Chrysler was a relatively at organization. In Stuttgart, everyone wore suits and ties; in Auburn Hills, employees dressed casually. In spite of all those signs, there were no apparent efforts to develop a cultural integration plan.
In light of the German penchant for exhaustive planning and attention to detail, this is particularly surprising. Its not as though no thought was given to cultural integration. The company had programs to teach Germans about American affirmative action, discrimination policies, and sexual harassment; there also was training to teach Americans about German dining etiquette. Those programs were rejected. It Only Got Worse Culture is pervasive; it is palpable.
All the people in the organization feel it even though they may not be able to describe it. Like manners and etiquette, some beliefs are visible, but other deeply held beliefs are invisible. Often we dont even know they exist. One of the reasons cultural attitudes are so powerful is that the distinguishing characteristics of deeply held beliefs are often invisible. Fons Trompenaars refers to these hidden layers of culture as being as natural as walking or breathing.
The impact of the invisible characteristics of the Daimler culture eventually became paralyzing to the Chrysler organization. At the outset, Shrempp, the chairman of the new entity, realized the value of not imposing Daimlers management on its counterpart and attempted in some ways to leave Chrysler alone. Nevertheless, after one year, a third of the senior managers at Chrysler had left the organization. Even though their jobs, reporting lines, and span of control hadnt changed, Chrysler managers sensed something about the dominant Daimler culture and felt it was time to leave. Even the dynamic, passionate CEO of Chrysler, Bob Eaton, found himself signicantly less effective in the new environment and announced his intention to retire in three years.
Managers had to be empowered to make decisions, had to be comfortable with risk, and had to be able to operate in a relatively at environment. Clearly, in the Daimler environment, precision was the value shared throughout the organization, and those two values were in direct conict. How could one act with speed when speed might put precision at risk? This became apparent in one incident after another. Soon after the merger, Ray Wilhelm, a midlevel human resources manager from the previous Chrysler organization, was meeting with a group of American and German colleagues in Auburn Hills, Michigan, where Chrysler had been headquartered.
Theyd had a full day of meetings, had gone to dinner, and had planned to have a brainstorming session on expatriate medical benets policies during the evening. Energized to launch into the creative process with their German counterparts, the Americans were stopped in their tracks when they realized that their German counterparts had been preparing for the meeting since the night before. Rather than a blank slate or blank whiteboard , the Daimler team had prepared a slide PowerPoint presentation with detailed plans about how solutions could be implemented.
Perhaps what was most surprising was the sense of disapproval Ray and his team felt coming from their colleagues, who thought the Americans were unprepared. That rendered the U. The brainstorming session represented the different ways people become invested in a process. For the Germans, this kind of session is part of the decision-making process, part of a consensus-building experience. The incident brings into dramatic relief the different ways Germans and Americans make decisions.
Germans make them as a group, trying to get as much buy-in as possible, and see that experience as a part of the chain of decision making, whereas Americans are comfortable without gaining consensus for a decision and believe that decisions can be changed easily. Even though colleagues on both sides would say they enjoyed their social interactions, they ran into cultural roadblocks whenever they began to work together.
The sense of collegiality that existed made the working conflicts all the more confounding. The ability to interact socially didnt automatically translate into workplace effectiveness. As The Economist put it just before the divorce, economic conditions were also against the merger. Since Daimler-Benz swallowed Chrysler in , it has brought the struggling American carmaker to the verge of recovery three times, only to see the patient repeatedly relapse. This time the high price of petrol and raw materials turned the market against the big sport-utility vehicles, minivans and saloons around which Chrysler had built its latest plans for recovery.
Now Daimler, chang at Chryslers mounting losses and slumping market share, is contemplating divorce. Chryslers managers also made mistakes. They kept production high, even as sales stalled. No one ying into Motown last year could miss the elds of unsold Jeeps and Ram pickups. It was the discounts offered to get this stock moving that caused the nancial meltdown. Mercedes was the subject of a humiliating report by J. Power and Associates in July that revealed embarrassing quality deficiencies. How could so many good intentions go awry? With so much at stake, how could management ignore the visible cultural clues?
In the DaimlerChrysler deal, as in so many others, few people looked at the percolating cultural issues. They wanted to believe that because they had similar goals for the joint entity, their overriding intentions would ameliorate the debilitating differences. In a stunning statement given in hindsight, Bob Lutz, former vice chairman of Chrysler, still didnt recognize that a cultural torpedo had sunk his deal.
There was a remarkable meeting of minds at the senior management level, Lutz said in an interview. They look like us. They talk like us. Theyre focused on the same things. Their command of English is impeccable. There was denitely no culture clash there.
In other words, everyone from the top executives to the guys in cubicles wanted to believe that everyone was the same. In reality, were not all the same. Were quite different from one another. Given a chance, those differences can be enormously benecial to a business endeavor, whether it is a cross-border merger, a multicultural team, or the insights of a manager from one country who is offering ideas to a manager in another country.
Awareness of cultural differences can be a powerful tool. However, unless theyre recognized, addressed, and managed, cultural differences can become a bubbling cauldron. You can put a lid on the pot for a while and the differences will appear to subside, but unless you lower the ame or nd a way to take the pot off the re, it will blow the lid off. The challenge faced by business is this: Unlike nancial performance or facilities integration, cultural competence is not an easily measured component of the business.
Therefore, it is neglected and often relegated to the back burner. But make no mistake: Creating cultural intelligence in the organization is as critical as having adequate working capital. In the end, the DaimlerChrysler merger offered a profound lesson. Although economic factors played a large role and it is hard to say whether the merger would have succeeded even if the principals had had a greater appreciation of the role of culture, what can be said with certainty is that if the leadership had possessed a greater appreciation for deeply seated values and beliefsif they had had a global mindset they could have anticipated some of the events that blindsided them.
In the end, thats what a global mindset providesnot the skill to solve the problem automatically but the wisdom to anticipate the cultural issues that may arise when one works across cultures. The way you perceive and manage colleagues and employees, the way you approach the marketplace, and the way you deal with customers and vendors are culturally based.
You cannot take the skills that made you successful in one culture and transplant them intact into another unless youre prepared to face the perfect corporate debacle. Its the ability to recognize, read, and adapt to cultural signals, both overt and subtle, comfortable and strange, so that your effectiveness is not compromised when youre dealing with people from different backgrounds. Based on the awareness that cultures are different from each other and that those differences matter, a global mindset allows you to survey the landscape with an eye to various opportunities that come in ways you normally might not anticipate.
This perspective requires acquiring information and reecting on that new knowledge so that you can put it to work. Since were all accustomed to our own ways of looking at the world, its not always easy to decipher the cultural clues of other societies, but if you pay attention, you can develop that sense and create a global mindset. A global mindset allows you to recognize marketplace opportunities, manage and motivate diverse employees, and tap into a range of alternative ideas about how to run your business so that cultural hurdles dont take you far off course.
It gives you the ability to motivate people who may decline a promotion for reasons you ordinarily wouldnt understand, devise different schedules and methods for meeting deadlines, and develop a broad variety of approaches to communication and negotiations. It means you have to understand how people think, how theyre motivated, and how to anticipate their reactions. We believe the most effective way to start is with the seven keys or seven dimensions that we call the CultureWizard Model CW Model.
Youll learn about them in the next chapter. It presents you with a framework that defines easily recognizable behaviors that give visible clues to help you understand some of the invisible assumptions and underlying thoughts we all have. In this way, you know how to react. If you learn to identify behaviors that manifest themselves differently depending on the society and are able to plug them into a framework,. By developing an awareness of these behaviors, you will be in a better position to adjust your expectations, attitudes, and actions and significantly enhance your chance for success in the international business arena.
This training process builds a foundation for: Recognizing cultural behaviors that are different Understanding how your cultural background colors the way you perceive the world Building awareness of ways to adjust your own behavior when you enter a new culture The CW Model is adapted from the Windham International Model created by Michael S. Schell and Marian Stoltz-Loike, Ph.
It also is grounded in the work of respected sociologists and anthropologists, including Fons Trompenaars, Geert Hofstede, and Edward T.
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Hall, who are considered pioneers in the field. What Is Culture? What, then, is culture? Is it the way people act? Is it what they think? Is it what they believe? The answer to all three questions is yes. Culture is everything you see around you: the words people use, the food they eat, their clothes,. But thats only the surface: what is called visible culture. Its the stuff of travel guides and rst impressions. Figure illustrates that the part of a society that can be seen visible cultureis far smaller than what lies beneath the surface.
Figure Traditional iceberg model of visible and invisible culture. Experts use the iceberg analogy to describe this phenomenon. The part of the iceberg thats below the surfacewhats termed invisible cultureis far more powerful than the area of visible culture because you dont know what is there.
The only way to deal successfully with people from a different country is to be aware of whats going on beneath the surface and use that knowledge to shape your own behavior and expectations. If you dont understand that whats below the surface is far more powerful and potentially dangerous than what you can see, you run the risk of hitting the invisible part of the iceberg.
How can you begin to recognize cultural differences? The CW Model provides seven keys to help you navigate, which youll discover in Chapter 3. Culture: The visible and invisible values and beliefs that underlie behaviors and are unique to each society. Global mindset: The ability to recognize and adapt to cultural signals so that you intuitively see global opportunities and are effective in dealing with people from different backgrounds around the world.
Lessons Learned to Develop Your Cultural Skills The importance of creating a cultural integration plan as part of due diligence The ability to recognize the potential for cultural challenges before they materialize How culture denes work styles and priorities How the seven key dimensions contribute to a global mindset How the subtle and visible cultural signs are indicative of profound belief systems. You just nished a meeting with your German colleagues and cannot understand why they have scheduled three more planning sessions when you were ready to begin tackling the task at hand.
Within the context of the DaimlerChrysler situation, do you think that the corporate cultures or the national cultures played a bigger role? The DaimlerChrysler Merger. Ingrassia, chart on page 2. Jrgen Shrempp, quoted in Financial Times, October Donald L. Interview with Ray Wilhelm, January Dis-Assembly, The Economist, February 15, Edward T. All the white elephants in the kingdom belonged to the king, who would bestow them on his favored noblemen as a sign of honor. White elephants were considered sacred and therefore could not be worked. Since the noblemen had enough money and didnt have to worry about the cost of caring for the animals, they were greatly honored.
Thailand is a very hierarchical society in which people know their place and respect authority and power. In ancient times, there were many practices that reinforced the hierarchical structure of the society. The fable goes that when people reached beyond their station and pretended to have wealth and power they didnt really have, the king would bestow on them a white elephant, a gift they couldnt reject. However, they couldnt afford to own it. The white elephant would eat them out of house and home. Thus, the white elephanta symbol of status and powerwas also a way of maintaining the hierarchical cultural values of the country.
It was used to recognize status and keep people in their place lest they attempt to exceed their rightful status. Of course, in the United States white elephant has a very different meaning: something that squanders energy and resources while producing nothing. The cultural value of hierarchy and knowing ones place in society that affected the entire quality of life in Siam still exists in modern Thailand.
Although there are no princes distributing white elephants, there are many signals of culturally appropriate behaviors. Those signals are ashed to everyone but are read only by those who are alert to them. Similar fables exist in every society. You face similar symbolism whenever you interact with people from other cultures because they understand the symbols meaning and you dont. You must learn the. The journey begins when you recognize how deeply pervasive cultural values are. Cultures Core Learned and absorbed during the earliest stages of childhood; reinforced by literature, history, and religion; embodied by heroes; and expressed in instinctive values and views, culture is a powerful force that shapes thoughts and perceptions.
At the core is a nations geography, its climate, its mythologyelements that have fashioned its history and religious choices. Rising up out of those fundamentals is a complex web of values and beliefs, multilayered and intersecting, possibly woven with issues of race and class, and shaped by personality. Finally, on the surface, there is the product of those inuences: the way people actually behave.
This affects the way you perceive and judge events, the way you respond to and interpret them, and the way you communicate in both spoken and unspoken language. Culture, with all its implications, differs in each society. The differences may be profound or subtle; they may be obvious or invisible. Ever-present yet constantly changing, culture permeates the world and molds the way people construct reality. Businesses cant be separated from people and their cultural milieu. Understanding culturebeing sensitive to nuances and differences in people from country to countryis fundamental for success in the international marketplace.
As important as any other aspects of the business experience, an understanding of culture develops credibility, nurtures goodwill, inspires a workforce, and helps companies develop marketable products. It affects the way you develop and maintain relationships and plays a significant role in determining the characteristics to look for in selecting people, how to develop global talent, how to conduct meetings, how to manage employees, and how to work with teams. Understanding culture fundamentally. Culture Is Layered Culture is at the same time visible, hidden, and invisible see the gures on pages What makes culture learnable is that in many cases, the visible culture is a manifestation of the invisible and hidden values.
For example, bowing in Japan is indicative of hierarchical beliefs and the importance of good manners and protocol. At the other end of the spectrum, looking someone in the eye in the United States is a manifestation of an egalitarian mindset that sees everyone as equal, deserving the same level of respect as everyone else. Another visible sign of culture is the way people relate to time. The fact that someone is late to a meeting is a visible sign. In many societies, it connotes a deeper sense of uidity regarding time that indicates a belief that time is not under your control because other factors, such as interpersonal relationships, weather, and trafc, may prevent you from being on time.
It is impractical to try to control all those elements. The Layers of Culture Imagine culture as a cross-section of the earth. Figures and illustrate the different layers. Visible culture Figure includes dress, food, and customs, along with what people say and do, how they dress, how they speak, their architecture, their offices, and their behavioral customs. Hidden culture Figure includes the values, beliefs, and philosophy that dene the culture, such as attitudes toward time, communication, and religion and notions about good and evil.
The hidden layer is where you find the attitudes and values that have grown over time. Here, hidden from view, is where you nd the clues to the behavior you see around you: common attitudes and emotions that sit on top of long-standing beliefs and social codes that overlay deeper standards of thought and conduct. Getting to understand the hidden layers takes time, study, and observation.
Core culture is the invisible layer: the principles people take for granted see Figure Core or invisible culture harkens back to the essence of innermost beliefs about universal, nonnegotiable truths. Core culture is so deeply embedded that it is difcult to recognize. Here are the inuences absorbed since childhood: religious ideas and ideals,.
Culture is created by myriad factors such as history, religion, mythology, and the climate and geography of a country; it is made up of shared values and beliefs and forms the fundamental assumptions on which the whole society is built. Since no two countries have exactly the same inuences, national cultures always vary.
Geert Hofstede, the cultural anthropologist who first studied the impact of cultural differences on business behavior, said that if the brain is the hardware, culture is the software of the mind. Figure The invisible layer or core culture: the principles people take for granted and universal truths. Cultural anthropologists have described culture as a shared way of viewing the world or processing ideas. The rules and protocols of everyday life may uster you at rst, but these are things youll become uent in quickly. The CW Model Keep in mind the image of multilayered culture as you continue.
At the core are a nations geography, climate, and mythologyelements that. Rising from this foundation is a complex web of values and beliefs that result in behaviors and attitudes that you need to be able to read and understand. These values bubble to the surface to influence all kinds of behavior, from making eye contact to giving gifts, from the treatment of women and minorities to the size of the nameplate on your ofce door.
But how does that help you? Are you going to have to learn a long list of dos and donts that seem random and unrelated? Do you need to look up every potential situation in the index of a cultural rule book for every nationality? No, because culture isnt random.
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It consists of distinct and logical behavior patterns that you can identify and even measure. These patterns form the framework for analyzing culture, and once you understand that framework, you can use it to predict the way people will respond in a variety of situations. For example, if you know that maintaining harmony is an important virtue in India and some of your team members are from India, you can make educated guesses about how to bring up difcult subjects with them. If you have a colleague who is Swissa society in which communication is very direct and extremely briefyoull be less likely to take offense when that colleague is blunt with you.
Anthropologists have studied contemporary cultures in work-life settings. Theyve enabled us to make relatively reliable research-based conclusions about the behaviors we observe and what they mean as we move between cultures. Sometimes the models consist of several pairs of opposite characteristics that describe a continuum; other models measure a society as being high, medium, or low in certain dimensions. To study behavior and attitudes, researchers have measured all societies and come up with guidelines; thus, every society falls somewhere on the continuum.
For example, if direct communication is at one end of the dimension and indirect communication is at the other end, you will nd some cultures clustered at either end for example, Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands at one. The CW Model is a tool for businesspeople who need to understand their own behaviors as well as the people with whom they are working. Tailored to be easy to learn, it builds on familiar terms and experiences and is intended to be used in a mobile, ever-changing business world where global professionals travel from culture to culture, work on multicultural teams, and need a readily understandable working model.
It has been used as a core component in cross-cultural training and counseling programs for hundreds of expatriates and thousands of CultureWizard Web site users who need to understand and adjust to behavioral differences. Having a grasp of the CW Model is the master key to developing a global mindset. The Need to Generalize and the Risk of Stereotyping We all have colleagues and friends who may have similar backgrounds but who behave differently from us.
For example, you may show up at a meeting exactly on time, pen in hand and ready to get right down to business, whereas your partner may stand outside the door chatting with others and ignoring the clock on the wall. Youre both from the same culture and the same organization and even live in the same neighborhood, but you knowand frequently can seethat you are different from each other.
More about this later in the chapter. We need to create cultural generalizations to teach and learn culture, but keep this individuality in mind as you are reading this material. However, although two people from the same culture may have a different sense of building relationships versus being on time to a meeting in this example , there still is an accepted national norm. Although you may see yourself as being different from your partner, to people from other cultures both of you appear to approach things in a similar way.
In other words, if they are to learn about your culture, they have to generalize about your behaviors. Furthermore, there are subcultures within each national culture that have their own distinct values and beliefs. For example, a Texan and a New Yorker see themselves as extremely different from each other and in fact, when working together, they need to be aware of the cultural differences between them , but someone from another culture will see them as being quite similar and representative of American cultural values.
Hierarchy and egalitarianism 2. Group focus 3. Relationships 4. Communication styles 5. Time orientation 6. Change tolerance 7. Motivationwork-life balance. The following chapters will examine these seven cultural dimensions by identifying the surface behaviors you can see as well as what they mean to you. Using real-life business case studies, youll see the power of culture and the ability to make use of the understanding youll gain when you can decipher interrelated and complex cultural characteristics.
Taken together, these dimensions account for almost the entire spectrum of the behavior youll encounter see Figure Figure Recognizing cultural differences through a global mindset lter. What makes this process even more complicated is the fact that cultural behaviors are layered in multidimensional ways. On one level, you can look at cultures layers by nationality, but within any country there are subcultures that have distinguishably different values and behaviors.
Also, there are also personality differences and personal styles. The ability to read these behaviors and appreciate their impact is a skill you will gain on your way to acquiring a global mindset. As you learn about culture and its manifestations, youll learn to recognize, distinguish, and adjust in order to be productive and effective.
Youll nd it valuable to look at your own culture to give you a basis for comparison and make it easier to understand other cultures. One word of caution: As we describe these dimensions, they will seem distinct from each other, but as youll see from the case studies, many of the dimensions are interdependent. For example, a hierarchical culture such as Japans is more likely to be formal than informal and may show more of a tendency toward group interests than toward individual ones.
Finally, as you go through this section, remember that to be able to describe these traits, we make many generalizations, but as we cautioned before, beware. Everyone is an individual, and stereotypes can be misleading, let alone unfair and counterproductive. Personal Cultural Style No two people from a culture are exactly the same, so recognizing national characteristics isnt enough. You know from your own experience that individuals can be quite different from their national culture. Within every culture, individuals have their own personal styles and behavioral preferences that represent the diversity in that culture.
Therefore, although you need to make generalizations about behaviors in a specific country to learn about them, all people are different. To appreciate culture and diversity fully, its important to begin with an understanding of your own personal cultural style. Youll soon discover your Personal Cultural Profile. As you think about your. You also will recognize how people who share your cultural framework have their own personal preferences that are slightly different from yours.
For example, you and your business partner may both come from a high-time culture in which being late is inconsiderate, but you dont have the same anxiety about being on time. Personal cultural preferences are introduced into our lives by our families background, expectations, and behaviors. Fundamentally, theyre transmitted to us in the same way that societies transmit values: through the earliest childhood experiences and through the reactions people have to those experiences.
For example, if you come from a family that was very relationshipfocused and built long-lasting and long-standing relationships in which your parents had friends you knew for most of your life and people discussed at home how well they knew each other and how well they trusted each other, that becomes part of your intrinsic value system. You are relationship-oriented regardless of the society in which you grew up. These principles become part of your cultural value system and stay with you through adulthood. You intuitively integrate your personal cultural style into your daily interactions.
To add to the diversity, you and your siblings may have slightly different perceptions of the importance of relationships. In todays workplace, in which an intellectual contribution is the most important attribute people bring to work, its not just how fast you can type but how much wisdom you can communicate. Being able to develop a way for people with diverse personal styles and cultural backgrounds to make a maximum contribution is critical.
Similarly, if you want to be able to adapt to your colleagues and make the greatest contribution you can, it is extremely helpful to understand your personal cultural preferences and the inuence of your cultural background. Diversity is all about understanding and appreciating personal styles. An additional value of learning culture is that it enables you to transfer the knowledge youve gained about multicultural differences to your domestic workplace. There are three major requirements in this area: 1. You need to be nonjudgmental about behavioral styles and preferences.
In other words, your way is not necessarily the only way. You need to be aware that your preferences are culturally based. You need to be open to learning from your colleagues and environment and appreciating their potential contribution. Learning culture starts with learning about yourself, understanding that not everyone is like you, and realizing how those differences affect interpersonal interactions. The rst step is to discover your personal cultural style. We call it your Personal Cultural Prole.
It consists of 35 questions in seven parts Figures a through g and will give you the opportunity to start discovering more about yourself. In later chapters, youll be able to see a picture of your personal tendencies compared with the cultural attributes of your home country. Then calculate a total score by adding up your answers to all the questions. Next, check the box that corresponds to your score on the scale below. This will be a reection of your personal profile on that cultural dimension. You will be using these numbers in the following chapters and compiling your complete Personal Cultural Prole in Chapter Hidden culture: The middle layer of culture: the values, beliefs, and philosophy that dene a culture, such as attitudes toward time, communication, and religion and notions about good and evil.
Core culture: The invisible layer, the principles people take for granted. Core or invisible culture harkens back to the essence of peoples innermost beliefs about universal, nonnegotiable truths that were learned in childhood and retold generation after generation. Stereotyping: The American Heritage Dictionary denes a stereotype as: a conventional, formulaic, and oversimplied conception, opinion, or image. Our denition continues as follows: When teaching culture, it is necessary to create generalizations because they provide a handy way to dene a nationally based behavioral pattern.
These descriptions should be treated as generalizations but remember that all people are different. Personal cultural style: Even though national cultures create behavioral standards, individuals are unique, and their behavior varies from the national norm. Understanding what your personal cultural preferences are helps you realize the differences between you and others.
Personal Cultural Prole: A prole of your specic preferences. Diversity: Generally refers to different personal styles, behaviors, values, and subcultures. Lessons Learned to Develop Your Cultural Skills The layers of culture The risk of generalization and stereotyping The seven key dimensions of the CW Model The concept of personal cultural style and the impact of diversity. Think about the three or four cultural dimensions that you believe are the most crucial to understand. Why do you think its important to position yourself on the CW Model scale? Robert J.
House, Paul J. Hanges, Mansour Javidan, Peter W. Background to the Seven Key Dimensions For years, researchers have been theorizing about what makes cultures different in terms of beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors and have come to a consensus see Chapters 2 and 3.
We believe that when you work across cultures, the best way to begin to understand values and attitudes is to watch for easily recognizable behaviors that give you clues to the deeper belief system that drives a society. We have created the CW Model, an easy-to-understand cultural template that focuses on seven distinct characteristics commonly referred to as cultural dimensions. These are the seven keys. The CW Model is a tool for businesspeople who need to understand their own behaviors as well as those of the people with whom theyre working. Part III gives you insight into the seven dimensions of the CW Model: hierarchy and egalitarianism, group focus, relationships, communication styles, time orientation, change tolerance, and motivationwork-life balance.
Group Focus Whether people see accomplishment and responsibility as achieved through individual effort or collective effort and whether they identify themselves as individuals or as members of a group. Relationships The importance and time devoted to building relationships and developing trust and whether trust and relationships are viewed as a prerequisite for working with someone.
Communication Styles The way societies communicate, including the use of verbal and nonverbal expression, the amount of background information people need for understanding, and how directly bluntly or indirectly people speak. It also refers to whether brevity or detail is valued in a communication. Time Orientation The degree to which people believe they can control time and adhere to schedules or whether schedules are seen as deadlines or estimates. It also includes whether schedules or people are more important.
Change Tolerance The perception of how much control people think they have over their lives and destiny and their comfort with change, risk taking, and innovation. It had developed a business and customer service model that seemed to defy geography and appeared to be accepted internationally. Germany was a good choice, Wal-Mart executives thought. After all, everyone knows that Germans love good bargains and are meticulous, careful shoppers. In addition, Germany was one of the worlds largest economies, had a good-sized and relatively afuent population, and already had embraced two major comparable discount competitors that management felt had paved the way for the business to enter the market.
Thus, the German expansion was bound to succeed. Of course, the Wal-Mart management, marketing, and customer service philosophy would be decidedly American in style. In other words, it would be extremely informal, friendly, and egalitarian. This was the formula that had made Wal-Mart the worlds largest retailer, and there was no reason to doubt it. Senior managers strongly believed that its rah-rah, cheerleader management style was a winner.
In addition, Wal-Mart executives believed that since most Germans had a good grasp of English, the company could transport its corporate culture efciently. They would send a man who successfully had managed stores from the companys small-town-America headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, to run the new German operations. Never mind that he couldnt speak German. Never mind that that he required his store managers to work using English. The strategy couldnt fail. As it turned out, he would become the rst of four CEOs in four years.
The company considered itself fortunate to acquire a full workforce with complete operating facilities. To make them Wal-Mart stores, they just needed to have the employees switch uniforms by donning blue Wal-Mart aprons and get some training in their friendly, helpful customer service style. To the American mind, they had a full, ready-to-go workforce, and with some additional training in the Wal-Mart service philosophy, the new team would be ready to go.
With their bright new aprons and some preparation, the former Wertkauf and Interspar German employeesnow being addressed mostly in Englishcame to the morning preopening ceremony at which their managers would lead them in the Wal-Mart cheer. When the doors opened, smiling greeters would welcome German customers as they entered the store.
Enthusiastic staff would help shoppers nd what they wanted from the dizzying variety of products ranging from produce to televisions. Fast-forward to July 28, It was the second such failure in two months, coming on the heels of the companys exit from South Korea.
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Analysts said that beyond the huge monetary loss, it was an enormous strategic disappointment because Wal-Mart would have been able to use success in Germany to pave the way for entry into. It was a big blunder. Could it be that ethnocentrism and cultural ignorance played a role along with the structural business elements, such as severely restrictive zoning, pricing, and operational codes? Wal-Marts navet about doing business in Germany was exacerbated by its failure to plan for cultural differences.
It wasnt just one cultural misadventure, either, but constant culture clashes that turned the Wal-Mart smiley face that had been so successful in North America into a grimace. Remember those smiling greeters? Well, look at them from the German point of view. Everyone knows that Germany is a very formal, hierarchical society in which individuals reserve smiles for people they know.
The Wal-Mart smiles that are effective in an egalitarian, informal culture were viewed by German customers as intrusive and presumptuous. In fact, many young women walking into the Wal-Mart stores thought the greeters were irting with them. Others complained that strangers in the store were harassing them while they were shopping, although those people were staffers trying to help customers locate what they needed.
Having their leaders, whom Germans regard with some deference, orchestrating the embarrassing cheers made it worse. German workers see their bosses as having a more dignied role. In that hierarchical society, leaders are expected to demonstrate leadership by an upward connection, not a downward one. They are expected to dress in a somewhat more upscale way and show the trappings of power and authority. Thus, not only were the cheers out of place for the German workplace, but they put leaders into a role that Germans couldnt respect.
There were other cultural human resources bloopers as well. For example, Wal-Marts prohibition of romantic encounters between employees and supervisors was particularly offensive to the Germans, who brought a lawsuit against the retailer to lift that dating prohibition. Those works councils are formally independent of unions but work closely with them. They are the vehicle by which German workers participate with management in a spirit of mutual trust to ensure maximum workplace efciency, and everyone knows that efciency is a value that the German society holds dear.
Wal-Marts lack of appreciation of the role of the works councils eventually led the local union to organize a walkout in 30 stores that created bad publicity. It discovered that Germans will go from store to store to take advantage of the lowest prices as opposed to the American preference for one-stop shopping. Other Wal-Mart practices, such as having clerks bag purchases, were unexpected and unwanted by German customers.
Franck Andreutti, a human resources manager in an American multinational corporation, working in Frankfurt, Germany, described the smiling German phenomenon:While Americans pride themselves on being overtly friendly to everyone, that friendliness is misperceived in cultures that reserve warm greetings for friends. For example, when shopping in the United States, a clerk will ask,How are you doing today? Franck explained that this is seen as intrusive: If youre sincere and honest and give a complete answer like, I am feeling ill today, the American shop clerk is surprised and cant handle the situation.
Its not what they expect. Although Americans are extremely friendly and polite, Europeans view this behavior as intrusive and superficial. Asking the question, How are you doing? They should have more respect for position rather than assume they can ask such an impertinent question. Franck also pointed out that these were the same German employees who had represented the companies that Wal-Mart had taken over. Trading the Wertkauf or Interspar jackets for the Wal-Mart apron didnt mean that their cultural values had changed as well. Whats more, when Franck shopped in Wal-Mart, he was keenly aware that the product line had changed and he could no longer nd the same local produce and products hed previously found in that store.
This change in product line also underscored foreign and unfamiliar. Clearly, there were many cultural challenges that Wal-Mart faced in Germany, but differences in attitudes toward hierarchy and egalitarianism were perhaps the most problematic. It is also ones relationship to power and authority. Are people in authority better or have they earned that status by merit, and is it open to others with the same degree of effort? Keep in mind that even subtle differences can manifest themselves in profound ways.
Using Figure , transfer your score on this dimension from the survey in Chapter 3 Figure Compare your personal preferences to the Country Rankings in Figure to see where you are on this scale. Youll be using these scores to compile your complete Personal Cultural Prole in Chapter How Can You See Hierarchy?
In hierarchical societies, social and organizational structures are stratied, with fairly dened ways for people to interact with one another. People in positions of authority are treated with formality, respect, and deference. Titles are often important, and a chain of command is adhered to. In hierarchical cultures, the role of the leader may be authoritative, even paternalistic, and people look for direction from their leaders.
At the other end of the continuum, egalitarian societies have few stated barriers to opportunity and personal achievement. Authority is earned. Egalitarian societies tend to be more casual, open, and fluid, believing that individuals should have equal access to opportunities and all people should be treated with the same amount of respect. In egalitarian societies, the business manager is viewed as a coach who provides the resources and motivation to realize individual potential. Managers empower employees to make decisions, and the employees are expected to take the initiative.
In these societies, such as Canada, Australia, and the United States See Figure , anyone can aspire to be the head of a multimillion-dollar business or attain preeminence in a career of his or her choice. Children are raised with rags-to-riches stories, and the culture encourages achievement regardless of ones economic origins. Americans, for example, can recount tales of individuals who overcame meager or modest beginnings to attain great status or power: Abraham Lincoln, Jack Welch, and Barack Obama, to name a few. These gures become the heroes of society and serve as proof that success isnt reserved for those in a specic social class.
However, in hierarchical cultures such as India, social ranking is somewhat xed by birth, and family status plays a role in how much one can accomplish in the future. These societies have a different set of heroes and stories. They believe that people not only should make the best of their station but should dignify their position by accepting their rank. In hierarchical societies, individuals demonstrate their status by the. They limit social interaction to people of similar status and show deference to power and authority. Egalitarian societies often intentionally blur status distinctions.
For example, in the Netherlands, individuals are viewed as equals regardless of the work they do. Its not unusual for a plumber who is repairing a faucet in a Dutch household to be invited to have a cup of tea with the owner of the house before embarking on any work. Contrast that to household helpers in Indonesia, who are conned to the wet kitchen and would never dream of entering the home itself.
These behaviors are based on long-standing beliefs, and even with globalization, the Internet, and mass communication, they change slowly. Ask any businessperson who works frequently with Japanese people, and he or she will tell you that rank can be a factor even in seating positions at a conference table. Consider a business meeting in Japan at which Americans and Japanese were having their first gathering.
The meeting was about to start when Jack, the midlevel operations guy in a small U. He changed seats with another person on the team. To the Americans surprise, the Japanese team rearranged themselves so that the person originally sitting opposite Jack moved to the end of the table as well. It didnt take the Americans long to realize that they were sitting across from a person of similar stature on the Japanese team. Of course, in todays world of business, globalization has modied many cultural values and continues to do so.
It appears that attitudes toward hierarchy are one of the ones that are in flux. Egalitarian bias has become a standard of the global corporation, and successful businesses think of themselves as being meritocracies, promoting and rewarding the best and brightest rather than favoring seniority or the historically privileged.
RW3 is an online cross-cultural training firm that provides cultural resources, assessments, and virtual global team training. One of the cultural surveys asks global team members to answer questions to gauge hierarchical and egalitarian preferences so that team members can learn how to interact with others who may be different from themselves.
As you can see in Figure , the team would face significant challenges in this area. However, in this company the Saudis knew that the corporate culture favored egalitarian principles, and they ranked themselves as being as egalitarian as the others on the team. Although cultural values are deeply ingrained and dont change easily, globalization has brought with it certain behavioral standards, one of which is promoting on merit, which is obviously a corporate culture value that everyone on the team realized it would be important.
However, the team members quickly realized that even though the Saudis and the Dutch both considered themselves to be individually egalitarian, they had very different approaches.