Intercultural Management in Practice

Cover of Intercultural Management in Practice

Learning to Lead Diverse Global Organizations

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Synopsis

Table of contents

(18 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xviii
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Abstract

Pervasive forms of worldwide communication now connect us instantly and constantly, and yet we all too often fail to understand each other. Rather than benefiting from our globally interconnected reality, the world continues to fall back on divisiveness, a widening schism exacerbated by some of the most pronounced divisions in history along lines of wealth, culture, religion, ideology, class, gender, and race. Cross-cultural dynamics are rife within multinational organizations and among people who regularly work with people from other cultures. This chapter reviews what we know from our scholarship on cross-cultural interaction among expatriates, negotiators, and teams that work in international contexts. Perhaps more important, this chapter outlines what we need to learn – and to unlearn – to be able to see diversity as an asset in helping individuals, organizations, and society to succeed rather than continuing to understand it primarily as a source of problems.

Abstract

How do you sell a Norwegian invention, Cheese in a Tube, to a world used to cheese coming as a block or in slices? This is something Kavli has succeeded in doing despite established cultural norms for cheese and related food products. Adapting to new cultural environments requires a reexamination of the market mix and positioning of the product, especially when the product has a strong home country cultural specificity. More distant markets have different preferences and environments and may require some degree of adaptation of the firm's marketing mix. The capacity of the firm to adapt to these differences and to respond to this challenge can make the difference for the future survival and long-term success of the firm.

Abstract

Theory is not only good for predicting behaviors but also for understanding a phenomenon. Twelve theoretical insights are presented in this chapter. These insights have bearing on intercultural dialogue not only when we go from our own culture to another but also when we interact with people who are different from us in our own culture (in terms of race, gender, sexual preference, ability or disability, social class, profession, and so forth). The first seven insights (universality of ethnocentrism, ethnocentrism of universalism, motivated reasoning, false consensus effect, fundamental attribution error, fixed and growth mindsets, and well-meaning conflicts) refer to issues that affect all intercultural interactions, and learning about them and guarding against them can improve intercultural dialogue. The next five insights (making isomorphic attribution, managing disconfirmed expectations, learning how to learn, moving from unconscious incompetence to mindful competence, and developing organizationally relevant cross-cultural skills) refer to skills that are grounded in theory that can facilitate skill development for intercultural dialogue.

Abstract

Telework – the practice of allowing employees to work in locations other than traditional workplaces – has had a roller-coaster ride since the early 1970s, when it was argued that home-based networked computers would enable employees to work remotely and, thus, outdate the old factory–style model of corporate life. It was assumed that telework, or telecommuting, would be widely accepted and indeed it was much sought after by employees, particularly by women; but management fears of, and resistance to the practice – for a variety of reasons – meant that by 2019 in the United Kingdom, for example, only 5% of the labor force worked mainly from home.

The chapter summarizes the history of telecommuting, discusses the reasons for employers' and managers' refusal to allow it, and how the crisis of Covid-19 may have persuaded managers worldwide – with government support – to implement and improve the entire practice of working from home as a permanent aspect of workplace diversity.

Abstract

The integration of refugees into the labor market and society is widely seen as one of the most profound challenges of our times and many support initiatives are underway to help refugees enter the labor market and the new society. This chapter explores the role of intermediary figures who are at home in more than one cultural context and mediate and support others in bridging cultural boundaries, so-called culture brokers, in these efforts. It deals with how cultural brokering is enacted as part of labor market integration support efforts for refugees and explores the potential consequences of such organizing efforts for the refugees targeted as well as the organizers. The chapter argues that the success or failure of culture brokering is better understood as the result of the actions of the many actors involved in organizing than as being dependent on the skills, attributes and experiences of the individual culture broker. It draws on observations from a qualitative field study undertaken between 2017 and 2019 of two integration support initiatives in Gothenburg, Sweden's second largest city.

Abstract

Employing expatriates who share an ethnicity with host country employees (HCEs) is a widespread expatriate selection strategy. However, little research has compared how expatriates and HCEs perceive this shared ethnicity. Drawing upon an identity perspective, we propose HCEs' ethnic identity confirmation, the level of agreement between how an HCE views the importance of his/her own ethnic identity and how expatriates view the importance of the HCE's ethnic identity, affects HCEs' attitudes toward ethnically similar expatriates. Results of two experiments show that HCEs' ethnic identity confirmation is related to HCEs' perception of expatriates' trustworthiness and knowledge-sharing intention.

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the design of culturally appropriate training and development (T&D) strategies for enhancing the performance of employees and organizations, using a learning style approach. We provide an example of African countries and use the results of a review of studies on African cultural values and management to discuss learning styles and T&D. The underlying premise is that T&D strategies are only effective when they are designed to fit with the cultural context. Based on Experiential Learning Theory (ELT, Kolb, 1984; 2014), the chapter reviews the Kolb (1984, 2014) learning model as a basis for designing T&D programs and applies this model using the African results. Given the limited number of studies on Kolb's learning styles cross-culturally, we suggest avenues for further research.

Abstract

Australia is one of the “people scarce” countries which make efforts to invite skilled immigrants from more “people abundant” countries. The existence of legislation, as well as organizational policies and mission statements on equity, nondiscrimination, and cultural diversity, does not mean that exclusionary practices do not take place both while hiring and after employment. With the increasing diversity in the work environment, Australian organizations need to make proper adjustments regarding worker's interests and needs, and to make sure the work environment is equitable and inclusive. A culture which encourages exclusion is likely to harm organizational outcomes including group effectiveness, motivation, and job satisfaction.

Abstract

To address the grand challenge of refugee workforce integration, a multistakeholder approach which incorporates contributions from governmental organizations, nongovernmental organizations, media, educational institutions, researchers, and the corporate sector, is vital. This chapter provides an overarching understanding of how various stakeholders influence refugee integration and how they can assist employers in promoting the cause.

Abstract

In response to the somewhat paradoxical combination of increasing diversity in the global workforce and the resurgence of nationalism in an era of global mobility, this chapter aims to uncover how employees on international assignments respond to exposure to new cultures. Specifically, the study aims to explicate the underlying psychological mechanisms linking expatriates' monocultural, multicultural, global, and cosmopolitan identity negotiation strategies with their responses toward the host culture by drawing upon exclusionary and integrative reactions theory in cross-cultural psychology. This conceptual chapter draws on the perspective of exclusionary versus integrative reactions toward foreign cultures – a perspective rooted in cross-cultural psychology research – to categorize expatriates' responses toward the host culture. More specifically, the study elaborates how two primary activators of expatriates' responses toward the host culture – the salience of home-culture identity and a cultural learning mindset – explain the relationship between cultural identity negotiation strategies and expatriates' exclusionary and integrative responses. The following metaphors for these different types of cultural identity negotiation strategies are introduced: “ostrich” (monocultural strategy), “frog” (multicultural strategy), “bird” (global strategy), and “lizard” (cosmopolitan strategy). The proposed dynamic framework of cultural identity negotiation strategies illustrates the sophisticated nature of expatriates' responses to new cultures. This chapter also emphasizes that cross-cultural training tempering expatriates' exclusionary reactions and encouraging integrative reactions is crucial for more effective expatriation in a multicultural work environment.

Abstract

We examine dominant identity requirements of cross-cultural management (CCM) in complex organizational settings. In particular, we highlight how the norm of “being mobile” as an expression of “being committed” advantages male and single individuals, the holders of a “favourable” passport, and those expressing “individualist” cultural orientations. Out of this follows the need for a power-sensitive CCM.

Abstract

This chapter contributes to building empirical evidence in the field of positive intercultural management (PIM) of new technological changes and diversity in transnational organizational settings. Findings from a study conducted at a transnational engineering company are presented, showing how managers manage technological innovation in the organization through PIM and leadership. A Four-Stage I4.0 Management Model is proposed.

Abstract

This chapter focuses on transforming cross-cultural conflict and misunderstanding into a learning opportunity, using a case study to illustrate an approach that has proven effective in tens of thousands of conflicts. This approach surfaces cultural values and approaches to work, toward improving intercultural management practices. It also supports employees to resolve their issues themselves, toward more sustainable solutions.

Abstract

Cultural dimensions studies can limit managers' ability to overcome challenges within international teams as they perpetuate stereotypical perceptions based on nationality. Instead, managers can use identity theory to build a team culture based on interpersonal awareness in which team members view their colleagues as fully realized and predictable individuals.

Abstract

The business leaders of today need guidance for managing virtual teams more than ever before. This chapter sets out the case for transforming businesses into virtual communities, with 10 key practical strategies designed to help global business leaders manage their increasingly dispersed and diverse virtual teams.

References

Pages 213-260
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Index

Pages 261-267
Content available
Cover of Intercultural Management in Practice
DOI
10.1108/9781839828263
Publication date
2021-08-16
Editors
ISBN
978-1-83982-827-0
eISBN
978-1-83982-826-3