Organizational Case Analysis
Cross-Cultural Organizational Case Analysis
1.)Create a cross-cultural case study.
2.)The assessment you need to write a 2200 word individual report based upon a cross-cultural case study.
1.)You need to analyse the case study and assess and explore the cross-cultural issues and problems the organisation is facing, and produce recommendations and an action plan to be put in place to improve the current situation.
2.)The structure of your work should include the following:
Main body of discussion including critical analysis and evaluations
Cross-Cultural Organizational Case Analysis
Organizations have a new dispensation of challenges emanating from the globalization phenomenon. This is colloquially being termed as the world being rendered a “global village”. People who were in the pas separated by space and time now find themselves interacting with closer proximity than it had been ever been imagined centuries before. This also means that cultural intermingling has become a norm to content with. However, this has brought certain multicultural realities and issues that organizations are grappling too adapt to. Organizations are now attracting employees that are drawn from the rather culturally jumbled world of today. It is not necessary to evaluate whether this is a blessing or curse to organizational behavior management but it obviously brings issues that are experienced in form of difficulties for managers and diverse teams. The way language is used and connoted is not understood homogenously, gestures and other communicative cues that are adopted spell major multicultural problems that hamper employee motivation, satisfaction, and team building. Using a case study of organizational multicultural issues, it will be easier to appreciate that the cross-cultural discussion in organizations run deeper and have greater implications on people, processes and performance in the workplace than has been appreciated.
In this scenario, miscommunication in multicultural teams points to the impact of culture on the personality and behavior of people and how they express themselves. Sandeep is newly hired to the Indian Bangalore office of MNC whose headquarters are situated in New York. Sandeep has however to be in US for 3 months of training and is assigned to a team composed of members based in Tokyo, New York, and his hired station of Bangalore. The project manager at the headquarters in New York, Sarah, schedules a teleconference meeting for Tuesday. The time coincides with the time when Sandeep will be travelling to get his US visa in Delhi. A record of the conversation is as follows:
Sarah: is it convenient to hold the teleconference as scheduled, or we can push it forward until you return from Delhi?
Sandeep: We had better wait, although if it must be done I can do if you like – if it’s necessary.
Sarah: How do you want to have it, we postpone? I need a yes or no.
This conversation points to some influences that are most likely of the cultural nature impacting on communication. It is possible that based on the answers being given by Sandeep, Sarah may develop certain attitudes or preconceptions about the new employee. Conversely, is it possible that Sandeep already has attitudes or preconceptions of the cultural nature that influence the ambiguity of his responses? This elicits a cross-cultural study for this organization to evaluate the issues that are being experienced as a result of cultural mixing.
Analysis of the case
Hoftede proposed a set of dimensions, four n number, that influence the manifestation or exhibition of natural cultural differences. They are Individualism/collectivism, Power-distance, uncertainty avoidance, and masculinity/femininity (Bird & Mendenhall, 2016). These dimensions offer the lenses within which the case scenario can be analyzed and the type of behavior and communication playing out explained. In essence, the dimensions simply depict how employees, or people in a team of cultural diversity perceive themselves, let their personality dispositions or cultural identity impact on how they try to control the environment or how they let themselves be controlled. A detailed analysis of three dimensions with respect to the scenario follows.
The individualism/collectivism dimension focuses on how much the behavior or actions of a person are based on cherishing self-determination (Rozkwitalska & Basinska, 2015). This is as opposed to propensity to conform to the will of a group or complying with institutional expectations. In this situation, Sandeep seems to be torn between the two. He is offered with a choice to make, one of acting based on what he determines as the convenient course of action to him given his engagements and the other to have an organizational activity work for the team. However, he does not come out as sure on what course of action is best for him or the group. The failure to determine the best choice for himself or the teleconference team is an indication that he culturally has been raised to cede decision making to an authority outside of himself. On the other hand, Sarah has a cultural predisposition that sets her to expect that members in the team she is coordinating can be able to determine the best course of action with respect to their engagements so as to have the teleconference set for a time convenient to all. She however does not demonstrate the multicultural awareness of the fact that Sandeep has been hails from a different cultural background that set her up to approach situations almost indecisively. It shows that managers in organizations need to be able to culturally understand the culturally predisposition of the teams under them (Chevrier, 2003). Otherwise, the manager may end up exhibiting poor judgment. Sarah needed to use the information that Sandeep gave him concerning his travel to Delhi to determine the way forward without having to roll the decision to either maintain the schedule or postpone it.
The dimension of power-distance reflects the extent of involvement in decision making or motivation to do that by employees (Boyacigiller et al., 2004). An organization can offer a low power-distance work environment which helps to integrate employees in decision making. In this scenario, the question is whether the organization offers such motivation for employee participation. One wonders if the teleconference arose from the blues and got some of the team members impromptu. That could explain the fact that they already had other engagements scheduled for the time coincidental with the teleconference. It would be important that events are communicated to a team especially a multicultural one in order for them to internalize and interact with the information and adjust accordingly to them (Boyacigiller et al., 2004). The vagueness of Sandeep could be a mere show of unwillingness to cooperate without having to be resistant. From the sound of him, he will not even participate in the teleconference because he shares in the necessity of it, but will do it only if the project manager prevails on him as only Sara understands if it is really necessary to have the teleconference. The communication and involvement channels of the organization also come into question here minding that hey dealing with a culturally diverse team of employees. The organization needs to know how to bring employees on board to support activities and share in their importance even as they prevail on them to participate. Bird & Mendenhall (2016) assert that if an organization does not have channels of keeping employees involved in processes, they are made to behave in certain ways with clear expectations that decisions will always be made for them. This appears to be the exact situation for the scenario where from the appearance of it, Sandeep is just vague and knows it well that he is and the project manager will just have to decide on their own based on the facts before her.
There is the masculinity/femininity dimension that plays out here as well. This is especially bearing in mind that the people communicating here are a woman in a powerful position over the man. Sandeep has a background in a culture that besides adhering to traditional hierarchy also has the caste system. In DesAutels’ et al description (2015), when an organization has people who come from such cultures, it faces the challenge of respecting authority. As such, Sandeep may just be perpetuating the inter-gender relations of the culture that bred him. He does not feel like he has to come clear because after all, he is talking to a woman. On the other hand, Sarah needs to have the preparedness of meeting conservative employees who profile people based on their gender. This way, she would have talked to Sandeep in a manner that does not make her feel he is behavior is directed at her gender. Sandeep is probably not accustomed to a woman coming across assertive on men or trying to exert authority on them. This is not just limited to Sandeep and his culture alone but to many cultures around the world that are patriarchal. It means that even the women in supervisory and management positions need to understand that things are not just as plain as it is thought. It requires that general acquisition of multicultural skills and competencies be prioritized in the organization. The issue here is that the behavior of employees is not predictable since many people usually retreat to their cultural cocoons when they experience shock.
Cross cultural issues can be handles by taking various steps. Some of the steps entail being able to look at the practices, communication channels and processes within the organization more keenly. This is because they may be the ones playing host to the flourishing of cultural insensitivity or making it difficult to diffuse the cultural barriers that hamper operations, mobilization and harmonize organizational behavior
- Understanding the diversity patterns within the organization: this is the first step in addressing culturally diverse teams. Some of the line of diversity include religion, ideological and even theoretical principles. This are the ones that are the basis of the value system that informs the thought, response and behavior patterns of people (DesAutels et al., 2015). This understanding may be the beginning of understanding why people within the same working environment may behave differently from how it is expected. Otherwise, problems may never be connected to their causative factors.
- The organization should encourage open-minded interactions based on the cultivation of non-judgmental preconceptions of others. This is by confronting the cultural diversity issue and accepting it as a reality. According to Downey et al. (2015), the organization can arrange for programs that are meant to create a culturally sensitive platform that respects people’s cultural orientations while at the same time modifying them by mapping out negative ones. This will help managers be able to avoid frustrations and avoid anger when they are confronted with peculiar behavioral manifestations and understand that they have the ability to influence them or even cope.
- Understanding how to motivate a team that is culturally diverse is also essential. This is because a certain practice of motivating employees is a subscription to a certain ideological or theoretical principle which is of a particular culture. Kapur & Janakiram (2015) warn that it may be demotivating to someone who does not subscribe to the same type of thinking. Organizations usually tailor and maintain a system of rewarding and motivating that reflects the cultural circumstances of the environment in which it exists (Kapur & Janakiram, 2015). The same cannot be extended to settings that are outside of the native location of the organization. Doing this will always lead to confrontation, employee de-motivation and problems in performance and interrelations.
- The organization should create efficiency in the culture and operations. This is by saving on the time spent sorting ambiguities that result from cultural diversity such as the ones in the in the communication in the scenario. As Boyacigiller et al. (2004) suggest, a strong organizational culture should have the power of enculturating people to slowly adopt to its value system that is deterrent of negative influences of the individual cultures from which employees emanate. Time spent on handling misunderstandings has to be reduced and this will make cultural diversity stop being a conspicuous and self-perpetuating problem and mete it a slow death.
The organization first needs to diagnose the cultural landscape within it. Understanding the extent of diversity and even profiling it is necessary. The way to do this is to assign a taskforce of people who have the most extensive understanding of the structures, systems and people factor of the organization to evaluate the cultural context of the organization. They should then compile a report detailing the various lines of cultural diversity which includes the estimated effects of the diversity phenomena on the processes, systems and interactions among people within the organization (Soderberg & Holden, 2002). They should then draw a recommendation of the plan of change that has to be undertaken to fine tune the environment with respect to the findings. This should include identifying the people to be involved, specifying any adjustments to processes or systems such as can be the case in human resource or performance management functions. Besides this, it should specify if any induction programs that have to be tailored to help tighten multicultural awareness (Soderberg & Holden, 2002). The target groups or employees, managers or supervisors should be specified in order to avoid a blanket approach to handing the issue. The indicators of multicultural enshrinement into the organizational culture also have to be determined as they will form the basis of evaluation of the action plan.
are now grappling with the cultural diversity realities that are being
exhibited in the various organizational issues and problems they are
experiencing. However, some organizations have not fully woke up to confront
these realities and are addressing the issues and problems of culture
symptomatically rather than comprehensively. This is why understanding the
problems that cultural diversity has caused in the systems, interactions and
performance has to be understood. This is because this could help in solving
many other workplace issues that are experienced by managers. Non-compliance,
defiance to authority and general lack of cooperation are largely issues that
veer into the quarters of cultural diversity. It is about time that cultural
issues and problems were diagnosed comprehensively and confronted as
organizational realities. The case scenario and the dimensions postulated by
Hoftede offer a lenses of magnifying the cultural realities in organizational
problems and the various management challenges that many organizations continue
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