Management Practice Essay
When it comes to the global economy, cross cultural awareness plays an important role. The CEO of Yu Beer must first understand what cross cultural awareness is so that she has an insight of how business is in UK. Her initiative to learn first about cultural awareness is the right step at the beginning of the business in a different country. She will know what actions to take if she might encounter resistance from the locals in Birmingham. Or she will know what further improvements to incorporate if the locals show interest in Yu Beer.
Adams (1995) says that cultural awareness involves sensitivity to and understanding of other ethnic groups. This means that there must be changes in the attitudes and values of a person. Moreover, Adams says that sensitivity and understanding involve openness and flexibility that people build up towards others. Cultural awareness must be partnered with cultural knowledge. To better understand cross cultural awareness, first, one has to understand himself and his cultural background. But this is not easy if one does not spend time in a culture different from his.
He will only take for granted the values, the history, and everything else. That’s why it is very important
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Moreover, a person finds it difficult if he is faced with values that are contradicting and the ones he has are very important for him. Moreover, cross cultural awareness enables a person to self-reflect and accept others and their lifestyles and value orientations. This leads to intercultural sensitivity, which then leads to an ethnorelativistic perspective (World Congress 2006). Cross cultural awareness is important in discovering and understanding another culture. One should be very familiar with the dos and don’ts and the interests in a different culture.
The staff of Yu Beer must bear these in mind as this is essential in establishing a business in a different country. Management Practice: China vs. UK There are four cultural types of profiles in management practice in China. These are the following: village market, well oiled machine, family or tribe and pyramid of people. The pyramid of people, which probably originated from the Social Pyramid in Egypt, shows the status of each social group in a society. It includes all the persons you have contact with and is about social relationships. Another culture type of profile is well oiled machine.
As the phrase implies, it’s like a machine that runs in a smooth way that the members continue to desire joyfully to do all the necessary work just to keep the heavy and complicated machine running smoothly the way it always has (Hesiak 2007). The family or tribe, which is another cultural type of profile, is one aspect that the Chinese give importance to. Chinese families are close-knit, and loyalty matters. For the Birmingham Chinese, the roles of the mother and the father are segregated and defined. They still believe that man is responsible for providing for his family by working while the woman takes care of the children and the house.
According to Hoffman, Hurst and Mosher (2004), tribe is an alternative meaning for family. The word family has many definitions and alternatives such as nuclear family, offspring, dynasty, or clan, or those who reside in a household. A company that targets the family, the Chinese in Birmingham, in particular, for products or services has more competitive advantage since Yu Beer is popular with the culture. UK has the same cultural types of profiles. In comparison, the village markets in UK are constantly moving (Hemscott Group Limited 2007). Moreover, most markets in UK are considered villages.
They are characterized as busier and larger. The type that is most similar to China is the family or tribe. The family or tribe in China is characterized as centralized, loyal, paternalistic, generalist and exhibits strong social roles. These make the Chinese relationship-oriented. Relations orientation is about fostering good relations with the workers. Relations orientation is appropriate when a particular situation is favorable or certain. The management team can gain competitive advantage when they focus on this cultural type. Since the Chinese give importance to the concept of family, it is a good start for business.
This orientation is developed by assimilating ideas from important people such as parents and close friends. It is also based on the process of reflective validation that aims to protect and improve close relationships (World Congress 2006). However, relations orientation is not appropriate in uncertain situations since the leader-member relations are weak, the task is unstructured and the position power is weak. Sometimes, the leader who emerges does not know his subordinates in a personal level. Another disadvantage of relations orientation is that if the leader becomes considerate, he might waste much time.
On the other hand, the type that is most similar to UK is the village market. It has more delegation, is decentralized, is flexible and generalist. In the present time, most of the marketplaces are advancing globally, but companies become aware of the differences such as language, legal requirements, distribution channels and cultural tastes in the national level (Monterey Institute of International Studies 2006). Task orientation is usually associated with village markets. More often, independent self-concept leads to task-orientation behavior (Oetzel 2000; Hamdorf 2003). Being task-oriented means a highly-structured leadership.
Moreover, if the management supports the leader’s decisions, his position power is strong. A task-oriented leader also makes sure that the workers perform their jobs. Being task-oriented has much more competitive advantage since it is the characteristic of the UK culture. The managers can concentrate on handing out specific tasks to specific individuals. Moreover, a task-oriented leadership means it is highly structured. The managers can gain the support of the whole management in their decisions. Internal problems such as unfair treatment of employees will be avoided if task orientation is observed.
The Yu Beer can gain competitive advantage by being task-oriented in its approach. Since the company will bring the Yu Beer in the local setting, the managers must consider localization services and thus set up globalization/localization units. In localization, language, operations, products, marketing and strategies are adapted based on an understanding of the foreign market and the global competitive landscape. A company which subscribes to this understanding has better chances of succeeding in its ventures internationally. Models of Strategy Controlling Model
There are two specific models of strategy that can be adapted to a different culture. First is the controlling model. Measures should be accurate, objective and verifiable (Malina & Selto 2001). This model is also about managing the process, which includes monitoring results, making comparisons with benchmarks and other practices, evaluating the efficiency of the process, controlling for variances, and doing the necessary adjustments according to the evaluation of the process. Objectives must also be set which include the mission, vision and overall objectives. These objectives must point to a strategic planning. Adapting Model
The other strategy is the adapting model, which involves assigning different tasks or processes to individuals or groups within an organization. Moreover, this strategy is both partially deliberate and partially unplanned. This strategy also involves emergent strategies, which come from opportunities and threats in the environment, and strategies in action, which come from the actions of people from the organization. Emergent strategies and strategies in action emerge from within the organization. In comparison, controlling model is more centralized and formalized while the adapting model is decentralized and informal.
Expert consultants are needed to assist in devising strategies in the controlling model while responsibility is diffused among the members of the organization in the adapting model, which makes it less systematic. Although the controlling model has advantages that become disadvantages in the adapting model and vice versa, the appropriate model for the Yu Beer situation is the right combination of both controlling and adapting models. Since the adapting model involves assigning tasks to specific persons or groups, they are responsible for their decisions and actions. The result would be quicker reaction and speedy solutions to any problem.
Controlling model, on the other hand, is the solution to the decentralized operation’s being fragmented and inconsistent. Benefits Ellis and Mauldin (2003) have listed benefits of centralized (controlling) and decentralized (adapting) learning. Centralization leads to cost savings that would eventually lead to standardization and quality control. The benefits of centralized learning include the following: employee objectives can be easily aligned with corporate objectives, simplified reporting, accuracy and efficiency in reporting, promotion of standardization, standardization of content, certification and competencies and so on.
The benefits of decentralization are the following: control at the local level, the organization has control on local resources, ability to manage content, localize courses and add spot training when necessary. Levels of Culture and Methods of Discovery Since the management team will be new to the UK culture, they have to be familiar with the levels of culture and methods of discovery in order to better understand the new culture. The following levels of culture are recommended: artifacts and behavior, beliefs and values, and underlying assumptions. Artifacts and behavior is one area to understanding a different culture.
Artifacts are symbolic representations involved in sharing information to the public and thus create a shared awareness. The artifacts help in coordinating the behaviors of individuals and bring their contributions together so that they can interact together through the object itself (Perry, O’Hara, Spinelli and Sharpe n. d. ). Artifacts are also “at the surface. ” An example is the dress. This is hard to understand but easily discerned (Value-Based Management. net 2007). Values and beliefs are another component of culture that the managers must be familiar with.
Values and beliefs are characteristics of and play an important role in a certain culture. A cultures values and beliefs system will affect any learned behavior. A specific example of a belief would include superstitions. Chinese people give importance to these superstitions, but the managers have to keep in mind that in UK, superstitions might not be as important. Values include right feelings, thoughts and behaviors. These values grow out of belief systems. Underlying assumptions are harder to discern because they are in the unconscious level.
But these assumptions lead us to understand why the things around us happen as they do (Value Based Management. net 2007). On the other hand, the methods of discovery that I can recommend are the following: greeting rituals, dress codes and written vs. verbal contracts. The Chinese have sets of rituals which are very different from UK or other country and culture. For instance, the Chinese greeting is very formal and the oldest person is greeted first. But if they greet with foreigners, they usually offer a handshake (Figure 1). In UK, a person is usually greeted by the title and the last name.
In Chinese, they will advise you which name to use if you want to move to a first-name basis. Also, Chinese usually look downwards upon greeting someone whereas English people establish eye contact (Kwintessential n. d. ). In UK, nod or a handshake usually takes as a greeting (Figure 2). But if it’s within family or friends, kissing can be a form of greeting. Today, a simple “Hi! ” or “How are you? ” is also a form of greeting to avoid physical contact. However, the English folks do not expect you to tell them when they ask how you are. Dress code is another method of discovery. Color is important in dress code (Figure 3).
For instance, the red is used by the Chinese in weddings and New Year celebrations. When a Chinese person receives a red envelope, it means he is invited to a wedding or a birthday. White, on one hand, is used for funeral services. White flowers are also used as wreaths in funerals. In other cultures, white is used for weddings and black for funerals. The Asha Leader online says that people from other cultures might have different reactions and interpretations to such codes. These are learned and acquired from family discourse, time, life experience and cultural interactions (The Asha Leader 1997-2007).
Yi (2007) says that 50 years ago, the Chinese have complicated dress codes. There are different dresses for different occasions or meetings. In Western countries such as UK, the dress codes are part of the social etiquette. There are dress codes such as “black tie,” “white tie” and business attires. A black tie means formal attire and white tie means a very formal occasion. Business attire means business suits. Business casual means less formal suits. Casual chic is less formal than business casual (The Asha Leader 1997-2007). For someone new to this culture, cracking the dress codes can be very challenging.
Another method of discovery is the written vs. verbal contracts. As the word implies, an oral contract has been agreed by spoken communication. In written contract, it has been agreed by a written document (Figure 7). An oral contract may be written but the contract itself is not written. An example is when concerned people write down what they have agreed upon. This document serves as the physical evidence of the oral contract. Although most oral contracts have no accompanying written document, they are still valid. Managing People and Human Resource
Managing people in a different culture is harder than managing people within the culture one has grown up with. Since the CEO also plans on hiring employees from within the Birmingham local environment, she and the rest of the management team must be familiar with the key functions for managing people and human resource management. The human resource functions include the following: recruitment and selection, socialization, training and development, performance appraisal, compensation and reward, career development, and employee relations. The key functions that the department managers must initially focus on should concern the staffing.
This includes the recruitment and selection, getting the right people in place and helping them adjust to a new culture and way of life. Staffing means looking for the right people with the right skills and abilities. Recruitment is the process of finding the right person for the right job. This is one of the functions that the department managers must prioritize if they want to start their business in UK as soon as possible. In UK, businesses are also referred to as recruitment agencies. Recruitment and selection involve procedures which aim to analyze the needs and purposes of a position and the culture of the institution.
These functions in hiring the best candidate for the position. The objectives of recruitment and selection must include the following: hiring the right person, conducting an extensive search for the right candidates, and placing the candidates in positions that will further improve their personal development. Different processes are used in recruiting and selecting the right people for the job. Those who are in charge of recruitment and selection must be properly trained so that they are effective in performing their responsibilities.
They must make sure that the recruitment and selection process is well planned, implemented and evaluated so that each employee has equal chance in competing for the position. Adjusting to the new environment and culture should also be a priority for the management team. It is a crucial stage when foreigners encounter a very different culture. The management team must take these encounters as challenges for growth. If this happens, they will gain a sense of accomplishment, satisfaction and self-esteem from the new culture.
This is also a crucial stage of adjusting to a different culture because this is when managers will encounter conflicting values and beliefs. Thus adapting to a new culture is essential so that one does not become too immersed in culture shock (SpainExchange. com 1999-2005). Reward and development are other aspects that managers should focus on. The right implementation of reward will keep the employees motivated. Rewards will also give them the feeling that their efforts are properly compensated. Chapman (1995-2007) says that the best way to develop people is through enabling of learning and personal development.
This creates opportunities for people and for employees that are liberating, motivational and exciting. It is essential that people are developed as individuals so that they grow in their abilities, skills, confidence, commitment, understanding and motivation. Different trainings is one way of developing people. Employee relations, on the other hand, involve developing and implementing employee relations policy. This also involves intervention or seeking reconsideration for erroneous third party decisions. Technical advice and assistance are also provided. The British were once infamous when it comes to industrial disputes and walkouts.
Price (1997-2007) reported that during the 1960s and 1970s, industrial relations pulled down the government. Weak management was out of control and stubborn unions led to chaos. Industries exhibited low productivity, resistance to change and publicized disputes. These factors have made the UK weak in terms of economic power. However, the UK has shown changes in terms of industrial relations. Companies have realized that in order to stay competitive, they must focus on workers’ skills, productivity and cooperation. The development of workers’ skills has been given importance as it benefits both the employers and the employees.
Nowadays, a need for a cooperative and participative system in the industrial relations proved to be urgent. Unions have also developed the initiative of improving the working conditions and the interests of their members, as were their role in the industrial relations. As more competition arises, the focus of internal relations was on the workplace and in managing human resource, which is a perfect ground for an industrial relations system (De Silva 1998). Strategies for Managing Multicultural Teams It is imperative for managers to have a special skill in managing people from different countries and cultures.
As what usually happens, this presents as a demand to managers because people of different backgrounds tend to conflict in their beliefs and values. First, managers must realize that a multicultural team has advantages that the members must maximize. A multicultural team presents deep knowledge about product markets, culturally sensitive customer service and work rotations. These should not be outweighed by the cultural differences, which could damage the effectiveness of the team (Brett, Behfar & Kern 2007). An international manager must possess skills in order for him to be effective in his responsibilities.
These must include soft skills, sensitivity to different cultures (cross cultural awareness) and relational skills. He should have an open, non-judgmental personality and must be self-reliant. Moreover, he should be involved in matters that affect other countries (Marcus Evans Linguarama 1992-2000). There are different strategies for managing multicultural team, which are divided into task strategies and process strategies. Task strategies include the following: creating sense of purpose, structuring task, assigning roles and responsibilities and reaching decisions.
It is important for the manager to create a sense of purpose among the team members. The members must have common shared purpose so that they become effective in their duties. This also promotes high morale among the team members. A sense of purpose will also make them understand the roles that each member takes (Traut 1996-2007). Tasks must be structured in such a way that the team members do not feel pressured to do the tasks. A task-oriented leadership sees to the structuring of tasks. They must also view these tasks as challenges that must be done (Traut 1996-2007). It takes a team to deliver a project.
But a team that has no focus and direction is hard to succeed. In a project, assigning of roles and responsibilities will define the physical relationships between the team and the work that must be done. Since most of projects are multi-dimensional, a combination of skills and activities for the completion of work is needed. A manager must make sure that assignable roles and responsibilities are done by the team. Reaching decisions should also be exercised by the team. Coming into a unanimous decision will show the members that they unite in what they think are the right things to do.
If they have split decisions and have come to the best alternative decision, it will show them that they also give importance to what others have to say. To avoid reaching decisions that are detrimental to the team project, the following must be avoided: poorly informed decisions, bullying, and lack of a decision culture. Members should participate in reaching a decision as this contributed to a varied level of knowledge. Consensus must be reached (Levine n. d. ). Process strategies, on the other hand, include the following: team building, choosing how to communicate, eliciting participation, resolving conflict and evaluating performance.
Team building involves building a good team out of a bad one. This is essential in achieving collective performance. In team building, the members have shared goal to achieve. Team building is necessary to motivate them to achieve this goal. Every team does not have the same communication needs. Thus managers must find the best way to communicate with a multicultural team. Eliciting participation is also important to get the job done. The manager must motivate his members to take active roles in their setting. In resolving conflict, the manager should know that conflicts are a normal part of our lives.
People have different beliefs, values and experiences. However, the manager should know how to manage conflict as this is can harm relationships if not resolved quickly. It is necessary to impart to the members that mutual respect should be offered for others. One must treat another as a person of worth and as an equal. The problem must also be confronted as soon as possible to prevent it from becoming worse. Each person must communicate understanding of the situation at hand so that problem resolution is a joint task. Alternative solutions must be considered and agree on the best solution to the problem (Fittro n.
d. ). Another process strategy is evaluating performance. Team members must feel pleased with their work results. This is also important as this shows the members where they are effective and where they are not. Evaluation of performance will encourage them to be more effective in the following projects. Being aware of these strategies and how to maximize them will yield positive results for the whole team and the company, as well. Since Yu Beer wants internationalism, it is a good start to treat another culture and country as equal despite the many differences.