My topic is organizational culture. It consists of several parts. First I will speak about corporate culture that is connected with company values. The second part is about cross-cultural differences and difficulties that they can cause. The third part is about high and low-context cultures. And finally I can’t but mention intercultural management which is an integral part of my topic.
In the beginning I would like to introduce my topic. A company’s image is like an orchestra. No single instrument is responsible for an orchestra’s success or failure. Likewise, the image that a company projects is not based on a single business card or glossy brochure but on the total impression created by all these things and more. Among these instruments can be reputation, creativity and even the warmth of an initial welcome. Any organization can be characterized by corporate culture, organization’s values and even cross-cultural differences that involves intercultural management. I will try to describe all these aspects and finally make a conclusion.
I will begin with the corporate culture and its role.
I should repeat that every business in fact every organization has a culture. This culture can include a peculiar mix of values, attitudes, norms, habits, traditions, behaviors, rituals .Sometimes a corporate culture is fragmented and difficult to read from the outside ,sometimes it is very strong and cohesive. Whether weak or strong culture has a powerful influence throughout an organization. It affects practically everything . In plain English corporate culture is a set of rules a company sticks to. Moreover speaking about corporate culture I can’t mention but company’s values. They can determine the type of a corporate culture or vice versa. The specific cultural values can concern for example the organization’s mission and image, seniority and authority, treatment of people ,decision making process, circulation and sharing of information and so on. Certainly, most companies value integrity, understanding, honesty openness, constructive self-criticism, continual self-improvement and mutual respect. Integrity means conducting the business fairly, with honesty and transparency. Understanding signifies caring and showing respect and also working for the benefit of the country. Unity symbolizes cohesive work and building strong relationships based on tolerance and mutual cooperation.
Now I would like to speak about cross-cultural differences and intercultural management.The number of workers employed by foreign-owned companies has grown significantly over the past 20 years as a result of the expanding activities of companies around the world. Here cross-cultural differences arise. Places and people differ. The Japanese tend to be very polite, the Australians characteristically blunt. Red means danger or stop to the British but in Turkey it signifies death and in china good fortune. In France getting into a grande ecole tends to guarantee good job prospects whereas in Saudi Arabia the wealth and status of your family is far more important. The culture imprints itself on the manner a person thinks, acts, perceives the environment and reacts to things around him/her. Amazingly, nearly all this imprinting is done before we reach the age of seven. Very often Corporate culture doesn’t completely align with the larger national culture. it is necessary to identify the underlying national style, and then fine tune with the specific corporate style. Regardless of the organization any manager are likely to be dealing with people who come from various national, religious, and ethnic backgrounds. So it is very important to know how to deal with cross0cultural differences and not be afraid to face difficulties that can arise.It is needed that a person should learn how to overcome them because Cross cultural differences can be the cause of many underlying problems within an organization.
The 21st century manager has to adapt to the envioronment in order to offer modern solutions to modern problems. Until recently, organizations differentiated countries based on national cultures and managers were required to employ different management styles (known as cross-culture management) depending on the territory they were working in.Today the focus is on developing intercultural management skills to cultivate global managers. Effective global managers are those who are naturally flexible, agile and able to learn (or unlearn) continuously. Well-educated and with a good grasp of communicating and managing across cultures, they do not have a designated foreign ‘patch' but hop around many countries. The role of the manager is evolving in response to the complexities of globalization and the changing needs of companies operating on the international stage.
Now I would like to tell you about high and low-context cultures. In a high-context culture, (Japan, India, Middle East etc), people rely less on verbal communication and more on the context of nonverbal communication, actions and environmental setting to convey meaning. In a low-context culture, (Scandinavia, US, UK, Germany) people rely more on verbal communication and less on contextual cues. In lower-context cultures, businesspeople try to reach decisions as quickly and efficiently as possible. They are concerned with reaching an agreement on the main points, leaving the details to be worked out later by others. However, this approach would backfire in higher-context cultures because, there, executives assume that anyone who ignores the details is untrustworthy. However much we learn, we can still get Intercultural communication wrong but acknowledgement of any mistake is halfway to solving it. Working internationally offers many challenges. We need to be aware of not only what we say and how we say it, but also what our business colleagues expect from us.