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Since managing diversity remains a significant organizational challenge, managers must learn the managerial skills needed in a multicultural work environment. Supervisors and managers must be prepared to teach themselves and others within their organizations to value multicultural differences in both associates and Customers so that everyone is treated with dignity. Diversity issues are now considered important and are projected to become even more important in the future due to increasing differences in the population of many countries.

Companies need to focus on diversity and look for ways to become totally inclusive organizations because diversity has the potential of yielding greater productivity and competitive advantages. Managing and valuing diversity is a key component of effective people management, which can improve workplace productivity. Unmanaged diversity in the workplace might become an obstacle for achieving organizational goals. Therefore diversity can be perceived as a “double-edged sword” Cultures in organizations Cultural diversity is very important to organizations that have adopted global strategies.

When doing business internationally or with multicultural teams it is important to understand other cultures and that this is a growing issue today. Organizations’ interest in understanding cultural diversity can be pending on the organizational culture. Organizational culture is the workplace environment formulated from the interaction of the employees in the workplace. Organizational culture is defined by all of the life experiences, strengths, weaknesses, education, upbringing, and so forth of the employees.

While executive leaders play a large role in defining organizational culture by their actions and leadership, all employees contribute to the organizational culture. Organizational culture also consists of unspoken guidelines and taken for granted values as well as collective memories and ideologies. Organizational culture shows the “should” and “sought” in the organization. From the different definitions stated above it can be assumed that organizational culture could have an impact in how a company works with cultural diversity.

Since culture affects people’s’ behavior, values and customs, as stated above, people Of different cultures work in different ways in business situations. This can be seen through different approaches to punctuality, conflicts, structure and different relations to authors¶/ difference in how people see work in relation to their life. This type of diversity can cause of this have big impacts in organizations that have culturally diverse people. It can also be seen that groups work in different ways depending on their cultural diversity. There are some clear advantages and disadvantages to a cultural mixture in a group.

American culture Attitudes toward time For Americans, time is a critical factor that is battled on a daily basis. They are in an adversarial relationship to time. They talk about saving or wasting time, managing time and beating the clock. Americans invented day-timers and added the term multi-tasking to the English language. Americans believe in eating strict deadlines and timeTABLEs, even for casual social events. Productivity, self-reliance and getting things done are prized personal and professional qualities. Be on time to appointments as Americans consider it rude to be late in business settings. On time” in America usually means five minute early. Being up to five minutes late is accepTABLE, but requires a short apology for making the other person wait. Being more than 5 minutes late requires a phone call to warn the other person of the delay and to apologize The United States of America, it would be safe to say that, very often, the ultras that are run by time are those which appear to have the fastest pace. United States as one of the fastest paced societies of the world. Most people from the United States can honestly say that they often feel rushed.

This may be partly due to the fact that many Americans strive for the “American Dream,” the epitome of success, luxury and happiness. The concept is often regarded as an illusion; yet but pressuring its citizens to constantly do more, earn more, and consume more in order to achieve more. The ideals of American society drive people to constantly be in a hurried state Of mind. Time decides when Americans make their appointments, when they do their work, and even how they spend their leisure time. For many Americans the ‘free moments’ that once glued a busy life together have almost disappeared.

In the United States, time is undoubtedly in control of the everyday lives of most people. Corporate Culture Americans often take a “business-first” approach, with personal relationships playing a smaller role than in many other cultures. This is reflected in common phrases like “business is business”. Meaning that personal considerations should not be taken into account when making a business session and “it is just business, it is not personal. Negative consequences from a business decision are not meant to be personally hurtful or insulting.

Americans will generally do business with the company they think gives them the highest value for the lowest price, not based on personal relationships. Americans believe that being direct is a virtue. Americans ask for what they want, say what they mean, and expect other to do the same. “Yes” usually means yes, “no” usually means no and “maybe” usually means the person has not decided and wants to think more about the question. Americans expect there to get to the point, to tell them why the product or service is better, and to do so in a way that is easy to understand and meaningful to them.

Being shy, unassertive or extremely deferential is often seen as weakness. Americans do not mind direct questions because they do not hesitate to say no. Americans expect all business interactions to be polite and professional. It is considered extremely rude to shout in a business context, even when two people strongly disagree. Likewise, is considered rude to interrupt someone, even a junior person or to make personal comments. Americans expect you to be positive about yourself, your products, and your capabilities.

American’s tend to take information at face value, so being self-effacing or downplaying the capabilities of a product or service can be seen as evidence of poor quality. Americans commonly exchange business cards but they are very casual about it and there is no ritual or “right way” of doing so. Americans appreciate and expect persistence. It may take 10 or 15 attempts to get a response, especially from a potential customer. Americans expect others to ask questions if do not understand something. Americans are not embarrassed to ask questions if they do not understand something, and they expect others to ask questions as well.

If you do not ask questions, Americans will assume that you understand whatever is being discussed. Americans value numbers and using figures and statistics to support, your position will help you persuade them. Americans expect meetings to be as short as possible, and do not consider a meeting a success unless it results in a tangible action or decision. Bargaining Americans usually begin negotiations with exaggerated or unrealistic demands, which they expect to adjust as the discussions progress. Americans believe the goal of business negotiations is to arrive at a signed agreement.

Americans generally do not consider relationships or intangible benefits to be relevant to the negotiation process. For most businesspeople, the contract under discussion is the only legitimate concern of the parties involved. Americans do not believe it is necessary to have or build a relationship with someone before negotiating a contract with them. In fact, some Americans believe such activities are improper and unprofessional. Americans believe that the quicker negotiations proceed the better for all concerned. They will eve as fast as possible in the negotiations and assume others wish to do the same.

They will usually View any attempt to go slower as a negotiating tactic. Greetings In business situations, shaking hands is the ubiquitous and accepted way of greeting others. Handshakes should be firm and brief, as Americans do not like weak handshakes or holding hands for a long period of time. Always stand up when greeting someone. American greetings are usually informal. “Hi,” “How are you? ” or “Hi there” are considered customary, even in formal business settings. The greetings “How are you? ” or “How are you doing? Are not actual inquiries into someone well-being, they are simply greetings.

The only proper responses are “Fine,” “Great” or ‘Very well, thank you. ” The farewell “See you later,” is not meant literally and does not mean the person actually expects to see you in the future. When saying good-bye, Americans frequently say, “I’ll give you a call,” “Let’s get together,” or “Let’s have lunch. ” These are not meant literally and they do not mean the person actually intends to call or set up a further meeting. Body Language Americans expect you to smile. It is considered unfriendly not to smile or to effuse to shake hands, when meet someone. In general, Americans smile more than most other businesspeople.

Americans usually maintain 1 to 1. 5 meters of separation when speaking and will often feel uncomforTABLE if you stand any closer while talking. Touching is a very tricky area. Some people are very comforTABLE touching and being touched and see it as a friendly action. For instance slapping someone lightly on the back is a common gesture between friends. Some people are very uncomforTABLE with being touched. It is best not to touch unless you are sure the other person is comforTABLE with it. It is considered unremarkTABLE for either men or women to sit with their legs crossed.

Japan culture The Japanese and ‘Face’ Saving face is crucial in Japanese society. The Japanese believe that turning down someone’s request causes embarrassment and loss of face to the other person. If the request cannot be agreed to, they will say, ‘it is inconvenient’ or ‘it is under consideration’. Face is a mark of personal dignity and means having high status with one’s peers. The Japanese will try never to do anything to cause loss of face. Therefore, they do not openly criticize, insult, or put anyone on the spot. Face can be lost, taken away, or earned through praise and thanks.

Harmony in Japanese Society Harmony is the key value in Japanese society. Harmony is the guiding philosophy for the Japanese in family and business settings and in society as a whole. Japanese children are taught to act harmoniously and cooperatively with others from the time they go to pre-school. The Japanese educational system emphasizes the interdependence of all people, and Japanese children are not raised to be independent but rather to work together. This need for harmonious relationships between people is reflected in much Japanese behavior.

They place great emphasis on politeness, personal responsibility and working together for the universal, rather than the individual good. They present facts that might be disagreeTABLE in a gentle and indirect fashion. They see working in harmony as the crucial ingredient for working productively. Consequently, when doing business, the Japanese stress compromise and self-discipline. Hierarchy With its roots in Confucianism, hierarchical structures classify an individual’s position within a group and In society. Status is determined by factors such as age, employment, company and family background.

The hierarchical system estates that due respect be afforded to those of higher status. When doing business in Japan be aware of hierarchy and adapt behavior accordingly. Meeting and Greeting There is heightened sense of formality in Japanese interaction. When doing business in Japan, suitability in respect to conducting business will be assessed during a first meeting, so always maintain a sense of professionalism. The bow is an integral part of Japanese society. It is used when meeting, getting attention, to show gratitude, to express sympathy or as an apology.

Whilst doing business in Japan as a Westerner, you would not e expected to bow. You will most likely be greeted with a handshake combined with a slight nod of the head. Introduce yourself with your full name followed by your company name. It is important to use proper titles when addressing someone, so always establish the position of the other person. The exchanging of business cards when doing business in Japan involves a degree of ceremony. The card is seen to represent the individual, so should be treated with respect. Before traveling to Japan, make sure have ample cards and have one side translated into Japanese.

Include position within the company on It. Invest in a carry case to store cards and keep this in the inside pocket of a suit jacket. When exchanging, offer business card with both hands or just the right hand. Present Japanese side up. Ensure there is no barrier between you and the recipient such as a TABLE, chair or plant. When accepting always use two hands as this shows deference. Building Relationships When doing business in Japan, a successful relationship with a Japanese colleague or client is based on three factors: sincerity, compatibility and trustworthiness.

Sincerity means that you are compromising, understanding ND you want to conduct business on a personal level. Compatibility is established when you are seen to be concerned about the personal relationship, the well-being of the company and not just focused on financial gain. Trustworthiness relates to the faith put in you to protect from loss face. Communication The emphasis in Japanese culture on maintaining harmony has developed in such a way as to allow very vague forms of expression. The cultural logic behind this is that by avoiding direct or explicit statements one has a better chance of not causing offense.

When doing business in Japan clarify meanings ND dig deeper for more information. The Japanese are implicit communicators. An explicit communicator assumes the listener is unaware of background information or related issues to the topic of discussion and provides it themselves. The Japanese however assume the listener is well informed on the subject and minimizes information relayed on the premise that listener will understand from implication. Thus the saying, “Say one, understand ten,” you will be expected to understand nine additional points to every one made.

Meetings and Negotiations At a meeting you will always deal with a team as opposed to an individual. Each attendee will be there with a particular expertise so either bring assistance or be sure you are confident enough to handle all the questions you will receive. You will greet the most senior employee first and then others in descending order. The senior employee will be there as a ceremonial representative of the company. The lesser ran king attendees will usually do the talking or negotiating. Meetings usually take place for only one of three reasons: to build rapport, exchange information or confirm previously made decisions.

Decisions are rarely made in a meeting. If rapport has yet to be established then this is your priority. It is important not only to build relationships with all the senior figures but all lower ranked ones too. Remember group consensus is important so the opinions of all staff will be taken into account when coming to a decision on any proposal. The Japanese are very detail orientated. Expect lots of questions and lots of questions repeated in different ways. Be sure to have the answers as the failure to do so will look unprofessional.

Be sure to bring as much information as possible, in writing, on company, service, product or proposal. The Japanese like dealing tit quiet, sincere and compromising individuals. Extroverts are seen as brash and arrogant. Early on in negotiations remain humble, indirect and non-threatening. Do not disagree openly, do not put people on the spot and always employ diplomatic language when doing business. Be sure to hold off concessions till the end of proceedings. If made early then integrity will be questioned. Silence is considered a virtue. If things go quiet when doing business in a meeting then do not panic.

Reflection is taking place. Silence may be also be accompanied by the closing of the eyes. Never interrupt or reek the silence. Middle Eastern culture Family Values The family and tribe are the basis of the social structure. As is seen in their naming conventions, they are cognizant Of their heritage, their clan, and their extended family, as well as their nuclear family. They take their responsibilities to their family quite seriously. Families tend to be large and the extended family is quite close. The individual derives a social network and assistance in times of need from the family.

Nepotism is considered a good thing, since it implies that employing people one knows and trusts is of remarry’ importance. Meeting and Greeting When doing business in the Middle East, handshakes are always used and can last a long time. Good friends may greet each other with a handshake and a kiss on each cheek. Islamic etiquette recommends that one waits for the other to withdraw their hand first before doing the same. Always use the right hand. Do not be surprised if your hand is held while you are led somewhere. Holding hands among men is common and does not carry the same connotations as it does in the West.

When they greet each other they take their time and converse about general things. Arabs are fairly informal with names when doing business and generally address people by their first names. For example, John Smith will be addressed as Mr.. John. The roles of men and women are far more defined in the Arab culture. Interaction between the sexes is still frowned upon in certain arenas. However, when doing business in the Middle East it is not uncommon to come across Women. If you are introduced to a woman as a male, it is advisTABLE to wait and see if a hand is extended.

If it is not, then do not try to shake hands. Avoid touching and prolonged eye contact with women. Business is Personal Many Westerners that have lived or worked in the Middle East might use the words chaotic, disorganized and frustrating when discussing doing business there. Although this is a matter of perception, it is true that business runs on very different tracks to business in the West. The Arabs do not separate professional and personal life. Doing business revolves much more around personal relationships, family ties, trust and honor. There is a tendency to priorities personal matters above all else.

It is therefore crucial that business relationships are built on mutual friendship and trust. A consequence of this mentality is the system known as ‘waste’. If you have friends or contacts in the right places then rules can be bent or things done more quickly. The system works on the basis that favors are reciprocated and never forgotten. Although it may seem biased, it is something that should be exploited when doing business in the Middle East. The Spoken Word The Middle Eastern culture places more value on someone’s word as opposed to a written agreement. A person’s word is connected to their honor.

Contracts are viewed as memorandums of understanding rather than binding fixed agreements. Be sure to promise only things you can liver. Failure to do so will result in loss of honor. Meetings & Negotiations Meetings should not be made too far in advance as changes in personal circumstances may impact appointment. Once an appointment has been made, confirm it verbally with the person a few days before. When meeting with government officials, a firm date will not be settled upon until the person is physically in the country. Initial meetings are all about relationship building.

Building trust and establishing compatibility are key requisites for doing business in the Middle East. Meetings are generally not private until after a legislations of trust has been developed. This means you may expect frequent interruptions. Others may wander into the room and start a different discussion. You may join in, but do not try to bring the topic back to the original discussion until the new person leaves. Business meetings start after prolonged inquiries about health and family. One should engage in conversation and try to get to know the person you are doing business with.

Meetings can be chaotic. Always be prepared to exercise patience. Phone calls are taken during meetings and people may enter the meeting room unannounced and proceed to discuss their own agendas. Meetings are circular in nature. They do not follow a linear pattern and are not structured upon agendas or targets. Issues are raised as and when. Punctuality is expected of foreigners. Although the Arabs place a high emphasis on punctuality they rarely practice it themselves. If you are running late do not panics as polite excuses Will be accepted.

If negotiating, remember the Arabs were a trading people and are excellent negotiators. Haggling takes places everywhere, whether at the shop or in the board room. Decisions are made slowly. Do not try to rush the process. The society is extremely bureaucratic. Most decisions require several layers of approval. It takes several visits to accomplish simple tasks. Decisions are made by the highest-ranking person. Do not use high pressure tactics as they will be counter-productive. When discussing price, they will often make an initial offer that is extremely low when they are buying.

Conversely, when they are selling, their initial offer will be extremely high. There is a tendency to avoid giving bad news and to give effusive acceptances, which may only mean ‘perhaps’. Discrimination One significant disadvantages of working with a diverse workforce is coordination in the part of both managers and employees. It can exist but hidden aspect of a poorly managed workplace. When a worker is being discriminated, it affects his ability to perform well and it also affect the perception of equity and raises issues of litigation.

Unresolved Conflict Cultural differences in an organization produce more potential for conflict among employees. People that come from different cultural backgrounds have different perspectives on how to handle issues or concerns that arise. An inability to see where the other person is coming from can prohibit effective resolution of conflicts. When employees feel like they cannot reach a point Of agreement in conflict they may give up and simply let the ill feelings fester and create a negative tone. Communication issues Workplace diversity can negatively impact communication in the company.

It can place an obstacle in the way of effective communication, which can cause a decrease in productivity and dampen the cohesiveness among workers. Even though spending time with employees by getting to know them helps reduce and in some instances eradicate communication barriers during a long -term, coworkers orientation periods and an individual s first impressions can be difficult to control when culture clash. Myriad accommodation Although the premise of workplace diversity is mutual respect, making way to accommodate each diverse worker’s request can be burdensome of employers, which makes it difficult to manage diversity.

Employee requests and work constraints based on religion, national origin, gender and race can sometimes become overwhelming if the diversity in the organization tends to be so much to the extent that the company has to employ a fulfillment staff to keep track of accommodating the employee’s needs. For example, some Muslim employees may decide not to work on Fridays, as it is a special day for prayers. In such instances employers has to make provision for someone to take their shift when the need arises.

Disrupting workplace relationships Employees who realize the company’s goal is to increase diversity may feel they are less important if they do not represent the typical diverse populations that focus on race, sex, national origin, age and disability. In a workplace where employees do not belong to diverse populations, these employees may feel undervalued and unappreciated based purely on the fact that they don’t represent diversity. They also might believe that employees from diverse groups have more opportunities for advancement, thus disrupting the working relationships they once had with colleagues and co- workers.

Opposition to Change Although workplace diversity benefits an organization as a whole, some employees and managers may not react positively to changes made. Employees who oppose workforce diversity usually reject new ideas and make work environments more difficult. If the company does not handle opposition properly, workplace diversity initiatives may not provide the intended benefits to the company. Increase turnover Dissatisfied employees that feel like the work environment is unsafe will leave.

Constantly replacing employees lost to ill will or a general feeling of discontent is costly as the company has to pay to hire and train replacements. The business risks losing top talent to competitors if the workplace does not provide a safe and motivating culture where employees from diverse backgrounds are welcomed and treated fairly. American corporate culture -Ford Leadership Style Leaders in Ford have developed effective leadership through a never ending process of self-study, education, training, and experience. Ford companies round the world sent managers to its Leadership Development Center.


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