Cross Culture

Topics: Cross-cultural communication, Culture, Harvard Business School Pages: 6 (1961 words) Published: August 16, 2013
Cross-cultural management coursework 2

In the current business environment, cultural intelligence is a reality. One of the issues that are most frequently talked about is the ability by managers to adapt to diverse cultures. In the global workplace of the twenty first century, individuals must be sensitive to cultural differences. They must also be able to interact in the right way with people from diverse cultures. Regardless of whether one works in his home country or abroad, there is a need for cultural intelligence. Today, many companies are faced with the need to send some of their workforce to emerging economies where they have recently opened shop. Such employees suddenly start operating in an environment where they are not conversant with local culture. This phenomenon is common among Western companies that send expatriates to subsidiaries in emerging economies. The trend is also common among Chinese, Russian, and Indian companies that are expanding their operations in Europe and the US.             Joo-Seng (2004) defines cultural intelligence as the ability by an individual to adapt successfully to unfamiliar settings attributed to cultural context. The aim of this report is to determine whether cultural intelligence makes today’s manager truly global and effective. The main body of this report focuses on literature review and analysis of various scholarly articles. The objective of undertaking this review is to examine what different authors think about the ability by cultural intelligence to make today’s managers truly global and effective. The articles are critiqued on the basis of different issues, including trends in management theory, time factors, and the kind of evidence relied upon in deriving conclusions. Practical implications are evaluated to determine if managers can rely on this information. Literature review and analysis

There is abundant literature on the subject of cultural intelligence. In this literature, expatriate executives are said to face serious culture-related challenges (Leung, Bhagat, Erez & Gibson, 2005). These challenges are common particularly for expatriate managers from Western countries who are forced by circumstances to work in these emerging economies. Some of these managers mistakenly think that the challenges that brought about success in the western countries will automatically bring success in the emerging economies (Financial Times). In these economies, the expatriates must operate within a new culture (Financial Times). Many Chinese companies going abroad today continue to face similar challenges (Selmer & Lam, 2004). Some of these companies end up hiring and training employees within their host countries. However, in most cases, the companies lack an appropriate business strategy within which such a solution can be provided. These cultural challenges have led to the emergence of the concept of cultural intelligence. According to Joo-Seng (2004), cultural intelligence is a crucial concept in today’s global economy. It addresses the various ways in which individuals are able to adapt effectively in different cultural contexts. The notion of cultural intelligence is used to explain differences in the ability by different people to face the challenges posed by cross-cultural contexts (Earley & Mosakowski, 2004). In simple terms, cultural intelligence enables individuals to deal with people and situations in the context of unfamiliar surroundings. Many scholars have carried out research on the subject of cultural intelligence. For instance, Joo-Seng (2004) has researched extensively on the meaning of cultural intelligence and its relevance for managers in today’s global economy. Joo-Seng highlights three parts that constitute cultural intelligence: cultural strategic thinking, motivational thinking, and behavioral thinking. In cultural strategic thinking, people think and solve their problems in particular ways. In motivational thinking, people...

References: Brett, J., Behfar, K., & Kern, M. (2006). Managing Multicultural Teams. Harvard Business Review, Vol. 84, No. 11, pp. 84-91.
Earley, C. & Mosakowski, E. (2004). Cultural Intelligence. Harvard Business Review, Vol. 73, No. 6, pp. 102-147.
Financial Times (2013). Is there such a thing as cultural intelligence? 11 March 2013.
Imai, L. & Gelfand, M. (2010). The culturally intelligent negotiator: The impact of cultural intelligence (CQ) on negotiation sequences and outcomes.Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Vol. 112, No. 3, pp.83–98.
Joo-Seng, T. (2004). Cultural Intelligence and the Global Economy. LIA, Vol. 24, No. 5, pp. 19-21.
Leung, K., Bhagat, N., Erez, B. & Gibson, C. (2005). Culture and international business: Recent advances and their implications for future research. Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 36, No. 4, pp. 357-378.
Morris, M. (2005). When culture counts and when it doesn’t. Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation, Boston.
Selmer, J. & Lam, H. (2004). Third Culture Kids: Future Business Expatriates?Personnel Review, Vol. 33, No. 4, pp. 430-445.
Triandis, H. (2006). Cultural Intelligence in Organizations. Group and Organization Management, Vol. 31, No. 1, pp. 20-26.
Van Meurs, N. (2007). The Future’s Bright, The Future’s Blended. Mixedness and Mixing E-Conference, Commission for Racial Equality, New York, 3 July 2007.
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