Cultural homogeneity is no longer the trend in organizations. Many researchers and company management have noticed the restrictions of traditional management approaches and theories that assume individuality. They want to try embracing other cultures and not just rely on their own cultural orientation. Managers are experimenting new methods of organizing and handling groups that can address the diversity of employees.
It is not easy welcoming new ideas and approaches especially if it is for an overall modification or transformation. The company management has questions about incorporating these new ideas and new approaches. How can managers go about maintaining leadership that respects and understands the cultural diversity of employees but still keep a high value for customers?
How can a diverse workforce still maintain their commitment despite the fact that companies still keep a single-minded focus? The management and employees have to be open to pragmatic and practical approaches to bring out productive and harmonious cross-cultural organizations.
A leadership role and working in a team are not easy tasks, but carrying out these functions with a diverse group of individuals across cultures is more challenging. In the advent of globalization, cross-cultural management was developed to serve as a guide for organizations involving employees of diverse cultural traits and values.
What is Cross-Cultural Management?
Cross-cultural management came into being with the introduction of globalization in the business world. It simply means the ability of managers and the senior corporate hierarchies to deal with or handle cultural diversities in the workplace which greatly affect the ideas, values, and behaviors of employees with a goal of creating a harmonious and productive work environment.
Managers must possess the skill of cross-cultural competence in order to be viewed as good examples to the employees. A company that aims to succeed in a culturally diverse environment should hold the management responsible and accountable for bringing out the competencies of the professionals in thriving in a culturally diverse organization.
The bulk of the bigger task is on the managers who should help the employees understand the differences among them in order to establish good work relationships with each other. In essence, good cross-cultural management will aid companies in utilizing employee skills and increase worker’s motivation.
Organizational Issues Minimized by Cross-Cultural Management
When management and the organization incorporate empirical ideas and approaches brought about by diversity in the culture of employees, it is highly possible that cross-cultural conflicts and issues will arise.
One of these workplace issues is alienation of employees that can lead to misunderstanding of workers’ cultural etiquettes, values, and behaviors. Another problem is filing of costly cases of discrimination caused by poor communication and employee alienation. Unnecessary termination of employees can also become a problem. This issue results from communication breakdown and false assumptions of an employee’s behavioral patterns and work attitude.
In some culturally diverse organizations where cross-cultural issues are not properly addressed, management becomes reluctant or hesitant to employ and work with culturally diverse employees. Analyzing the situation, it is obviously unjust on the part of the working individuals since management sees and views the situation collectively. Lastly, two of the very common cross-cultural issues in a company are racism and discrimination.
One ethnic group may feel superior towards the other culturally diverse colleagues. We may think that globalization has created a big impact on the paradigm shift of working professionals. Sadly, cultural prejudices still exist in the workplace, although not as bad as before.
Benefits of Cross-Cultural Management
The challenge of managers is to handle and deal with organizational conflicts efficiently. With the competent leadership skills of management, responding to these issues will result to advantageous outcomes for the employees and the company as a whole.
Cross-cultural management gives the employees an opportunity to make a productive and harmonious workplace. It keeps and retains skilled employees of diverse cultural background and ethnicity. Moreover, it establishes better communication despite existing language barriers. When managers appropriately understand the cultural behaviors of employees across cultures, the individuals are more likely to become even more motivated to work.
Apart from that, culturally diverse employees are aptly assessed without the misconceptions of their attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions. And of course, cross-cultural management creates a harmonious and comfortable work environment when everyone understands each other in terms of motivations and perspectives.