Role of Leadership in Shaping Organizational Culture

Role of Leadership in Shaping Organizational Culture
Role of Leadership in Shaping                             Organizational Culture

Role of Leadership in Shaping Organizational Culture

Order Instructions:

Recent research stated that “[c]ompanies with an established organizational culture that includes strong capabilities for change, commitment to innovation and a high level of trust have a significant advantage” when attempting to adopt a strategy of broad-based corporate sustainability (Eccles, Perkins, & Serafeim, 2013). Yet an Ethics Resource Center (2012) survey found that 42% of respondents felt their organizations exhibited signs of a weak ethics culture with a low degree of trust and transparency. Organizational leaders should have a strong incentive to identify and address any disparities that exist between their organization’s current culture and a productive healthy one. They must understand the impact they can have as leaders in facilitating an organizational culture, determining the necessary steps to build that culture, and taking the necessary action to create a healthy organizational culture.

To prepare:

•Reflect on all you have learned about leadership and leadership theory throughout this course. Begin searching for scholarly references about the relationship between leadership and organizational culture. Reflect on the leadership characteristics and skills that are useful in promoting a healthy organizational culture. Also, consider the leadership styles that promote a healthy organizational culture. Think about the impact on organizational culture of how a leader responds to specific situations, such as crises. Reflect on how a leader might use power to promote a healthy organizational culture and how a leader can promote ethics in a healthy organization.
The “To prepare” is intended to aid in your reflection upon how the various leadership theories and other topics throughout the course relate to organizational culture. However, you are free to analyze other facets of the relationship between leadership and organizational culture.

By Day 7 of Week 7, submit an 8-page comprehensive scholarly analysis of the role leadership plays in shaping an organizational culture.

Your paper must contain ten scholarly resources. These can be a combination of the Learning Resources used throughout this course and new scholarly resources. Your paper should adhere to the APA Course Paper Template found in the Walden University Online Writing Center. The link is located in this Module’s Learning Resources.

SAMPLE ANSWER

Role of Leadership in Shaping Organizational Culture

Introduction

A very important role of an organization’s leadership team is to create and maintain an appropriate organizational culture. This process can take place at any organizational level, and variations in different departments are quite common in larger organizations. As much as this is necessary for the business to meet its demands, it is also important for the company to possess an overriding culture that has the capability of permeating and functioning in its various departments. Leaders are the main contributors towards the shaping of an organization culture. They have various roles, all of which contribute to the resulting culture. Organizational culture is a term used to describe the beliefs and values that have been in existence within an organization for a longer period. It also refers to the staff beliefs as well as foreseen values of their work, which influence their behavior and attitudes towards work. Leadership teams usually work toward adjusting their leadership behavior so as to accomplish the organization’s mission, a step that may end up influencing employees’ level of job satisfaction. Therefore, it is essential to clearly understand the relationship between leadership, organizational culture, and employee job satisfaction. This paper analyses the various roles of leadership in the shaping of organizational culture by looking at the arguments presented by different scholars at different times.

The Role of Leadership in Shaping Organizational Culture

The role leadership plays in shaping an organizational culture involves many activities. First, they shape the culture by how they react to critical issues. Organizational culture affects the performance of a business either negatively or positively. This depends on whether or not the culture is constructive or destructive. Stanislavov and Ivanov (2014) argue that leaders can shape organizational culture by changing to a more effective leadership orientation. The leadership style used within organizations shapes the culture as it determines how the employees will be reacting in the working environment. According to the study conducted, three casinos were used to identify the relationship between leadership style and the organizational culture adopted. In casino A, the previous manager showcased a predominantly commanding style. This type of leadership focuses on giving commands to employees without giving them room for having a say in the situation. As a result of this, the organizational culture was focused on control and competitiveness (Stanislavov & Ivanov, 2014). When such a leadership style is used, the working climate may be affected negatively since the engagement of employees is prohibited. Therefore, instead of employees feeling like they belong, they end up feeling as if they are being misused for the benefits of others. With such a leadership style, employees cannot effectively work in teams because each one of them is busy competing so as to get on the good side of their leader.

When another manager was employed, the situation changed drastically. The leader displayed an affiliate style, which gave room and enhanced collaboration. This resulted to an organizational culture that featured a ‘political system’ (Stanislavov & Ivanov, 2014). This type of culture was shaped because the employees were free to air their thoughts and arguments on certain topics. This triggered a positive climate that made the employees feel free and appreciated. Unfortunately, the employees also recorded a decrease in how they competed on tasks since the leadership was not as strict as before.

Hu, Dinev, Hart, and Cooke (2012) suggest that a one on one correspondence is present when aligning top management behaviors with organizational culture characteristics such as power sharing behavior and culture, participative behavior and decision making culture, transformative vision, and risk tolerance culture. They further argue that the management has a role of shaping organization culture by drafting policies that are acceptable to employees and using education to reinforce the policies and frame organizational culture (Hu, Dinev, Hart & Cooke, 2012). The paper studies an information security organization whose employees were not being strict on information confidence. Therefore, the only way to ensure that no such problems were experienced in the future, a new organizational culture, which would focus on two components, had to be created. The first was to create a shared assumption about information security, and the second featured the education of the employees about these assumptions.

The role of the management in shaping an organizational culture in this case is displayed by the fact that leaders are responsible for the implementation of the above mentioned components. The creation of policies to guide employees in their daily tasks is the duty of the leader. The policies created need to be designed in such a way that when employees follow them, they will behave just as they are expected to. The education of employees on the various policies is important as it shows them the importance of sticking to the policies. Therefore, instead of forcing them to follow the policies, the leader will be showing them the benefits of doing so. When employees realize these benefits, the result will be that they will end up sticking to the policies without being followed. Their beliefs and attitudes will be changed, and so will the organizational culture.

According to Lightle, Baker, and Castellano (2009), the leadership team of an organization are responsible for shaping the organizational culture by overseeing the organizational ethical values. In their journal, a case study of Washington Mutual has been used to describe cases where organization leaders are not playing their role of ensuring that their ethical values are upheld. Some of the unethical activities, which result to an unethical organizational culture, are frequently hidden from the leaders until when it is too late. However, this is not an excuse for the leaders to claim their purity. Lightle, Baker, and Castellano (2009) argue that leaders need to establish codes of conduct, create ethical guidelines, and make use of monitoring programs that will help prevent fraudulent acts or at least establish an organizational culture that punishes those who break the rules. Similarly, they state that the organization culture created should also encourage and reward integrity and responsibility.

When codes of conduct are established by a leader, the employees will get to believe that the ways stated are how they are supposed to act in the workplace. Ethical guidelines will show them what is acceptable and what is punishable. Since employees are always keen on keeping their jobs and avoiding punishments, the result will be that a majority will focus on doing what is acceptable and avoiding what is punishable. All these actions will result to the creation of an organizational culture, which the leader was hoping for as he or she was creating these guidelines. When the leader monitors the activities of employees, it will be easier to spot an area that causes concern, and which needs immediate attention. This is also part of an organizational culture once employees and leaders become accustomed to the rule of monitoring.

Latham (2013) stated that leaders have a role of shaping the organizational culture through their leadership behavior. Although setting the example is a common axiom of leadership, it is even more important when leading transformation that the leaders become the change they want to witness in their organization. This means that the leadership behavior needs to be consistent with the organizational vision and desired culture. Therefore, if the leader needs to create an organizational culture that focuses on respect for each other, he must first treat others with the same level of respect he expects them to use. If this leader shows that he does not tolerate any screaming and yelling, as he himself does not use that for communication, the employees will find it easier to follow his footsteps (Latham, 2013). The same goes for the ethical organizational culture whereby the leader must first show no tolerance for unethical behavior in the organization.

Symbolic managers spend most of their time thinking of the organizational values, and how they can transform the culture into an even stronger subject. These managers view their primary job as that of managing conflicts arising value, which result from the flow of daily events. Kane-Urrabazo (2006) believes that managers have a role in the development of a healthy organizational culture by displaying exemplification of trustworthiness and trust, empowerment and delegation, and also consistency and mentorship. These components decide how employees behave within the organization, and how they carry out their tasks. When employees know how they are expected to behave, they will behave in that way. However, if no guidelines are offered, each one will showcase behavior that they believe to be acceptable. In this case, when the employee is given a specific task, they will act accordingly to complete the task. However, when no task delegation takes place, employees may have trouble completing a task since some areas may be left untouched. Therefore, the leader has the role of shaping an organized organizational culture by ensuring that each individual is aware of his or her specific tasks.

George, Sleeth, and Siders (1999) state that leadership literature has emphasized the role of leaders in articulating a vision, and in establishing an organizational culture through setting objectives and then clearing any hurdles by smoothing out the path for attaining the objectives. They further argue that the leaders need to employ behaviors will create, communicate, and manage the organizational culture (George, Sleeth, & Siders, 1999). Thus, the mode through which leaders establish and communicate a set of shared values and beliefs of the organization to employees is very important. These authors believe that leaders play their role of shaping the organizational culture by articulating the vision. This implies that culture can be created when the leader clearly and effectively expresses his vision ideas to the employees.

The reason why creation of organizational culture commonly fails is because the leaders fail to articulate their vision. For this to be successful, employees need to have an understanding of the benefits associated with the vision, why that and not any other, and so on. By setting objectives and clearing hurdles, the leader is giving the employees a target to work towards. Then to ensure that they are successful, the process is monitored for factors, which may result to its failure. These hurdles may, therefore, include unethical behavior, unsatisfied employees, lack of employee engagement and so on.

The management shapes an organizational culture by understanding employee related variables such as organizational commitment, job satisfaction, and performance (Yafang, 2011). When these variables are clearly understood, the management can easily visualize a culture that will not affect these negatively. Instead, the articulated vision in this case will be formed on a basis that encourages the employees’ commitment to the organization, their job satisfaction, and improved performance. The leader will therefore shape the culture by encouraging activities that will make the employees feel satisfied as members of the organization. This may include treating them with respect, creation of compensation plans that will meet their needs, giving them room to take part in decision making and so on. Once they feel satisfied with their jobs, they will become committed to the organization, a step that will increase performance.

Heidrich and Alt (2009) also believe that the role of the leader influences the creation and change in the organizational culture. According to these authors, this is achieved when the leader defines behavioral norms and decision making methods, as well as when the leader makes decisions that eventually affects the organization’s value system. There are many ways through which a leader can have an impact on upon shaping the organizational culture (Heidrich & Alt, 2009). First, by being a role model; second, by making use of a reward system; third, through the selection and recruitment process; fourth, by using structure and strategy; and fifth, by considering the physical setting. Therefore, as the leader plays the role of shaping organizational culture, there are steps that must be taken. For instance, the leader needs to employ strategy, otherwise, the visualized culture will not be achieved. This is because a new mission cannot be completed with the use of old organization values and beliefs.

According to Veiseh, Mohammadi, Pirzadian and Sharafi (2014), organizational culture is shaped by the leadership role of transforming employees. This is because transformational leadership has been linked to how leaders encourage employees to perform better as well as to prepare reliable paths for new organizations. This is because this type of leadership is formed on a basis of four aspects: One, purposeful influence; two, intellectual encouragement; three, inspirational motivation; four, encouraging supports. By indulging in the above, the leader is influencing the organizational culture since the beliefs and values are also altered in the process.

Nguyen Huu, Yunshi, Ping-Fu, and Sheng-Hung (2014) also agree that transformational leadership shapes organizational culture. This is because such leaders are able to positively influence the followers to share their values and beliefs by promoting a higher level of intrinsic value associated with the accomplishment of a goal, emphasizing the important link between follower’s effort and goal achievement, and also by creating a very high level of commitment on both the part of the leader and follower towards a common organizational vision, mission, and goals.

Conclusion

            Leaders are the main individuals within an organization who can actively shape the organizational culture. The works of the scholars analyzed in this paper prove that leaders shape the culture through their behaviors, actions, and their chosen leadership styles. Leadership behavior will affect whether or not the visualized organizational culture is achieved since employees are usually keen on how the leader conducts him/herself. The actions need to go hand in hand with the words and expectations of the leader; otherwise, the formation of a culture will not be effective. Lastly, leadership styles also play a role as they define the organization’s climate, which directly impact employees.

References

George, G., Sleeth, R. G., & Siders, M. A. (1999). Organizing Culture: Leader Roles, Behaviors, And Reinforcement Mechanisms. Journal Of Business & Psychology, 13(4), 545-560.

Heidrich, B., & Alt, M. (2009). Godfather Management? The Role of Leaders in Changing Organizational Culture in Transition Economies: A Hungarian-Romanian Comparison. Management (18544223), 4(4), 309-327.

Hu, Q., Dinev, T., Hart, P., & Cooke, D. (2012). Managing Employee Compliance with Information Security Policies: The Critical Role of Top Management and Organizational Culture* Managing Employee Compliance with Information Security Policies: The Critical Role of Top Management and Organizational.. Decision Sciences, 43(4), 615-660. https://www.doi:10.1111/j.1540-5915.2012.00361.x

Kane-Urrabazo, C. (2006). Management’s role in shaping organizational culture. Journal Of Nursing Management, 14(3), 188 194.   https://www.doi:10.1111/j.1365-2934.2006.00590.x

Latham, J. R. (2013). A Framework for Leading the Transformation to Performance Excellence Part II: CEO Perspectives on Leadership Behaviors, Individual Leader Characteristics, and Organizational Culture. Quality Management Journal, 20(3), 19-40.

Lightle, S. S., Baker, B., & Castellano, J. F. (2009). The Role of Boards of Directors in Shaping Organizational Culture. CPA Journal, 79(11), 68-72.

Nguyen Huu, D., Yunshi, L., Ping-Fu, H., & Sheng-Hung, Y. (2014). An Empirical Study Of The Organizational Culture, Leadership And Firm Performance In A Vietnam Family Business. International Journal Of Organizational Innovation, 6(4), 109-121.

Stanislavov, I., & Ivanov, S. (2014). The role of leadership for shaping organizational culture and building employee engagement in the Bulgarian gaming industry. Tourism (13327461), 62(1), 19-40.

Veiseh, S., Mohammadi, E., Pirzadian, M., & Sharafi, V. (2014). The Relation between Transformational Leadership and Organizational Culture (Case study: Medical school of Ilam). Journal Of Business Studies Quarterly, 5(3), 113-124.

Yafang, T. (2011). Relationship between Organizational Culture, Leadership Behavior and Job Satisfaction. BMC Health Services Research, 11(1), 98-106. https://www.doi:10.1186/1472-6963-11-98

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Cross Cultural Perspectives: Nike Inc.

Cross Cultural Perspectives: Nike Inc.
Cross Cultural Perspectives: Nike Inc.

Cross Cultural Perspectives: Nike Inc.

Order Instructions:

Identify a global organization with a multinational presence.

Identify and research a cultural issue that affects this organization’s interactions outside the United States.

Define the issue and provide an overview of how became an issue in the organization.

Prepare an analysis of the ethical and social responsibility issues your organization must deal with as a result of being global.

Write a 1,050- to 1,400-word paper summarizing the results of the analysis. Include the following:
•Identify ethical perspectives in the global organization.
•Compare these perspectives across cultures involved in the organization.
•Describe a viable solution for this issue that could be acceptable by all stakeholders.
Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines.

SAMPLE ANSWER

Cross Cultural Perspectives: Nike Inc.

Today’s speedily developing globalized economies and contest have forced organizations to spread out their business internationally for sustenance in their respective industries, which has introduced numerous cultural barriers within nations. These cultural barriers generate ethical disquiet when the firm expands its operations outside the its mother country. This document will focus on an international firm, specifically Nike Inc., and a cultural concern that affects its interactions outside the U.S, stressing on ethical perspective.

The Nike Inc. is a renowned global business entity. From the start, the firm has turned to other nations as a means of inexpensive labor. Nike first surfaced as Blue Ribbon Sports founded by Philip Knight along with Bill Bowerman. The firm decided to shift to Asian countries, for instance, Japan, in order to save money through a reduced cost of labor and manufacturing (Azam, 1999).

As the corporation continued to enlarge its line of merchandise, it also extended its outsourcing to additional countries such as Pakistan, China, and Vietnam among others. In Pakistan, the firm faced severe allegations of poor operating conditions and the usage of infant labor. The accusations were that there existed young kids edging the soccer balls produced by the firm. Many states that soccer balls have been produced largely for years include Sialkot, Pakistan in companies such as Nike, and it has been approximated that thousands of kids have been employed for soccer balls’ stitching. Dissimilar cultures have diverse analysis on how much duties children could have. The way infancy is perceived not only diverges among countries but additionally from one civilization to another. Childhood practices do not simply diverge across nations but also inside a single culture and throughout dissimilar ethnic groups (Khan 2010). For instance, even in some poor nations, policies developed to safeguard the nations against severe poverty levels are created towards empowering kids through education. Subjecting kids into working situations deprives them of their childhood rights of education and socializing and also introduces them into slavery. Numerous cultures in the world protect the children since they are their future. I find Nike’s preference to child labor very inhumane in the eyes of every individual and global culture.

Nike, as a result going global, must obey and accomplish its cultural and ethical responsibilities in order to remain globally competitive. The company must rise beyond the allegations it has previously underwent. Nike faced a lot of ethical and social responsibility challenges in their expansion to other countries. Firstly as analyzed, the issue of child labor along with the sweat shop crisis has introduced the company into numerous legal challenges. This is an ethical issue that Nike has to obey in order to remain in the international business. Additionally, Nike has been faced with another obstacle of awarding the workers an extremely low wage forcing them to do unpaid overtime in nations like Vietnam and Indonesia through a subcontractor. Nike will have to conform with locally and internationally set wage limits for its workers, which is the price of going global and which must be accomplished. An added difficulty faced by Nike is deprived operating conditions, filthy working conditions, along with compulsory labor in many of the factories that produce their products. Nike has been accused of damaging the environment that is attained through air and water pollution, noises and adjunct in the typical weather as a result of pollution. Nike must ensure that it maintains the environmental standards of the areas they operate in, if not making them better. Production measures must be put in place to avert air pollution including other forms of damaging the environment (Burns, Spar, & Harvard Business School, 2000).

Ethical Perspectives

Duty perspective

This perspective is concerned with people’s obligations to others. Duties are usually seen as natural, collective, balanced, and self-evident. In our case duty ethics like moral law a company actions have a responsibility to observe a set of rules. According to this perspective, Nike has a duty to comply with moral guidelines and, consequently, it is frequently considered a type of basic ethics. Nike has shown absolute failure in the duty perspective, it has subjected kids to illegal labor, it has persistently paid unimaginable wages to its workers along with many other failures.

Rights Perspectives

This perspective stresses on the responsibility among self and others, grounded on the task that the collective owes the individual. Thus, the collective’s duty is owed to the person in the appearance of rights (e.g., equality). In our case the rights perspective universalizes ethics, consequently, rights should be considered inalienable. This means that Nike must respect workers’ rights in whichever country they operate. Nike has denied the right to a fair wage, the right to education for kids, and the right to join unions.

Virtue perspective

Virtue ethics symbolizes a middle ground among duty and rights. Individuals have the responsibility to self-actualize and, thus, they should be given the space to complete that self-actualization. This viewpoint suggests that every human is born with intrinsic potential and, consequently, human growth is through the effort for self-actualization. A deed is judged grounded on whether it permits for expression of complete potential, thus, generating benefits for both a person and the community. Nike has evidently failed in this particular perspective since workers are subjected to forceful labor and are not allowed to express themselves in any way. Previously, workers were disallowed to join unions; this was done to cripple their voices (DiFazio & Aronowitz, 2006). When a firm wants to strengthen steady ethical patterns of behavior, effectual communications amongst members of that firm can create the difference linking success and failure. For a firm to act ethically, it should live and respire its policy of conduct, teach its workers and communicate its policy via its visioning statements.

The corporation has to ensure that it obeys the set international and local labor guidelines to recover its tarnished image and in order to support any future expansion to other countries. Additionally, the administration of Nike should view its hiring practices to make sure that the corporation is observing the regulations on recruitment, training, fitness, protection, and welfare. The administration should also supervise that the ecological practices are observed. This is to guarantee that the company follows measures that are responsible regarding waste disposal along with pollution prevention (Businessethics, 2010).

The firm should conduct and devise a training plan for the workers. Training and development endeavors enable employees to assume extended duties and larger responsibilities. The executive must also keep in mind that training and development plans are not complete solutions to all needs of the company. Effectual job designs, selection, placement, along with other activities of the HR unit are also very central.

References

Azam, F. (1999). NIKE and Child Labor. Retrieved August 5, from http://www1.american.edu/ted/nike.htm

Burns, J. L., Spar, D. L., & Harvard Business School. (2000). Hitting the wall: Nike and international labor practices. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business School Pub.

Businessethics. (2010). Nike: Corporate Responsibility at a “Tipping Point” | Business Ethics. Retrieved August 5, from http://business-ethics.com/2010/01/24/2154-nike-corporate-responsibility-at-a-tipping-point/

DiFazio, W., & Aronowitz, S. (2006). Ethical Perspectives and Practices. Retrieved August 5, from http://www.sagepub.com/upm-data/10924_Chapter2.pdf

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A memorandum on culture’s impact on communication

A memorandum on culture's impact on communication
A memorandum on culture’s impact on                                  communication

A memorandum on culture’s impact on communication

Order Instructions:

I need it to be written in a memo format. I’ve attached detailed instructions

SAMPLE ANSWER

A memorandum on culture’s impact on communication

July 7th, 2014

To:                   Instructor’s Name, Title

From:                Student Name

Subject:            Culture’s Impact on Communication

Introduction

Understanding the challenges as well as opportunities of intercultural communication is of major importance. A person will be able to develop effective intercultural communication which will allow him/her to foster more respect and acceptance, dismiss myths, develop more cooperative relationships with other people, and break down stereotypes (LeBaron, 2013). Communicating with persons from dissimilar cultures could at times be rather challenging given that unintentional offenses and misinterpretations are common.Understanding the challenges and opportunities of intercultural communication will help to improve cross-cultural communication within the organization. It will allow people to appreciate and know the differences in cultural communication styles (LeBaron, 2013).

Discussion

The ideas of low context and high context refer to the way that persons communicate in dissimilar cultures. Low context basically means much information is exchanged clearly and unequivocally through the message itself and rarely is anything hidden or unclear. Persons who live in low-context cultures for instance Western cultures – Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and North America– have the tendency of following standards and rules very closely, being very task-oriented and having short-term relationships.Persons from low-context cultures value directness, facts and logic, and decisions are not based upon intuition, but facts. Communicators are expected to be efficient, forthright, and succinct in telling the action that is anticipated. To be totally clear and unequivocal, people from low-context cultures endeavor to utilize exact, specific words and expect them to be taken literally. Unambiguous, open contracts conclude negotiations. This is particularly dissimilar from speakers in high-context cultures who rely less on legal documents and language precision. High-context business persons might even mistrust contracts and be affronted by the lack of trust which they suggest. High context essentially means that considerable amount of unspoken information is indirectly, obliquely transferred in the course of communication. Persons in high context cultures such as South America, Asia, Middle East and Africa have the tendency of placing greater importance on loyalty as well as long-term relationships, and they have less rules and structure implemented (LeBaron, 2013). In essence, high-context cultures are contemplative, relational, intuitive and collectivist meaning that these cultures highlight interpersonal relationships. A vital initial step to any business transaction is to develop trust.

Responding well to dissimilar cultures when preparing for business communication is an integral strategy for business survival in the current global economy, and it pervades virtually every facet of business after that. Culture affects every area of business communication, which include product sourcing, human resources decisions, contract negotiations, marketing campaigns as well as production operations (Rush, 2011).

It is recommended that:

  • When dealing with business with persons from different cultures, one should consider overcoming language barriers and understanding cultural dissimilarities.
  • Each party in a business deal should take time to learn about the cultures of each other before interacting to reduce the chances of business deals being lost.
  • Business persons should have an awareness of cultural attitudes towards business since this would help the business person in communicating effectively when he/she works with persons from different cultures.

Conclusion

In conclusion, understanding the challenges as well as opportunities of intercultural communication helps one to develop effective intercultural communication which will allow him/her to foster more respect and acceptance, dismiss myths and develop more cooperative relationships with others people.Responding properly to dissimilar cultures when preparing for business communication is vital for business survival in today’s global economy. For any questions regarding the content of this memo, you may contact Joy Adamson on 442-85300-712.

References

LeBaron, M. (2013).Communication Tools for Understanding Cultural Differences. Boston, MA: CRC Press.

Rush, M. (2011). Culture in Business Communication. Columbus, OH: Penguin Publishers.

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The Role of Leadership in Shaping Organizational Culture

The Role of Leadership in Shaping Organizational Culture
The Role of Leadership in Shaping                                    Organizational Culture

The Role of Leadership in Shaping Organizational Culture

Order Instructions:

The Role of Leadership in Shaping Organizational Culture
Recent research stated that “[c]companies with an established organizational culture that includes strong capabilities for change, commitment to innovation and a high level of trust have a significant advantage” when attempting to adopt a strategy of broad-based corporate sustainability (Eccles, Perkins, & Serafeim, 2013). Yet an Ethics Resource Center (2012) survey found that 42% of respondents felt their organizations exhibited signs of a weak ethics culture with a low degree of trust and transparency. Organizational leaders should have a strong incentive to identify and address any disparities that exist between their organization’s current culture and a productive healthy one. They must understand the impact they can have as leaders in facilitating an organizational culture, determining the necessary steps to build that culture, and taking the necessary action to create a healthy organizational culture.

To prepare:
Begin searching for scholarly references about the relationship between leadership and organizational culture. Reflect on the leadership characteristics and skills that are useful in promoting a healthy organizational culture. Also, consider the leadership styles that promote a healthy organizational culture. Think about the impact on organizational culture of how a leader responds to specific situations, such as crises. Reflect on how a leader might use power to promote a healthy organizational culture and how a leader can promote ethics in a healthy organization.
The “To prepare” is intended to aid in your reflection upon how the various leadership theories and other topics relate to organizational culture. However, you are free to analyze other facets of the relationship between leadership and organizational culture.
Compose an 8-page word document, comprehensive scholarly analysis of the role leadership plays in shaping an organizational culture.
Your paper must contain ten scholarly resources. Your paper should adhere to the APA Course Paper Template.

Learning resources.
• Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and practice (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
o Chapter 12, “Team Leadership” (pp. 287–318)
Ayman, R., & Korabik, K. (2010). Leadership: Why gender and culture matter. American Psychologist, 65(3), 157–170.
Eagly, A. H., & Lau Chin, J. (2010). Diversity and leadership in a changing world. American Psychologist, 65(3), 216–224.
Ilies, R., Judge, T., & Wagner, D. (2006). Making sense of motivational leadership: The trail from transformational leaders to motivated followers. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 13(1), 1–22.
Van Velsor, E., & Leslie, J. B. (1995). Why executives derail: Perspectives across time and cultures. Academy of Management Executive, 9(4), 62–72.
Abrhiem, T. H. (2012). Ethical leadership: Keeping values in business culture. Business & Management Review, 2(7), 11–19.
Cuilla, J. B. (2011). Is business ethics getting better? A historical perspective. Business Ethics Quarterly, 21(2), 335–343.
Hartog, D., & Belschak, F. (2012). Work engagement and Machiavellianism in the ethical leadership process. Journal of Business Ethics, 107(1), 35–47.
Heifetz, R. A., & Laurie, D. L. (1997). The work of leadership. Harvard Business Review, 75(1), 124–134.
Avolio, B. J., Walumbwa, F. O., & Weber, T. J. (2009). Leadership: Current theories, research, and future directions. Annual Review of Psychology, 60(1), 421–449.
George, B., Sims, P., McLean, A. N., & Mayer, D. (2007). Discovering your authentic leadership. Harvard Business Review, 85(2), 129–138.
Maner, J. K., & Mead, N. L. (2010). The essential tension between leadership and power: When leaders sacrifice group goals for the sake of self-interest. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99(3), 482–497.
Raven, B. H. (1993). The bases of power: Origins and recent developments. Journal of Social Issues, 49(4), 227–251.
Sandra:

SAMPLE ANSWER

The Role of Leadership in Shaping Organizational Culture

It is widely agreed that leadership forms, shapes, and embeds organizational culture, and in turn, contributes to the long-term effectiveness and productivity of an organization. Organizational culture sets the context within which the employees in a firm strive for excellence and work together in realizing the goals of the company (Yafang, 2011). An organization’s culture is characterized by the collective set of habits and values that condition actions of members within it. It is the written and unwritten rules of how a company’s employees work with each other, customers, and stakeholders (Belias & Koustelios, 2014). Culture becomes ingrained over a period as a response to the actions and style of an influential leader (DeRue & Ashford, 2010). There is also a common hypothesis postulating that culture plays a significant role in the ability of the firm to execute its own strategic plans successfully. Moreover, successful leaders shape the organizational culture instead of allowing it to shape the company. A strong culture which exhibits a well-targeted and effective set of behavior patterns and specified values, forms the basis for an organization to perform better.

The systems approach posits that organizations have an identity, the enduring distinctive character of the organization as reflected in the values, symbols, traditions, as well as in the way the organization translates and interprets its environment (DeRue & Ashford, 2010). Leaders, in this regard, are the architects of the identity of an entity, how an organization makes sense of its environment and work, relationships that matter, feedback that counts, and available information. At the same time, the views and behaviors of the organizational leadership are, in turn, shaped by the norms and boundaries of the organization (Belias & Koustelios, 2014). As such, the organization’s ability to manage identity confirmation in work groups is likely to achieve higher cooperation. Again, convergence around the collective identity enhances the organizational commitment, strengthens the organizational culture, and mobilizes cooperation.

Shaping the organizational culture is a comprehensive, methodical, and integrated approach to shifting the it from the top management and leadership to the bottom levels (Belias & Koustelios, 2014). Therefore, building a healthy, high-performance culture entails changing the behaviors of teams and individuals that constitute the organization. Personal transformation is the foundation of a cultural transformation. DeRue and Ashford (2010) posit that creating a thriving, high-performance culture that is aligned with the company’s values, goals, and vision is a vital strategy for success. Shaping the organizational culture is a journey that requires a well-coordinated and integrated approach. The process requires an integrated approach starting from the top and then embedded throughout the entire organization. A leader cannot, therefore, shape an organization’s culture in isolation. When done correctly, shaping of the organizational culture can be very successful, rewarding, and stimulating process.

Culture happens by design or default and is notably a critical aspect of the company’s business strategy and competitive advantage. Shaping the organizational culture requires a complete and comprehensive approach to change, with an awareness of and emphasizes on some key principles such as purposeful leadership, personal change, and focused sustainability (Aitken, 2008). The leadership must own and lead the process of shaping the culture. They need to have a clear, compelling purpose for the organization and for themselves coupled with a powerful business rationale to inspire a thriving organizational culture. Just like any other business strategy, the process requires to have resources and a systematic execution plan. Culture needs to be explicitly defined through values and behaviors and at the same time modeled by the senior team. There is a need for the company’s employees to unfreeze existing habits and to make personal behavior change on an emotional level through insight-based learning in natural work teams to shift thinking and in turn reinforce change (Belias & Koustelios, 2014). People must understand the need shaping their culture. The process requires momentum, energy, and critical mass in order to engage all employees, since cultures are likely to resist change. Institutional practices, performance capabilities and drivers, and systems need to drive towards the desired culture in terms of communication, measurement, training, rewards and reinforcement, HR practices, performance management, and physical layout.

Several studies have highlighted the correlation between leadership strategies, the effectiveness in leadership role, and the impact that leaders have on others (Yafang, 2011). Leadership has a role in shaping the organizational culture while the culture in turn shapes leadership. Both leadership and culture drive performance. Organization culture is very crucial in terms of creating a healthy working environment and in promoting and communicating the goals and vision of the organization to employees. This, to a great extent, influences employee’s job satisfaction and motivation (DeRue & Ashford, 2010). Effective leadership styles and culture form the basis for employees to make greater contribution to team collaboration and communication, and will be motivated to achieve the objectives of the organization.

Research has demonstrated the relationship between leadership behavior and work satisfaction of employees (Eagly & Lau Chin, 2010). Leadership behavior and job satisfaction depend on the organizational context. Culture is a socially learned and transmitted aspect by the members providing the rules for behavior within organizations.  Organizational culture is, therefore, supposed to guide employees in understanding what is expected of them including values, assumptions, and values about their work. The core values in a company begin with its leadership and then evolve into a leadership style. The other staff members are guided by the behavior of the leaders and the values. Once a strong, unified behavior, beliefs, and values have been developed, a strong organization culture then emerges (Ilies et al., 2006). When leaders are able to appreciate their function in maintaining the organizational culture, they are able to maintain a consistent behavior of the staff and to reduce conflicts thus creating a healthy working environment.

Research has revealed the close correlation between organizational culture and leadership, as well as between leadership styles and performance. Evidence demonstrates that the relationship between leadership effectiveness and leadership is mediated by cultural congruence (Belias & Koustelios, 2014). In describing organizational culture, it is important to highlight the various aspects in terms of the visible organizational actions and structures such as facilities, procedures, and actions. The other aspect is the one of expounding values manifest in public images of the organization such as goals, philosophies, and strategies. The third level consists of basic assumptions, perceptions, feelings, and thoughts. The visible elements created by a company act as the objective organization culture while the two other elements are related to subjective organizational culture. In order to function successfully, leaders need to balance between the different roles and competencies.

The rational goal model, which focuses on the director and producer roles, is a directive and goal oriented. The primary roles of this approach are those of the director and producer (Aitken, 2008). As a director, the manager provides direction and is expected to provide clarification of expectations through goal setting and planning. The leaders are supposed to be decisive initiators capable of defining problems, generating solutions, clarifying tasks, giving instructions, and establishing rules and procedures. The producer, on the other hand, is expected to increase production and to facilitate goal accomplishment. A producer has high motivation and energy and can accept responsibilities, maintain high productivity, and accomplish stated goals. The internal process model focusing on coordinating and monitoring roles as a leadership style is conservative and cautious (Aitken, 2008). The role of the manager is to keep track of the activities and to ensure that people follow the rules and procedures. A monitor is entrusted at analyzing all the facts and details. The human relations model of leadership styles concerns facilitator and mentor roles. This type of leadership is supportive and concerned. The roles of the facilitator are to build cohesion and teamwork (Aitken, 2008).

The transformational leadership theory emphasizes on the need for motivational leaders to articulate vision and direction, strengthening culture, and valuing and nurturing their staff, thereby enhancing performance. The transformational leadership approach strives to promote fellowship effectiveness (Jones, 2012). Distributed leadership identifies the need for the top leadership as part of a wider leadership capability. Although the distributed leadership approach recognizes the need for the top leadership, it champions for leadership in practice stretched over the situational and social contexts of the organization (Eagly & Lau Chin, 2010). In this model of leadership, the efforts of the leaders is a product the leaders thinking and behavior, the people, and the context. This model posits that strong leadership is characterized by the top leadership relinquishing power to others in the system, and recognizing interdependency. The systems approach identifies leadership as taking place in multiple systems whereby every organizational member is a member of that system. Leadership is practiced in different ways in these systems and is determined by the complexity of the work within that system. Leaders in complex systems that characterize today’s business environment are expected to provide clarity of purpose and expectations and to provide congruent and consistent decisions. The leaders also have a duty to guide on the system’s boundaries and expectations as well as to help the system make sense of the context within which it works (Jones, 2012).

Organization culture can be described as the framework that is used to guide decision-making and to resolve problems within the organization and in its external environment. Organizational culture depends on communication, shared interests and goals, collaborations, and social interactions among the employees (Eagly & Lau Chin, 2010). The main challenge for the leaders is, therefore, to influence and energize others to embrace a shared vision within the culture. They must be able to lead others into emulating and supporting the actions and behaviors that establish a strong, positive organizational culture that is capable of thriving and forging ahead into the future. According to Jones (2012), some of the effective leadership behaviors that would foster a healthy organizational culture include being a mover, empowering others, fostering good communication, building trust, managing conflict, and performance evaluation.

Leaders ought to apply several techniques geared towards molding a healthy organizational culture. These techniques involve adopting and integrating effective leadership behaviors and acting as a mentor by sharing knowledge and expertise gained from experience. Leaders as role models provide guidance in regard to value-based behaviors and standards of conduct (Latham, 2013). The leaders should also establish a shared vision, guide and motivate staff, and boost communication among the staff. By nurturing a sense of self-worth and commitment, leaders are able to develop an empowered organization.

Empowering others is a crucial recipe to realizing the great potential and creativity in them. Through empowerment, people feel significant and are willing to make a contribution to the company (Heifetz & Laurie, 1997). This is because they know that their contribution is important and valued by others in the workplace. Another important role of the leader is to unify. This entails creating a team of staff working towards a common shared vision. This can be achieved through a two-way communication between the leadership and the employees. When people feel empowered, in the workplace they take full responsibility of situations. They conduct themselves with a sense of personal power and control, flexibility, as well as trust from the leadership. In an organization where employees feel empowered, they take full control, responsibility, and charge of programs to achieve the organizational goals creating a culture of commitment and responsibility where everyone is committed to achieving the purpose.

Fostering good communication is a critical element of the organizational culture and acts to facilitate quality outcomes (Latham, 2013). For leadership to realize a healthy organizational culture, they must ensure that there is regular and comprehensive communication among the staff and the leadership. In addition, there is a need for timely and accurate flow of information among all the stakeholders of the company. Effective communication as such allows all those involved to express their opinions, receive constructive feedback, and resolve conflicts.

Leaders striving to create a healthy working culture ought to develop a culture that supports trusting connections with individuals and groups within the organization (Avolio et al., 2009).  Leaders can achieve this by being accessible, listening actively, and keeping in touch. By inviting others to contact them, leaders show their trust, availability, and willingness to focus on their concerns. Consequently, people know that they are valued and respected when they are listened to.

The authority and power of the leaders may be established in many ways, and the sources of power may either be positive or negative. A positive organizational culture focuses on the ability of the management to establish a positive authority (Eagly & Lau Chin, 2010). Leaders can achieve positive authority by establishing reward power and influencing others to follow their guidance in holding valued rewards. Consequently, they can establish referent power by socializing with employees and demonstrating various admirable traits that influence the followers to perform on the basis of a desire for approval or admiration. In addition, they can establish expert power by gaining expertise and knowledge and by encouraging the staff to learn and gain from their experience. Notably, to manage organizational culture so that it supports the core values and believes entails understanding and recognizing the conflicts and dynamics within the organization (Latham, 2013). This helps them to understand and effectively diagnose issues related to organizational culture. Conflict management is, therefore, a critical component of a healthy organizational culture. Conflict and differences are inherent aspects of an organization, and effective leaders view them as an important source of vitality.

In conclusion, it can be argued that managers and leaders play a very crucial role in influencing an organization’s culture. Culture serves as the foundation for all the systems, strategies, and processes in a company. Leaders have the central role in shaping the culture in an organization. Successful leaders are able to develop a positive and healthy corporate culture for their organization by motivating the employees to perform at a higher level, establishing positive authority, and promoting open communication.

References

Aitken, P. (2008). ‘Walking the talk’: the nature and role of leadership culture within organization culture/s. Journal Of General Management, 32(4), 17-37.

Avolio, B. J., Walumbwa, F. O., & Weber, T. J. (2009). Leadership: Current theories, research, and future directions. Annual Review of Psychology, 60(1), 421-449.

Belias, D., & Koustelios, A. (2014). The Impact of Leadership and Change Management Strategy on Organizational Culture.European Scientific Journal, (7), 451.

DeRue, D., & Ashford, S. J. (2010). Who Will Lead And Who Will Follow? A Social Process of Leadership Identity Construction In Organizations. Academy Of Management Review, 35(4), 627-647.

Eagly, A. H., & Lau Chin, J. (2010). Diversity and Leadership in a Changing World. American Psychologist, 65(3), 216-224.

Heifetz, R. A., & Laurie, D. L. (1997). The Work of Leadership. Harvard Business Review, 75(1), 124-134.

Ilies, R., Judge, T., & Wagner, D. (2006). Making Sense of Motivational Leadership: The Trail from Transformational Leaders to Motivated Followers. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 13(1), 1-22.

Jones, D. (2012). The Way We Do Things around Here: The Role of Leadership Teams in Shaping Progressive Organizational Cultures. Australian and Aotearoa New Zealand Psychodrama Association Journal, (21), 53.

Latham, J. R. (2013). A Framework for Leading the Transformation to Performance Excellence Part II: CEO Perspectives on Leadership Behaviors, Individual Leader Characteristics, and Organizational Culture. Quality Management Journal, 20(3), 19-40.

Yafang, T. (2011). Relationship between Organizational Culture, Leadership Behavior and Job Satisfaction. BMC Health Services Research, 11(1), 98-106.

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Cross cultural communications Essay Paper

Cross cultural communications
Cross cultural communications

Cross cultural communications

Cross cultural communication, according to Clarke et al. (2001), implies the interaction between people of varied ethnic, cultural, gender, racial, religious and sexual orientation, age, and backgrounds of class. This communication entails a process of negotiating, mediating and exchanging the varied cultural differences between the persons involved through space relationships, verbal and non-verbal cues and language in general. The prerequisite to its success relies on the readiness and willingness of the people to stay open to an experience involving various cultures.

Before getting to really understand the essence of this theme, there is need to get a clear understanding of the two terms: culture and communication. Culture may be defined as the shared behaviours, values, attitudes and communication techniques that are passed within a community from one generation to the next (Thompson, 2011). It is a very complicated subject that encompasses a several aspects of day to day life from music, philosophy, art, customs amongst others. Communication, on the other hand implies a context-bound and goal-directed the exchange of ideas or meaning amongst a group or just two people: it occurs for a specified reason between people, in a certain environment and by a specified medium (Sandberg, 2005).

The context in which the communication between people takes place may imply the same culture or different cultures. In a work context, the talk on cross-culture usually involves cultural discussions with regards to such issues as the belief systems of a group, their values and day to day behaviour (Weber et al., 2011). For instance, in a case whereby a Japanese and an American are negotiating a business deal, it is very obvious that the negotiation is across different cultures, and as such, the communication is culture-bound. In communication, there is the expression of the uniqueness of the cultural heritage of a person: it not only includes non-verbal and verbal peculiarities, but also the context and medium of communication.

Such a communication is usually very challenging as one’s cultures provides one with varied ways of hearing, interpreting, thinking and seeing the world, and as such, the same word would inevitably imply very different meanings to people from varied cultures, even in a case where the language is the same. The problem even worsens where there is the use of different languages as translation is needed, whish, more often than not, leads to a very tremendous misinterpretation, thus, misunderstanding.

As outlined by Stella Ting-Toomey, there are three main ways by which culture gets to interfere with the effective understanding in a cross-cultural context. She calls the very first one ‘cognitive constraints’, which are the settings for references or perceptions which provide a backdrop upon which all the new information is inserted or compared to. The second are the ‘behaviour constraints’, which she argues that is very distinct upon cultures as each has a set of rules governing a proper behaviour that impact both the verbal and non-verbal communication (Cultural Barriers to Effective Communication). Whether a person looks at the other right in the eye, hits the nail on the head or beats about the bush, hoe close people stand when conversing, the facial expressions, as well as the gestures-all are rules governing politeness, and are very varied across cultures. The third and the last of Toomey’s factor is the ‘emotional constraints’, whereby she asserts that the emotional display is very varied across cultures. In some cultures, in the discussion of an issue, there is usually too much emotions involved and people yell, cry, exhibit anger, frustration and fears openly, whereas the other tend to keep emotions hidden and only sharing the factual or rational aspect of the involved situation. All the factors tend to bring about communication problems, and in case the involved people are not really aware of the problems potentials, there is more likeliness of them falling victim to them (Cultural Barriers to Effective Communication).

With regards to this, let us view the following two scenarios to assist in the complete discerning of the cross-cultural communication and the possible remedies in curbing or complete avoidance of the problems.

Scene 1. A manager on assignment in Japan

Firstly, this case involved a culture-bound communication as the manager is not of Japan origin, and between people of different hierarchical levels, since the manager is on a higher rank than the team members. The problem that arises may be described by a number of models which have been put forward to the difference in the value systems in countries. There are five key dimensions that explains the national culture (De Mooij & Hostede, 2010).

Hierarchy

According to Hofstede, this is the ‘power distance’, which explains the extent of acceptance of unequal power distribution by people within a given culture. On one side of the continuum are the cultures that have value for hierarchy, while at the other end are those that do not give too much attention to authority and can easily question it. The case above displays a culture that values hierarchy (Hofstede, 1996). Due to this, the team members are so glued to culture that they feel a very open brainstorming session like the case is not acceptable. The team members therefore feel it unethical to openly talk to a person in authority. Instead, they feel that the manager should just pass the laws, which they then follow.

Individualism

This dimension describes the degree to which people value self-determination. In a culture characterized by individualism, a lot of value is placed in personal success and the need to only look after personal self (Sandberg, 2005). The other case is collectivism, whereby people tend to place group loyalty at the forefront as well as serving the group interest. This case is of individualistic society, whereby the team members believe in keeping to themselves and not exchanging ideas.

The use of language

This encompasses the use of vocabulary that at some point may lead to too much confusion. This comes in the form of pronunciation, use of idioms and slang (DuPraw & Axner, 2007). There is the possibility that the manager may have used some slang, which to the team members, according to their culture, was not acceptable. The choice of words may also be very critical in the language. In the case above, the manager may have started off in a very hit on the head approach, whereby he pinpointed out directly the mistakes and the weaknesses of the team members. This may have turned off the team members as they may have recognized this as being too rude.

Scene 2. The banning of the U.S. TV airing in China

Firstly, this case uses two dragons and a Fung Fu master as being annihilated, which is very ironical as they stand out as very significant figures in China. Obviously, the citizens of China were bound to perceive this as a mockery of their culture, which would eventuate animosity and hatred towards the programme.

Possible remedies in the two cases

The following key principles may be used in curbing the problems that arise in the two cases.

Avoid making assumptions

It is very important that assumptions are not made about an individual in terms of their values and beliefs, and instead, there is the need to get to know a people very well in case you are to deal with them (Swann et al, 2009). This involves finding the precise information. Stereotypes influence our behaviours, however, we should never let them do it to an extent of tampering our habits. In the first case, the manager may have assumed the team members as collectivists. At the same time, the team members may themselves have had opinion of the manager, no wander the non-cooperativeness.

Check out if unsure

The manager may have been not very aware of the customs in the firm. In this case, there was the need for him to check out (DuPraw & Axner, 2007).  At the same time, the U.S. TV should have checked out properly to understand the values that are placed on the Kung Fu master and the dragons in the customs of China.

Share information

This principle is very vital for an effective cross-cultural communication as it gets people involved very aware of the other’s culture and values. In a system, there is the need to be willing to openly share information about your culture in order to avoid any future misunderstanding (Swann et al, 2009). In the case of the manager, there was the need for him to provide a session for sharing on the team members’ cultures before settling down in the brainstorming. The second scenario also require the same as this could have avoided the clash that occurred which led to the ban.

References

Cultural Barriers to Effective Communication (2014). Retrieved from: http://www.colorado.edu. [Accessed on 5th May, 2014]

De Mooij M, Hostede G (2010). The Hofstede Model – Applications to Global Branding and Advertising Strategy and Research. Int. J. Advert., 29(1): 85-110.)

G.RG. Clarke, R. Cull, M.S.M. Peria, S.M. Sanchez. Foreign Bank Entry: Experience, Implications for Developing Countries, and Agenda for Further Research. – Washington, 2003.

Hofstede G (1996).  Cultures and organizations; software of the mind.  Intercultural co-operation and its importance for survival.  McGraw-Hill (Revised edition).

M.E. DuPraw & M. Axner. (2007). Working on Common Cross-cultural Communication Challenges, 2007.

Sandberg, J. (2005). Monitoring of Workers Is Boss’s Right but Why Not Include Top Brass? The Wall Street Journal, p. 1.

Swann, William B., Jr., Ángel Gómez, D. Conor Seyle, J. Francisco Morales, and Carmen Huici, (2009). “Identity Fusion: The Interplay of Personal and Social Identities in Extreme Group Behavior,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 96, No. 5, 2009, pp. 995–1011.

Thompson LL (2011). The Mind and Heart of the Negotiator (5th Ed.). New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Weber Y, Belkin T, Tarba SY (2011). Negotiation, Cultural Differences, and Planning in Mergers and Acquisitions. J. Transnatl. Manag., 16(2): 107-115.

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Cross Cultural Communication Essay Paper

Cross Cultural Communication
Cross Cultural Communication

 Cross Cultural Communication Essay

SAMPLE ANSWER

Cross Cultural Communication

Cross cultural communication, according to Clarke et al. (2001), implies the interaction between people of varied ethnic, cultural, gender, racial, religious and sexual orientation, age, and backgrounds of class. This communication entails a process of negotiating, mediating and exchanging the varied cultural differences between the persons involved through space relationships, verbal and non-verbal cues and language in general. The prerequisite to its success relies on the readiness and willingness of the people to stay open to an experience involving various cultures.

Before getting to really understand the essence of this theme, there is need to get a clear understanding of the two terms: culture and communication. Culture may be defined as the shared behaviours, values, attitudes and communication techniques that are passed within a community from one generation to the next (Thompson, 2011). It is a very complicated subject that encompasses a several aspects of day to day life from music, philosophy, art, customs amongst others. Communication, on the other hand implies a context-bound and goal-directed the exchange of ideas or meaning amongst a group or just two people: it occurs for a specified reason between people, in a certain environment and by a specified medium (Sandberg, 2005).

The context in which the communication between people takes place may imply the same culture or different cultures. In a work context, the talk on cross-culture usually involves cultural discussions with regards to such issues as the belief systems of a group, their values and day to day behaviour (Weber et al., 2011). For instance, in a case whereby a Japanese and an American are negotiating a business deal, it is very obvious that the negotiation is across different cultures, and as such, the communication is culture-bound. In communication, there is the expression of the uniqueness of the cultural heritage of a person: it not only includes non-verbal and verbal peculiarities, but also the context and medium of communication.

Such a communication is usually very challenging as one’s cultures provides one with varied ways of hearing, interpreting, thinking and seeing the world, and as such, the same word would inevitably imply very different meanings to people from varied cultures, even in a case where the language is the same. The problem even worsens where there is the use of different languages as translation is needed, which, more often than not, leads to a very tremendous misinterpretation, thus, misunderstanding.

As outlined by Stella Ting-Toomey, there are three main ways by which culture gets to interfere with the effective understanding in a cross-cultural context. She calls the very first one ‘cognitive constraints’, which are the settings for references or perceptions which provide a backdrop upon which all the new information is inserted or compared to. The second are the ‘behaviour constraints’, which she argues that is very distinct upon cultures as each has a set of rules governing a proper behaviour that impact both the verbal and non-verbal communication (Cultural Barriers to Effective Communication). Whether a person looks at the other right in the eye, hits the nail on the head or beats about the bush, hoe close people stand when conversing, the facial expressions, as well as the gestures-all are rules governing politeness, and are very varied across cultures. The third and the last of Toomey’s factor is the ‘emotional constraints’, whereby she asserts that the emotional display is very varied across cultures. In some cultures, in the discussion of an issue, there is usually too much emotions involved and people yell, cry, exhibit anger, frustration and fears openly, whereas the other tend to keep emotions hidden and only sharing the factual or rational aspect of the involved situation. All the factors tend to bring about communication problems, and in case the involved people are not really aware of the problems potentials, there is more likeliness of them falling victim to them (Cultural Barriers to Effective Communication).

With regards to this, let us view the following two scenarios to assist in the complete discerning of the cross-cultural communication and the possible remedies in curbing or complete avoidance of the problems.

Scene 1. A manager on assignment in Japan

Firstly, this case involved a culture-bound communication as the manager is not of Japan origin, and between people of different hierarchical levels, since the manager is on a higher rank than the team members. The problem that arises may be described by a number of models which have been put forward to the difference in the value systems in countries. There are five key dimensions that explains the national culture (De Mooij & Hostede, 2010).

Hierarchy

According to Hofstede, this is the ‘power distance’, which explains the extent of acceptance of unequal power distribution by people within a given culture. On one side of the continuum are the cultures that have value for hierarchy, while at the other end are those that do not give too much attention to authority and can easily question it. The case above displays a culture that values hierarchy (Hofstede, 1996). Due to this, the team members are so glued to culture that they feel a very open brainstorming session like the case is not acceptable. The team members therefore feel it unethical to openly talk to a person in authority. Instead, they feel that the manager should just pass the laws, which they then follow.

Individualism

This dimension describes the degree to which people value self-determination. In a culture characterized by individualism, a lot of value is placed in personal success and the need to only look after personal self (Sandberg, 2005). The other case is collectivism, whereby people tend to place group loyalty at the forefront as well as serving the group interest. This case is of individualistic society, whereby the team members believe in keeping to themselves and not exchanging ideas.

The use of language

This encompasses the use of vocabulary that at some point may lead to too much confusion. This comes in the form of pronunciation, use of idioms and slang (DuPraw & Axner, 2007). There is the possibility that the manager may have used some slang, which to the team members, according to their culture, was not acceptable. The choice of words may also be very critical in the language. In the case above, the manager may have started off in a very hit on the head approach, whereby he pinpointed out directly the mistakes and the weaknesses of the team members. This may have turned off the team members as they may have recognized this as being too rude.

Scene 2. The banning of the U.S. TV airing in China

Firstly, this case uses two dragons and a Fung Fu master as being annihilated, which is very ironical as they stand out as very significant figures in China. Obviously, the citizens of China were bound to perceive this as a mockery of their culture, which would eventuate animosity and hatred towards the programme.

Possible remedies in the two cases

The following key principles may be used in curbing the problems that arise in the two cases.

Avoid making assumptions

It is very important that assumptions are not made about an individual in terms of their values and beliefs, and instead, there is the need to get to know a people very well in case you are to deal with them (Swann et al, 2009). This involves finding the precise information. Stereotypes influence our behaviours, however, we should never let them do it to an extent of tampering our habits. In the first case, the manager may have assumed the team members as collectivists. At the same time, the team members may themselves have had opinion of the manager, no wander the non-cooperativeness.

Check out if unsure

The manager may have been not very aware of the customs in the firm. In this case, there was the need for him to check out (DuPraw & Axner, 2007).  At the same time, the U.S. TV should have checked out properly to understand the values that are placed on the Kung Fu master and the dragons in the customs of China.

Share information

This principle is very vital for an effective cross-cultural communication as it gets people involved very aware of the other’s culture and values. In a system, there is the need to be willing to openly share information about your culture in order to avoid any future misunderstanding (Swann et al, 2009). In the case of the manager, there was the need for him to provide a session for sharing on the team members’ cultures before settling down in the brainstorming. The second scenario also require the same as this could have avoided the clash that occurred which led to the ban.

References

Cultural Barriers to Effective Communication (2014). Retrieved from: http://www.colorado.edu. [Accessed on 5th May, 2014]

De Mooij M, Hostede G (2010). The Hofstede Model – Applications to Global Branding and Advertising Strategy and Research. Int. J. Advert., 29(1): 85-110.)

G.RG. Clarke, R. Cull, M.S.M. Peria, S.M. Sanchez. Foreign Bank Entry: Experience, Implications for Developing Countries, and Agenda for Further Research. – Washington, 2003.

Hofstede G (1996).  Cultures and organizations; software of the mind.  Intercultural co-operation and its importance for survival.  McGraw-Hill (Revised edition).

M.E. DuPraw & M. Axner. (2007). Working on Common Cross-cultural Communication Challenges, 2007.

Sandberg, J. (2005). Monitoring of Workers Is Boss’s Right but Why Not Include Top Brass? The Wall Street Journal, p. 1.

Swann, William B., Jr., Ángel Gómez, D. Conor Seyle, J. Francisco Morales, and Carmen Huici, (2009). “Identity Fusion: The Interplay of Personal and Social Identities in Extreme Group Behavior,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 96, No. 5, 2009, pp. 995–1011.

Thompson LL (2011). The Mind and Heart of the Negotiator (5th Ed.). New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Weber Y, Belkin T, Tarba SY (2011). Negotiation, Cultural Differences, and Planning in Mergers and Acquisitions. J. Transnatl. Manag., 16(2): 107-115.

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Cultural differences and personality differences

Cultural differences and personality differences can impact cooperation.
Cultural differences and personality differences can impact cooperation.

Cultural differences and personality differences can impact cooperation.

Team building is an important aspect of communication. Consider some aspects of culture and personality that may impact how people work together.

Research the importance of teamwork and the impact of personal and cultural differences on team building using your textbook, the Argosy University online
library resources, and the Internet.

Situation:
After you helped your company, Labolg, prepare for expansion into other countries, the chief operating officer (COO) approaches you and tells you that she
feels the differences among team members is negatively affecting production. She asks if you have any ideas for productive ways to work with the differences in their organization.

Analyze the situation and prepare a recommendation for the COO. State any assumptions you make about the nature of differences in the team.
Write a two- to three-page paper in Word format. Apply APA standards for writing style to your work. Use the following file naming convention:

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