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Report on Cross Cultural Management of Cuba Essay

4 Analysis of Silk Trade in Cuba To a great extent, the silk trade can be influenced by the culture. Before entering into the Cuban market, the company needs to understand the culture and take into account the local market situation. Cross cultural management models can be used to analyze the cultural characteristics in Cuba, for example Geert Hofstede Cultural Dimensions, Fons Trompenaars Cultural Dimensions, and Ednlard T. Hall Cultural Dimensions. In the following, cross cultural models will be used to conduct an assessment of Cuban cultural background and analyze the impact of Cuban culture on the silk trade.

Fig 1 Location of Cuba

4.1 Cuban culture under Geert Hofstede Cultural Dimensions Professor Geert Hofstede is an expert in the field of cross cultural management. His study on the cultural dimensions can be used to help define the culture of a country in the world. According to Geert Hofstede Cultural Dimensions, each kind of the culture places different emphasis on five different cultural dimensions, Power Distance (PDI), Individualism versus Collectivism (IDV), Masculinity versus Femininity (MAS), Uncertainty Avoidance (UAI), and Long term orientation (LTO) (Hofstede, 1996).

4.1.1 Power Distance According to the view of Professor Hofstede, power distance deals with the income inequity in a country (Soares et al., 2007). Cuba scores high in the scale of power distance, which means that the members of this country believes that inequities are usual and accepted by all layers of the society, and the leaders of an organization can have a lot of power. The reason can be found in the long history.

4.1.2 Individualism versus Collectivism The dimension individualism is the degree of interdependence a society maintains in its members. In simple words, it deals with whether people’s self-image is defined in terms of I or We. It is known that Cuba is a communist country and it is a collectivist culture. Under such political environment, people work together and share everything. The Cubans believe that all the people are important and cooperation is important in the society. In simple words, collectivism is widely accepted in Cuba.

4.1.3 Masculinity versus Femininity The dimension masculinity deals with what motivates people, wanting to be the best (masculine) or liking what you do (feminine). Under the Cuban culture, people are always more feminine. The dominant values in the society are caring for others and quality of life, rather than the competition, achievement, and success. In addition to this, the Cuban women have played an important role in the society, and women hold nearly 37% of the seats in parliament. The Cuban culture is more feminine.

4.1.4 Uncertainty Avoidance The dimension Uncertainty Avoidance can explain how people deal with the unknown future, some may try to control the future, and some may let it happen (Merkin, 2006). People in the Cuban society belong to the category of high uncertainty avoidance. To a large extent, it is decided by the political environment, the communist society for years can be the reason why Cuban people eliminate unwanted changes in the future.

4.1.5 Long term orientation The long term orientation dimension decides the extent to which the society shows a pragmatic future-oriented view rather than a conventional historical short-term view. In Cuba, people fall more in the conventional short-term view. The society is largely controlled by the government, and people live life day to day with the conventional short-term view, also they have not planned too much for the future.

4.2 Cuban culture under Fons Trompenaars Cultural Dimensions According to the view of Professor Fons, what distinguished people from one culture is where their preferences fall on each of the seven different dimension, including universalism versus particularism, individualism versus communitarianism, specific versus diffuse, neutral versus emotional, achievement versus ascription, sequential time versus synchronous time, and internal direction versus outer direction (Charles and Trompenaars, 1997). The dimension universalism vs. particularism deals with what is more important, rule or relationship. In Cuba, people believe that relationships can be more important, which is largely decided by the political factor. Under the communist society, the whole society is controlled by the leaders of the country, and the society is decided by rule of people, rather than rule of law (Rasha, 2006). Individualism vs. collectivism deals with the degree of interdependence a society maintains in its members. Cuba falls more in a collectivist culture.

In addition, the neutral vs. emotional dimension describes the importance of feelings and relationships. Obviously, Cuba, a neutral culture, and people do not easily display their feelings and emotions. The government controls everything, and people dare not display their real feelings (Kang and Mastin (2008). Specific vs. diffuse dimension answers how the people separate the private and working lives. Cuban culture belongs to the specific-oriented culture, in simple words the Cuban people separate the private and the working lives very clearly. The achievement vs. ascription dimension refers to the question of the status. In Cuban society, people belong to the ascription-oriented culture and the respect for a manager is based on hierarchy. Sequential vs. synchronic dimension defines two different ways of managing time, and the Cuban people belong to the synchronization-oriented dimension. In the end, the Cuban people fall more in the external control dimension.

4.3 Cuban culture under Ednlard T. Hall Cultural Dimensions Ednlard T. Hall is a famous researcher on cross cultural management. Hall’s cultural factors can be used to understand people from different cultural backgrounds, include high-context culture and low-context culture, monochromic action and polychromic action, high territoriality and low territoriality. First of all, Cuba belongs to a kind of high-context culture, similar with Trompenaars’ particularism. There are a lot of local unwritten rules of the culture, and much is taken for granted in the Cuban culture. Secondly, similar with Trompenaars’ time as sequence (monochromic) and time as synchronization (polychromic), most of the Cuban people can be polychromic-based action (Hall, 1966). In simple words, people often do many things at once and put relationship first, in addition to this, things are borrowed and shared often and easily. (Hall, 1983). Cuban people have high territoriality when working with the foreigners, which largely results from the political attitude of the communist society.

5 Impact of culture on leadership and organization behavior in Cuba With the development of the economic globalization, the importance of cross cultural management receives more attention. Culture can be defined as the characteristics of a particular group of people, including history, education, language, social, structure, religion, political, and economic.

5.1 Impact of culture on leadership in Cuba Leadership can be defined as a process of social influence in the accomplishment of a common task, and good leaders are not made born. As described above, cross cultural management models can be used to understand how to do the business in Cuba.

Fig 2 Flag of Cuba

5.1.1 Impact of Cuban history on leadership The history of Cuba began with the arrival of Columbus in 1492, and in a long time it was controlled by the foreign countries, such as United States and Brazil. In the 20th century, Cuba made the alliance with the Soviets. Castro controlled Cuba for decades until the year 2006. In Cuba, the leaders have the concentrated power and members of an institution and organization accept the leadership very easily.

Fig 3 Castro

5.1.2 Impact of Cuban education on leadership Speaking in essence, the Cuban education was strictly controlled by the government, and the school attendance is not very high. In addition to this, education has a strong political and ideological emphasis. In simple words, the Cuban education is not well-developed, and the leaders can easily influence the followers, also people get used to obey the instructions from the leaders.

5.1.3 Impact of Cuban language on leadership Spanish is the official language in Cuba, and most of the Cubans can speak it, because in a long time Cuba was controlled by Spain. In addition to this, Haitian Creole can be the second largest language. Language can play an important role in the leadership process, and it can be inferred that the leaders in Cuba are required to speak Spanish.

5.1.4 Impact of Cuban social structure on leadership Social structure can be identified as the relationship between entities or groups or as enduring and relatively stable patterns of relationship. The Cuban society believes that inequities are usual and a fact of the life. The equality can be accepted by all layers of the society, and the leaders of an organization can have a lot of power.

Fig 4 Cathedral of Saint Christopher in Havana

5.1.5 Impact of Cuban religion on leadership Cuba has been a Communist country since 1959. Catholicism is much modified and influenced, and the most popular religion in Cuba is Santeria. The religion can maximize the cohesion between the members, and the leadership can take advantage of the religion, or else it will be the barriers.

5.1.6 Impact of Cuban politics on leadership Culture of a country can significantly influence the trade business, including the silk trade. People’s Republic of China has built a good relationship with Republic of Cuba for many years, which can be good for the silk trade in Cuba (Benjamin and Collins, 1985). To be more specific, the political attitude can be helpful in leadership.

5.1.7 Impact of Cuban economic on leadership Influenced by the political ideology, Cuba refused the free trade with the foreigners in the world market. Cuba carries out the planned economy for a long time and limits the private economy (Padilla and McElroy, 2007). The production are largely owned and operated by the government. Leaders from foreign countries may not easy in Cuba.

5.2 Impact of culture on organization behavior in Cuba Likewise, the impact of culture on the organization behavior must be also taken into account by the management. Organization behavior is a field of study that investigates the impact of individuals, groups and structures upon behavior within an organization. Organization behavior can be understood better, and the barriers can be eliminated.

5.2.1 Impact of Cuban history on organization behavior In a long history of the communist society, the Cubans get used to obey the rules from the leaders. In simple words, the individuals, groups and structures in Cuba share the same rules. In the process of cross cultural management, members of an institution or organization obey the group norms.

5.2.2 Impact of Cuban education on organization behavior Castro developed a fully state-operated education system, at the same time the private institutions are banned by the government. There is no advanced education system to build the organization behavior. In other words, the organization behavior of the local employees can be rebuilt in the process of cross cultural management.

5.2.3 Impact of Cuban language on organization behavior The official language in Cuba is Spanish, and the organization behaviors are based on the language. More importantly, language is the communication tool, and it can also decide the success of cross cultural management. Only on the basis of understanding the language, the organization behavior can be understood.

5.2.4 Impact of Cuban social structure on organization behavior Likewise, social structure decides many social systems, such as legal system, cultural system, economic system, and political system. Individuals and groups obey the social systems, and organization behavior can be influenced by the social systems.

5.2.5 Impact of Cuban religion on organization behavior To be more specific, the Santeria in Cuba developed from Catholicism by combining the religion of African slaves and some local Americans. Institutions or organizations from foreign countries can take advantage of the religion to bring people together.

5.2.6 Impact of Cuban politics on organization behavior The former leader Castro controlled everything for years and the Cuban people have been under control. Under such political environment, behaviors of individuals and groups are influenced by the external political factors.

5.2.7 Impact of Cuban economic on organization behavior Foreign leaders may find it difficult in leading the local Cuban employees, and some measures should be taken, for example hiring the local managers. The Cuban people have high territoriality when working with the foreigners, which largely results from the political attitude of the communist society in the world (Séror and Arteaga, 2000).

6 Conclusion and Recommendations Due to the different political ideology, Cuba closed the door and operated differently. In conclusion, the characteristics of Cuban culture are different, and cross cultural management in Cuba needs to consider the characteristics. Recommendations will be made in the following to operate the silk trade in an effective and efficient way.

6.1 Leadership styles of cross cultural management in Cuba There are many kinds of leadership styles, which include authoritarian, paternalistic, democratic, laissez-faire, and transactional. Taking the Cuban cultural characteristics into account, the kind of paternalistic leadership style can be put into practices in the Cuban business world. The leaders encourage the employees to compete the tasks, at the same time they take care of the employees as a parent will do, because the local employees are influenced by the external political factor. In order to do the silk trade, the leaders have to deal with the potential barriers in Cuba.

6.2 Communication styles of cross cultural management in Cuba In Cuba, the official language is Spanish. As for the management, the communication styles can be assertive, aggressive, passive, and passive-aggressive. The best style for the management in Cuba can be the assertive communication. To be more specific, the leaders can communicate with the local employees in an assertive way. The language barrier can be solved by hiring the translators, and the institutions and organizations can hire the local employees as the middle management level, for they can carry out the business strategies better and communicate with the local employees easily.

6.3 Negotiation skills of cross cultural management in Cuba Under the different cultural background, some negotiation skills are necessary in the process of cross cultural management. By understanding the Cuban culture, leaders in Cuba can learn how to work with the Cubans and avoid the cultural barriers. It can be recommended that the first one negotiation skill is to learn to flinch. In order to make the silk trade with the Cubans, the businessmen need to respect the local rules and the employees, thus make them feel comfortable in the trade process. The second one is to recognize that customers often ask for more than they expect to get. In the process of silk trade, the Cubans are provided good products and services. After the customers recognize the products and services, the company can build better brand awareness to increase the sales and make profits in Cuba.

6.4 Management styles and requirements of cross cultural management in Cuba The management process is not easy, but it can significantly influence the silk trade in Cuba. During the process of cross cultural management, the management can consider the Cuban cultural factors, as explained in the above cultural dimensions. Especially, when making important decisions, the cultural factors need to be taken into account, as well as the problem-solving process and team management.

6.4.1 Decision-making of cross cultural management in Cuba The process of decision-making is not easy in a different cultural background. In the Cuban culture, the first one is to take the political factor into account. The government interface with free trade can be the biggest barrier in Cuba. The decision-makers need to understand the Cubans, for example, things can be borrowed and shared often and easily. Cuban people have high territoriality when working with the foreigners, so the institutions and organizations can cooperate with the local groups. In the end, results of the potential decisions need to be reasonably predicted under such circumstances.

6.4.2 Problem-solving of cross cultural management in Cuba When facing with the conflicts, the management needs to solve the problems. Unlike the conventional situation, the local cultural may be more complex, for the conflicts in Cuba may involve many parties. At this time, the foreigners need to understand how the local residents deal with the problem. For example, the members of this country believes that inequities are usual and accepted by all layers of the society, and the leaders of an organization can have a lot of power. In simple words, the foreigners can seek for the support of the leaders if they are encountering the barriers in Cuba. More importantly, people in Cuba belong to the category of high uncertainty avoidance, and money can be the effective and efficient to solve the current problems.

6.4.3 Team management of cross cultural management in Cuba As a communist society, the Cuban people are regarded as the group. It is known that Cuba is a collectivist culture. Under such political environment, people work together and share the property. They believe that all the Cubans are important and cooperation is important in the society. In the process of team management, the leaders can learn to motivate the employees and increase the cohesion power among the team members. In addition to this, the dominant values in the society are caring for others and quality of life, rather than the competition, achievement, and success. If team members share the same values, they can come together to complete the common goals. The last but not the least, the leaders have a lot of concentrated power. During the process of cross cultural management, leaders need to develop an understanding of the Cuban culture.


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