Evidently, in a cross-cultural setting, the need to decipher and properly interpret culturally encoded communication from others of a different culture is important in the process of effective communication in the work environment. Consequently, the proposed exercise by the author achieves the obvious need to develop one’s cultural intelligence in a cross-cultural setting. The fact that communication is culturally conditioned cannot be overemphasized enough.
For instance, in a culture with very strict demarcations in relations between opposite sexes, a foreigner who tries to be very cordial with the opposite sex would invariable have his/her cordiality being conceived as offensive or too intrusive. Thus potential misconceptions can be prevented in a cross-cultural work place through the proposed cultural intelligence training which can help people from different cultures to identify and work on their weaknesses when interacting with others. If we look at a usual modern workplace we’ll see representatives of different cultures and world-views.
Most of the countries have multi-cultural societies, so ethnic minorities are widely represented even within the same cultural setting. Immigrants of different generations may have various degrees of assimilation. Globalization and international business complicate the issue. This further accentuates the need to develop an astute cultural intelligence within the work place. However, the modern approach to human resources also tends to view any work-place as culturally diverse, including every employee, even in case those are representatives of the same race and ethnicity.
Employees may practice different religions and possess different values and ideals. They may have different ways of acting and thinking. A common nationality hence does not denote one monolithic culture adhered to by all. A good manager should be able to use the human resources to their utmost potential. He is to find common language with all the people in a firm and to organize people in a team. As a rule, creation of a mono-cultural team represents a very difficult task. The essence of the offered training is to teach managers how to deal with other people. I think that technologies proposed can be useful even in mono-cultural setting.
So I would certainly buy the cultural intelligence training program. Also, even in a mono-cultural work environment, organizations and different professions within the organizations form their own sub-cultures that are peculiar to them. A sales team motivated by a culture of ‘hard-selling’ where success in counted based on sales volume would have some significant ‘cultural’ clashes with a public relations team that is motivated by ‘selling’ a good corporate image. However, for the organizational culture or vision to prevail independent of these varieties of sub-cultures, an equilibrium should be reached.
Organizational theory has moved beyond the perception that organizations are similar to biological organisms that thrive by adapting to their environments. Organizations, and by extension, the work place are willful human creations that reflect norms, ideas, visions and belief systems that may challenge or alter the prevailing sub-cultures within the organization and the culture within in the wider environment. The cultural intelligence training offered by the author would thus be important in the bid to integrate employees into an organizational culture.
It offers the opportunity of homogenizing diversities either within cross-cultural or mono-cultural environments where different shades of sub-cultures also thrive. Homogenizing diversities, would not entail a drive to assimilate every employee into a single culture, but would rather endeavor to achieve effective communication and interactions within the various shades of diversity in the work place. Bibliography: Earley, P. C. and Mosakowski, E. (2004), ‘Cultural Intelligence’. Harvard Business Review, October, pp. 1-8 Morgan G. (2006) Images of Organisation, Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications