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MANAGING CROSS CULTURAL ISSUES

Executive Summary This report is based on the analysis of the cross cultural issues being faced by Alliance Boots. These cross cultures consist of building of teams and localisation and business communication by comparing these with standards. For the expansion of service operations in the global market, Alliance Boots recruiting and hiring more staff for achieving this objective of expansion. The companies which are providing medical services are working in several different cultures and owing to this these companies are facing many issues associated with communication and team building. (Anonymous, 2008)The major problem and issue which is associated with the building of team is the management of team as the staff of such teams belongs to diverse cultures. For the resolution of this burning issue Alliance Boots has choices for taking feedback from employees on or at the time of building teams. But the most suitable choice is casting of votes by the employees of the company. The most cause of conflict among employees in the organisation is language and language obstacles can be seen in official documents and office meetings as well. It is observed that employees generally do not understand the professional meaning of the official meeting and their minutes which can be in negative results of wastage of energy and time resources. These types of problems in Alliance Boots can be removed if the company intends to operate business in the market of China by hiring a translator for the meetings and communication between the management and staff members. There is another choice which can be used by Alliance Boots which the use of translator software as this software will be helpful for the employees to understand the meaning in their native language. Alliance Boots can such strategies which can fit the company in the products culture in international market as well as in the local market. (Blomqvist, K., 2005). Introduction Alliance Boots is running business in various cultures as it is operating in more than twenty five counties so it has different types of employees in several countries. So the company is facing problems for the management of teams which belong to diverse cultures so managing of such teams is a challenge for the company. The proper formation of teams means the right teams work because managers must familiar with the workforce and their own cultures. So it is very important for the company and its management that they must not hit any culture ethically and they should know and understand different cultures through effective communication in groups or team work. Super markets are the major reasons of decline in share price of the company because consumers like and prefer to go to super stores for having the variety of non food and food products for taking the benefits of discounts in bulk purchases. The main focus of the company is to offer and provide all types and range of items in single place which is raising a number of challenges for the company in the duration of working in the local business environment and international business environment (Carrillo, 2006). Alliance Boots has specialisation for in retailing outlets as compared to competitive supermarkets that are generally focus on number of items rather than focusing on particular or specialised products or items. According to the feedback given by the customers the prices of Alliance Boots products are very cheap as compared to prices offered by other competitors and this feedback is very positive for the company and its repute in the market. Most of the customers like to go and visit the Alliance Boots stores because of midnight

pharmacy choices, home delivery services, repeat prescription services and consultant services at its stores for guidance and provision of awareness for using the drugs. This report discusses the cross cultural issues which are being faced at Alliance Boots and these issues are team building and localisation and business communication by comparing with internationalisation. The automatic looms which are being used at the company have been divided into another brand so the production of companys medicines is highly associated with this department or division. The products of the company are well recognised in the international market because of their high quality and reasonable prices offered by the company. The company has also good repute because of its technologies and techniques for maintaining the quality of its products. Alliance Boots is standing on the second position for its quality products in the market. The major part of their profits is spent in research and development for new products and techniques of production. Alliance Boots began it business from a very small scale but now the company is producing products at a large scale. The company because of large scale business is managing its operations and diverse work force of different cultures. The vision of the company is to become a more successful and respected company in the global market by providing delight to their customers by offering them a number of different but specialised products through the use of the best people and the best technology. The company is focusing on attracting new customers and retaining of old customers by achieving the nice experience of ownership which is the mission of the company. The company has many goals and objectives and the main objective of the company is delivering the best food and non food medical items for the whole year. Alliance Boots has the good environmental policies for building the friendly environment within and outside the organisation. The company also taking into accounts the environmental effects because of use of chemicals in its medical products. (Ellen, G., 2002).

Cross Cultural Management The country of the United Kingdom has diverse society members which belong to different cultural, ethnicity and different cultures who have occupied places in previous years. Americans are the witness for the settlement of different nationalities. In this present scenario, the nation of the country has established various or multi societal culture because of historical relationships with Britain and the British culture is the essential culture of the United Kingdom. It is only because of the impacts of the British people that English is being spoken in the country, moreover it have its special framework of law. The official language of the nation is only English. The other impacts can also be observed because of the various parts of Europe because people came from different part of Europe such as Germany, Ireland, Italy and Poland. The people who were belong to African-American racial groups also claiming roots in the Western portion of the continent of Africa so they also have impacts on the culture of the United Kingdom. The social practices of the American show the mixture of all such trends described in earlier lines. The society has been divided into various subcultures and nation has also been divided into various segments. For example, people belong to Asian countries have also added their cultures and societal customs such as dresses and religions and sustenance to the nation of the United

Kingdom. It is fact that any native people have been attached with the Asian cuisine like chow Mein. Practically it can be observed that most of the immigrants and foreigners like to stay, live and work in Canada and the United Kingdom. The families which belong to Canada generally follow the culture of Europe and Asia and lastly the other regions of the world. Many families are living in Canada for 10-20 years and many families are living in Canada for many generations (Comerford, S. A. 2003). Hofstedes Model Power Distance Index The score level of the United Kingdom on power distance index is 40 which is because of the American cause of equity and freedom that is protected by the human rights department in all areas and regions because of legislation and social order of the America. For instance, the pecking order is established for the benefits of individuals in the American conglomerations and generally it is only approachable by superiors but entrepreneurs are dependent on different workers or employees and teams or groups for their dexterity. The representatives and administration both desire for being informative and counseled content for imparted on a regular basis. During this, the casual participative and immediate is conveyance. According to power distance index the Canadian society has the score of 39 which is due to good relationships for its occupants and their liberalism quality. This thing is reflected and shown in the non presence of simple status or simple class purification in social norms (Gurin et al, 2006). Individualism/Collectivism Because of individual society, the United States has the score of 91 in this index and this result indicates that people of the United States in public order are caring of their families and themselves (Haslam et al, 2001). There can also be seen that there is high level of geographical portability in the United States and most of people are used to collaborating or working with strangers. This is the reason that Americans are not shy regarding for approaching their possible partner with a particular objective for acquiring or looking for data which is qualified. The representatives in the business world are necessary to be independent and they must show drive. In the same way, the employment options are mostly dependent on proofing the individual abilities for the trade based universe of the work. The score of Canada is 80 on this index or scale which is portraying the individualistic society which is more similar with the society of the United Kingdom. Masculine/Feminine According to masculine social order, the score of the United States is 62 on this scale. By conducting in work, school and play which are dependent on the different qualities by striving for being the best so the victor could try to take the whole at the end, so the Americans shall display and will talk in an open way about their victories which will be implemented in the merit based society. Generally, people of the United States like to work so they deserve for winning the financial prises by achieving higher position and status and how one could be wealthy. All the clashes and conflicts are resolved individually and the only object is to get more score. The score of Canada on this scale is only 52 which show the modest masculine social order in the country (Hewstone, 2003). It is only because of that the Canadian are focusing for the

accomplishment of exclusive hopes and expectations which is exhibited in both games and work. In the case of the United Kingdom, the tone is highly quelled associated with victory, scoring and accomplishment. Uncertainty Avoidance Index The United States has got the score of 46 on this scale which indicates that the American society is doubt tolerating. This is due to that is a high level of acceptance and reception for new ideas, innovative items or products and commitment and eagerness for trying something new and unique or diverse pertaining to business policies, engineering or food stuffs. People of the United States are more tolerant about new thoughts or ultimate conclusions irrespective of their base or sources and they allow flexibility for out flowing them in the society. In the mean while, people of the United States never need a number of guidelines and they are less ambitious for expressive than huge scoring societies. The score of Canada is 48 which also indicate a doubt tolerating society similar to the United States. Long-Term Orientation The score of the United Kingdom is only 29 on this scale of measurement showing a short period arranged society. If elaborates it can be said that this society is pinned on conventions through the satisfaction of social commitments. If we give this point of view to the US then the American companies are measuring their achievements on short term basis along with misfortune and benefits proclamations which are publicised on a quarterly basis. This thing drives the nation for striving for rapid results at the work place. Further, a genuine truth is needed in all matters of life. The score of Canada is 23 on this scale which indicates a short term arranged society (Palmer, 2005), Cross Cultural Issues: It is very significant for the company to pay attention on the time management according to studies and the company has knowledge about different cultures which are prevailing in the United Kingdom. Alliance Boots is facing such issues which are being discussed in the following paragraphs. Issue 1: Cross Functional Team Issue The objective of this section is of determining that how the company must adopt the strategy of team building in workplace of various cultures and what must company do and how it shall get benefits from employees for the company. Alliance Boots should use the brain storming technique in the organisation for taking new ideas from employees. After this, company can use or chose the best idea or suggestion given by the employees. There is a possibility that there may be clashes or conflicts among the team members as such ideas are put forward on the stage. For controlling and overcoming such types of clashes there must be a leader for provided by the company. At this stage it is necessary that the employees of the company must be made understand the rules and regulations of Alliance Boots. It company win this phase, then employees shall start to interact with each other. This stage can raise the confidence in the employees. When the company will attain the performance phase, then all the employees associated with different cultures shall be motivated for their combine

tasks and after now they shall start to perform according to their capabilities for work in a proper manner. If the company has intention to open or operate its business in China where company will have to face various diverse cultured groups so it will be more important for the company to form teams according to Chinese culture. The company must be aware that the majority wants more power and authority. So there should a group leader who will be followed by the teams. The company should make teams and must ask the team members for giving different ideas which will beneficial for the Alliance Boots. At this stage a rough situation may be created by the employees because of different ideas and fighting each other on their point of views. This is because many cultures have clashes and disputes with other cultures. That is why, it may be not easy and convenient for Alliance Boots to handle and manage such types of employees in the shape of team or individually (Sawyerr et al, 2005). Issue 2: Communication Issues This section focuses on the issues which will be faced by the company during conducting of meetings under the diverse cultures. This section will also discuss the issues related to meeting, it minutes and solution of conflicts and clashes. Due to differences in Para language and language, the company may have to face big problems during meetings. The reason behind is that the employees may not understand the real meaning of the meetings so the company time will be wasted in this case. The other possibility of changing meanings of words is the tone of the speaker which can send the different meaning of the words. So it will be due to that the sender and the receiver may be unaware from the tone, language and its meanings. A normal spoken word may have different meaning in the mind of Chinese as they can take it in the wrong sense. And this thing may create a big problem during the meetings. The other thing which can create issue is that the United States employees need generally short meetings on the contrary Chinese employees like long and detailed formal meetings. Because of this short meetings will be or may be insufficient for Chinese and thus long meetings for United States employees as they will not perceive the minutes of meetings after passing a specific time period. It is very important for the company to control such situations and for this purpose written communication strategy can be used for this objective and for this translator software will be more suitable for the company. The other option for the company is hiring the translator for teleconferencing or video conferencing and it is necessary that the translator must have knowledge about different languages and various cultures. Alliance Boots will have to deal with multi cultures so it will have to face issue for new strategies and policies of the organisation. For this objective, it will have to issue circulations and documents for new strategies and policies.The issuance of documents may be helpful to understand the documents by various languages staff members. There is a chance that people will not be familiar with that what is written in the issued documents so this can have effect on the performance of the employees and in the long period the overall performance of the company (Stahl G.K et al, 2005). Owing to communication problems and issues Alliance Boots will be unable in delivering real message, policies, strategies, objectives and goals of the organisation to its employees. And

employees will be unable in understanding their job responsibilities because of differences in speaking tone will lead to wrong perception of real meanings. So communication hindrances will lead to less or lack of coordination among employees and this may lead to the failure of the employees. It is obvious that if company will not achieve its objectives and targets so it means that the management is not properly managing the team in the organisation. That is why; it is the high duty of the manager and team leader what ways are being used by them for making strategies for the effective communication. So for achieving this objective, company must provide a translator or translator software to all employees who participate in meetings. This recommended software must be suitable for communication for all employees from employees to top management and from top management to lower employees. All the documents must be in soft forms for helping the employees to convert them into their native language. Now question can be raised that why organisation do not recruit or hire their employees of the same or one culture. The answer of this question is that for making products popular in the international market it is necessary to hire employees from different regions and countries having different culture for offering valuable services to the customers. Each and every employee has its own potential that is why if company hire merely from one culture than there will be no innovation in the organisation as the company uses knowledge of different cultured employees in the organisation. The employees having different culture may provide new ideas according to their culture and this will give advantage to the company for growing in all regions and all sectors of its business (Sue-Chan, 2002). Ethical and Commercial Challenges The continuity in diversity and ethical practices is very significant for the company if it intend for attaining the trust and loyalty of consumers and employees. Ethical training is getting importance rapidly to help for aligning the employees struggle with the broad vision of the company. The principle of ethics begins with the concept that all staff are living in accordance with the primary moral principles and guidelines and behave and conduct themselves in the working place according to such basic moral guidelines. Without the size of the organisation, the behavior that is unethical may cripple the organisations capability for attracting the consumers, maintaining business partnership or for approval for credit. Various companies or different jobs need different ethical standards for solving the raised issues. This is a general business practices like medicine, law and psychology to follow ethical standards (Thompson, 2003). Beyond the business or professional practices it is very important for the finance personnel or officers for maintaining the fiduciary commitment or terms of sales for the provision of accurate and duly reliable information in the procedures of sales. The managers of the organisations always try to hire those employees who are committed and perform their duties according to professional ethics and use their full abilities all the times. Diversity in the workplace is necessary for making people associated with socio economic background must feel relax and comfort to work with the company. Diversity, moreover give equal opportunities to all employees or potential employees for hiring and promoting on the basis of skills, knowledge and merit and not on the basis of creed, race or gender. Generally a small organisational program of diversity continues mostly non discrimination rules and standards and they use penalties for non discrimination. The organisations may get benefits by encouraging tolerance and embracing of differences and these things must be beyond the legality and it compliance with the rules of the companies. It organisations do the same then new horizon will open with new business partners,

customer demographics and internal performance procedures. There are many training programs in Alliance Boots for ethics and diversity because the company is exposed to many various different cultures, education level and demographics and so company want to make improvements for business opportunities through the management of diversity in the organisation and workplace with good working environment. It is necessary for the company to write a business code of ethics through making the standards for non discrimination and diversity practices. (Waples et al, 2009). According to the policies and the necessary part of job description such ethical standards must be added in the hand book of employees and new material and employee must be bound to sign on these ethical codes as they accepting all these policies and ethical standards. In spite of all these steps, employees must also be provided with the training about ethical codes and this training must be given to managers and all other employees. For mitigating the issues in the future related to diversity and ethics, this training must be continue on regular basis to managers and team members with necessary tools for dealing with conflicts and making difficult decisions. Alliance Boots must focus and strive for diversity because of many reasons as discrimination is not allowed by law and further diversity means the new and innovative ideas on discussion tables for making progress in the future. The definition of diversity is that it means the existence and presence of people who have different ethnicity, languages, cultures, races, genders, ages, religions, social classes and nationalities in working environment of a business. There are many benefits of diversity but diversity can create some problems in inception. It will create problems among those people who have negativity against other cultures or religions so there will be many ethical dilemmas due to conflicts for finding a solution. The other ethical dilemma will come to life when someone will consider that the best employees share the values of the organisation but on the contrary employees from different backgrounds may possess different values. There will be another dilemma which can happened by attempting to diversify the best candidate who is not offered job and second candidate is hired only because of having relations with that group which is underrepresented in the organisation. In spite of these, there are a many other dilemmas which can be seen in the organisation and workplace. But such stereotypes may be controlled and overcome provision of education and training to the employees for understanding the other perspectives. It is the responsibility of the hiring or recruiting managers that they must abstain to hire some those people who have totally different cultures or their culture is very diverse or different from the culture of the organisation. In the end, the hiring managers must hire new employees by weighing different aspects and factors as biasing in making decision for hiring someone must not be allowed on ones background and this should be stopped for becoming a serious dilemma in the future. There are many challenges for women in the workplace as they fight for equal opportunities but these challenges and issues can be overcome through following and implementation of laws imposed in the country (Todd, 2011). It is necessary for Alliance Boots to follow the all rules and laws made in the country for managing the divers workforce in the organisations. These acts must be implemented in the organisation like Age Discrimination Act of 1978, Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Civil Rights Act of 1991 and Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. All these laws and law suits and the potential and threat of law suits are

entering sharp teeth into diversity. These laws favor individuals and managers for making efforts and overcoming discriminatory hindrances for ensuring the equal opportunities in employment. The global arena is never a threatening place for diverse international organisations because of these organisations have main role in their international operations and sales can be played in their growth and survival of the organisations in the international economy (Trompeenars, 2001). Management Recommendations There are different recommendations are available for management to consider. For useful team management, initially all employees must get together through forming team and organisation must educate employees regarding organisation culture preferably in their native languages if workforce is diverse because addressing them in their native language would be beneficial for managers as well as employees. Moreover, global manager should be aware of differences and conflicts in United Kingdoms culture and other employees. Thus, managers must build such a team which will enhance collaboration among employees while avoiding from binding employees to adopt culture of each others. Furthermore, employees having common culture would indicate that there are less chances of conflicts among them. Moreover, other essential factor is the involvement of employees in discussion of each others provides solution for the problems relating to work and team. Managers should ask employees for contributing their thoughts and ideas in such a way which will be understandable for other employees from different culture. This will be more effective for them to resolve problems which have arisen due to culture problem. Managers should be supportive to the employees as if manager is unable to cooperate with the group or tem, there could be same attitude from team i.e. unsupportive behavior. Thus, there should be an effective way of communication for making sure that the employees have access to right communication method. Moreover, managers should not create discrimination between different cultures of the employees as it is expected that a manager who is from Japan might discourage or demoralise the British employee as Japanese and British are rival countries of each other. Managers are recommended to avoid such type of favoritism. Moreover, manager of Alliance Boot is managing a team which contains different cultures therefore manager should be aware of the miscommunication types which might exist due to different cultures in team. Moreover, indirect communication would be useful for managers to overcome these miscommunications among employees in team. Eye contacts and body language of managers would also be effective for managers during communication with team containing employees from various cultures. Thus, a manager should possess cross cultural knowledge to manage situations well. Moreover, effective management of different cultures and strong communication with the employees is the main cause of the success of Alliance Boots. Moreover, Alliance Boots has provided training to employees based on nature of work and languages without even affecting their differing cultures. In addition, Alliance Boots values its employees and treat them as important asset therefore employees provide valuable information regarding their countries. There are a number of recommendations available for Alliance Boots for the purpose of managing various cultural teams of people in organisation. Employees of the Alliance Boots should be motivated for the purpose of sharing ideas regardless of the country to which they belong as this might enhance the self-belief of the employees. Moreover, employees could be

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permitted to work in autonomous environment and they should be asked for appointing supervisor in the team who will later on manage whole team and possess decision making authority. Furthermore, employees could be invited for orientation for cultures which might be useful for new employees in understanding organisation and mentally prepare to work in that environment. Furthermore, organisation can also develop procedures for useful communication internally which can be performed through indirect communication to employees. In addition, managers can also use verbal communication as making communication effective. To get rid from the communication barriers and the language barriers due to the culture differences, the language translator can also be used for the employees, which is helpful for the employee to read the message accurately through the software conversion in to the language. Alliance Boots have right strategy in the localisation and standardisation policies which has made the same rules for the operations of company around the globe or in the entire world. However, there is still need for recommendation, which the company must ask from the local experts, or people for the benefits of the company. This stem can enhance the organisation research and development, innovation, quality and distribution of the companys products all over the world. For the achievement of the work within the group, the management must communicate in the group along with effective way. These effective meetings are helpful for the company and the management for preventing the company from the miscommunication. In addition to this, there is need of implementation of effective culture within the company which must be helpful and beneficial for all the team members within the company. Most of the organisations have the adaptive culture which is feasible for the employees and is cause of happiness for the employees and this culture is called unique and the supportive culture for the company. There is no need to implement individual culture when the employees within the company are happy. However, it is also possible because the entire world has the diversified culture within the work place environment for the making decisions and taking actions within the specific conditions. For bridging the gaps the cross culture awareness is helpful because it improve the communication among the team of employees. Training and development of the employees skills and the expertise are also helpful for the company in controlling the cultural barriers. The supervisor of the team, which must be selected after great care and confidence because he will have the authority of the final decisions, handles the conflicts among the employees. He will also verdict as this thing will force the team to follow and obey that appointed person and if team members have any issues or conflict they must approach and consult him. The procedure in the working environment must good and there must be someone who will answerable for the problems, questions and the issues within the team and the conflicts of the company and this must be according to the rules and policies of the company. The resolution related to the conflicts must give the positive result at the end and this is the way to management the team effectively.

Conclusion From this conversation, it can be stated that Culture is a complicated idea that contains different methods of accomplishing significance in individuals' lives. Lifestyle contains the methods of

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life that individuals create as they get involved in a group or community. Lifestyle thus contains competition that is, the public culture of particular individuals along with such things as the different definitions different groups affix to public tasks like game. Variety is also a complicated idea that requires variations of many kinds, such as actual physical features (e.g., competition, sex, age, actual physical ability), public features (e.g., education, income level), and public features (e.g., values, principles, preferences). In addition to actual variations, views of distinction may be a factor in diversity. Such variations may matter in business results by impacting personal performance within a group, as well as group creativeness and communication. Thus, diversity is perhaps best described as the existence of variations among members of a public unit that lead to views of such variations and that impactoutcomes. These kinds of variations are likely to be interdependent, so handling diversity contains dealing with both market and public diversity as connected phenomena. It can be determined that Alliance Boots is impressive in much medication as it produces all kinds of drugs. The organisation has implemented the group control policy in the organisation. In this report, we have discussed and compared the UK, Japanese and Africa workers of Alliance Boots. The organisation is running business under an international strategy so it is necessary for it to manage the diversity in the office effectively as these different workers and the essential part of the organisation. Well control of workers and their working as a group can give better production and sales to the organisation. There is a problem and difficulty for organising the workers in a group as they come from different nations and different societies so it may be much difficult for the administrator to collect them in one line. Further, there is another challenge in the way of handling different force that is lack of efficient interaction. There are many kinds of misconception among the workers. The company's strategies have also impact on the performance of the leaders. If the culture of the organisation is worker helpful then the only helpful workers will come for a job and on the opposite if an worker does not find or get helpful characteristics environment in the organisation then he will not come up with the business culture and it that case it will have effect on the performance of the administrator. Manager must look the person culture of the worker but no one should be for allowing down the organisation principles. For the accomplishment of the goals, administrator must improve the inspiration among the workers for the purpose of introducing of efficient communication messages in the organisation. A manager must avoid his selections through his participation as it may be a challenge for the efficient interaction in the organisation.

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