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A mutually intertwined process of internationalization and globalization has been proceeding very quickly and it has been becoming to a greater extend a characteristic feature of the present. Multinational companies are attracted by non-filled markets, cheap qualified labor force, convenient location or tax relief and nowadays they are able to position and move very quickly any source into any territory that bears, in their opinion, the most suitable conditions for increasing their value. In this context it mainly includes opportunities and challenges of developing global society .International working teams are quite common these days. Companies more and more get into touch with members of various national cultures. This includes their employees, business partners and customers.
Many of them meet the differences of national cultures not only as tourists but also in everyday working life, because the fast process of internationalization and overall globalization brings requirements for inevitable integration of cultures and cooperation within the framework of multinational organizations. Traditional companies operating only inside of the borders of the individual countries are very rare these days. Culture and cultural differences play an important role in international companies, at work of multicultural teams and at international meetings. Different understanding of approaches, different cultural patterns may cause that it is not possible to efficiently and successfully execute good intentions and ideas. People in various countries may view and interpret the same facts differently. The meanings given to them are a place where the different cultural traditions can be seen the most. The knowledge of cultural differences may help the workers operating in multicultural environment to reduce the possible misunderstandings and it enables them to foresee the possible reactions of their partners. The workers who are ready to admit, understand and respect the cultural differences of other nations and to take helpful steps have a great advantage at fulfilling tasks in multicultural environment. Intercultural management is not only a marginal area but it has been gaining more and more significance for international as well as purely national companies, if they want to succeed in the demanding competitive environment.
Cross cultural differences:
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) defines this as the whole complex of distinctive, spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features that characterize a society or social groups. Understanding culture and knowing how to communicate acceptable messages within the cultural context of each market can be a source of competitive advantage for multinational firms. A research was conducted in Kazakh society for international managers to master market situations and to secure competitive positions. So, the 2 objectives of research are (1) To investigate Kazakh people¨s work values, especially within the intended market segment: Generation Y. (2) To examine factors to influence their work values and work motivation and human resource management. The differences come in the form of individual personalities which are influenced by their respective cultures and geographical locations (habitat). Most of the western people do things individually but whereas the others work collectively as a team better than working individually. Hierarchy is followed in non-western countries but whereas in western, everybody is equally treated. They also have internal self control but the people of non-western region have external control.
May be some people do their work for pride and some for face saving. Respect is gained by results at one place but on the other side respect is given for status. Respect is given for competence somewhere and respect is given to elders elsewhere. Time is money for some and time is life for some. The process is systematic for some and it is humanistic for some. Some change for future but some remain traditional for past. Some think it is fate but some think it is control. Everything is informal somewhere and everything is formal elsewhere.
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CROSS-CULTURAL PERCEPTIONS IN THE INDIA-U.S. BUSINESS CONTEXT
India¶s economic liberalization in 1991 opened the gateway for new multilateral business Opportunities, and in a broader sense, the world gained access to a vast wealth of untapped resources in India, including a highly educated workforce to satisfy the global desire for outsourced services. Although the U.S. has quickly become India¶s largest trading partner, surprisingly little research has been devoted to cross-cultural perceptions in the business context. Indians in America were assumed to have strong abilities in math and science that resulted in professional positions with above average salaries. This aspect of the stereotype is supported by U.S. Census data, which suggests that the subpopulation of Indian origin constitutes a model minority. Approximately 77% of those who work are involved in technical, managerial, and professional occupations and, with such positive statistics, it would appear that the group has assimilated into the very fabric of American society. Beyond these superficialities, surprisingly little academic research has been devoted to exploring deeper and perhaps significant similarities and differences in the underlying values of the two cultures. Thus, there is rapidly growing importance of India as a U.S. trading partner.
Conflict due to real differences in socio-economic status, national/ethnic origin, or other recognizable demographic factors can pose disastrous consequences for global society. However, research has shown that even simulated differences among groups can easily be accentuated to the point of hostile in-group versus out-group competition, thereby suggesting that it is the perception of difference ± not the reality ± that matters most .To explore these questions of actual and perceived differences, we have focused our study on perceptual differences found in the India-U.S. cross-cultural business context, specifically, on work-related attributes that influence employee selection and performance appraisal criteria. Table 1 show strikingly few similarities in employee characteristics desirable to American and Indian employers
Table 2 shows items not common to both lists.
The above comparisons indicate a potential misalignment of motivating values. For instance, interpersonal skills and other individual leadership related factors were important to U.S. employers, whereas Indians valued domain knowledge, dedication, and other characteristics reflecting the desire to be long-term assets to their employer.
Indians are viewed as a model minority in America, which suggests congruence in underlying cultural values. The favorable model minority status essentially silences IndianAmerican voices in society, as they quietly blend into their expected roles as white-collar professionals. Values and attributes beyond the stereotypes that fundamentally define a culture or ethnicity may be easy to ignore when the group in question seems to be conforming to the general social expectation of upward mobility.
HOW TO DEVELOP CROSS CULTURAL SKILLS: A person who is living in a cross-cultural environment needs to develop some skills to adapt a new culture. A person has to develop cultural intelligence to manage himself in a multicultural environment. When an individual is interacting with people of different culture it will be helpful for them. The people who have high cross cultural intelligence do three things. First they observe a variety of cues to the other person¶s behavior and merge them to find out the actual sense of the other person¶s experience. Next though they are receiving mixed signals, they have the motivation to understand the other person. Third they select and execute the right actions to respond properly. When someone is interacting cross culturally he needs to know that differences exist until he learns otherwise. In a cross cultural environment one need to describe the behavior he observes, rather than judging them. A person needs to display empathy as and when necessary. A person should try to find out the causes of the behaviors he is experiencing and should give more attention towards those causes. Cultural shock is a sense of disorientation in interpreting the unfamiliar cultural environment when a person is in a different culture then his own. There are different stages of cultural shock. At first stage they see and judge the culture by their own values and beliefs. Next they face the stage of disintegration when they experience the confusion as they find out the differences between their own culture and the host culture. After some time in the reintegration stage they become angry and reject the cultural differences by judging the other culture. In the autonomy stage they begin to accept the differences in the culture and they become more relaxed. And in the independence stage they value and appreciate the cultural differences. One who is staying in a cross cultural environment needs to understand and manage well to adopt the environment. After staying in a different culture for a long time when someone returns to his own culture the cultural shock happens in a reverse order it is known as reentry shock. In this situation one need to adopt his own culture once again to manage the situation.
Before going to a cross cultural environment one needs assess his personality with the help of big five personality test. With this one can judge whether he will enjoy the cross cultural experience on not. In general, an adventurous person will enjoy the cross cultural environment where the traditionalist will not enjoy it. An agreeable person will adapt to a cross cultural environment easily. One needs to give attention to any differences in values between nationals of different countries. Differences in values such as equality and social justice etc can be problematic if those are not understood properly. One needs to take special care to these during interaction in a cross cultural environment. If someone tolerates the problems where there is no clear answer, he can manage the cross cultural environment well. Because in a cross cultural environment there will be complex situations one has to face where there will be no clear answer. The extent to which one can manage it, the easy it will be for him to adapt the cross culture. A person can take cross cultural training before getting exposed to a different culture. The training will help him to learn about the culture and things he needs to adapt in the culture. Also he can learn how to maintain the work life balance in that culture. Things we have discussed above will help an individual to adapt a cross culture. But it will be more helpful for an individual if he learns the local language because it will give him an added advantage to interact with the environment more easily.