The Importance of Cross Cultural Management

Module 1 – The Importance of Cross Cultural Management
The aim of this assignment is to provide learners with an opportunity to reflect, in their own words, on the insight of three ongoing extensive initiatives seeking to help us improve our understanding of managing across cultures.
Instructor Comments
A little bit of travel opens up the mind to new possibilities as well as the importance of understanding foreign cultures. In North America, our business system accentuates the formal contractual nature of relationships. We often shop for price and/or quality with little thought given as to who produces an item or who provides particular services. Practices in other national cultures can be different. In many instances, a purchase is made or a relationship developed because of a friendship or family relationship. Deals are sealed by a handshake, not the ink of a pen. Understanding the cultural subtleties surrounding practices can make or break a business deal unbeknownst to the deal-makers.
Geert Hofstede is probably the best known researcher of national cultures as they relate to business practices. His insights obtained from a 1970’s study of 100,000 IBM employees around the world serve as the benchmark for this important area of understanding. Fons Trompenaars undertook his own research and built on Hofstede’s ideas to create his own framework of understanding national cultures. Along with these two large research programs, a third is currently underway seeking to understand the difference in leadership around the world. Robert House and Mansour Javidan lead this group. These three research programs inform this assignment and hopefully serve to improve your knowledge of all important differences and similarities across cultures.
This assignment seeks to help you understand the answer to a broader concern and that is, “Why does cross-cultural management matter?”
You should base your responses to the following questions on the insight found in the following four readings:
(Note: To access Library Articles and Journals from off-campus use VPN)
• John Bing: Hofstede’s consequences: The impact of his work on consulting and business practices. Academy of Management Executive. 2004
• Geert Hofstede: Cultural Constraints in Management Theories, Academy of Management Executive. 1993 7(1) 81 – 94.
• Mansour Javidan, Peter Dorfman, Mary Sully de Luque and Robert House:In the eye of the beholder: Cross Cultural Lessons in Leadership from Project Globe, Academy of Management Perspectives. 2006 67 -89
• Fons Trompenaars and Peter Wooliams: A new framework for managing change across cultures, Journal of Change Management 2003 3(4) 361 – 375
In order to complete this assignment, please write an essay that offers your ideas about the definition of culture and the importance of cross cultural management frameworks as evident from the ideas found in the readings noted above. In the essay you should answer the following three questions:
• How do each of these authors define culture (Hofstede, Trompenaars & Javidan) noted in the readings?
• Why is cross-cultural management important?
• Why are each of these perspectives important? How do each set of authors define the importance of their work?
Hint: This is an open ended essay. Please use your knowledge of the work of Geert Hofstede, Fons Trompenaars, Mansour Javidan and their colleagues along with the country insights and national culture information found on the websites of the Centre for Inter Cultural Learning and to formulate your response.
Please limit your response to this assignment to three single spaced, typed pages. Please cite your sources in the text and please reference them at the end of your assignment. Please end your write-up with one paragraph that summarizes what you think is the importance of this assignment.

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