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BUS7049: Cross-Cultural Management Assignment Sample

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BUS7049: Cross-Cultural Management Assignment Sample

Review of Journal Articles on Leadership Styles and management

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Leadership can be defined as a personally acquired or learned trait of an individual. Leadership style is a blend of traits of an individual, characteristics, and attitude to influence others. Leadership is successful if the subordinates can co-ordinate with each other to achieve the main objective of the organization. Leadership is governed by various personal and environmental aspects of an individual which constitute in developing effective leadership personality (Reiche, et al., 2017). Leadership constitutes getting work done by the subordinates by effectively managing their grievances and doubts and motivating them by using the most suitable motivators at the correct time. Leadership is practically more challenging than in theory which can be assessed by various case studies of international business. A leader is visionary, flexible, and amiable with subordinates (Tran, and Nghia, 2020). Following leadership styles are proved to be effective in practice and enhance the motivation of subordinates. In the transformational- transactional theory of leadership, the relationship between the leader and his subordinates is explicitly determined. In the transactional leadership style, there is a participating relationship in which followers are determined towards putting in the effort to enhance productivity and become loyal towards the firm and the firm compensates fairly for their efforts. In a transformational leadership approach, followers are informed and the value of accomplishing goals is determined by the workforce which will result in their profitability (Kraus, et al., 2018). The transactional leadership style can be viewed as an authoritative approach towards managing subordinates to comply with rules and regulations of the structure formulated by top-level management. On the other hand, the transformational leadership style is more open and flexible which implies better motivation through imparting trust and loyalty in subordinates through making them aware of the task and its role in achieving personal objectives. A transformational leadership style drives the interest of subordinates towards organizational goal implicitly and smoothens the operations in management (Tran, and Nghia, 2020). The transformational leadership style encompasses intellectual stimulation, creativity, and individual importance. Leadership styles can also be divided into the following three groups. in the authoritative leadership style, the leader takes all the decisions and the subordinates follow his lead without raising questions. In democratic leadership, employees participate in decision making by communicating their ideas and suggestions. In the free-rein leadership style, the leader exercises little control over the activities of subordinates and the subordinates co-ordinate and work according to their convenience and approach. All the 3 leadership styles have their pros and cons to deal with a situation. Concerning international business, the most suitable leadership style is proved to be the transformational leadership style. With the effect of the cultural environment of host countries and the dynamism of difference in approach of employees coming from a different culture to work together for an organization, transformational leadership style brings efficiency and effectiveness in the management of the organization. In the words of Kraus, et al., (2018), the transformational leadership style can accommodate different cultural values and erect a resilient and sustainable work environment structure in the organization. Reiche, et al., (2017) facilitate the discussion by stating that the outcomes derived out of transformational leadership style lead to perception about exceptional performance of leadership across the globe. The different types of approaches towards leadership have resulted in the achievement of goals, cross-cultural literacy has added to leaders' qualities to deal with grievances and need of individuals coming from different backgrounds and working for one organization. Kraus, et al., (2018) opines that culture has effects on leaders and that is why cross-cultural literacy has developed scope in the international market. To eliminate communication conflicts due to language and other barriers cross-cultural literacy has enabled leaders to sail smoothly across issues arising due to cultural differences. Beeler et al (2017) state that the importance of cross-cultural leadership has resulted in the integration of economies and an increase in the competition in the international market.

Application of Cross-Cultural Models

The approach of people in their work is always going to be different based on their cultural diversification precisely in terms of individualism versus collectivism. On one hand where the former focuses on being independent and direct; the latter is on the group and society as a whole. The impact of culture on cross-cultural variances can be globally seen especially in the areas where interactions and communications are essential. For instance, the work culture in the UK is highly individualistic in its approach wherein the people are concern highly about their autonomy (George, Adams, and Hopkins, 2019). The people tend to speak modestly and are also understated. They give high priority to time and professionalism. On the other hand, there are countries like Japan where the societal interests prioritize the individual interests and therefore the culture of Japan is based on collectivism. As being a part of Global village and having global influences in various areas of organizations; it is of utmost importance that people of different cultures should be able to resolve conflicts according to the values and beliefs of their respective cultures.

The strong beliefs, values, and norms behind any culture would have a global influence as every other nation is interacting with each other. This shifts our focus on the individual background that can be very well observed in his or her communication way. Any individual can show either of the behaviour namely individualism or collectivism which can be the major areas of conflict. If we take an example of the UK, the people tend to be more indirect and polite and they strongly believe in avoiding conflict. Similar is the case of Japan where they avoid conflicts which leads to meetings causing slow decision making which are taken on consensus. The Japanese work on high context. But if we take the example of the US, they tend to be explicit and straightforward. If we see the way a Japanese would look at a problem is that he would define the problem and make the decision about the situation whereas in the US the problem is viewed as something that needs to have an answer or change (George, Adams, and Hopkins, 2019). Another country that can be viewed is Nigeria where managers are ought to be quick and decisive. Here the culture shows that people should be quick in dealing with challenges. The businessman here is working more on the quick results rather than long term plans. Although the country can be seen as more of collectivists it does not rule out individuality at all. It has been observed that the people of the beliefs of individualism are more assertive and direct in their speech while if we take the case of collectivist cultures they can be viewed as the cultures being more reserved about assertive views, indirect in their approach (George, Adams, and Hopkins, 2019). Among the two cultures, individualism is the culture of direct, confrontational and a change sought culture. With the difference in backgrounds, conflicts may arise that are ought to be managed (Tran, and Nghia, 2020).

Cross-cultural management of team process

To manage individuals in a team who come from different cultural backgrounds is based on the degree of the influence of their culture. Hofstede's cultural dimensions which include power distance, collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, and masculinity can be used to ascertain the degree of inclination of employees and firms towards these factors (Beugelsdijk, Kostova, and Roth, 2017). To integrate a multicultural team the most effective factors to look upon are leadership style, team composition, collectivism communication cross-cultural management, and cross-culture uncertainty. According to Beugelsdijk, Kostova, and Roth, (2017), integrating individuals of different cultural backgrounds in a team requires ascertainment of their disposition towards key aspects of work to be assigned to them. these aspects include confidence, the ability to put forward ideas and thoughts, and the willingness to take risks. The cultural inclination of an individual affects his decision-making leadership and perception of risks and opportunity (George, Adams, and Hopkins, 2019). Effects of cross-cultural literacy can be determined by the performance of big Giants like Unilever and P&G. To study cultural team management across different cultures, the report encompasses Indian culture, Japanese culture, and Arabic culture.

Cross-cultural challenges faced with members from Japanese cultural background.

Team members with Japanese cultural backgrounds are hardworking and loyal towards the team that is considered to be fruitful for the firm. But at the same time, their high context culture creates difficulty to communicate with them and they presume things that must be communicated upon by all the team members (Kotera, Van Laethem, and Ohshima, 2020). These members tend to remain close and focused on their work all the time and do not take initiative to form informal relations with colleagues. The indirect approach of communication of Japanese members sometimes restrains other members to communicate effectively with them. These Japanese members do not follow an individualistic approach and tend to seek for other Japanese colleagues to form a bond. They rely on the team's performance for their performance regardless of the efforts they have put in the work. Japanese often view their culture as the superior one and follow a conservative approach and stick to the organizational structure and abide by the rules and regulations of the firm (Kotera, Van Laethem, and Ohshima, 2020). Japanese members took a long time to trust fellow team members due to cultural differences and differences in perception of the work environment.

Cross-cultural challenges faced with members from Indian cultural background

Indian members of the team were highly qualified and knowledgeable. These members lacked the confidence to put forward their thoughts and ideas and initiate discussions. Indians tend to remain reserve and never try to counter the leader's decision. Indians have different accents and lack risk-taking quality (Davidson, et al., 2018). If the external environment is suitable and has proper and complete knowledge about the work, they are ready to lead others. Otherwise, they tend to follow the lead rather than taking up the risk and authority. Indians are highly knowledgeable but do not come forward to discuss their ideas which make the team lose potentially good ideas. Indians lack consideration towards punctuality and take time to adjust to a new environment. Seldomly, these members drive the discussion towards their point of view. These members value the relationship and are driven by their religious background (Davidson, et al., 2018). Because of the diversified cultural background of Indians, individuals differ in their disposition owing to the difference in religious values.

Cross-cultural challenges faced with members from Arabic cultural background

Some members of our team also belong to the Arabian culture and they are highly dedicated towards their work and relations with colleagues. Arabians are highly particular about their owner and religious affairs like prayers. Arabic culture follows a high context communication style which has created communication barriers within the team (Beeler, et al., 2017). These members put collectivism above individualism which makes it difficult to assess their performance and reward them accordingly. Arabians are very rigid concerning their cultural norms and code of conduct. These members are very rigid and follow rules and regulations obediently. One problem that arises with such a rigid approach is that these members are less likely to create new ideas and be innovative. Because of high context communication, there are chances of premature assumptions and false information transmission which has affected the performance indirectly (Beeler, et al., 2017). These members, however, are cordial and chivalrous and maintain a positive environment. These members rarely take risks as these members are less opportunistic and dynamic.

Conclusion

In the end, the report can be concluded by stating that cross-cultural literacy adds to the performance of the firm which operates internationally. The difference that arises due to cultural background in the work environment can lead to miscommunication and conflicts and lead to inefficiency of leadership. Leadership is the total of learned and acquired traits of an individual and it is greatly influenced by the cultural background. The styles of leadership can be studied by transactional and transformational approaches. Different leaders choose different styles to motivate and influence the workforce to get the things done. Cross-cultural literacy adds to the leader's approach to deal with the different types of employees

References

Beeler, B., Cohen, L., de Vecchi, D., Kassis-Henderson, J. and Lecomte, P., 2017. Special issue on language in global management and business.

Beugelsdijk, S., Kostova, T. and Roth, K., 2017. An overview of Hofstede-inspired country-level culture research in international business since 2006. Journal of International Business Studies48(1), pp.30-47.

Davidson, A., Habibi, M.R. and Laroche, M., 2018. Materialism and the sharing economy: A cross-cultural study of American and Indian consumers. Journal of Business Research82, pp.364-372.

George, B., Adams, J. and Hopkins, J., 2019. Leadership challenges in the sustainable internationalisation of a medium scale state university located in the USA: a case study. International Journal of Teaching and Case Studies10(3), pp.273-287.

Kotera, Y., Van Laethem, M. and Ohshima, R., 2020. Cross-cultural comparison of mental health between Japanese and Dutch workers: Relationships with mental health shame, self-compassion, work engagement and motivation. Cross-Cultural & Strategic Management.

Kraus, S., Niemand, T., Besler, M., Stieg, P. and Martinez-Ciment, C., 2018. The influence of leadership styles on the internationalisation of'born-global'firms and traditionally global-expanding firms. European Journal of International Management12(5-6), pp.554-575.

Reiche, B.S., Bird, A., Mendenhall, M.E. and Osland, J.S., 2017. Contextualizing leadership: A typology of global leadership roles. Journal of International Business Studies48(5), pp.552-572.

Tran, L.T. and Nghia, T.L.H., 2020. Leadership in international education: leaders' professional development needs and tensions. Higher Education, pp.1-17.

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