Developing Cultural Flexibility

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Developing Cultural Flexibility Portfolio| December 14
2011
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Contents Page
Section| Page Number|
Q1 - What is the significance of national identity as a source of individuals’ culture?| 2| Q2 -In what aspects of work and employee relations should international managers be aware of religious sensitivities?| 3-4| Q3 -What are Hofstede’s culture dimensions? What correlations does Hofstede make among groups of countries and how valid are they for you?| 5| Q4 - Why do firms’ internationalise’? What are the implications of doing so for their role as employers and how will it affect your role in the future as an employee?| 6-7| Bibliography| 8|

Q1 -What is the significance of national identity as a source of individuals’ culture? I begin with a definition of culture – ‘the ideas, customs and social behaviour of a particular society’ (Oxford Dictionaries, 2011). In terms of the question I am looking at how significantly ideas, customs and social behaviour of a nation’s identity affects that of the individual’s culture. It’s important to talk about stereotypes, they effect how people perceive the individual and their culture, also it can affect the individual as they may alter their culture to allow them to stand out from their national stereotype e.g. people may stereotype Italians as loud and arrogant but some Italians may change their culture to quiet and well-mannered to make themselves more appealing for jobs abroad. Hofstede wrote that culture is ‘A collective programming of minds’, and to some extent I agree with him, people are proud of where they come from and like to promote their nation through their actions, this can mould their actions to some extent. An example is whilst I have been at university I have lived with a Chinese student, we have both said that we had expectations of each other before we had even talked. He expected me to be obsessed with football and beer, whilst I thought he would be a great cook and clever. This ability to anticipate an individual’s culture because of the national identity can be a great starting point for friendship, but it can have a negative effect. Observational learning plays a huge part in our development through child hood, we watch and repeat what our parents and family do. If we have a problem we deal with it how we see them deal with it, I think that this is how individuals develop their culture, not so much from their national identity. Edgar Schein’s belief is that culture is - “shared systems of beliefs and values”, that culture is the answers to problems. These answers can be learned as a nation, as part of a family or as an individual. It is how individuals deal with these problems that makes their culture individual to them. Although Schein’s 3 levels of culture can to some extent be related to national identity for example the ‘Values and Beliefs’ and ‘Artefacts and creations’. Individual’s belief can be down to their nation’s beliefs, although I think that would have been more applicable in the past. With the development of the internet and communication methods I think that individuals now have the media to find out and decide their own culture. People are travelling all over the world, picking up bits of other cultures and adding to their own. It was similar when America was discovered, people from all over the world moved there bringing their own culture, although there is an American identity, there are patches of America that retain the culture that their people bought with them all. To conclude I believe that national identity is fairly significant to individual’s culture, more so if the individual moves abroad than if they stay in their country.

Q2 -In what aspects of work and employee relations should international managers be aware of religious sensitivities? Religion is important throughout the world, with countries becoming more multicultural different religions are clashing leading to war and strained international...
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