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cross-culture adjustments

By aliraza61 Dec 10, 2013 1690 Words

Cross-cultural competence definition
We present the results on the basis of three categories.
International business
Workplace diversity
Intercultural communication
Defining Cross-culture competence
Cross-culture competence
Knowledge, skills, abilities and other attributes which include personal interests and personality construct. International business
Black and mendenhall (1990)
Effective cross-culture interaction
Cross-cultural skills development, adjustment and performance. Workplace diversity
Cross et al. (1984)
Cultural competence
A set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency, or among professionals and enable them Intercultural
Collier(1989);lmahori and lanigan (1989)
Intercultural communication competence.

Defining the cross-cultural competence in international business The cultural competence depends upon three factors: knowledge, attitude and skills. (lafromboise et al 1993: 96) Here more detailed description about the skills, knowledge and awareness. They suggest that if an individual wants cultural competence they must have: Strong personal identity;

valuable knowledge about the host culture;
Clear communication;
Display sensitivity for the effective process;

Maintain a social and active relationship within the cultural group; Adopt an effective behavior.
Cultural competence and workplace diversity
The term cultural competence is commonly used in the USA, in the sectors of health, medicine and education. “Cross-cultural training enables the individual to learn both content and skill that will facilitate effective cross-cultural interaction by reducing misunderstanding & inappropriate behaviors”(p120). Competence in intercultural communication

The effective interaction between the individuals and different national cultures. Definition and model
Global activities increase around the world, due to the collaboration between the firms for seeking new markets for their products. And the other side needs to find the cost effective location for manufacturing and assembly of the parts of their products. Although many ventures are done but only few of them succeed. The main reasons of failure of these ventures are; Firstly, the managers do not adjust themselves in the foreign culture. (Tung, 1988; doremus et al.,1998; risks, 1999; apud et al; 2003). Nearly 100,000 US expatriates are sent overseas in a year. The estimated expatriate failure rate is between 40 to 55% (black et al, 1999). The results show that significant cost is bear by US firms. The cost range around $250,000 to $1 million (Hill, 2001). This cost depends upon the level of the manager and his rank (storti, 2001). Business author identifies the key factors which are the cause of international firms; the factors are lack of cross-culture competence (cc). The cross-culture competence is the ability of individuals to perform effective function in another culture. The study shows four surprising results.

First the lack of agreement on what constitutes culture competence. Second the absence of in-depth studies of culture competence in the international business. They can’t understand culture competence properly. Third the studies of culture competence in international business ignore large environmental factors, in which managers operate. These factors are political factors, economical factors and technological advancement that can make an overseas manager's assignments challenging (von glinow et al., 2004). Fourth the extremely broad coverage of the topic and literature which is not related to specific topic. Developing the model of cross-culture competence in IB

The knowledge dimension
The knowledge about the culture helps out in the understanding and also culture has a positive effect. Cultural knowledge also maximizes the intercultural competency (wiseman et al 1989.35). hofstede(2001) refers to two types of cultural knowledge: cultural-general knowledge and cultural-specific knowledge. Culture-general knowledge

In culture-general knowledge we are focused on knowledge/information and awareness about the cultural difference. We identify that how they are different from other cultures and also compare them with the different cultures. Culture-specific knowledge

We focus on collecting the information about economical condition, geography, political laws; culture specific training contains learning the language of culture and teaches us how we do effective communication in a foreign language. The skill dimension

Skills are all about abilities and adoption. Abilities include foreign language competence, adapting to different cultures and effective stress management. Ability is the combination of various skills which are required at different levels. And on the other side aptitude is an individual's capacity to acquire additional abilities in a specific set of skills (dunnette, 1976). The “skills”, “abilities” and “aptitude” overlap because these terms are similar to each other and difficult to distinguish clearly (dunnette, 1976; earley 2002). Institutional ethnocentrism

Ethnocentrism is mostly used at individual level (wiseman et al.,1989) it can also be used at organization level. (perlmutter,1969) The ethnocentric multinational appoints home country individuals at key executive positions overseas. The ethnocentric organization imposes a way in which they work in the home country (ltofstede, 2001:441). Ethnocentric organization thinks the method of doing operation which is most similar to the other culture.

Cultural distance
Cultural distance is all about the difference between national culture and overseas culture. A large culture distance creates many problems for the expatriate managers. It not only affects the cultural values but also environmental variables, such as economy, language, political and legal system. There environmental difference creates barriers for the expatriate managers to run specific operations in a limited time period. A model of cross cultural competence in International business Cross culture adjustment

Cross cultural adjustment is an individual's effective Psychological response to the host environment (Black 1990, p122). Cross cultural adjustment is internal. Means what are the individual emotions about the host culture and environment and what they experience in the foreign culture (Black 1990, Searre/ Ward 1990). Two theories have been proposed for the understanding of the cross cultural adjustment (Black /Mcndenhall 1990, Black et al. 1991). First, social learning theory to explain how pre departure training is helpful and necessary for improving the cross cultural adjustment, second theory is used for socialization and sense making staff for the understanding of process (Black et al. 1991) in these two theories the common key element is social interaction which plays a vital role in the host country. The question is how the socialization affects cross cultural adjustment. The key elements are: socialization and individual characteristics. As the expatriates learn from norms and behaviors of the host culture (Mendenhall/ Oddou 1985).

Cultural Adoption of Business Expatriates in the Host Marketplace The business expatriates are sent to foreign countries by MNCs for controlling the operation and providing the administration in technical services (Torbiorn 1982) the estimated cost of failed expatriates is between $ 2 – 2.5 Billion (Kotabe and Heisem 1998). The successful cultural adoption for positive effects in terms of performance (gregerson and Black 1989; Jun, lee and gentry, 1997; Mathieu and zajac, 1990) the business person experiences the culture shock when they work at host culture environment due to the cultural difference between the home and the host environment. This study has four main points:

Market alienation for business expatriates;
Process of cultural adoption;
Cultural knowledge;
Market Place participation;
Market alienation
It takes place when there is a lack of interest in the market system and individual field to find out the fulfillment offering of marketplace. Market alienation is also defined as a separate feeling of expatriates in terms of norms and values of the marketplace, feeling of dissatisfaction (Allison, 1978). Cultural Adoption

It is a social process which reduces the uncertainty and helps to increase the effectiveness of operation in the foreign culture. It consists of personal behavior satisfaction and social competence (Gao and Gudykunst, 1990; word and kennedy, 1992). The reasons for failed cultural adoption are lower mental status, psychometric symptoms and identify confusion (Berry et al. 1987). Market Participation

When expatriates enter a new cultural environment, they are treated as outsiders (Thomas, 1996). They think that the host culture society is not ready to accept and share the value and rules of home country, and don’t want to allow them in the host society. Word and kennedy (1992) notes that the host culture is stressful. Cultural Knowledge

The pre-departure training for the expatriates is very beneficial because it involves direct learning about the host culture society, and is better as compared to the direct contact with the host culture society. Indirect learning is less risky. Indirect learning or training gives edge to the expatriates so that they can adjust in the host culture and perform their tasks in the best manner (Black, Mendenhall, and Oddou, 1991). We can get the host culture knowledge from the Mass media (Lee, 1989; Weimann, 1984). Although, the culture knowledge itself does not guarantee success in the host culture, it can help in host environment (Bennett, 1986; Gudykunst and Hmmer, 1983; Tung, 1981)

Structure model

The previous studies suggest a model of cultural adoption for the business expatriates. Business expatriates who adopt the host culture for the effective operation activities in the foreign environment. Market alienation may reduce market participation due to the risk factor. Knowledge about the foreign culture helps the expatriate to stay in the host culture.

H2 (-) H1 (+) H3 (-)

H1: knowledge about the foreign cultural is associated with market participation. H2: market-place participation is highly related to feeling of market alienation. H3: market alienation is associated with the dissatisfaction of staying in the host culture. H4: there is no direct effect of cultural knowledge on satisfaction.

Expatriates needs during stages of international assignments


Host culture adjustment

Work role adjustment

Host country office culture
On site

Host culture adjustment
On site

Work role adjustment
On site

Host country office culture

Home country adjustment

Work role adjustment

Home country office culture

Pre-departure adjustment needs
Black et al (1991) argued that the expatriates need pre-departure training for host country, work role and host country office adjustment. Pr-departure host country adjustment
Identifying and understanding the difference in behavior and similarities which are same as the home culture (mendennall and oddou,1985). Selection process can minimize the cultural difference and training session identifies the behavior different but monitoring can help the expatriates and build the confidence before departure. Pre-departure work role adjustment needs

Black et al (1999) considered that most (95%) MNCs select expatriates on the basis of technical skills which is not the proper method. The expatriates are always selected on the basis of culture knowhow and capability of understanding, Pre-departure host country office culture adjustment

Nanmannis(1993) the host country office culture means what are the norms, way of work doing, methods and standards. The understanding of host culture and information about the culture helps expatriates to understanding the behavior of co-workers and identify how they modify their behavior to fit the local norms.

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