Why there is need to study IHRM and cross culture management? For our purposes let's define culture as the way in which each of us is programmed to behave in the environment. Cultures are like icebergs; some features are apparent to anyone not in a fog, while others are deeply hidden. Above-the-surface features include overt behaviors: how people dress eat walk talk relate to one another conduct themselves during public ceremonies such as weddings or funerals. Also included are such things as social distance. Other aspects are so far below the surface that they are hard to recognize. We may see evidence of these aspects, but we usually can't pinpoint them precisely and usually don't have a clue where they came from. They are hard to define even for our own culture because we take them in with our mother's language. This might include such things as: how we encode and retrieve information What is justice? Music? Proper parenting? Beauty or ugliness? What meaning is attached to "teaching" stories? What does being well educated mean? What constitutes status?
OTHER ISSUES INCLUDE
USE OF LANGUAGE
INAPPROPRIATE DELIVERY MEDIUM
Communication Miscommunication across cultural lines is usually the most important cause of cross-cultural problems in multinational cos... Miscommunication can have several sources, including: •
Differences in body language or gestures. The same gesture can have different meanings in different parts of the world. For example, Bulgarians shake their heads up and down to mean no. In addition, the way people count on their fingers is not universal: The Chinese count from one to ten on one hand, and eight is displayed by extending the thumb and the finger next to it. The same gesture is interpreted as meaning two in France and as pointing a gun in North America •
Different meanings for the same word. Like gestures, words can have different meanings or connotations in different parts of the world. The French word "char" means Army tank in France and car in Quebec. The word "exciting" has different connotations in British English and in North American English. While North American executives talk about "exciting challenges" repeatedly, British executives use this word to describe only children’s activities (children do exciting things in England, not executives). •
Different assumptions made in the same situation. The same event can be interpreted many different ways depending on where one comes from. For example, although the sight of a black cat is considered a lucky event in Britain, it is considered unlucky in many other countries. Dragons are viewed positively in China, but negatively in Europe and North America. These examples illustrate dissimilarities between cultures that are both large and simple in the sense that they focus on a single cultural aspect that keeps the same meaning regardless of context. As a result, such variations in communication will often be identified on the spot. By contrast, subtle or complex differences are often identified much later in the communication process, when corrective action requires considerable effort and money. Sometimes, this realization takes place so late that there is not enough time to address it, resulting in a missed deadline. In extreme cases, miscommunication can lead to casualties. For example, a few years ago, a plane crash in the northeastern United States was caused--at least in part--by miscommunication between the pilot and air traffic controller. The plane was running short on fuel. But somehow the pilot did not manage to communicate the urgency of the situation to the air traffic controller, who put the plane on a holding pattern because of airport congestion. The plane then crashed it.
Approaches to Problem Solving
The approaches used by engineers of different cultural backgrounds to tackle the same technical problem are likely to differ widely. The type...
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