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Cross-Cultural Management and Challenges It Faces

Cross-cultural management describes how an organization operates across its cultural context and the difficulties it encounters such as diversity in terms of values and beliefs of different cultural groups. These diversities have a bearing on the modes of management from leadership, motivation and negotiation (McCaughey & De Cieri 2002, p. 236). This paper explains how the components of management in a multicultural context, within the perspective of theories of convergence and divergence as expressed through headquarter and its subsidiaries.

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Theory of convergence explains how different organizations tend to acquire the same successful strategies of management. It shows how these organizations tend to look alike structurally and in the way they carry out their business. According to Levitt (1983) convergence is as a result of the enhanced global ways of communication and transport. Globalization and the high expectations by customers are major factors in shaping business strategies. For successful competition by companies, there must be focus, innovation and flexibility to enable fast improvement and transformation according to customer needs (Tjosvold & Leung 2003).

The theory of divergence explains how an organization comprising of employees with different sociocultural values and believes provide different implementation of a similar management problem within a specific environment. These employees also show different preferences, views and ideas in the business strategy implementation. According to McGaughey & De Ciero (2002), divergent views or styles of leadership, national and organizational cultures are possible reasons for differences in an organization. These differences must be solved by involvement and communication.

Divergent organizational factors have an influence on the best ways to converge activities for better management practices. This is because it enhances flexibility, better link between the headquarter and the subsidiary, better working environment, better performance by workers as a result of motivation, and generally an enhanced improvement. Therefore it is prudent to conclude that convergent and divergent factors co-exist. Divergence theory is a combination of three elements such as the leadership, national culture and the human resource management practices (Trompenaars & Wooliams 2003).

In the perspective of leadership, leaders are supposed to provide direction and guidance in the implementation of an organization’s goal and objectives in order to compete effectively within its environment. They are supposed to motivate and inspire their workers in order to improve their performance and competence.

Human Resource Management practice is the ability to control human capital for better business practices (Yeung & Berman 1997). It entails the development of workable policies and strategies so as to make sure that an organization’s human capital is consistent in working towards accomplishing the organization’s objectives and goals. Motivation, inspiration and communication are essential in ensuring this. Generally, national culture has an impact on how an institution shapes its organizational customs and practices (Trompenaars & Wooliams 2003). It also influences how people view power, deal with conflicts and issues relating to time and change. It is in this perspective that the theory of crossvergence helps us explains how different organizations with different sociocultural believes and values interact in order to find a way of enhancing the creation of fresh systems and strategies of doing business (Levitt 1983).

it is important to note that this theoretical frameworks are similar to other cross cultural management frameworks since they all try to describe how organizations deal with sociocultural believes and values that affect their activities and operations. When considering how to bring about more effective integration with subsidiaries and minimize risk for headquarters, it is reliable to go with the divergent framework. This is because it offers a better mechanism for conflict avoidance and in depth feedback hence better performance.

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Reference List

Levitt, T. (1983) The globalization of markets. Harvard Business review, 92 – 96.

McCaughey, S. & De Cieri (2002) Reassessment of convergence and divergence dynamics: implications for International HRM. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 10 (2), 235-250.

Tjosvold, D & Leung, K (2003) Cross-cultural management, Hampshire, Ashgate.

Trompenaars, F. & Wooliams, P. (2003) Business across cultures. Oxford. Capstone.

Yeung, A. & Berman, B. (1997) Adding value through human resource. Human Resource Management, 36 (3), 321-335.

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