The working environments of organizations across the world are very dynamic now especially with the advent of globalization. These environments are in a continuous state of fluctuation and are not fixed to a particular concept or model. This is due to a multifaceted culture in the workplace brought about by globalization. The change is proving to be dynamic in all aspects, and managers need to be prepared to provide proper leadership and motivation to their employees. The business world is now flooded with multinational organizations, international, transnational businesses, and conglomerates, with each covering quite a significant number of countries and employ people of diverse cultures and characters. Culture is a multifaceted concept within the business world, and navigating cultural boundaries and constraints across borders is a huge challenge that managers are constantly faced with. This can be attributed to the rapid globalization, constant technological advances, and huge focus on consumer and employees’ anticipations (Mead & Andrews 2009, p. 45).
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The advent of globalization has brought about significant challenges to the notion that cultures are monolithic and easily conceptualized. For managers, understanding the motivations, values, and behaviors of employees from around the globe can be a complex undertaking. The development of interpersonal skills by managers is very vital for efficiency in their leadership roles and the impact they have on their employees. The behavior and values of employees within the workplace vary depending on their cultural background therefore culture cannot be said to be a constant and as mentioned earlier, the working environment constantly shifts. For example, reports on studies done on expatriate managers representing Australian business ventures in East Africa show that there is a need for a reassessment of the current cross-cultural management aptitude expansion practices followed by Australian enterprises in respect to the region they are operating in (East Africa). According to Wood and Fish (1997, p. 40), this will increase “interactional management skills and transactional management communication skills.” The study pointed out the importance of training Australian managers before any international postings as cross-cultural management aptitude led to transformational managerial proficiency (Mead & Andrews 2009, 87).
Foreign language is a very vital aspect of a multifaceted cultural setting within an organization and cannot be ignored. Reports from a study carried out on a series of business meetings between Chinese and Western members of staff at a large Hong Kong-based airline proposed the use of the “concept of impression management to explain how; (i) speakers project certain impressions of themselves to others; and (ii) hearers attribute characteristics to speakers based on their discourse” (Bilbow 1997, p. 462). Impression management, as suggested by Bilbow (1997, p. 470), is a fundamental and collective utility of communication disregard of speaker background, even though it could be applied erratically by various individuals in various circumstances.
In conclusion, incomparable organizational performances can be directly linked to the keystone role culture has on an organization. Consequently, managers should be able to predict early enough the changes among employees to be able to deal with any rising concerns. Therefore, the constant changes in cultures result in constantly changing working environments in a globalized world.
Bilbow, G., 1997. ‘Cross-cultural impression management in the multicultural workplace: The special case of Hong Kong.’ Journal of Pragmatics, vol. 28, no. 4, p. 461-487.
Fish, A., & Wood, J., 1997. ‘Cross-cultural Management Competence in Australian Business Enterprises.’ Journal of Pragmatics, vol. 35, no. 1, p. 37-52.
Mead, R. & Andrews, T., 2009. International Management, 4th edn. New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons.
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