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Write a 250 to 350 word reflection about what you learned this week from the rea

by | Aug 29, 2022 | Business and Management | 0 comments

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Write a 250 to 350 word reflection about what you learned this week from the readings and assignments. Discuss at least one “real-world” example and include one APA cited and referenced quote or paraphrase from your text to support your reflections.
“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t being said. The art of reading between the lines is a life long quest of the wise.”
― Shannon L. Alder
Technology has brought the world together and has made us truly a globalized society. Countries affect and impact each other now on a daily basis. Communication happens with a click of a mouse. And, whether a business likes it or not, intercultural communication (and the benefits and challenges that go along with it) is here to stay.
Although it has become easier and easier to get goods and services from other countries thanks to easier transporting and logistics, many aspects of globalization are felt locally, from our homes and businesses.
“Globalization is broader than international business and describes a shift toward a more integrated world economy in which culture, ideas, and beliefs are exchanged in addition to goods, services, and resources. Globalization implies that the world is ‘getting smaller’” (Lumen, 2019, para. 3). Therefore, the concept of globalization suggests that there is a merging of different cultures, lived experiences, and beliefs. And, with any merger, there are benefits as well as challenges. However, as your book states, “culture is learned” (p. 91). So, with effective communication and conflict resolution patterns, globalization can bring innovation, creativity, efficiency, and a richer decision making process to an organization.
However, culture is the toughest thing to change in an organization. And most of what we know about a person and their culture is not easily seen. However, we can begin to learn about other cultures through symbols, verbal and non-verbal language, and patterns of behavior. So, it’s important to be aware not only of our surroundings, but of other people within the organization.
Dutch social psychologist Geert Hofstede did a lot to move our understanding of culture forward. He came up with the six dimensions model of culture which include:
1. Individualism
2. power distance
3. masculinity
4. uncertainty avoidance
5. long term orientation
6. indulgence
There are a few important items to remember as we talk about culture and business communications. In Edward Hall’s 1976 book entitled Beyond Culture, he popularized the terms high context and low context cultures. “In high context cultures, communication is largely implicit, meaning that context and relationships are more important than the actual words, and therefore, very few words are necessary. In low context cultures, the message is communicated almost entirely by the words and therefore needs to be explicit. High and low context should be seen as a continuum, e.g. such that England would be higher context than Denmark, while being lower context than Japan” (Frost, 2013, para. 1).
Individualism and collectivism are also important terms, as in individualistic societies, people tend to set goals for themselves whereas collectivist societies tend to set goals for a community or group. Interestingly, the United States has historically been a very individualistic society. However, with teams growing in popularity, the ideas of individualism are sometimes being tested as we are encouraged more and more to work in teams.
Obviously these are just a couple of cultural considerations and other such as time orientation and communication style must be considered whenever we are working within a culturally diverse environment.
One thing to consider is that as we look at any organization made up of a diverse group of people, most of the culture of an organization is below its surface. We can get a glimpse of an organization’s culture through their rituals, practices, values, symbols, and language, but that does not show us the big picture of an organization’s culture. In order to really understand the culture of an organization, we must not only be immersed in the culture, but be willing to dig and explore the very foundation of that culture. Sometimes the foundation is weak, but in most cases, the foundation is like the base of an iceburg – hidden and unmovable.
When we work with different cultures, it’s always important to maintain an attitude of acceptance, nonjudgement and politeness. We may not always agree with another culture’s perspectives, but we can create an atmosphere of understanding and growing from one another.
The concept of ethics is highly ingrained in the concept of culture due to the dynamic and diverse nature of culture. The concept of ethics is rooted in morals. A company’s vision and mission statement stems from the moral fabric of the organization – and more commonly, an organization’s leaders. Assessing how leadership handles ethics, both through their vision and mission as well as on a daily basis through their company’s culture and practices is important. “It is so important for every business leader to consider how diversity and ethics in business affect success. There are legal and ethical considerations to take into account when working with diversity issues. There are also productivity and profitability issues to consider. No matter how a manager looks at the situation, creating positive rules and habits around diversity and ethics is good for business” (Leonard, 2018, para. 1).
References
Frost, A. (2013). High context and low context cultures. https://restaurantkyoto.dk/blog/en/high-context-and-low-context-cultures/
Hofstede, Geert. (n.d.). https://geerthofstede.com/culture-geert-hofstede-gert-jan-hofstede/6d-model-of-national-culture/
Leonard, K. (2018). Diversity and ethics in the workplace. Chron. https://smallbusiness.chron.com/diversity-ethics-workplace-4928.html
Lumen. Globalization and Business (2019). https://courses.lumenlearning.com/wm-introductiontobusiness/chapter/globalization-and-business/

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