You are part of a team of management consultants, working for a large telecommunications organization operating solely within the UK. The organization is planning to expand internationally in the next two years. As management experts, you have been asked to ensure that the process of internationalization runs as smoothly as possible. Your team of management consultants have identified the following issues that could potentially cause challenges within cross-cultural working, during the process of internationalization:
1. Differences in cultural values
2. Culture shock and poor adjustment
3. Poor selection and development of potential expatriates (team members who will go to work abroad for extended periods) (Lec. 8)
4. A clash of work orientations and motivations (Lec. 9)
The assignment asks you to do three things with respect to the scenario given:
¬ Choose ONE of the four challenges to cross cultural working.
• PART ONE (1500 words)
Construct a literature review of the key academic research relating to the topic you have chosen in order to provide your organisation with a detailed account of the issue and its relevance to cross cultural working.
• PART TWO (1500 words)
Provide THREE detailed recommendations as to how the organisation can minimise the likelihood of cross-cultural difficulties occurring.
These recommendations should aim to help overcome the cross-cultural differences that may be anticipated and to provide detailed interventions which may be necessary in order to ensure a smooth and successful internationalisation process.
GROUP DISCUSSION POINT (Example):
PART ONE: Differences in Cultural Values
Presume that you have chosen the above as your ‘challenge’ to cross-cultural working (out of the 4 choices available)
• In your groups, think about the key theories & models, which relate to this topic. What relevance do these theories have in relation to the assignment scenario? (Refer to lecture 2: Exploring & Measuring Culture).
• Brainstorm ideas on how the organisation can overcome these cross-cultural difficulties related to ‘Differences in Cultural Values’.
The Importance of Theory within the Assignment:
Shows engagement with the literature
Seek journal articles – don’t just rely on core text
Compare old with new
Be aware of methodology/rationale/research frameworks
Acknowledge differing argument
The Importance of Practice within the Assignment:
Use real life examples to illustrate your understanding
Apply a management focus
Use case study data/information from research
What does this mean in reality?
In answering the assignment question, it is essential that you use theory to inform practice (apply relevant theories and models to the assignment scenario) and critically evaluate these theories – what are the strengths and weaknesses, opposing arguments etc. You need to show an awareness and acknowledgement of their complexities.
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