Managing Across Culture

Managing Across Culture

You are part of a team of management consultants, working for a large telecommunications organisation operating solely within the UK. The organisation is planning to expand internationally in the next two years. As management experts, you have been asked to ensure that the process of internationalisation 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 internationalisation:

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.

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.

Huczynski, A. A. and Buchanan, D. A. (2007) Organizational behaviour: An introductory text. 6th ed., Harlow: Financial Times Prentice Hall.
Book chapter
Gordon, R., Druckman, D., Rozelle, R. and Baxter, J. (2006) ‘Non-verbal behaviour as communication: Approaches, issues and research.’ In: O. Hargie. (Ed.) The handbook of communication skills. London: Routledge, pp. 73-119.
Journal article
Hass, M. (2006) ‘Knowledge Gathering, Team Capabilities, and Project Performance in Challenging Work Environments.’ Management Science, Vol. 52, no. 8, pp. 1170-1184.
Internet source – author
Kennedy, J. (2008) Contract Killer. Directory of Social Change [Online] [Accessed on 6th August 2008]
Internet source – organisation
Business in the Community. (2008) Skills boost for North West companies. [Online] [Accessed on 5th August 2008]
Newspaper article – paper copy
Milmo, D. (2008) ‘Ryanair launches price war as sales slump.’ The Guardian. 8th August. p25.
Newspaper article – Internet copy
Wray, R. (2008) ‘Sony buys Bertelsmann out of joint music business.’ The Guardian. [Online] 6th August. [Accessed on 11th August 2008]
Government command paper
Department of Trade and Industry. (2005) Our energy future: Creating a low carbon economy. Cmnd. 5761, London: TSO.
Act of Parliament
Companies Act 2006. (c.46) London: HMSO.
Paucar-Caceres, A. (2006) Business culture and management science methodologies in England and France. Ph.D. Manchester Metropolitan University.
Team building. (1989) Directed by J. Rees. [Videocassette] Boulder: CareerTrack Productions.
How a business works. (2004) [DVD] Kent: TV Choice.
(When referencing a video or DVD and a director’s name has not been provided leave this field blank, as in the example above.)
ECOTEC. (2003) Guidance on Mapping Social Enterprise: Final Report to the DTI
Social Enterprise Unit. London: ECOTEC Research and Consulting Ltd. (C2453).

Marking Criteria

Evaluation of the concept of culture
Awareness of topical issues/current thinking in the field of cross-cultural management
Identification of relevant evidence of cultural norms & differences
Critical evaluation of theories of culture
Use of relevant models & theories to help explain the evidence collected
Framing of recommendations supported by analysis of evidence & appropriate theories
Clarity of Report/Presentation & Referencing

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