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Understanding Cross-cultural Management


Understanding Cross-cultural Management CHAPTER 18 DEVELOPING INTERCULTURAL RELATIONSHIPS Concept 18.1: Becoming a competent intercultural communicator – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Understanding Cross-cultural Management

Understanding Cross-cultural Management
  • CHAPTER 18
  • Concept 18.1 Becoming a competent intercultural

Intercultural Communicative Competence (ICC)
  • Defined by Kim (1991) as
  • the overall internal ability of an individual
    to manage key challenging features of
    intercultural communication namely cultural
    differences and unfamiliarity, inter-group
    posture, and the accompanying experience of
  • What is needed to engage in this process?
  • information and actions necessary
  • the motivation
  • the skills to actually perform effectively /

A Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity
The Ethnocentric stages The Ethnocentric stages The Ethnocentric stages The Ethnorelative stages The Ethnorelative stages The Ethnorelative stages
Isolation Separation Denigration Superiority Reversal Physical Universalism Transcendent Universalism Respect for Behavioural Difference Respect for Value Difference Empathy Pluralism Contextual Evaluation Constructive Marginality
Table 18.1 A Developmental Model of
Intercultural Sensitivity Source Bennett (1998),
p. 29
A Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity
Figure 18.1 Kolbs learning cycle Source Kolb
(1984), p. 33 (adapted)
The cognitive component of ICC
  • Knowledge of the people from the other culture(s)
  • their values, beliefs and expectations, knowledge
    of the language they use
  • the communicative strategies they tend to employ
  • This entails being cognitively flexible
  • able to receive and process feedback
  • able to take a perspective, to differentiate
    between describing, interpreting and evaluating
  • willing and able to move beyond ethnocentrism

The affective component of ICC
  • Anxiety and uncertainty management theory
    (Gudykunst, 2002)
  • If high state of anxiety
  • reliance on simplistic information gt cannot
    communicate effectively
  • unable to explain or predict the attitudes,
    behaviour or feelings of others
  • If low anxiety and uncertainty
  • may not be motivated to communicate
  • may predict too eagerly and inaccurately - the
    behaviour of others.

  • Entails our thinking about our communication and
    continually working at changing what we do in
    order to become more effective
  • Mindfulness (Langer,1990) includes
  • making more categories/distinctions when
    categorizing others
  • being aware of more than one perspective
  • focussing on the process of communication
  • being mindful of our own behaviour as well as the

  • One key aspect of the affective component is
    empathy, defined by Casse (1981, p. 139) as
  • ..the ability to see and understand how other
    people construct reality
  • When interacting with others, we not only listen
    to what people say but we try to work out what
    people are actually feeling and thinking
  • Empathy is the ability to put oneself in the
    shoes of the other, to try and discern their
    thoughts behind their words and actions

Levels of awareness
  • A high degree of empathy a high degree of
  • Hanveys proposed levels of awareness which can
    be attained during the competence development
  • He argues that believability is necessary if
    one group or individual is to accept the other
  • This believability can be achieved only at
    levels3 4

Levels of awareness
Level I Awareness of superficial or visible cultural traits -- stereotypes Tourism, textbooks Unbelievable, i.e. exotic bizarre
Level II Awareness of significant and subtle cultural traits that contrast markedly with ones own Culture conflict situations Unbelievable, i.e. frustrating irrational
Level III Awareness of significant and subtle cultural traits that contrast markedly with ones own Intellectual analysis Believable, cognitively
Level IV Awareness of how another culture feels from the standpoint of the insider Cultural immersion living the culture Believable because of subjective familiarity
Table 18.2 Levels of awareness Source Hanvey
(1986), p.20
The behavioural component of ICC
  • How the cognitive/affective components are
  • For Spitsberg (2000), behavioural competence is
    not the behaviour, but the way it is evaluated
  • appropriacy does the behaviour stroke with
    norms/expectations of relationship?
  • effectiveness does the behaviour achieve valued
    goals or rewards relative to costs and
  • Behaviour deemed as competent may be accidental
    or seen as incompetent elsewhere
  • Competent behaviour must have a clear and
    appropriate rationale behind the behaviour

The ethical component of ICC
  • Can we make moral judgements across cultures
    while being aware that moral principles of
    behaviour can be culture-bound and may vary
    across cultures?
  • Gudykunst Kim (2002) distinguish two
  • an analytical one (being committed to a specific
    view of what morality is) does not allow
    ethical judgements
  • a normative one (i.e. knowing what should be
    done) allows ethical judgements on behaviour
    itself and/or on the person(s) displaying the

Normative and analytical approach
  • If normative approach used, making payments to
    company officials to ensure that a tender is
    accepted may well be regarded as unacceptable
  • If analytical approach taken those paying
    gratuities may see it as a necessary evil since
    those expecting gratuities are seen as not
    knowing any better
  • Gudykunst and Kim (2002) argue that we should
    withhold any ethical judgements when interacting
    with those from another culture until we have
    clearly described their behaviour and examined
    various interpretations

Geestelands ethical strategies
  • Never assume that a bribe of some sort is a
    prerequisite show moral courage and say no,
    citing corporate policy
  • There may be other, ethical ways of responding to
    unethical demands, e.g.
  • making a public donation to a worthy cause
  • creating jobs locally so that the honour falls on
    the decision-makers
  • Such manoeuvres depend on knowledge of how a
    culture works and underlying values

Is there a meta-ethic?
  • Is the cross-cultural arena an ethical void?
  • When we make ethical judgements, we either use
    our own cultural standards as a framework of
    reference or those of the other culture
  • This means, however, that the ethical premises of
    one culture are necessarily subordinated to those
    of another no meta-ethic to embrace both sets of

Is there a meta-ethic?
  • Example of a meta-ethic proposed by Martin,
    Flores Nakayama (2001) with three principles
  • The humanness principle respect for all, empathy
    and identification with others.
  • The dialogic principle stresses the centrality
    of human relationships and mutual support we must
  • The principle of speaking with and to instead
    of for and about
  • Key factor learning to understand oneself and
    others when engaging with others

A third culture?
  • Casrnir (1999) advocates third-culture building -
    would allow a shared system of values to emerge.
  • Cross-cultural encounters are not just a question
    of trying to achieve outcomes, but also
    developing standards/methods for achieving those
  • The relationship developed in these encounters
    could enable a process whereby a third culture
  • This is a framework designed to ensure enduring
    adaptation and survival shared value systems and
    increasing interdependence.

Building a third culture
Figure 18.2 A dialogic communication model of
third-culture building Source Casrnir (1999) 109
Conclusion dynamic cultural interaction
  • The dialogic nature of third-culture building
  • The notion of transcultural competence
  • reconciling seemingly opposing values
  • developing a dynamic equilibrium
  • integrating values through synergy
  • The dynamic process of intercultural interaction
  • the cultures are defined through own
  • AND through their interaction with each other
  • The notion of crisis transformation
  • collaborative dialogue which enables
    transformations at personal, social and
    structural level
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