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CULTURE AND THE MANAGEMENT OF CONFLICT

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Shared cultural norms give the people of any society a sense of their common ... Uses of ritual. Beliefs about conflict. Expressions of emotion. EXAMPLES ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: CULTURE AND THE MANAGEMENT OF CONFLICT


1
CULTURE AND THE MANAGEMENT OF CONFLICT
2
  • Shared cultural norms give the people of any
    society a sense of their common identity and a
    means of relating to each other. Culture consists
    of both explicit rules and implicit, unrecognized
    sets of understanding meanings through which
    experience is interpreted….Cultural meanings
    render some forms of activity normal and natural
    and others strange and wrong.

3
  • Culture may be considered as the enduring norms,
    values, customs, and behavioural patterns common
    to a particular group of people.

Mayer, pg 72
4
There are distinct differences in how people from
different cultures resolve conflict. These
differences have a DIRECT bearing on what
approaches to the management of conflict people
prefer.
5
  • People (LIKE YOU AND THE PERSON BESIDE YOU) act
    within the confines of their cultural matrix
    often without an awareness that this matrix
    strongly affects their perceptions of themselves
    and others and therefore their behaviour in
    conflict.

6
  • There are dramatic differences in the way
    different cultures view such things as
    socializing, time, trust, decision authority,
    negotiation etiquette, gender and emotion.
  • Cross cultural conflict management/ negotiation
    requires superb preparation. It also requires
    careful listening, questioning, checking
    perceptions and versatility.

7
  • No culture is characterized by one specific
    conflict style that all its members exhibit.
    Because individuals differ, each culture will
    contain a range of behaviors and approaches to
    conflict. But different cultures do have
    different norms about conflict behavior, and
    acceptable behavior in one culture may be deviant
    in another.
  • Mayer pg. 73

8
Some examples of cultural variables that effect
conflict
  • Age
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Language
  • Education
  • Social status
  • Economic status
  • Hierarchy
  • Manners
  • Beliefs about fairness
  • Conformity/individuality
  • Social control mechanisms
  • Face saving
  • Uses of ritual
  • Beliefs about conflict
  • Expressions of emotion

9
EXAMPLES
  • Some examples of differences that can create or
    exacerbate conflict include differing
    confrontation styles, differing attitudes toward
    conflict itself, differing levels of respect for
    others , such as the aged, and differing values
    placed on assertiveness and individual rights.
  • In many cultures, the group is considered more
    important than the individual.

10
  • It isnt enough to know that the Japanese or
    Mexican negotiator looks at time differently than
    the Canadian or German person. We must ask, what
    does the difference mean for the process in terms
    of choices I must make? What obstacles does the
    difference make?
  • To do this well, you not only need to know about
    the other culture. Equally if not more
    importantly, you must know about your culture AND
    yourself!

11
  • Cultural sensitivity can dramatically enhance
    your negotiation performance
  • Gender differences, in situations where they
    truly exist, may relate to culturalization
  • B.A. Budjac Corvette, pg. 107

12
Cultural Variables That Influence Problem Solving
and Negotiation
Cooperation Competition Conflict
Venue/ Space
Relationships
Third Parties
Negotiation process
Larger social Structures
Time
Language Communication
13
CULTURAL VIEWS OF RELATIONSHIPS
  • How connections are established
  • Amounts and types of disclosure
  • Expressions of emotion
  • Time to build relationships
  • Age/gender/race /ethnicity

14
Relationships contd
  • North Americans tend to negotiate the specific
    details of an agreement.. Americans negotiate a
    contract the Japanese negotiate a personal
    relationship.
  • Different cultures force people to view and value
    differently the many social interactions inherent
    in negotiating an agreement.

15
Relationships contd
  • Prepared negotiators realize that having the best
    data, the best arguments, power or charisma are
    not as important in countries like India, Sri
    Lanka, Egypt and Saudi Arabia as having
    demonstrated that you care and understand the
    importance of the relationship being forged.

16
CULTURAL VIEWS OF COOPERATION, COMPETITION AND
CONFLICT
  • Concept of what constitutes conflict.
  • Concept of what negotiation is. (A competitive
    process of offers and counteroffers or, the
    opportunity for information sharing.)
  • Acceptability of overt conflict.
  • Orientation toward procedures

17
Cultural views of problem solving or negotiation
process
  • The criteria used to determine who will
    participate in the negotiation process varies.
    Could be knowledge, connections, family gender,
    status etc.
  • Direct or indirect problem solving or
    negotiations
  • Initiation of the problem solving process
  • Generating and evaluating options

18
Cultural views of problem solving or negotiation
process
  • The comfort with risk varies from culture to
    culture. This often leads to requests for ever
    increasing amounts of information which
    frustrates negotiators from entrepreneurial
    cultures.

19
Cultural views toward time
  • Importance of time.
  • Definition of on time.
  • Linear/cyclical.

20
Polychronic Time
  • In some cultures, time is not linear, it is
    polychronic, or circular with no beginning and no
    end. The focus is on the here and now and on the
    importance of relationships.
  • Latin America, Spain, Japan, China, Middle East
  • Expect delays, work over dinner, constant
    circling back to review what has been discussed.
    May want to discuss many topics at the same time
    whereas Canadians are more linear or, monochronic.

21
Monochronic orientation
  • Look to the future and focus on more than one
    subject at a time.
  • Preference for linearity, sequencing of events, a
    logical order and specific time periods.
  • … it is a wise negotiator who knows that
    imposing time constraints on someone from a
    polychronic culture is likely to cause problems
    and that having no sense of sequential logic is
    likely to upset a monochronic negotiator.

Kathleen Reardon, pg. 165 Quote pg. 164-165
22
Cultural impacts of Language and communication
  • Structure-face to face/intermediary
  • Direct (North America)or indirect ( Japan)
  • Content
  • Similar language/terminology
  • Role and impact of translators

23
Impacts of larger social structures
  • These include ideology/religion, institutional
    structures, organizational structures.
  • Cooperative/conflict oriented ideologies and
    religions.
  • Social norms, rules and laws.
  • The importance and visibility of protocol.
  • Structures of family, neighborhoods, governments.

24
Who makes the decisions?
  • This question should be asked of all cross
    cultural negotiations. If you prepare well, you
    will know the answer.
  • If the people at the table are not the decision
    makers it does NOT mean they are unimportant.
    They must be treated with respect as they are the
    transmitters of information to the key players.

25
G. HOFSTEDE http//www.geert-hofstede.com/
  • Conducted the most comprehensive and extensive
    program of research identifying and exploring
    different cultural dimensions in international
    business around the theme who makes decisions..
  • Examined data on values from over 100,000 IBM
    employees from around the world. (53 countries to
    date)

26
G. HOFSTEDE
  • Identified 4 dimensions that describe important
    differences among cultures
  • Power distance
  • Individualism/ collectivism
  • Masculinity/ Femininity
  • Uncertainty avoidance

27
Hofstedes Dimensions
  • Power distance
  • … the extent to which the less powerful members
    of organizations and institutions ( like the
    family) accept and expect that power is
    distributed unequally ( Hofstede, 1989, p. 195)
  • Watch for respect for age, gender, seniority

28
Hofstedes Dimensions
  • Power distance
  • Cultures with greater power distance will be more
    likely to have decision making concentrated at
    the top, and all the important decisions will be
    finalized by the leader.

29
  • Power distance
  • Low power distance countries strive for equal
    power among people whereas high power distance
    countries are status conscious and respectful of
    age and authority.
  • The lower the power distance, the greater the
    tendency to make decisions using a consultative
    style.

30
Hofstedes Dimensions
  • Individualism/collectivism
  • The extent to which society is organized around
    the individual or, the group.

31
Individualism
  • In individual cultures, people give priority to
    their individual goals even when these goals
    conflict with those of their work group
  • Legal institutions in individualist countries
    are designed to protect individual rights.
  • Individualistic countries value independence of
    thinking and focus on task over relationship.
    People speak for themselves

32
Collectivism
  • Collectivist countries are rooted in social
    groups. Priority is given to in-group goals
  • The dominant motive is concern for and belonging
    to, the group.
  • There is a concern for maintaining group harmony.
    Face saving is key.
  • Legal institutions place the greater good of the
    collective above the rights of the individual,
    and political and economic institutions reward
    classes of people as opposed to individuals.

33
The importance of continuity in collectivist
cultures
  • The focus on relationships in collectivist
    cultures plays a critical role in
    negotiations-negotiations with the same
    negotiator can continue for long periods.
  • Changing a negotiator changes the relationship
    which means a long rebuilding period.

34
In collectivist cultures..
  • Conflict is minimized, often through politeness
    rules
  • Collectivist cultures tend to prefer general
    agreements based on trust as opposed to
    individualist cultures that prefer detail and
    specificity

35
Hofstedes Dimensions
  • Masculinity/Femininity
  • Measures the extent to which cultures manifest
    values traditionally perceived as masculine.
  • . Masculine values, assertiveness,
    independence, task orientation and self
    achievement
  • . Feminine values include cooperation,
    nurturing, relationships and quality of life.
  • The more masculine the culture the more the
    tendency is to win/lose negotiations. Work is a
    way of life rather than a means to achieving a
    quality of life.

36
  • The IBM studies revealed that
  • (a) women's values differ less among societies
    than men's values
  • (b) men's values from one country to another
    contain a dimension from very assertive and
    competitive and maximally different from women's
    values on the one side, to modest and caring and
    similar to women's values on the other. The
    assertive pole has been called 'masculine' and
    the modest, caring pole 'feminine'. The women in
    feminine countries have the same modest, caring
    values as the men in the masculine countries
    they are somewhat assertive and competitive, but
    not as much as the men, so that these countries
    show a gap between men's values and women's
    values.  
  •  

37
Hofstedes Dimensions
  • Uncertainty Avoidance
  • The extent to which members of a culture feel
    either uncomfortable or comfortable in
    unstructured situations.
  • Unstructured situations are characterized by
    rapid change and novelty, whereas structured
    situations are stable and secure.

38
Uncertainty Avoidance
  • Negotiators from uncertainty avoidance cultures
    are not comfortable in ambiguous situations and
    are more likely to seek stable rules and
    procedures when they negotiate.
  • Cultures comfortable with risk require less
    information in making decisions and have fewer
    people involved.

39
Examples of National Cultural Values
40
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41
The Lesson
  • A sensitivity to the impact of culture on
    negotiations requires that one stops at moments
    of non-comprehension and unintelligibility, that
    one resists deflecting them dismissively in
    moral terms and that one makes them the objects
    of scrutiny and learning.

42
ORGANIZATIONS HAVE CULTURES TOO
  • A corporations culture is what determines how
    people behave when they are not being watched.
  • Thomas Tierney, The Economist, July 27, 2002
  • Formal vs. Informal culture

43
DO NOT FORGET THAT ORGANIZATIONS HAVE CULTURES
TOO- what about yours?
  • Hi Power distance
  • Hi Individualism/ Lo collectivism
  • Hi Masculinity/ Lo Femininity
  • Hi Uncertainty avoidance

H
L
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