Sunday, January 31, 2010

Chapter 4: Avoiding Culture Shock

I’m sure many people, if not all, have been in an unfamiliar situation, and felt disoriented ( Kreitner, Kinicki 116). This is how the authors of the book in chapter four introduce the idea of culture shock, which is the anxiety and doubt caused by an overload of unfamiliar expectations and social signs. We can experience cultural shock when we travel to a foreign country or we begin a new job. As a result, many employees or visitors of a foreign country cannot deal with the unfamiliar. Therefore, they panic and go home or back to their country.

Kara Godwin discusses and brings up the idea that the need for U.S. schools, especially private colleges such as Dominican University, need to incorporate cultural understanding when providing assistance to international students and instructors. There is not enough aid that is placed in these exchange programs such as study abroad. This is causing international students and teachers to be faced with the idea of culture shock. Her article also notes that U.S. institutions continue to ignore the impact of cultural differences on teaching and learning despite the increase in enrollment of foreign students. It cites that most international students are not comfortable with the more interactive and informal style of U.S. education. If we were to try to avoid this idea of cultural shock then our program such as study abroad would be more successful and our international students and teachers would be satisfied with our style of education. They wouldn’t feel as disoriented or perhaps frightened.

Source: GODWIN, KARA A. "Academic Culture Shock." New England Journal of Higher Education 23.5 (2009): 30. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 1 Feb. 2010.

Sustainablity and Business

In chapter 3, the dynamics of organizational culture is explained, and a specific look into values is examined. One of the kinds of values discussed is espoused values; espoused values are the stated values and norms that are preferred by an organization.

An example of a company that fulfills a sustainable environment would be TOMS Shoes. The company believes in "one for one," which means for every shoe bought, another pair is given to a child in need. The shoe uses little leather compared to other sneakers like Nike and Adidas. Also, the company isn't just for profit; helping out children in developing companies is one of their main missions and reasons TOMS created their company. TOMS Shoes is partnered with non- profit organizations as well for example Friends with TOMS.

Many companies would not give free items for every product purchased, and by doing so, TOMS is set apart from all types of apparel retailers. Because of TOMS belief towards donating, his company is built from that and has sprouted. It is very risky in doing what TOMS Shoes does for profitable reasons, but it is very important to give back to the community especially when many consumers have purchasing power.

Chapter 3: Espoused Values-Sustainability

Chapter four talks about the three fundamental layers of organizational culture, which include observable artifacts, espoused values, and basic assumptions. The layer that is most motivating is the espoused values, the norms that are preferred by an organization. This layer is also influencing more companies to espouse the value of sustainability. Sustainability is illustrated in the book as, “A company’s ability to make a profit without sacrificing the resources of its people, the community, and the planet”. This semester I am enrolled in a sustainable development course and we are also speaking about this idea. The value of sustainability impacted me because in my other class we learned that some generations today still don’t care about the negative consequences their business can bring. The only thing they are worried most about is making profit.

On the other hand, we should be worrying about the profit we make as well as helping our community and our planet. In his article Marc Gunther focuses on consumer electronics retailer Best Buy and how the company has come to endorse corporate responsibility and recycling (Gunther 96). He explains how Brian Dunn, chief executive officer of the firm, discusses the implementation of a huge recycling program and his belief that sustainability is both a rising social value and a business opportunity. The company’s benefits focus on service which is a new way to get customers into stores, and a reputation of being green. Best Buy is an example of a company that is using the value sustainability in order to increase their profits.

Source: Gunther, Marc. "Best Buy Wants Your Junk." Fortune 160.11 (2009): 96-100. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 1 Feb. 2010.

Chapter 2: Secondary Dimension of Diversity

Toward the beginning of chapter two Kreitner and kinicki introduce the four layers of diversity which help define our unique character and influence our perspective of the world. The layer that resonated with me the most was the third, external influences, also known as secondary dimensions of diversity. Even though we are brought up to believe that we should learn to understand others’ ideas and beliefs, we still make decisions based on our religious affiliation, experiences and other significant things which occurred throughout our lives. These elements influence our perceptions, behavior and attitudes toward each other and that is how we come across stereotypes.

In our last class, we were asked to look at an image of a soldier and come up with our own interpretation of this person’s stance. Every student came up with an explanation, which was for the most part influenced by his or her external influences such as their personal experiences. Breznican Anthony speaks in USA Today about a young couple that decided to marry, against their parents consent. The parents do not approve of each other because both bride and groom are people of color and have different hues. Their prejudiced fathers, though, cannot see past the differences in their cultures; each one does not want their child to succumb to the other person’s religion practices and way of life. As a result, we have to learn to adapt to others ideas, and culture in order to well among each other. Lia makes a good point when she mentions, “No culture is better than another, just different” and we have to learn to understand that.

Source: Anthony, Breznican. "Race and family head to the altar." USA Today n.d.: Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 31 Jan. 2010.

Universal Attributes

" In phase 2, the GLOBE researches set out to discover which, if any, attributes of leadership were universally liked or disliked. They surveyed 17,000 middle managers working for 951 organizations across 62 countries ... Visionary and inspirational charismatic leaders who are good team builders generally do the best. On the other hand, self-centered leaders seen as loners or face-savers generally receive a poor reception worldwide" (Kreitner 109).

In our ongoing quest towards globalization, it is appropriate to understand what works for everyone on a larger scale so that we can work together accordingly.

In the article, "Globalization is What We Make of It: Contemporary Globalization Theory and the Future Construction of Global Interconnection," Brown focuses on trying to provide a new answer to whether or not globalization is good or bad. Through series of examples regarding the past, Brown mentions that it has not worked in the past because people were trying too hard to highlight one single trend or example to live by. He suggests that we move away from that singular thinking and adopt a more pluralistic thinking of life and acceptance.

Though we may agree on a certain type of leadership quality, it does not necessarily mean that we would agree on a single leader who quote on quote " is charismatic or inspirational." Having that one leader could just lead us back to a dictatorship. When you think about it, globalization is more than just leadership or management skills. It is about an interconnectedness between mankind; globalization is what we make of it (Brown).

Source: Brown, Garrett Wallace. "Globalization is What We Make of It: Contemporary Globalization Theory and the Future Construction of Global Interconnection." Political Studies Review 6.1 (2008): 42-53. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 1 Feb. 2010.

Chapter 2

Organizational behavior is important to understand when working in any type of business environment. The decisions made by an employee have an affect on their co-workers, customers, and the business in general. When deciding what to do the employee must focus on the most ethical choice while abiding by the guidelines given by the company. Technology provides endless opportunities to put your decision making skills to use. For example many more cooperate employees are working from home because it is much cheaper for the company and the availability of easy, fast access to the same online networks. This creates the opportunities to take long breaks, record false hours, web surf and online shop. Cooperate companies track every decision made by the employee through telephone, computer, and video monitoring to prevent these leisure activities. There is an ethical conflict on both sides of the matter which brings up the question what is too much? Many other obstacles are to be faced with the introduction of new technologies and a large focus of organizational behavior lies on the decision making process.

Employees First

"Who comes first? The employees, customers, or shareholders? That's never been an issue to me. The employees come first. If they're happy, satisfied, dedicated, and energetic, then they'll take real good care of the customers. When the customers are happy, they come back. And that makes the shareholders happy." - Herb Kelleher, former CEO of Southwest Airlines (Kreitner 70).

This approach to running a business surprised me. For as long as I can remember, the media and marketers have taught us to believe that the "customer is always right." It never occurred to me to think outside the box and dig deeper for a more permanent solution to keep the customers happy.

In the article, "Southwest Airlines: Lessons in Loyalty," D'Aurizio focuses on the uniqueness that separates the airline company from its competitors. A key piece to their success is te company's former Chairman, Herb Kelleher, who built a culture based on the old saying, "Take care of your staff, and they will take care of the patients" (D'Aurizio). Kelleher created a culture that could be adopted by future leaders of the airline. Today, Southwest Airline proudly boasts that it has had the fewest customer complaints in 18 years in a row, 31 consecutive profitable years, and an average of less than 10% employee turnover rate (D'Aurizio). To make a lasting difference, you have to change the structure to change the behavior.

Source: D'Aurizio, Patricia. "Southwest Airlines: Lessons in Loyalty." Nursing Economic$ Nov. 2008: 389+. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 1 Feb. 2010.

Chapter 4

Each culture has different ways of interacting and training employees. In Chapter 4, it addresses the training needs to fit the local culture. As an employee looking for work, you must look into how each different culture interacts. In the book, they address what is important in the workplace in Brazil, China, and France. You must learn to handle certain situations that you might find peculiar in the workplace. For instance, In Brazil what may seem like fighting or yelling to a trainer during group discussions is normal communication behavior. Being aware of this different behavior will allow you to not feel threatened or off guard.

In the article, “Understanding Cultural Differences in Business” by Susan Brown, she explores the reasons to “how differences in culture affect business communication and conduct.” When people get involved in international business, they must indulge themselves in the cultural differences. The article touches on some of the terms in the chapter that they suggest to follow if you get involved in international business. People must identify if the culture is monochromic v.s polychromic, explicit vs. implicit, individualism vs. collectivism, and masculinity vs. femininity. Also, they must look at power distance and uncertainty avoidance. This article grabbed my attention and stresses the importance to learn and adapt to culture in order to not fail. Having a well-rounded understanding of cultural differences will allow you to grow as a business person and have the ability to be sensitive towards them.

Brown, Susan. "Understanding Cultural Differences in Business: How Differences in Culture Affect Business Communication and Conduct." Globalization. Web. 28 Jan. 2010. .

Chapter 3

In chapter three, Daniel Feldman proposed a three-phase model of organizational socialization. The purpose of this is to promote a deeper understanding of the importance in a situation of complex organization. The Three phases are anticipatory socialization, encounter, and change and acquisition. Anticipatory socialization occurs when people learn about a certain organization before actually joining. In this first phase, due to unrealistic expectations forming, organizations are urged to use realistic job previews (RJP). With the RJP, they offer insight to recruits giving them a realistic idea of what their job entails, including both the negative and positive aspects. The second phase, encounter begins once the recruit signs the employee contract with the company. There are different opportunities from orientation to training programs where employees have the opportunity to socialize. During this time the recruit discovers what the organization is truly like and develops different values, skills, and attitudes. The last phase is change and acquisition which is where the new recruit masters all the new tasks and roles that his job entails. Organizations help employees through this phase by presenting a list of socialization tactics.

In the article, “Toward a Theory of Organizational Socialization” it stresses the importance of this concept in the workplace. John Van Maanen and Edgar H. Schein believe that organizational socialization is a phrase used to describe the process that an individual is taught and learns “the ropes” of a particular organizational role or job. The book and the article state that this process could be relatively quick, self-guided, trial-and-error process to a more elaborate one requiring a lengthy preparation period of education and training. This article is interesting because they say that, “if one takes seriously the notion that learning itself is a continuous and life-long process, the entire organizational career of an individual can be characterized as a socialization process.” Another aspect that was important from the article is that they said that socialization involves learning on a cultural level that is brought to the commonplace and unusual matters going on the work place. I think that the information from the chapter and in the article stresses the importance of becoming socialized in the place you work at. From being socialized, an individual will have behavioral and affective outcomes in the workplace.

Toward a Theory of Organizational Socialization 1 (1978). IDEAS. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Web. 28 Jan. 2010. .

Google. They're doing it right.

Google is an ideal example of a company that has unique organizational culture and socialization; perhaps that is why they are deemed one of the greatest companies to work for. After reading the excerpt located at the end of chapter three, I can conclude that Google is pretty much full of win.

The reason that Google is so successful in today's day and age is because they have a very different viewpoint on their employees compared to the conventional company. They take risks and invest heavily into their own, and it pays off. According to the article by BusinessWeek, Google provides employees with free food (11 gourmet cafeterias), massages, laundry services, $5000 credit towards a purchase of a hybrid car and even heated toilets. The list goes on, but my envy stops me from listing every single benefit. Now, you might ask how all these unnecessary benefits help drive the company towards profit. The answer is because Google thinks all these expenses are worth it if it makes their employees happy in the long run; the money also never breaks out of the administrative costs which helps.

Google created a very successful organizational culture in both theory and practice. Employees are the foundation and building blocks of a company and Google acknowledges this.

Google's Culture is Truly Unique. Business Week, Oct. & nov. 2008. Web. 31 Jan. 2010. .

A Look Into Re-Entry Shock

As a previous exchange student to Germany, I know what re-entry shock is first-hand. However, I did not know that there was a word for it until reading chapter 4. It took me 9 months to get used to the United States again. That period of time was almost as difficult as adjusting to Germany’s culture. I knew that people change after spending a period of time overseas; however I was unprepared for re-entry, which entailed much more than I could have imagined and I wished I had prepared myself for it as much as I did for Germany’s culture.
Some of the major symptoms of re-entry shock are boredom (from a lack of new and exciting places and things around you), feelings of being insignificant (realizing you are not so special because people back home aren’t in awe of your accent, etc.) and feeling isolated from family and friends (who did not change while you were gone or did change so much, it is hard to catch up with them). The study abroad page of Wesleyan University offers this insight as well, “While there is always an element of excitement at getting back into things and seeing old friends, returning students are also keenly aware that they have missed out on what has been going on at home, at school, and with their friends for the past semester or year. This can all prove very disconcerting and sometimes downright depressing. If you couple anxiety about coming home with missing the new friends and the new way of life you found off campus, coming home can be emotionally quite difficult. The more you invested personally in your off-campus culture, the harder you may find it to return.” This is more or less what happened to me because I was so intent on fitting-in in Germany and only speaking German (yes, I even came home with a weird accent) that it was a lot harder for me to go back to being an ‘American’ so-to-say.
People are people, but their views on life and what is important are different depending on their culture. It is important to travel with an open mind and to not judge foreigners in your native country by assumptions based on their culture (like all Germans are uptight). Likewise, it is important to return home with an open mind and to not judge America’s ways by the culture you have just left. No one culture is better than another, just different.
"Wesleyan University: Office of International Studies." Web. 31 Jan 2010. .

Chapter 3 and 4

Chapter 3:
One of the most interesting information I found from Chapter 3 was the idea of mentoring. Mentoring is the process of forming and maintaining developmental relationships between a mentor and a junior person. For me, the one factor about mentoring that I always wondered about was the dynamics between the mentor and the mentee. How did they make a relationship that could actually benefit one another?

For one thing, I learned that mentoring was a great way for companies to build trust between its workers. One article from Inc. Magazine even talked about how a mentor can benefit a worker and how to make that relationship work. “They had us think in ways we had never thought before, about the big questions, such as how big do you want to be?” He also said, “The trust factor is all-important. Our mentors showed us from the start that they wanted to make a commitment to our business.” (Macht) When the mentors were asked, on the other hand, their replies matched with what the mentees said. They also emphasized the idea of being open to new situations and the fact that having a good relationship with their mentees has helped them work harder. (Macht)

The one thing that I have learned from all this is the importance of give and take. When I thought of the word mentoring, I thought of the mentees just depending on the mentors for everything. After reading that article, though, I realized that a mentor-mentee relationship is more that just dependence, but a partnership.

Chapter 4:

One thing that I truly found interesting in Chapter 4 was the idea of the Globe Project. From a standpoint of a person who is very interested in the distinctions between the different of cultures of other countries, I really wanted to find out more about it. The aim of this project was to define the term “leadership” worldwide. It was said that the objective of the project was “To determine the extent to which the practices and values of business leadership are universal (i.e., are similar globally), and the extent to which they are specific to just a few societies.” (Grovewell) Also, the definition given of the word leadership was "...the ability of an individual to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organizations of which they are members". (Grovewell)

The Globe project studied 62 different countries across the world. From these 62 countries, a CLT was formed. CLT, also known as “Culturally Endorsed Leadership Theory Dimensions”, was represented “the ultimate result of the team’s statistical grouping of leadership attributes into common dimensions.” (Grovewell) These six included: Charismatic/value based, team oriented, participative, humane oriented, self-protective, and autonomous. The results that came up were fascinating. There were some that really made me think about how businesses function in those specific regions. It also made me think about the different interactions between people living in those countries. Here are some interesting results that I found:

Team oriented: “At the level of the 10 societal clusters, the Latin America cluster most positively associated the team oriented CLT with outstanding leadership.” (Grovewell)
Self protective: “Incidentally, the Middle East cluster also rated the self-protective CLT in an almost neutral manner. Nordic Europe, with a mean of 2.72, associated this CLT with the inhibition of good leadership.” (Grovewell)


Grovewell, C. Grove. Dare to Be WorldWise: Overviews of the GLOBE Research Project Worldwide. 2007. 30 January 2010 .

Macht, Joshua D. Inc. . 2 June 2001. 30 January 2010 .


In the second week of class, we all worked together to form a "new syllabus". In this document, we came up with a bunch of different standards and rules that we set for ourselves and for our classmates. This was another example of how working in small groups can be very successful. The class was broken into several small groups of about 4 people. In these groups, we were assigned a subject on which to base a new policy. The one that my group was assigned was "Timeliness of Homework". After discussing a few different options as to what the best yet most fair way to approach the issue was, we came together on a conslusion rather quickly. Within our group, no one person dominated or demanded they have their way. We were all very agreeable and politely pointed out flaws in certain plans.

After we proposed our idea to the class, the students were able to tell us if they thought our criteria was fair or if there was some kind of alteration to it that they would suggest. When all comments were heard, the policy was voted on by thumbs up/middle/down. Although some students may not have necessarily loved the policy we came up with, they were not so opposed to it that they refuted it. I think that taught an important lesson in the class, as well. Even though you may not wholly agree with a decision being made, it is important to form a consensus in the group. That is, being able to let it pass without trying to stop it. I was glad to see that even though we did not receive all thumbs up, we reached consensus and nobody tried to stop the policy from going through. Consensus is a bit of a sacrifice being made, but if it is for the good of the group/company, I think people are often much more accepting of it than they would be if they felt like they were personally losing something.

The Importance of Group Work

On the first day of class for this course, I learned how important it is to work well in groups. The excercise we did of passing the rubber balls around and trying to cut our time in half helped me to see how difficult or how long it would have taken for just one person to come to the conclusion that eventually solved our dilemma. One person would mention a certain method that would inspire another person to come up with another idea and so on. What was interesting to me was that once the rules were laid out, we initially tried to make the first method altered to meet the requirements, rather than thinking of an entirely new method that still followed the rules. With each new wave of ideas we collectively eliminated ones that either broke the rules or seemed inefficient. There were not too many people that strongly opposed to a decision we made or too set on their own idea to accept another's.

This is a really important lesson to use in the real world/work environment. Although it may sometimes seem better or prefferred to work alone, it is so much more effecient to have many minds thinking of a solution to the problem rather than just one. People's different perspectives and backgrounds can influence the way that they think or make decisions, and this plays a big role in the way that a team functions or solves problems. Overall, I would say I feel mor ecomfortable working alone, just because I can be very shy at time, but I know that I cannot always get the job done in the best way when working alone. This is why I am able to force myself to be more social or acitve in groups, because I know that it is for the benefit of the cause.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

chap 4

In the section, “Understanding Cultural Differences,” the topics of high- and low-context cultures, cultural perceptions of time, and interpersonal space interested me. In high-context cultures, such as, China, it is customary to bow when greeting someone or to use both hands when presenting your business card to someone. High-context cultures tended to have more respect and therefore react to different statuses accordingly. In low-context cultures, a simple hand shake or greeting already establishes trust, where as in high-context cultures trust is gained through time. In Leeds (2008), high-context cultures require presentation styles that are characterized as indirect, relational, story telling, group oriented, and trust building. In low-context cultures, their presentation styles are more direct, data driven, has a logical flow, confident, and answers the question of “What’s In it for Me.” Low-context cultures view time monochronically, where being on time is important. However, high-context cultures view time polychronically as something that is flexible and casual. According to Leeds (2008), in most Middle Eastern countries, time is associated with their religious beliefs which makes them regard time in a more relaxed manner. Timing is also reflected in the way different countries’ economies operate, where some value fast economic growth, while others prefer a slow, stable growth. Interpersonal space is also important because negotiations and presentation styles need to be altered to fit the cultural situation. North American and Norther European countries prefer the personal zone, while Asian, Latin American, and Arab countries prefer a more intimate zone. In Effective Communication through Presentations¸the intimate zone is defined as less than 18 inches apart, the personal zone is 18 inches to 4 feet, the social zone is 4 to 12 feet, and the public zone is over 12 feet. Also, the importance of eye contact is also discussed by Leeds (2008) saying that countries, such as, Asian, Latin American, and Caribbean cultures view eye contact as something to avoid because it is considered rude. North American, European, and Arab cultures, on the other hand, view eye contact as an acceptable gesture. By knowing what to do and what to avoid, people can be better informed of the cultural differences and make accomondations when they’re in situation that requires them to do so.

Works Cited
Leeds, Christopher. Effective Communicatioj through Presentations. Acton, MA: Copely Custom Textbooks, 2008.

Chap 3

The Model of Organizational Socialization stood out the most to me when I read chapter three. The anticipatory socialization stage reminds me a lot of the recruitment process that happens when high school seniors are choosing colleges. They only learn about the potential schools through counselors, teachers, parents, and friends, but what they’ve learned from those sources aren’t always true about the colleges. This is the anticipatory socialization stage. The students then carry this knowledge or expectation with them when they attending the schools. They then reach the encounter stage of the model where the students learn first-hand about what the schools really are, eliminating, redefining, or strengthening their previous expectations and knowledge, which leads to the third stage in the model, change and acquisition. In this stage, the students adapt to the surrounding by mastering the task of fitting in with other students and the environment that they’re in.

According to the article by Hahn (2007), when a worker is completely socialized into the company, then they will be committed to the company. However, he doesn’t take into account that a worker could change their mind if a company changes their organization in a way that affects the worker negatively. Hahn states that if a worker responds positively, they receive more socialization from the company, but if they respond negatively, they are either eliminated or given less attention. The author also adds that the notion of continuous learning means that our whole careers could be characterized by socialization. This statement interested me because it made me realize that socialization not only applies to careers, but it also applies to life. Whether it’s about our careers or finding the right college, socialization is a big part of our lives.

Hahn, Martin. "Organizational Socialization." (2007).

Chapters 3 and 4

I found it strange that chapter four, which was about cross-cultural management, immediately followed the chapter about organizational culture and socialization. Nevertheless, there is valuable information locked in these chapters. I took away a few simple lessons from these 2 chapters...

In chapter three, I was impressed by the figure on page 73 of the competing values framework. To put is simply, this simple four-part framework shows there different kinds of organizational culture within a group of competing values. The four "categories" of competing values break down into:
Clans- "A culture that has an internal focus and values flexibility rather than stability and control"

Adhocracy- "A culture that has an external focus and values flexibility"

Market culture- "A culture that has a strong external focus and values stability and control"

Hierarcy- "A culture that has an internal focus and values stability and control over flexibility"

By utilizing this information, decision-makers can, in effect, set up the organizational culture of their choosing depending on what their organizational VALUES are. If they would prefer to be rigid and focus internally, then a hierarchy is the smart move for those values.

Chapter 4 brings me back to my days in international marketing. I can see it like it was just last semester (it was), and a lot of this information is a simple recap of what I learned in that class. We learned about high-context cultures, where context-sensitive language situational cues dominate interaction (many Asian countries), and low-context cultures, where written and spoken words have shared and common meanings (lazy countries like America). There are so many cultural differences that affect how business is conducted all over the world. For instance, in the Middle East, it's not only common, but considered good practice, to bribe officials to get your concerns handled faster. Unfortunately for us, U.S. law prohibits any employee of a U.S. based company to engage in bribery anywhere on the planet (regardless of which side of the bribing you're on). In the 1990's, the Iraqi Oil For Food program (which mandated that some of Iraq's oil revenues be deposited into UN accounts in order to purchase approved humanitarian goods) was the center of an enormous bribery scandal, when it was discovered in 2004 that 2,000 companies and about 40 countries had paid nearly $1.8 billion in illegal bribes to Saddam Hussein. While I don't want to play the devil's advocate here, and I never supported Mr. Hussein or his totalitarian regime, I do get the impression that, to him, he was simply conducting business.

People here would probably say that those Middle Eastern officials are corrupt despots who want nothing but money; but, in those Middle Eastern countries, it's simply the way business is done, and to them we're all a bunch of prudes for being up in arms about bribery. Cultures do business in very different ways. Differences abound, from gender equality to the spread of power. No one country does business "right." We all just have our own way.

The glass ceiling

The glass ceiling (as described in chapter 2 of the visionary chronicle of our age- Organizational Behavior by Kreitner and Kinicki) is a metaphor that I heard so much during the last presidential election, but didn't understand until just now. Up until now, I thought the reference was some obscure metaphor coined specifically for Hillary Clinton's presidential bid... turns out that was pretty shortsighted of me, and I apologize...

But I found the metaphor (as described in the book) to be very true. Minorities and women do face a certain prejudice in the workforce. Regardless of one's views on the politics of such matters, I consider myself part of a logical breed of people who have this crazy world view that everyone should have an equal opportunity... something about "all men created equal..." must be the ravings of a bunch of lunatics (or, as they are actually called... THE FRAMERS!)

Prejudice isn't dead. It's obvious that women and minorities face an uphill climb toward a semblance of equality, and we need more forward-thinking managers and executives who are willing to take these groups out of positions of limited upward-mobility. It pays to promote good talent wherever it is. It doesn't matter if the person up for promotion is a woman, Portuguese, mentally challenged, homosexual, or whatever the hot-topic "don't promote" criteria is these days. It makes good business sense to promote those with good ideas, and reward those who work hard. We pride ourselves on being a progressive society, but with prejudicial issues still at the forefront of the business landscape, I think we have a long way to go before we earn that moniker.

Culture and Organizational Behavior

I found chapter four to be one of the more interesting chapters which we have so far. I really enjoyed the section which compares our culture to others, and shows how this can cause tension in the work place. For example, Filipino women relate over friendly to prostitution, so their management style may come off to Americans as cold or stern. Every culture has a characteristic which we might find odd, rude or disrespectful. We must understand that it is not in any way, shape or form a personality flaw on their part. What we might find rude other cultures might view that behavior as normal. When addressing the situation, the key is to explain the cultural differences rather than make a personal attack.
I remember in elementary school we has a student move to California from Taiwan, one day on the black top another student was talking to the foreigner but was invading his personal space. The boy became extremely frustrated and offended and wanted to fight. Later that day our teacher explained that in his culture, it is rude to get into someone’s face and invade their space. It’s not that either of the boys were behaving in an ill mannered way, it’s just that they were not mature enough to deal with the culture clash. In the corporate world, the two would have been expected to handle the situation with a respectful discussion.
Ohio State University did some research on diversity in the work place and found several interesting facts. The main point that they made was to look at diversity as a positive asset to your work team. Every culture might have a characteristic which one may view as odd, yet on the other hand every person has strong points. Celebrate the diversity in the work place and combine everyone strengths in order to increase productivity
“Working With Diverse Cultures”. Smith/Miller.

Organizational Socialization (3 Phases)

After reading chapter three, there was one section which caught my eye because it is a topic which I could personally relate to. The thee-phase model of organizational socialization is experienced by every new employee in the work force. Researcher Daniel Feldman has proposed a model with three phases which shows deeper behavior behind organizational socialization. The three phases include “anticipatory socialization”, “encounter”, and “change and acquisition”. The anticipatory socialization stage occurred before an employee even enters his or her office, it is the learning which occurs prior to joining the organization. An employee’s attitude towards the new work environment can be swayed before they start working by a number of things. Outsider’s opinions of the company, the recruitment process, employee reviews of life at work; all these can inform an employee about the company even before his or her first day.

The second phase, “the encounter phase” occurs on the first day on the job. This is when the new employee learns what the new company’s organization is like. Many firms have “onboarding” programs, which help new employees adjust and adapt to their new environment.

“Change and acquisition” is the third and final stage of the three phase model of organizational socialization. This occurs when the new employee masters their new skill and accepts his or her new role. Many companies offer incentives to new employees to reinforce new expected behavior.

I did some additional research on adapting to a new work environment and learned that the key is to be honest and ask questions. You are expected to have no idea what is going on in a new job, that’s why it’s new. New employees are encouraged to be proactive learners and to come in with an open mind ready to absorb new information.

“Understanding and Adapting to New Organizational Culture” by Anita Attridge . 2008

Monday, January 25, 2010

Chapter 2

One of the most interesting topics that I found while reading Chapter
2 of the book was about the glass ceiling that women has to face in
the workplace. As a woman who will soon be getting ready to graduate
and go into the workforce, this particular part of the reading led me
to do more research about this topic.

According to an article by Nancy Lockwood in June 2004, there were two
reasons that explained the lack of advancement of women in the
workforce. The first one was lack of networking. It was true that
women have a different web of connections than men. Therefore, women
lacked the networking that men had with each other—something that
could be really vital when it came to tips, experiences, and
suggestions regarding business. The second reason was the fact that
most women were considered the primary caregivers of the family. This
meant having to juggle children, chores at home, family, and work.
Unfortunately, there were not many companies that helped women who had
additional priorities, such as perhaps building a company day care for
any working mothers or a better insurance for the woman and her

Aside from this article, I also went and did some research some
statistics from the past years regarding women and the workforce. Some
interesting statistics were:
-Fortune 500 executive officer positions held by women in 2009: 13.5%,
or 697 out of 5,161.
-Fortune 500 corporate board seats held by women in 2009: 15.2%, the
same as in 2008, and just slightly higher than the 2007 percentage of
14.8% and the 2006 percentage of 14.6%.2
-In 2008, 59.5% of all women over 16 were in the labor force, compared
to 73.0% of all men.

Though we may have come a long way from where we were years ago, I do
agree with what was said in the book we read in class, which was the
fact that better understanding of those with corporate power, and
everyone in the workplace in general, will lead to better changes for
the workplace.

Bagadi, Deepali and Marrisa Agin. Catalyst: Expanding Opportunities for Women and Business. 9 December 2009. 23 January 2010 .

Lockwood, Nancy. "The Glass Ceiling: Domestic and International Perspectives." June 2004. BNET: The to-go place for management. 23 January 2010 .

Chapter 2

Chapter 2 had a lot of interesting topics discussed. Some of them were Diversity, affirmative action, women in the workplace, and so many more but the topic that sparked an interest within me was the topic of race. It was interesting to see the data that the book provided about the statistics of how America will have changed by the year 2050 regarding race. The book states that, "Hispanics will account for 25% of the population in 2050." It also suggested that minority groups will make up 55% of the workforce in 2050. Despite these findings, minorities still have a "glass ceiling" over their heads just as women do. One of the reasons for this is because "minorities in general are advancing less in managerial and professional ranks than white."

This is no surprise to me but it did interest me so i decided to do a little more research on it.
Many minorities are owners of their own small business instead of working for a company trying to move up in the rankings. These small owned businesses are a big part of the economy. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, in 1997 minority owned businesses made $495 billion in revenue and has since grown over 168 percent in the last decade. This is astonishing to me. This is just my opinion, but I think that minorities seem to find other ways to become successful and make it to the top when the majority try to stop them or put a "glass ceiling" over their heads. Since facts show that not many minorities advance in managerial ranks, they decide to become their own managers and own their own businesses. After reading through the Minorities and Business report from the Office of Advocacy US Small Business Administration, I've come to the conclusion that many minorities are entrepreneurs rather than workers that start at the bottom and work their way up.

Xavier Muldrow

Shortage of Talent or Unrealistic Expectations?

Chapter two was quite an informative chapter on diversity. However, the topic that still lingers in my mind is about how there is a shortage of talent around the world. The exact sentence was, "'The study found that 41% of them [37,000 employers in 17 countries] are having trouble hiring the people they need'" (Kreitner 47).

Now to put things into my own perspective. 37,000 employers is a fairly significant amount, even if it is a global figure. The fact that all these employers are having trouble finding employees with the necessary skills is hard to believe. Is the source of this problem the lack of qualified prospective candidates, or is it because the employers are just having too high of expectations? The cause of the former might just be because of the latter. The only reason that I remain unconvinced that there is a shortage of talent in the world, is because it simply doesn't make sense. Shouldn't talent be on the rise? Throughout the world, people are becoming smarter and more efficient every day. Perhaps the reason that employers are having trouble finding qualified employees is because they're looking in the wrong place. To find an answer, I turn to the internet.

In an article titled "The Myth of a Talent Shortage," Wheeler goes on to explain a few of the possible reason why all these employers have no success at finding employees they want. The one that stuck out to me the most is how companies offer low wages. This could be the biggest reason that employers are not getting candidates with the skills they want. No accountant wants to work for $20 a day. Granted this could change depending on country living costs, but the principles are the same. No one wants to work for jobs that they're overqualified for. Another reason might just be that the job market is too small. It's going to be hard to find a stock broker in Alaska. Perhaps these employers are in a small rural area, and for them to find the employees they're looking for, they might need to move or expand.

Wheeler, Kevin. "The Myth of a Talent Shortage". ERE. 1/23/2010 .

Sunday, January 24, 2010

How does the sustainable development demand to manage the diversity?

Most of the Chapitre 2 is about how to manage the diversity in the world today. An other big issue of this world is the sustainable development. And they’re linked.
Nowadays big global firms are asked to do sustainable development. It’s based not only on the environmental issue as we often think but also on economics and social one. Managing the diversity appears as a huge component of the sustainable development that companies have to deal with.
As a matter of fact to improve their results and compete as equal on the globalized market, companies are encouraged to feel really involved in the sustainable development. That means they’ve to manage the diversity to face the currently goals to be the best.
Global organizations have been created in order to reinforce companies’ involvement in sustainable development like the Global compact of the United Nations. Even if there are no sanctions, companies can sign this charte which show their engagement. The global compact is a list of many principles you’ve to deal with when managing a company. Big firms can also integrate the DJSI (Dow Jones Sustainable Indexes) if they’re seen as leader in sustainable development and so in social issue. Such initiatives make the fight against injustices a current priority. Companies want to be recognized as the best one in sustainable development that is a very important value to have today, especially in the world we’re currently living in.
In other words the management of diversity is a key component of what companies want to get involved in, namely the sustainable development.
By making a good, precise and well-adapted management of the diversity companies reach the new vision of the ideal social politic which is required to reach the level of sustainable development demanded.

Women and the Glass Ceiling

The phrase "glass ceiling" refers to an invisible barrier towards higher positions in the workforce which is especially imposed upon women. The Glass Ceiling Commission was created under the Civil Rights Acts of 1991. It was made to help understand and recommend ways to eliminate the barrier between female and minority workers and male workers. Men are more likely to become promoted in businesses than women, and women are seen to be underrepresented in firms. According to "US Women: Breaking Through the Glass Ceiling" by Norma Carr-Ruffino, "40 percent of US managers are women and only 5% of top level managers are women" (Carr-Ruffino). Women are reaching career advancements in a slow pace and are given less opportunities to help their careers compared to men employees.

Discrimination among the workplace is a big issue; therefore, there are recommendations to help even out the equality. Some reasons to why women are being limited by the glass ceiling is due to managers' stereotypes especially towards women's credibility and career commitment. Also, there are questions regarding a woman's decision- making ability. In order to decrease these assumptions towards women in the workforce, sensitization programs should be included at work to help get rid of the myths regarding to a woman's lack of dedication and capabilities. In addition, management training should be open to both male and female employees; equal opportunity policies should also be present in order to help equally qualify workers and boost competition for the management positions. Women have as much capabilities as men, and women should not be limited in the workforce due to stereotypes and myths.

Managing Diversity

"In contrast to the approach being used by Goldman, Bank of America is trying to target the Hispanic market by offering credit cards to illegal immigrants (see the Real World/Real People feature above)" (Kreitner 40).

This feature and statement captured my interest the most. As a fellow Bank of America client, I was surprised to discover the Bank's current marketing tactic. Is this an ethical way to go about growing a business? The full article in which the Real World/Real People feature mentioned offered two opposing views:

On one side of the spectrum, those whom argue against this strategy say that the Bank is "knowingly making a product available to people who are violating U.S. immigration law" (Jordan, et. al.). In light of the recent attacks on September 11th, security and identity verification has tremendously increased; giving a credit card and transaction power to those without social security numbers nor little or no credit history seems to be taking a step backward.

On the other side of the spectrum, the Bank defends itself by stating that it is complying with both U.S banking laws and anti-terrorism laws. With a higher interest rate, upfront fee, and subjective review of the client, the Bank makes sure that they are providing opportunities to those who deserve "somebody to give them a chance to achieve that quality of life" (Jordan, et. al.). Furthermore, the growing number of illegal Hispanic immigrants gives the company a way to tap into the needs of a potentially profitable market.

So is this ethical? After taking into consideration both sides of the argument, I believe that it is. What dissenters fail to see is how the working demographic is constantly changing. Although I'm not saying that we should let all of the immigrants into our country, I believe that the ones that have made it through have become part of a more modern U.S culture. Like it or not, they DO impact our workplace. According to Dr. Pikay Richardson in Managing Cultural Diversity:

"diversity management must be seen as celebrating the individual similarities and differences that each person brings to the workplace. The requirement to manage diversity, therefore, reflects the need for an organisation to adapt to significant cultural and sociological changes with a view to operating successfidly in the culturally diverse global marketplace" (Richardson).

This initiative is part of what makes the Bank of America the second-largest U.S bank. This diversification is what makes this tactic successful.


Jordan, Miriam, Valerie Bauerlein, and Ann Carrns. "Bank of America Casts Wider Net For Hispanics." Wall Street Journal - Eastern Edition 13 Feb. 2007: A1+. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 25 Jan. 2010.

Richardson, Pikay. "Managing cultural diversity for competitive success." Engineering Management 15.2 (2005): 24-27. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 25 Jan. 2010.

Corporations in the Classroom

Although very brief, the beginning section of Chapter 2 touches on the subject of corporations sponsoring classrooms across the country because of a concern in shortages in their field of study. For example, Deloitte Consulting LLP is not only sponsoring classes for materials and books, but even makes the step to edit the curriculum of the class. Deloitte and other corporations hope to inspire students in their field and hopefully have them apply to work at their company in the future. There is both and upside and a downside that may result from this. The benefit is giving students hands on interaction of what exactly the work field is like as discussed in the article "Lets Get Real: Students Solving Authentic Corporate Problems . The programs purpose is to "challenge secondary studnets to solve actual business problems posed by corporate co-sponsors" (Holt 243). The book discusses how at one point companies would be happy to have students become customers, such as the article "Big Macs for Big Grades" which "rewards high student achievement with fast food" (Hann 1).

This sounds like a beneficial program however there is a huge controversy with parents surrounding the issue of compromising education and educational freedom due to the sponsorship of education. This is interesting to me because the future of education may sadly become worsened by the overwhelming trend of advertisement and marketing of corporations. I never would have guessed that advertising would take place in the classroom, even if sacrificing freedom of teachers curricula.

Holt, Dan G. "Let's Get Real: Students Solving Authentic Corporate Problems." The Phi Delta Kappan, Vol. 82, No. 3 (Nov., 2000), pp. 243-246

Hann, Christopher. "Big Macs for Big Grades." District Administration, v44 n5 p40-41 Apr 2008

Affirmative Action

After doing a little more research on affirmative action, I developed a further understanding on the history behind it and why it has been such a huge movement in our American society. Our book defines affirmative action as, “an outgrowth of equal employment opportunity.” The goal of this is to proactively prevent discrimination by not allowing employers to deny applications due to sex, race, national origin etc. The goal is to have an equal balanced ratio of employees, and eliminating discrimination.
Affirmative action was first introduced by President JFK in 1961; it was made in order to enforce civil rights laws as well as constitutional guarantees. Interestingly, by the 1970s affirmative action had caused reverse discrimination; for example, a white student was denied into medical school for two years straight because they already had enough whites, even though he had exceptional grades. Because of this, “the Supreme Court outlawed inflexible quota systems in affirmative action programs, which in this case had unfairly discriminated against a white applicant.” (Affirmative). Back lashes of angry white men started to occur; no they felt like the ones being treated unfairly. Fortunately, today’s society strives to give jobs to whomever is most qualified weather it be a man, woman, black or white.
After reading chapter 2 of the text, the section discussing organizational practices used to effectively manage diversity by R Roosevelt Thomas Jr. stuck out to me the most. There are eight different options to guide a manager to handle any diversity issue in the work place. Inclusion, building relationships, and mutual adaptation are the most common choices. The least preferred of the options are excluding, deny, assimilate, suppress, isolate, tolerate, build relationships, and foster mutual adaptation.
Handling diversity is important in the workplace. Each option can be used with any collective mixture of differences and similarities. In the book Diversity in Organizations, there are collections of articles written by several different people in regard to changing perspectives on diversity in the work place. One article is called “Organizational perspectives on diversity” by R Roosevelt Thomas Jr. This article further backs up why these eight options displayed in our book are crucial for managing diversity. He believes that managing diversity is a process of responding appropriately to diversity mixtures. He states, “In this process, the manager must recognize diversity mixtures when they are present, ascertain whether a response is required, and select the appropriate response or blend of responses.” The framework will allow the managers to evolve in making decisions regularly to diversity mixtures of all kind.
Another topic in the article states how one would select an appropriate option. R Roosevelt Thomas Jr. believes it has to do with inclination, mind-set, and organizational environment. Mind-sets can often reinforce inclinations or suppress them. People also are not always able to act on their inclinations and mind-sets. Environmental factors encourage and influence a manager’s response to diversity. “These three factors can be critical determinants. Depending on the individual and organizational parameters, in a given situation either factor can assume the dominant role.” I think that the additional information on how to determine which appropriate option to use is important as you become a manager. Each individual is different and by working on developing their framework of diversity they will be able to handle a variety of issues.

Diversity in Organizations New Perspectives for a Changing Workplace (Claremont Symposium on Applied Social Psychology). Minneapolis: Sage Publications, Inc, 1995. Print.

Mixed generations

People usually think that it is too hard to mix different generations in one work team. Indeed, the parents would not work in the same team as their children and vice-versa. They do not have the same way of working because they were not educated the same way. But nowadays, nearly all the firms employ people from different generations. How can that work? Is it due to the new management, or to a change in mentalities?

Actually, we can notice that the number of  Gen Xers is growing faster than the number of Gen Ys, which means that the Ys do not replace the Xers. So they have to cohabitate in the same workplace. The youngest may be angry against the oldest, because they may think that they have less work because of them. This is the role of the manager to make them all work together. It may seem hard at the beginning, but actually, people are getting used in this new way of working.
This cohabitation is made possible thanks to the capacities of all the generations who work together. They make efforts to understand each other, and they share their competences. The oldest ones can share the experience they got from their previous works. The youngest ones are more aware of the new technologies, and are often more creative.
When we take that into consideration, work teams can be created, mixing the old and the young, the ones teaching the others.

The evolution of the demography, for the 60 past years, created a big change in the mentalities, which fostered workers of the different generation sto be inventive to work together.

Chapter 2

When reading chapter two of our textbook, the section about “Mismatch between Educational Attainment and Occupational Requirements” caught my attention. The facts presented by the authors of Tough Choice or Tough Times: The Report of the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce were alarming, claiming that many countries today surpass us in having a workforce with a high school diploma or an equivalent. In addition, they also claim that the U.S.’s population of college students have dropped from 30% to 14% and continues to fall. These statements are a surprise and an expectation of what is to come because I have noticed these trends as well. In this modern age, there are more jobs available that don’t require a college education or even a high school diploma or equivalent, such as, fast food and retail jobs. This sends a negative message to children, misleading them to think that education is no longer essential in acquiring a job or a career. Another factor in lowered number of college students and high school graduates is due to the shape of our current economy. Many students can’t afford to stay in school anymore, and therefore drop out. Because of the increase in drop outs, companies lower their educational requirements in order to hire these types of workers. Others may continue in school but may find out later that continuing their educational career didn’t help them to land the job of their choice.

According to the article, “A College Degree Might be Worth Nothing” by George Leef, students have been over-encouraged by the government to attend college only to find that they might not end up at their dream jobs. The government uses numbers to demonstrate the payoff of going to college even though there’s no guarantee that a degree will secure financial benefits. Leef (2008) also notes that most college graduates are working jobs that don’t require a degree and that attending college has only put them in debt. This article gave me a new perspective as to why some students drop out or don’t attend college. It makes a lot of sense, especially in today’s economy, that some people may find college unnecessary in obtaining a job because of the debts from student loans and lack of job opportunities. Because of this, many people now might view college as a luxury and not a necessity.

Works Cited
Leef, George. "A College Degree Might be Worth Nothing." Carolina Journal (2008).

Ch. 2 Blog

“Treat a difficult child the way you would your boss at work. Praise his achievements, ignore his tantrums and resist the urge to sit him down and explain to him how his brain is not yet fully developed.” ~Robert Brault
Teams are essential to the success of a company. People’s ability to communicate and work with one another is crucial to completing tasks. Nicola Davies explores this in her nursing article, “Build an Effective Team”. Personalities are important when choosing which employees should work on a particular project together. Some experts say that people with commonalities work better together. However, teams containing ethnically and sexually diverse individuals were found to be more apt to create better and new strategies, as well as ideas, which in turn advance the company and help it to grow and change with the times.
Nicola Davies categorized people into three categories: the action-oriented, the people-oriented and the thought-oriented individuals. Action- oriented people who focus on time-management and stress team improvement. People- oriented employees are often the facilitators of a team to make sure that there is cooperation between the team players and their communication skills often carry over to others outside of the team, helping the team successfully network. The thought-oriented employees are good at analyzing the team’s various options to complete their project and have their specialized knowledge and experience to offer. All three types of individuals are needed in every team.
It is important to realize that every member of a team has something to contribute and no one person’s ideas or suggestions are superior to another person’s. To prevent a team falling short of its full potential, factors associated with group competence need to be cultivated. These include: Self-awareness, Mutual goals and involvement by members, Open discussion of feelings and conflicts, and Consensus on decisions.” (Davies) I have been in teams before where members did not always pull their weight or one person (usually me) had to take on a lot of responsibility in order to complete a finished project. I suppose I could be categorized as an action oriented person. Davies’ insights into teamwork were interesting and, in hindsight, right on the mark about what a productive group dynamic entails. However, I think that his suggestions could be more helpful when forming or working in large teams, rather than with partners, unless both partners can be easily categorized as being thought-oriented.
Brault, R. (2009, October 21). A Robert brault reader. Retrieved from
Davies, N. (2009). BUILD AN EFFECTIVE TEAM. Nursing Standard, 23(29), 72. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Welcome to Dominican's Spring 2010 Organizational Behavior blog

This is a blog on which students post additional research they have done on topics of interest from the textbook. I assume it will be informative, insightful, interesting and occasionally humorous. The textbook we are using is Organizational Behavior, 9th edition, by Robert Kreitner and Angelo Kinicki(McGraw-Hill, 2010).