Saturday, January 30, 2010

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.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that there are many cultural differences that can be confusing. This is probably one of the most major reasons that managers as well as normal employees should be educated on cultural differences. Many managers and employees do not take this seriously, thus causing said problems.