Monday, February 1, 2010

Culture Shock

Imagine yourself in an environment where everything around you seemed foreign. The people around you acted in a way far different from your own and even wanted you to join in the same lifestyle. This a brief example of what culture shock would feel like. Culture shock is "anxiety and doubt caused by an overload of new expectations and cues" (Kreitner 116). Chapter 4 touches on the topic of culture shock and how if not handled carefully can lead into a serious dilema in the workplace. Unlike in Chapter 3, Chapter 4 discusses how cultural differences can affect companies and their employees. Colleen Ward, author of The Psychology of Culture Shock, discusses how culture shock has become an an issue of importance at the workplace. Ward states "As travel has become easier, cheaper, and faster many people have taken the opportunity to live, study, and seek employment in societies very different from their 'points of origin' (Ward 14). I find it very interesting that such an abundant amount of people have traveled to a foreign nation to receive employment. Culture shock can be addressed in several ways in order to keep it from becoming an issue. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)came up with their own definition of culture shock as well, "Culture shock is the physical and emotional discomfort of being in a foreign country, another culture, an unfamiliar place, or all three" (Culture Shock). The USAID even supplies information on how to recognize symptoms along with ways of coping with culture shock.

This issue is one that will slowly become more and more important as the United States and its lifestyle spread across the globe.

Ward, Colleen K. The Psychology of Culture Shock. 2nd ed. Vol 1. Philadelphia: Routledge, 2001.
Kreitner, Robert. Organizational Behavior. 9th ed. Vol. 1. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2010.
"Culture Shock." USAID.United States Agency for International Development: 2010.

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