Essays on Developing Cross-Cultural Effectiveness in an International Context Coursework

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The paper 'Developing Cross-Cultural Effectiveness in an International Context" is a perfect example of business coursework.   Culture may be defined as the general way of a group’ s or national thinking, feeling, believing and acting. It is the way of life of a group of individuals (Brannen and Doz, 2010). It is a complex whole that entails knowledge, art belief, customs, morals and any other habits and capabilities acquired by members of a certain group in society (Muzychenko, 2008). This paper provides a critical analysis of the model of culture proposed by Browaeys and Price using the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom as case studies (Athanasou and Esbroeck, 2008).

The model of culture proposed by Browaeys and Price has eight cultural value orientations with bipolar examples. They include time focus, time orientation, power, competition, action, space, communication and structure. Time focus (monochronic/polychronic) This cultural value orientation of Browaeys and Price is based on what was coined by Edward T. Hall and Mildred Reed Hall. Edward and Mildred are credited for having coined the terms Monochronic Time and Polychronic Time (Scullion, 2006).

Just like Hall and Mildred, Browaeys and Price use monochromic to refer to having a lesser sharp, intense, narrow focus on a single aspect at a time. They also take the same view of polychromic to refer to having an open focus on different aspects of the present moment (Karra, Philips and Tracey, 2008). Monochromic time can be measured in terms of what has been attained in a specified amount of time. Monochromic individuals do one thing at a time, concentrate on the job at hand, think about things that ought to be attained, but the job first, rarely borrow or lend things, and places emphasis on promptness (Dowling, Festing and Engle, 2008).

On the other hand, a polychromic individual does many things at a time, are easily distracted, think about what will be achieved, places relationships first, borrow and lend things more often and easily and base their promptness on relationship factors (Brannen and Doz, 2010). It has been argued that most people follow monochronic time which is also referred to as linear time. It is further argued that people disconnect from the perception of their own internal physiology and relationship with others when they operate based on monochronic time (Pellegrini, Scandura and Jayaraman, 2010).

As a consequence, monochromic individuals and polychromic individuals are considered to be either low context or high context (Dean and Regent University, 2007). In this sense, high context individuals connect deeply with others and are intuitive listeners who take in detailed background information about the person they are interacting with (Nevins and Money, 2007). It has been argued that polychromic individuals are often high context individuals while monochromic are low context individuals (Evers, Anderson, and Voskuijl, 2005).

In our context, Arabs have been traditionally been considered to be high context individuals and hence it might be expected that they are polychromic individuals (Muzychenko, 2008). Thus, it might be inferred that the United Arab Emirates citizens are polychromic individuals (Deardorff, 2009). On the other hand, most western cultures vary in their focus on either polychromic or monochromic (Burton, 2009). However, the United Kingdom has been traditionally been seen to place more focus on monochromic (Brannen and Doz, 2010).

This implies that an individual from the United Arab Emirates working with an individual from the UK may result in conflicts due to mismatches in the time mode they operate in (Stahl and Bjorkman, 2006). it has been suggested that such conflicts can be resolved by each one of them being sensitive to another’ s time mode. This implies that gaining insight into your own culture and understanding the culture of others as suggested by Browaeys and Price can help alleviate such mismatches (Pellegrini, Scandura and Jayaraman, 2010).

The individuals in focus can also try to adapt their professional skills to the culture and working style of the society or country in question to minimize such conflicts.

Reference

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Muzychenko, O. 2008. Cross-cultural entrepreneurial competence in identifying international business opportunities. European Management Journal, vol. 26, no. 6, pp. 366-377

Nevins, J., and Money, R. 2007. Performance implications of distributor effectiveness, trust, and culture in import channels of distribution. Industrial Marketing Management, vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 46-58

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Burton, D. 2009. Cross-cultural marketing: theory, practice and relevance. London: Taylor & Francis.

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