Managing across Cultures and what the future may bring
The challenge of managing across cultures is to adopt business decisions and managerial approaches that avoid the alienation of local cultures and instead exploit cultural differences to avail advantages in the operations of an enterprise. Branine (2011) argues that the process of managing across cultures involves the strategic approach of managing local employees globally, managing global employees locally, and promoting a culture of acting locally and thinking globally among employees. An effective approach in this context involves managers’ assessments of, and adaptation of their strategies to, hidden beliefs and values that underlie behavior and cultural rituals and symbols (Branine, 2011; Trompenaars & Woolliams, 2003). In understanding and adapting to these concepts, managers enhance the acceptability of enterprise operations in the local community, and hence raise the likelihood of successful business performance.
Successful management is always a challenge because of the many changing factors and perspectives that the manager has to consider in the industry and market to influence sustainable business performance. This challenge is increasingly complex and demanding in the context of intensifying globalization. Globalization increases the scope of factors and perspectives that the manager has to consider, demanding greater hard work, reflection, thinking, and attentive behavior to address specific contexts of cultural multiplicity. In managing across cultures, managers require a high level of multicultural competence as a tool to direct their business decisions and social interactions (Steers, Sanchez-Runde, & Nardon, 2010).
Towards the future, intensifying globalization shall influence greater competition, more changes in demographic trends, and growing concerns about shortages in skilled labor. This is likely to influence reorganizations of work and need for flexible working hours (part-time work, temporary work, and home-based working). Enforcement of family-friendly policies, such as flexible employment to allow opportunities for employees to balance work and family obligations, is also likely (Branine, 2011).
Branine, M. (2011). Managing across Cultures: Concepts, Policies, and Practices. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Books
Steers, R., Sanchez-Runde, C., & Nardon, L. (2010). Management across Cultures: Challenges and Strategies. London, UK: Cambridge University Press
Trompenaars, F., & Woolliams, P. (2003). A New Framework for managing Change across Cultures. Journal of Change Management 3(4): 361-375. Retrieved from: http://www.dialogin.com/fileadmin/Files/User_uploads/trompenaars_01.pdf