Part I: Describe and Compare/Contrast Two Different Cultures
Describe the cultural characteristics of your country of origin according to the categories discussed on pp 38-46 of the textbook and compare and contrast these to the U.S. culture. If you are from the U.S., pick any other country and compare it to the U.S. culture.
You should comment on (describe and compare/contrast) the two cultures across each of the twelve cultural characteristics described in chapter two: Formality and Social Customs, Style of Dress, Time, Tolerance for Conflict, Gender Roles, High- and Low- Context, Individualism, Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, Masculinity, and Future Orientation.
Once completed, address the following questions:
1) From the set of twelve cultural characteristics you described above, which cultural difference between these two cultures is likely to provide the biggest challenge when business teams from both cultures work together? And why? (See pp 38-46)
2) What can you do to improve or ease challenges when communicating across these two cultures? (See pp 48-52)
3) Are there any ethical issues that might arise when doing business between these two different cultures? (See pp 47-48)
Part II: Situation Analysis
In this scenario, you are a manager of a work team in the U.S. Your team is visiting a client in another country where they treat women in the workplace differently. The purpose of your visit is to deliver a presentation of findings (results) from a research project that your team performed, for a fee, for the client. The client has hinted that only men should deliver presentations during meetings in their country. Your team is composed of three employees—two men and one woman. Each team member worked on the research project. When your team has performed this same type of research project in the past for other clients, each team member (the two men and the woman) has delivered a portion of the presentation and has contributed equally to the discussion. In this current situation, the woman on your team feels uncomfortable about the upcoming visit.
1) As the manager of this team, which of the 6 ways of responding described on pp 47-48 (Avoiding through Collaboration) would you choose and why?
2) Consider the two ethical questions on pg 48 (e.g., How morally significant is this situation? Is there home culture consensus regarding the issue?) and look at the questions in the “Ethical challenge” box at the top of pg 47. As you think about these questions and how you would answer them, does this change how you would respond to the situation above? 3) What if anything would you do or say your employee (the woman), to your entire team, or to the client to improve the situation?
4) What are some possible consequences that might occur after you follow your chosen response?
5) What might you do to alleviate this type of conflict in the future?
Your write-up should be in clear, readable English. If you struggle with English writing, consider consulting GGU’s OWL service, which helps students strengthen their written English. Also, be sure to run Spelling and Grammar check in Microsoft Word or other document tool to correct any glaring mistakes.
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