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Example research essay topic: Cross Cultural Awareness For International Part 2 - 1,662 words

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... characteristics: analytical, logical, linear, orderly, and explicit. Culturally, it can be traced from American excellence in rationality, reasoning, and scientific inquiry. However, this method also has limitations: flexibility and economy of thinking may suffer from a rigidly fixed pattern; the process of thinking is an integrated whole, not necessarily a linear progression of the segmented parts; and an analytical approach is not applicable to many worldly and managerial issues (Eckhouse 87).

In contrast to the American way of thinking, Chinese minds, because of their unique tradition and living environment, think in terms of concrete analogy, which somehow puts the situation in a form easily grasped in its entirety. If the American way of thinking could be likened to "masculinity, " the Chinese mind would be akin to "femininity" in many respects. (Assuming masculinity and femininity do exist worldwide. ) For example, Chinese tend to favor the use of common sense - an integrated but often undefinable state of mind - when approaching problems, which indicates that less segmenting of the situation is involved. Synthesis, intuition, concrete image, proverbs, are often the first Chinese priorities. Like women who have a surer instinct of life, the Chinese depend largely upon their intuitive power ("sixth sense") for solving nature's mysteries.

Chinese logic seems to be accompanied by some personal and subtle fabrics while American logic seems to have been prepared with more impersonal and explicit substances. In the Chinese language, the word "because" appears less frequently because the meaning of "because" is usually implied by the speaker or inferred by the audience with reference to the context. "The reason is because... " said by many Americans may suggest a strong motivation to reconfirm the cause-effect relationship ingrained in their mindset (Marshall & Bush 874). Thus, the cultural system is influential in all aspects of Chinese social lives including business management. Essentially, it is the unique Confucianism, family-ism, group orientation philosophy of life and mode of thinking that have made the Chinese cultural system distinctive and powerful. Effective cross- cultural management strategies in China should be based on the implications of the actual cultural mechanisms, not on the temporary cultural fashions that run skin-deep and are likely to generate cultural disorientation. For American companies going to China, three final pointers should be considered: 1.

build up a primary understanding of the major forces that have framed the Chinese culture; 2. maintain an open and adaptable mind for different management and negotiation styles and practices; 3. minimize value judgments exclusively based on American cultural terms about Chinese business deviations (Miner 29). An African perspective (Nigeria) Nigeria more than any country in Africa has suffered from a bad press, from political turmoil to email scams. Perhaps the wonder of Nigeria is that from being a colonial invention, and through numerous ethnic conflicts including a major civil war, it has managed to hang together as a nation.

For example, Maier (cities in Clarke 404) writes: "Nigeria was the bastard child of imperialism, its rich mosaic of peoples locked into a nation-state they had no part in designing. Before the European conquest, Nigeria was home to an estimated three hundred ethnic groups of sometimes widely differing languages and systems of internal rule. Although its constituents had traded and often lived among each other for centuries, the land of Nigeria had never existed as one political unit. The peoples gathered within its borders had different cultures and stood at very unequal levels of development. " This state of affairs is reflected in work organizations. For example, Abuse (cited in Jackson 64) states that: Unsatisfactory attitudes towards work may also be traced to lack of patriotism among Nigeria's citizens. The concept of 'the Nigerian nation' is, for most citizens, a sentimental one to be exploited for personal advantage.

Moreover, since the emergence of a strong nation-state has been hampered by centrifugal ethnic forces in Nigeria, many employees in the public sector owe more loyalty to their ethnic roots than to the Nigerian state which has little meaning beyond a geographical expression for many workers in public employment (Jackson 71). Knight (123) maintains that one of the challenges of organizations in developing countries, and he is writing primarily of Nigeria, is to manage uncertainty. He particularly points to the problem of weak institutions. Nigeria has a population of some 130 million.

Similarly to most African economies this is mostly an agrarian country with 70 per cent of the working population employed in agriculture, 10 per cent in industry, and 20 per cent in services 20 per cent (Jackson 103). The main industries in order of importance are: crude oil, coal, tin, columbite, palm oil, peanuts, cotton, rubber, wood, hides and skins, textiles, cement and other construction materials, food products, footwear, chemicals, fertilizer, printing, ceramics, steel. Nigeria is oil rich, yet according to the CIA World Factbook is 'long hobbled by political instability (cited in Knight 127), corruption, and poor macroeconomic management' although the civilian government of President Obasanja has initiated a number of economic reforms. According to the CIA World Factbook: "Nigeria's former military rulers failed to diversify the economy away from overdependence on the capital-intensive oil sector, which provides 20 per cent of GDP, 95 per cent of foreign exchange earnings, and about 65 per cent of budgetary revenues.

The largely subsistence agricultural sector has failed to keep up with rapid population growth, and Nigeria, once a large net exporter of food, now must import food. Following the signing of an IMF stand-by agreement in August 2000, Nigeria received a debt-restructuring deal from the Paris Club and a $ 1 billion credit from the IMF, both contingent on economic reforms. The agreement was allowed to expire by the IMF in November 2001, however, and Nigeria appeared unlikely to receive substantial multilateral assistance in future years. Nonetheless, 'increases in foreign oil investment and oil production should push growth over 4 per cent in 2002 " (CIA World Factbook cited in Jackson 222). In fact, despite President Obasanjo ensuring far more freedom of speech, a side effect has been a rise in ethnic conflict. The same report also maintains that he has made little progress in reforming the economy and overcoming poverty.

There has been a small amount of privatization and liberalization, which the report says has led more noticeably to the rise in the number of mobile telephones. Diversification of the economy has not happened, and it is still overdependent on oil. Its economy has tended to slide backwards over the last few years (Knight 125). A main criticism has been the lack of the benefits of oil, which makes up a major part of Nigeria's economy, to the people of Nigeria. There are fuel shortages at the petrol pumps despite a vibrant black market (Knight 127). Disputes with indigenous peoples in the oil-producing Delta region still continue.

Again, little if any local benefit has been gained for living in the richest oil-producing region of Africa. There may well be a connection between interactions at the inter-continental level, between foreign companies and government, and between foreign companies and local people, and the ongoing ethnic clashes in the Delta region (Knight 128). Recent researches specify that Nigerian managers, relative to managers in other African countries, see their organizations as control- rather than people-oriented, with a moderate results focus. Ideally they would like to see their organizations more results-and more people-oriented in common with most of the other African countries. Moreover, Nigerian managers see their organizations as not consultative: they want their organizations more so, but only see a little change for the future. They do not see their organizations as undergoing rapid change.

There is a desire for change, but managers see organizations changing less in the future than they are currently. Nigerian managers present a picture of weak trade unions, with a desire that they be less weak, but see no change for the future. Despite what some of the literature may suggest, managers state that there is little or no family influence in their organizations that this is their ideal, and it is not likely to change. Besides there is a moderate amount of restriction through government legislation, and there is no desire for this to change, and no perception that it is likely to change (Jackson 57).

Thus, when we take into proper consideration the factors there is a great possibility for us to use the culture as a source of competitive advantage (promoting people-oriented, consultative direction resulted in smooth changing and trade unions supporting). Works Cited Adler, Nancy J. , and John L. Graham. "Cross-Cultural Interaction: The International Comparison Fallacy? . " Journal of International Business Studies 20. 3 (1989): 515. Clarke, Walter V. "The Problem of Labeling: The Semantics of Behavior. " ETC. : A Review of General Semantics 55. 4 (1998): 404.

Dutton, Jane E. , Janet M. Duke rich, and Celia V. Harquail. "Organizational Images and Member Identification. " Administrative Science Quarterly 39. 2 (1994): 239. Eckhouse, Barry. Competitive Communication: A Rhetoric for Modern Business. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Harrison, J. Kline. "Developing Successful Expatriate Managers: A Framework for the Structural Design and Strategic Alignment of Cross-Cultural Training Programs. " Human Resource Planning 17. 3 (1994): 17. Jackson, Terence. Management and Change in Africa: A Cross-Cultural Perspective. New York: Routledge, 2004. Knight, Melinda. "Issues and Cases in Cross-Cultural Management: An African Perspective. " Business Communication Quarterly 65. 4 (2002): 123.

Lenartowicz, Tomasz, and Kendall Roth. "Does Subculture within a Country Matter? A Cross-Cultural Study of Motivational Domains and Business Performance in Nigeria. " Journal of International Business Studies 32. 2 (2001): 305. Marshall, R. Scott, and David M. Bush. "Dynamic Decision-Making: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of U.

S. and Chinese Managers. " Journal of International Business Studies 32. 4 (2001): 873. Miner, John B. Organizational Behavior: Foundations, Theories, and Analyses. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002. Xing, Fan. "The Chinese Cultural System: Implications for Cross-Cultural Management. " SAM Advanced Management Journal 60. 1 (1995): 14.


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Research essay sample on Cross Cultural Awareness For International Part 2

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