KB 38 Cross Culture

KNOWLEDGE BEANS a human resource newsletter

issue no 38 | sept 2011

continued from previous page | THE GLOBAL WORKFORCE – CULTURAL DYNAMICS AND BEYOND : Prof. Shraddha Purandare

Cultural diversity includes gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnic and age. Diversity management involves creating a supportive culture where all employees can be effective. In creating this culture, it is important that top management strongly supports workforce diversity as a company goal and includes diversity initiatives in their companies' business strategies. While diversity in the workplace brings about many benefits to an organization, it can also lead to many challenges. It is the responsibility of leaders within organizations to use these dynamics as an influential resource in order to enhance organizational effectiveness. Corporate should develop strategic approach for managing these cultural dynamics like: Working in multicultural environment Enhancing effective knowledge on inter cultural differences Some of the imperative things, which organizations can implement at their levels: Building good working relationships across cultures Improving an understanding on how to listen, what to listen to and how to interpret in multi cultural environments Avoid offending people from different cultures Only when managing diversity becomes a top priority, a visibly significant component of planning and management will be truly effective and significant change will occur.



Poonam Joshi is a clinical and cognitive psychologist with a passion for language learning, communication, psycholinguistics and human behaviour.At Atyaasaa,she is interested in teaching and training and is involved in psychometric tool designing.

idea of advertising was half-baked due to lack of understanding that according to culture of the local community, it was insulting to associate the name of Allah with products (shoes) that were to be trampled in the dirt. Rather than seeing culture as a problem to be solved, there is lot of evidence that culture can provide a source of competitive advantage. One model known as the ‘Johari window’ provides a way of discussing and ‘negotiating’ the different perspectives by employing self-disclosure and constructive feedback. Recognizing cultural differences is the first important step to manage potential failures or problems in business exchanges, but in order to go beyond simple awareness and to create useful interaction, these differences need to be open for discussion and positive intervention. Workforce management is an ‘extreme sport’ in Hyderabad, a first-tier offshore hotspot where foreign multinationals compete with Indian companies for acquiring talent. This scramble has caused annual salary adjustments to turn to quarterly raises. Labour cost savings for U.S. based companies operating in India could shrink from 80 percent to 40 percent within a decade, according to Andy Goodman, Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Islandia, New York-based CA Inc., which employs 1,100 workers in its Hyderabad software development centre. “But even so, India will still represent a significant economic value,”he says. “It is really a question of exploiting the global talent pool wherever it exists.”

OFF SHORING: CREATING AGLOBALWORKFORCE ODFOLLOWER’SORATE Gayatri G. Patil Failure to pay attention to intricacies of a culture can, in fact, have disastrous consequences. An example of cultural negligence is an incident that occurred in a shoe store in Leicester, England. The advertisement of its footwear was a saying in Arabic, "There is no God but Allah". Soon after, the store faced an arson attack, claimed to be a legit protest. Although the, desire was to attract the local market, the A study conducted by Towers Watson (2010) with 22,000 employees spread over 22 different markets, suggests a workforce submerged in recession, bruised yet surviving. People have lower expectations coupled with increased anxiety and new priorities. This study concluded that technology will continue to revolutionize not only how work gets done, but also how people access their work and each other. Similar trend continues even in 2011 however, the focus of people development has slowly tipped in favour of cultural diversity. Making this world ‘flatter’ than it already is!

Gayatri G. Patil is working as a Management Consultant at Capgemini,Pune since the last 2 years.She has completed her BE in Computer Science from VTU, Karnataka. Apart from being a Software techie, her interest lies in playing squash. She is fun loving and has a passion for interacting with people across cultures.

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