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BMCC5103 Domain of Conflicts and Cultural Differences Assessment Answer

BMCC5103 CROSS CULTURAL MANAGEMENT AND DIVERSITY

ASSIGNMENT QUESTION

OBJECTIVE: 

This purpose of this assignment is to enhance student’s ability to undertake a paper critique task based on readings related to cross culture management and diversity issues that contributes to human resource management.

REQUIREMENT

There are two parts in this assignment. Part 1 is a paper critique and in Part 2 you are to prepare a briefing paper.

Part 1:  Paper Critique 

You are required to select at least TWO (2) journals and write a review related to any one of the following topics or related to Cross Cultural Management and Diversity:

  1. Business Communication Across Cultures
  2. Conflicts and Cultural Differences

(All selected journals must formally reviewed and recommended by a group of peer researchers.)

INSTRUCTION:

The journal should be criticized in written as in accordance to the following format:

Introduction: 

State the Objectives, Article Domain, Audience, Journal and Conceptual/Empirical Classification. You may adopt the following example:                               

  • Paragraph 1: 

Include the objectives/goals/purpose of all of the articles. Defining the articles’ domains. State the concepts in relation to cross cultural management and diversity.

  • Paragraph 2: 

Define whether the articles chosen are ‘conceptual’ or ‘empirical’, and justify your statement. The guidelines of empirical/conceptual articles are as the following:

  • Both empirical articles and conceptual articles have a similar objective which is to substantiate an argument proposed by the author. 
  • Conceptual article supports an argument based on logical and persuasive reasoning.
  • Empirical article offers empirical evidence to support the argument. 
  • Empirical articles offer substantial, detailed evidence which the authors analyze using statistical methods. 
  • Empirical articles must include hypotheses (or propositions), detailed research results, and (statistical) analyses of this empirical evidence. Empirical research includes experiments, surveys, questionnaires, field studies, etc, and to limited degree, case studies. 
  • Conceptual articles may refer to such empirical evidence, but do not provide the detailed analysis of that evidence. Both types of articles can use real life examples to back up their points and just because an article provides examples, does not necessarily mean that it is empirical.                                                                             

Discussion on the issue

Discuss some issues related to the chosen topic and it should be associated with the module. You are required to give opinions on some of the issues. (1-2 paragraphs).                                                                   

Results / Findings

Briefly summarise the important points (observations, conclusions, findings), but do not repeat list of items in the articles. Summarise the essence of these points that are necessary. (1-2 paragraphs)

Contributions

How do the articles contribute to the knowledge in cross cultural management and diversity, to researchers and managers/policy makers (2-3 paragraphs)? 

Assignment Format:

  1. Provide references: References should use the American Psychological Association (APA) format.
  2. References should be current (year 2016 and onwards).

Notes:

  • Assignments should be submitted according to the fixed date. 
  • You are to submit a softcopy of your assignment online through myINSPIRE and a hardcopy to your facilitator.
  • Plagiarism is not acceptable. If you are not sure what is meant by plagiarism, refer to the various websites which discuss this matter, e.g. owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts. 

The assignment will be graded based on both the content as well as the presentation. You may receive a low marks due to poor presentation, even if the content is adequate.  Presentation includes spelling, grammar, sentence and paragraph structure, continuity and transitions between paragraphs, headings, and other mechanics of expository writing.

Part 2 Briefing Paper 

The increasing of Halal food and cosmetics demand in South Korea has open opportunities to Muslim country companies to expand their business in South Korea. Assuming you are working as a manager with flavoring company which manufactures food flavoring and fragrances in Malaysia with Halal certificate. Your company which is based in Kuala Lumpur has signed up a collaboration with a Korea’s cosmetic manufacturing company in Seoul to produce Halal skin care products. Your company need to send two expatriates to consult the manufacturing process specifically in quality assurance on the flavoring activities. As a manager, you realize that the expats need the pre-departure training to avoid any conflicts because of the cultural differences between Malaysia and South Korea. However, your boss neglected because he assume that the cultural differences do not affect the competency and technical skills of the expats. 

Since the pre-departure training is important to facilitate the expatriate’s adjustment in working and living demands in a foreign country, you need to justify the importance to have the pre departure training by comparing differences of these two cultures that could lead to any conflicts. You are required to prepare a short briefing paper describing the comparison between Malaysia and South Korea cultures by using the Model of Culture as described in your module. Additionally, from the analysis, you are required to define and summarise the most critical issues when these two cultures profiled work together and provide suggestion of the pre-departure training that expats might need. 

Answer

CROSS-CULTURAL MANAGEMENT AND DIVERSITY

Part 1: Paper Critique 

Introduction

The purpose of the first article is to evaluate cultural diversity and dissimilarities in cross-cultural project teams. The report is mainly focused on the domain of conflicts and cultural differences. In present-day organisations, no one can ignore the intercultural dimension. People from various cultural backgrounds come and work together bringing new idea and creativity in projects collaboration and new strategies to solving problems. While managing a cross-cultural team, considering factors that may influence cultural differences to include gender, religion and age. These factors have a significant influence on the effectiveness of the teamwork that is important for gaining success in the project (Popescu et al. 2014). The aim of the second article is examining and finding out trends in participation of students in abroad and enrolment of international students for understanding the established factors that influence essential elements of campus internationalisation. Internationalisation refers to a great idea as a process, differs from one campus to others concerning particulars of the application and strategic goals or objectives in some cases. Consequently, several definitions are variations on the basis and reaching an agreement on the way to internationalise universities is challenging. These measures are essential, as they resound with campus experience of all learners and assess the involvement in rich, immersive and deep learning experiences for pupil learning abroad (Marks et al. 2018). 

The first article is empirical, as it used practical evidence for establishing an argument of cross-cultural management. The report also includes detailed results, questionnaires and studies that are the features of an empirical article — the material used four questionnaires for data collection. The surveys are about intercultural competence, the emotional intelligence level, communication style and the possible role, which an individual can play being a member of a team. Five variables that are used in study contain nationality age residence, profile and high school graduate. The research context is explained by a cross-cultural a collaborative project team, which occurred in the Limoges University in France. A sample size of 125 was used, and statistical processing was carried out with Sphinx Plus- Lexica Edition- V5 and the particular version of MS office excel 2003. The second article is also empirical, as it involves conducting a regression analysis for examining the relationship between international student registration and study aboard participation. It also provided a clear result of the subject. The statistical data represented in the article shows that higher educational institutions are intensely aware of the significance of international study programs besides maintaining the number of students who study abroad. The knowledge of particular factors linked to study foreign participation and international enrolment of students is essential for colleges emphasising on becoming more viable through internationalisation.  

Discussion on the problem

Managing culturally different people in the workplace itself is a difficult job for the management of any organisation. As stated by Popescu et al. (2014), a cross-cultural team is created by people from different levels of a company with various job functions to attain a shared goal. Members of a cross-functional team can come from multiple areas of expertise like finance, manufacturing, human resource, quality or marketing. Managing such an organisation needs generating a creative and friendly environment for everyone. Culture must not be an obstacle to this. It must show various choices for the team functions, problem-solving and process development. It means culture is an essential factor to be considered while managing a cross-function group of people. It is the responsibility of the management top arrange necessary training and implementing required codes of conducts and policies for promoting diversity and avoiding conflicts within the different kind of people working together. Goswami & Rangaswamy (2019) stated that technical problem occurs in a multicultural team due to parochialism. The global operations of extending businesses are carried out in such an atmosphere, whose social structure is distinctive from that of the company is based. The new system influences the reactions of all people engaged. The workers sent to a new region shows different types of behaviours that are often factual to the residents and the nation. They may not be able to find out the significant dissimilarities between their own culture and others. Apart from that, some people can be individualistic comparing to others. It means that they focus more on their welfare and needs. Besides, ethnocentrism is another possible barrier to stress-free adoption of another culture. It takes place when people are inclined to consider that their birthplace surroundings are the greatest. The tendency is called self-reference criterion. 

Hence, their own strong belief in their own culture is a critical barrier toward working in collaboration with other team members belong to different cultural backgrounds. Besides, people who belong to various cultures behave differently and respond differently to situations that create disagreement and conflict among members and makes the workplace environment difficult for others. When people refuse to respect other, cultural beliefs and values, challenges occur. As commented by Marks et al. (2018), international student enrolment and participation in study abroad are affected by access to an educational loan. Moreover, the size of the institutions also has a significant role in influencing international registration of pupil and study abroad participation. Aside from that, while studying abroad, the most crucial factor that may affect the learning of students in abroad is differences between their own and the foreign country's culture. Therefore, having a multicultural understanding is necessary for students to study effectively in a foreign nation. The international institution is also accountable for making provisions required to make the learning process comfortable and easy for international students. Failing to improve the interaction between national and international students to enhance affects educational quality negatively. It is necessary for implementing peer-monitoring programs for facilitating a fruitful change to higher education. In the words of Alnaqbi & Castillo (2017), employees from some of the cultures can be less interested in letting their opinions be heard. However, having people with different brain powers is not adequate. It is also essential for developing an inclusive and open workplace environment for making everyone feel empowered. It can be specifically difficult for people from deferential or polite cultures. For instance, professionals of Asian nations like Japan or Vietnam can feel less comfortable sharing ideas and speaking up, specifically if they are new joiner to the group or in a junior role. Such introvert people can be challenging to manage in a multicultural workplace if they do not feel comfortable to speak their mind. In such a situation, communication becomes demanding among people, and thus, miscommunication and conflicts take place. Integration among multicultural teams can be challenging in the aspect of discrimination or negative cultural labels. 

Results or findings

In the first article, it is observed that in the present time, multiculturalism is considered as an essential factor, which offers a positive environment for the development and management of cultural diversity. The interest of people on the cross-cultural project team has been increasing rapidly with time. The four questionnaires that were used for finding out the research outcome and obtaining the research objectives helped in identifying the characteristics of cross-cultural project teams. Active multicultural personality, open-mildness, cultural empathy, emotional stability and social initiative are some features of a cross-cultural team. Another point highlighted in the article through finding is that while managing a cross-cultural project team, it is essential to enhance the flexibility of adopting new situation and behaviour successfully. When people work in another culture, it is critical being able to change approaches as trusted and usual methods of doing things are not always effective in a new cultural setting. Therefore, the cross-cultural team with low flexibility are inclined to consider new situations as a threat. Members of a group are linked to common behavioural forms, and they cannot acclimate and change their behavioural pattern to an unforeseen condition in other cultures. In terms of communication style, the group should have a communication style. For example, a process-oriented method can be more useful for the success of the project. This cross-cultural project team must have fewer coordinators and more total finishers and team workers. From an empirical perspective, the article offers a new process of understanding intercultural skills and cultural diversity indirectly. It tries to provide a group of best practices for guiding the project manager on the way to perform for attaining better outcome in the project. 

In the second article, it is observed that the higher educational institutions are intensely cognisant of the significance of acclimatising study programmes in a foreign country while maintaining the student numbers in their international grounds. The colleges to become even more competitive through internationalisation process must know factors linked to international student enrolment and study abroad participation. The article offers essential suggestions for higher educational institutions, universities and colleges involving in internationalisation. It is found that educational funding is a crucial factor that influences the number of students studying abroad. Institutions, where students are getting more help from Pell Grants, internationalisation is likely to find less successful in those organisations. The second strategy for internationalisation depends on the size of educational institutions. Mainly there is more intersection with important variables in international student enrolment as well as study abroad participation in large and medium institutions comparing to the smaller schools. It shows that the size of an institution has a vital role in any plan for improving internationalisation. Besides educational funding and capacity of institutions, increasing cultural ever awareness and improving communication skills are considered as the most important forces for encouraging study abroad programmes and enhancing the number of students an international educational institution. It is found that study abroad academy plans improve the competitiveness of national and local economies.  Cultural competency plays a vital role in making education effective and successful for international students.  

Contributions

Both the articles provided significant knowledge on cross-cultural management in two different domains. While the first article emphasised on managing cross-cultural project teams, the second article put stress on understanding the forces influence the development and growth of international universities and colleges. The first article helped in analysing the way multicultural project teams can be adequately managed for making international projects successful. The questionnaires that were used for data collection showed that multicultural features related to professional, occupational and motivational issues take place in a multicultural global environment can be addressed by developing an inclusive workplace for all. The workplace must be culturally diverse with all the necessary provisions that make people from different cultures working comfortably together without facing any conflict. Emotional intelligence is also an essential factor when it comes to determining the success of an intercultural organisation. Emotional intelligence improves the ability to involve in a cultured information processing regarding a person's own and other people’ emotions and the capability of using the information as a controller to behave and think. 

The second article contributes to the knowledge of the forces having an impact on study abroad participation of international students and their enrolment. It has helped in understanding the way educational loan inspires students’ participation in global learning. Apart from that, it has also pointed out the way the size of international educational institutions have an impact on the level of internationalisation occurs in them. The entire study in the article provided information on private and public participation rate for studying not, and the model presentation was counter-intuitive. Specifically, the sad certainty that power private substantial arts grounds sustain to be the headlocks for study abroad comparing to bigger publics do not seem to be reinforced by the data. It can be because of the cost construction of private universities relative to public universities. In the end, the findings propose that the convergence of cost structure and socio-economic condition are a bulging influencer of effective participation rates. Moreover, the evaluation approves that the gender balance of campuses stimulates participation rates. Particularly colleges with higher observed rates of female registration have more involvement in study abroad that practically supports the idea comparing to men do not seem to engage at the same price as female. 

Part 2: Briefing paper 

General information on South Korea and its people

South Korea is a country in East Asia, neighbouring North Korea. It has water on three sides; it forms the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. The East sea separates the country from Japan. Eat is mainly hilly, and there are several islands on the South Coast. Seoul is the capital of the state which is also considered as a foremost global city. More than 51,000,000 people of South Korea live in Seoul. It is the fourth biggest urban economy in the world. 

It was believed that Korean people had had connections with the publics of Mongolia, region of Siberia and the Lake Baikal, Central Asia and the coastal areas of the yellow sea. Tools of Palaeolithic kind and other artistic facts discovered in Sokch’ang, near Kongju are relatively akin to those in the Mongolian areas and Lake Baikal. The people who live in South Korea is exceptionally homogeneous. Almost the whole population is culturally Korean, and there is a little minority of national Chinese permanent inhabitants. The number of immigrants is increasing mainly in the critical urban regions. People from the United States, China and Japan make up the most significant overseas populations even though they still create only little parts. Several distant citizens are active in business or the political force, and thousands of employees arrive from South East Asia and China. All the Korean people mainly speak in the Korean language that is often categorised as one of the Altaic words. It has attractions to Japanese and includes several Chinese loanwords. The Guardian writing, called Hangul in South Korea and Choson muntcha in North Korea, is made of phonetic signs for the 14 consonants and ten vowels. Korean frequently is written as an amalgamation of Hangul in South Korea and Chinese ideogram, although the tendency is changing toward using fewer Chinese (Britannica, 2019). In the culture of Korea, education is considered as an essential factor to gain success in life. This school, an individual graduate from can decide whether he or she will be successful or not. To several Korean parents, the education of their offspring overshadows all other factors, and they make so many sacrifices to let the kids obtaining the best possible education (Eder, 2016).

Applying model of culture for analysing Malaysia and South Korea

As the Malaysian company wants to expand its business in South Korea, it needs identifying and comparing its own country’s culture with that of Malaysia, so that necessary steps can be taken before sending expatriates South Korea. Pre-departure training is needed here for avoiding potential conflicts that may occur due to cultural differences between South Korea and Malaysia. Hofstede's model of national culture can be considered here for identifying the significant cultural differences exist between the two countries. It will help to find out the significant issues that can affect technical skills and competency of the experts in the foreign country. It will further help in convincing the boss arranging the pre-departure training for making the expats efficient for working in Malaysia for expanding the business of halal cosmetic products. 

Hofstede's model is based on six dimensions of culture. It includes power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individual versus group orientation, masculine versus feminine orientation, short-term versus long-term orientation and indulgence versus restraint. The dimensions are regarded as usual representation society and are not likely to be appropriate in all backgrounds. It is a comparatively cultural place and replication of the propensities of specific cultural teams, where the proportions signify the direction that most of the members adopt in ordinary situations (Tjosvold, 2017). 

In terms of power distanceMalaysia scores high that is 100, that means the people accept ranked order within which every individual has a position, and it requires no more explanation. Hierarchy in a company is considered as reflecting intrinsic dissimilarities, domination is popular, juniors expect to be said what their duties are, and the supreme boss is a compassionate dictator. Difficulties in the management are not received well (Valaei et al. 2016). On the other side, Al-Alawi  & Alkhodari (2016) stated that South Korea scored 60 in the Power distance index. It means people adopt the hierarchy and directions the same as the people of Malaysia do. However, differences in scores show that inequalities in South Korea are lower comparing do that of Malaysia. 

While considering individualism versus collectivism, the underlying issue resolved in this dimension is the extent of interdependence within the members of the society. Bahari & Clarke (2013) commented that Malaysia scores 26, which signifies it as a collectivistic society. It is evident in a close enduring obligation to the member group whether it is a family, extended relationships or extended family. Loyalty is such a culture supreme and dominates most other social regulations and rules. In a collectivist society, healthy relationships are fostered, and everyone takes accountability for corresponding members of their community. In such a city, wrongdoing leads to and shame. Employee and employer relationships are considered in ethical terms, recruiting and promotion find worker’s in-group. Management refers to the team management. Cho & Kim (2017) commented that South Korea again scores lower in this dimension as compared to Malaysia. It scores 18, and hence the country is considered also as a collectivistic society like Malaysia. 

In terms of masculinity versus femininityMalaysia gets 50, and therefore, this dimension cannot be adequately decided for the country. A higher score (masculine) in this dimension signifies that the society is influenced by achievement success and competition with a victory is defined as the conqueror in the field. The value system that begins in school lasts thru organisational life. On the other hand, a low score (feminine) in this dimension indicates that leading values in society are quality of life and helping others. In the feminine community, the quality of life is the symbol of success and obtaining a leading position from the mass is not estimable. The underlying problems here are the factors that encourage people demanding the best (masculine) or admiring what one does (feminine) (Cheah, Diong & Yap, 2018). Lee, Chung & Jung (2015) commented that as South Korea gets 39 in the dimension, it is regarded as a feminine society. In such a community, the emphasis is put on working for a living. Hence, the managers in South Korea endeavour for value equality, agreement, quality in working condition and unity. Here conflicts are addressed by negotiation and compromise. Employees prefer flexibility and free time as incentives. The manager supports employees and encourages them to involve in decision making. 

Malaysia gates a score of 36 in the uncertainty avoidance index. Hence it shows a lower inclination for avoiding uncertainty. It means the country maintains a stress-free approach. In society, people believe there should be rules as per the necessity, and if they become vague or unclear, they should be eliminated or changed. Hard work is conducted Only when it is necessary. Punctuality and exactness do not come usually. Innovation is not considered threatening (Harada, 2017). On the other side, Ki & Shin (2015) stated that South Korea gets a score of 85 in this dimension, which shows that the country maintains a strict code of behaviour and beliefs and is fanatical of unconventional ideas and action. Within society, people have an internal desire to work hard and stay busy.  They considered time as asset and promptness and accuracy are the custom. Security is an essential component in personal inspiration and innovation can struggle.

Malaysia scores 41 in long term orientation. It shows that Malaysia has a normative culture their people have a strong focus on establishing the absolute truth. The show higher esteem for traditions and a comparatively smaller inclination to save for the future. They are concentrated on attaining quick results (Bahari & Clarke, 2013). In contrary, in the words of Cho & Kim (2017), South Korea scores 100 in this dimension which indicates the country as one of the long-term oriented and most pragmatic societies. Real-world good examples and virtues guide people's lives. The state focuses on higher own capital rates and the steady rise of a market share instead of a quarterly profit and so forth.  

In the indulgence Malaysia 57. It denotes that the culture is an indulgence. In societies, people are categorised by a high score in this dimension incline to realise their desires and impulses about having fun and enjoying life. They have a positive outlook and have a willingness toward positivity. Moreover, they give a more excellent position to leisure time, and they love to spend money on being pleased and fulfilling their wishes (Valaei et al. 2016). As opined by Al-Alawi & Alkhodari (2016)South Korea gets 29 in this category, which shows that it is opposite to the Malaysian society. The society is restraint which a tendency toward pessimism and cynicism. Besides, such communities do not focus on leisure time and believe in directing the satisfaction of their desires. They are controlled by social customs and feel that pandering themselves is relatively wrong. 

Summarising finding on significant issues when the two cultures profiled work together and suggestions

After identifying the similarities and differences between the two countries, Malaysia and South Korea, the critical issues that the two expatriates can face while working in South Korea can be identified easily. As both countries are collectivistic society and believe in a hierarchical relationship, the two expats will not face any problem regarding these two cultural dimensions while working together. The issue will occur due to the difference related to masculinity versus femininity, approach toward uncertainty avoidance, long term versus short term orientation, and indulgence between Malaysia and South Korea. As South Korea is a feminine society and driven by value equality useful working condition and consensus, the employees of Malaysia can experience a problem in adjusting with the new norms in the foreign country. Employees of Malaysia are used to work in a society that is neither masculine nor feminine, as it obtained the score of 50. Apart from that, the approach of South Korea and Malaysia toward avoiding uncertainty is also completely different. While Malaysia has a relaxed approach toward dealing with change, South Korea emphasises on preventing change by working hard and following strict regulations. Hence if the Malaysian employees maintain the same carefree attitude while working in South Korea for expanding their business of halal-certified cosmetic products, they mean face significant issues in the foreign country. In the indulgence category, it is also found that South Korean people consider indulgence as a wrong thing. They show an inclination toward disparagement and pessimism and believe in controlling their desires. Therefore, the attitude of Malaysian employees of having fun and focusing on positivity and indulgence can be offensive to the South Korean people. This may create significant problems in working together with the South Korean employees effectively and can hamper the idea of business expansion eventually. 

Hence, a pre-departure training of the Malaysian expats is highly essential, so that they can have more excellent knowledge about South Korean society. It will help them understanding people and working in harmony with them. Besides Oh, cultural competency training is also required for them Malaysian workers for increasing their cultural competency and the ability to embrace other culture with open arm. But the ex-pats are suggested to work with the South Korean culture instead of working against it. Besides, while working in the country, they should listen and see the working style of the South Korean people, so that they can conduct their activities accordingly. 

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