Management of Intercultural Relations in an Intercultural Organization

Management of Intercultural Relations in an Intercultural Organization

José G. G. Vargas-Hernández (University of Guadalajara, Mexico) and Jeanne Poulose (Christ Institute of Management, India)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3776-2.ch014

Abstract

The chapter aims to reflect on the management of intercultural organizational relations. It explains the transition of homogenous organizations into the culturally heterogeneous organization and compares multiculturalism with cross-culturalism in its ability to harmonize the principles of cultural diversity with universal ethical principles. It explores the process of creation of a third culture to foster understanding and acceptance among diverse teams. It attempts to establish the impact of intercultural interactions/relations on the effectiveness of a diverse team of individuals interacting in concert to achieve common goals. The work also underpins some analysis of the creation, development, and management of organizational intercultural capital. Finally, the emergence of the model of strategic management of an intercultural organization focused on learning and training for proper operationalization and implementation is proposed, and some challenges that could antagonize the teams are looked into and proposals are formulated.
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Defining An Intercultural Organization

The intercultural organization is defined in this analysis as a set of contacts and interactions that often occur among the various members of an organization having different backgrounds and cultural identities, in terms of language, values, attitudes, thoughts, emotions, actions, etc., and these, in turn, define their ways of being, thinking and acting, and developing an understanding of different lifestyles.

To understand the notion of intercultural organization it is essential to understand the concept of subjective culture rather than objective culture. Subjective culture is understood as the intangible part of the culture, which could include a pattern of beliefs, behaviours and values ​​that are maintained by groups of people interacting. An understanding of this subjective culture allows analyzing the interactions between the cultures and offers an epistemological foundation for the differences existing between the local and international culture that goes beyond the historical, economic and political environment (Bennett, 2001a).

Intercultural interactions in organizations are mutually reciprocal between and within cultures. The prediction of the intensity and meaning of the intercultural relationship of the group itself towards its members has been the subject of various studies (Noesjirwan, 1978; Argyle et al., 1986). A study on Intercultural verbal communication relations (Gudykunst & Toomey, 1988) has developed various styles of direct communication. For foreigners, the development of intercultural relations with indigenous people is a complex task (Simard, 1981). This may suggest how the number of links with subjects of the indigenous culture can be an indicator of intercultural adaptation and of the level of intercultural competencies held by the subject (Kim, 1988).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Intercultural Management: Is an interdisciplinary human resources field concerned with facilitating management in organizational communities where is a deep understanding and respect of all cultures focusing on effective interactions, development of deep relationships and mutual exchange of cultural norms and ideas between personnel, customers and all the stakeholders across organizational borders.

Subjective Culture: Is a pattern of beliefs, behaviors, and values that are maintained by groups of people interacting.

Cultural Capital: Is the stock of values upon which the structure of each society is characterized it as different from others.

Cultural Diversity: Refers to the inclusion of cultural differences among diverse people because of the existence of a variety of cultural and ethnic groups, language, dress, and traditions within a society or an organization.

Multidimensional Construct Metacognitive: Is the ability of consciousness and alertness that individuals have for intercultural interactions through mental, motivational, and behavioral components.

Multiculturalism: Is a dynamic and dialectical process that recognizes the existence and convergence of various cultures as a space between the local and global processes intersecting social and cultural networks articulating personal and collective identities.

Intercultural Organization: Is the set of contacts and interactions that often occur among the various members of an organization having different backgrounds and cultural identities, in terms of a common understanding of the meanings of language, values, attitudes, thoughts, emotions, actions, etc., defining the ways of being, thinking and acting, and understanding of different lifestyles.

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