General presentation and
introduction: a few definitions
Bien penser à définir le mot ou les notions aux oraux terminaux avant d’étendre
Management: back bone of successful organizations. Is essential for an o°
life and a good management is mandatory to run all types of o °. Managing
life means getting things done with an objective and it is to achieve a
company’s aims. You can not manage a company alone. You must set up a
strategy with people working for or with you. Managing people is mainly today
dealing with different cultures connected to these people.
Multicultural : (several cultural groups) refers to a society that contains,
ga thers several cultural or ethnic groups. In a multicultural society, people
live alongside one another , near one another. Each cultural group does not
necessary engage interaction with each other. You can live near people
without having to interact with them. Which is completely different in a
company where the multicultural aspect leads people to interact.
Intercultural : is linked up to interactions. Describe communities in which there
is a deep understanding and respect for all cultures. It means that
Intercultural communication focuses on the mutual exchange of ideas. A
mutual exchange of ideas means paying attention to cultural norms and
Cross-cultural : dealing with the comparison of 2 or more different
cultures. It also means dealing with communication (base of a good
management in a company). People must understand the differences and
accept them. They are understood and acknowledged. Sometimes
differences can bring individual change. The idea is to do that and not bring
collective modification. In a cross-cultural society, one culture is often
considered the norm/standard. And other cultures are compared to the
norm, dominant culture.
Cross cultural management should consider global business management
(the importance of integrating the criteria of cultural diversity because this
diversity should represent an asset. The managing board must understand and
know the society and culture without forgetting the political, economic, and
legal structures of the country they work with. A good Cross Cultural approach
means integrating the knowledge of the other into the decisions. It’s the
only way to understand the international market and at the same time
the cultural differences while developing international strategies and
while optimizing human relations inside the company and between the
Cross-Cultural Management – Bing video
Watch the video + make a summary and adapt it to what we said today + learn
the 3 steps in the video.
What is communication, what is its meaning? Its aim must be clear. A medium
has to be selected : the appropriate language. There’s always a loss of
information, and this may lead to the quality of communication in a company. To
know if the message has been understood, you use the feedback or the
reaction of the person. An effective communication means that barriers must be
reduced or eliminated (3rd step of the video)
Questions à l’oral : Management interculturel au sein de l’entreprise ; C’est la
clé pour certaines personnes.
Recognize accept / respect reconcile performance of the
To achieve mutual understanding and benefit from differences you must follow
these following steps:
1. Recognize: learn about the other culture and asses what dimensions
you need to work on in order to improve your relationship with other
people hence the quality of your communication and negotiation skills
2. Respect: Adapt your own view of the world and accept that your way
of doing things in not unique. Do not assume and grow stereotypes
about other people’s way of working refers to interculturality (respect
other people’s culture)
3. Reconcile: necessity to adopt a cross cultural way of thinking by
considering different veiws to solve a problem you need Knowledge
+ Cultural Empathy to share a common understanding of the final
result to work better together without a “ Not invented here syndrome ”
success comes from using differences to get new insights to solve
Managing those 3 steps can help you improve your managing skills and your
ability to manage people from different cultures. Hence the management has to
be good in order to bring success to your company.
Rq : poor communication will lead to demotivated workers,
uncoordinated departments, poor customers service, lack of overall
directions for the organization
2 of the main communication issues that companies should focus on :
– What impact should different cultures have on communication?
– How can innovation and technology improve business
Video : How miscommunication happens (and how to avoid it)
Miscommunication : bad communication can cause confusion,
How to prevent it:
Communication is one message moving from a person to another (simplistic
compared to the complexity of its reality ) Transmission model.
Communication is challenging as the Transactional model say so
(communication is a game of catch, through interaction we create meaning). A
person interprets a message ( perceptual filters subjective lens shifts
meanings and interpretation).
Imagine the game of catch with a lump of clay (shape it to fit their own unique
perceptions based on many variables : knowledge, experience, family
background, religion, environment etc.) + their relationship with the person.
They can also be distracted by other stimulus , their emotion and other
people explain why the message turn into a mess.
How to communicate well :
– Passive hearing and Active listening are different.
– Listen with your eyes and hear / guts (do not be hungry)
– Take time to understand and be open.
– Be aware of your personal filters ( do not assume that it is the
objective truth )
Secrets of cross-cultural communication – youtu/kujUs_6qeUI
Managing conflicts in USA and China relationships, how do you tell a person there
is a problem that needs to be fixed (handled very differently in the west/east)
Direct and indirect management of conflict:
West : very direct be prepared for confrontation, try not to withdraw, do not
take it bad managers should take care of the problem instead of the boss
(different ways to respect people and the hierarchy)
East Asia : indirect (a subtle signal must create an assumption), “that would be
difficult” – “metaphor”, you can’t point a finger to someone people take
responsibilities very seriously (needs not to be definitive) very common to
involve the boss very early in the conflict.
Prendre au cas par cas pour gérer les conflits (prendre en compte les
différentes cultures) : cross cultural management le manager doit
s’adapter aux personnes en face de lui pour être efficace
De plus, l’effort ne doit pas venir que de l’émetteur mais des deux partis
donc du récepteur aussi (l’intervenante donne des conseils aux deux
Senders Message Channel Message
(Noise) (Noise) (Noise)
Lack of cultural awareness
HRM strategies can be influenced
Culture of the organisation
HR can be influenced in two ways :
– The cultural aspect of the organisation
– The profit seeking culture of the company is likely a cultural strategy to reduce
costs and to consider labour as a resource to reduce. On the contrary, a
business considered as a social enterprise may adopt soft HR strategy in
order to develop employees as people (who can contribute on the long term to
the success of the organisation).
Hard HRM: cutting cost, e. using temporary and part-time employment
contracts+ maximum flexibility + minimum training costs –> employees are
considered as costs
Soft HRM: managing staff developing staffs : self-fulfilment + to work hard +
stay with the business
In practice, o° will adopt elements of both. The culture of the firm and the senior
management will impact, whether the HRM is soft or hard.
There are limitations in both cases.
Limitation of soft HRM Limitation of hard HRM
Increased global competition makes low-
cost operations =the main ways to stay
competitive – flexible contracts. Fixed cost of
employee’s workers are replaced with
variable costs (which are easier to control in
Flexibility of labour = fixed costs of
employing workers <-> variable costs –
easier to control.
no permanent job security make them
work harder + be more productive?
trained Workers: easily gain employment in
Approach to managing staff that focuses on
developing staff and motivate people to stay
in the business while working hard.
recruitment + training costs temporary
workers have to be frequently hired
Demotivated workers: this could reduce
company efficiency and probability.
Bad publicity regarding the treatment of
It is not suitable for professional, qualified
employees. It creates a contrast with new
employee which can lead to bad image for
Maximum flexibility with minimum training costs
The context in which the company will have to develop.
HRM practice may need to adapt to national conditions and culture. In a context
of globalisation, it has become essential especially when the company is a
1, 3, 4, 5 , 7 : 3pt Usually, 2 Sometimes, 1 Seldom
1 for Usually, 2 sometimes, 3 seldom
Above 27 : good at communicating with someone from another culture.
Between 22 and 26 : you have some deficiencies at communicating.
Below 22 : show that you have developed several bad habits when
communicating with someone from another culture (development of some
The cultural dimension will prevent you from being good at
communicating. Achieving effective communication is a challenge. It’s a
challenge even when the people working in a company that’ is culturally
homogeneous. Various backgrounds and languages make it even more difficult.
Different people, from different cultures, coming from different subcultures. When
we talk about global cultural differences, the first item is speaking about
have is much higher than in the northern states. For countries from the south, a
normal vocal volume from the north would be considered as a lack of real
involvement in conversations, of appropriate concern.
Stereotypes can cause misunderstanding. In our multicultural
environment the use of categories and stereotypes can lead to /
trigger / can cause to significant misunderstanding.
To avoid misinterpretation while communicating with people from other cultures:
– Important to remember that there is not a unique way to do this and ask
the other person’s perspective.
– The impact of different cultures should be taken into consideration we
have to adjust the message we want to send for a better comprehension
of the receiver.
o Nonverbal behavior (direct eye contact or not, shaking hands or not)
o Verbal behavior (vocal volume, choice of words)
– Important to respect cultural differences and not interpret behaviors
according to stereotypes we might have. Habits can vary strongly.
o Each country has its own way to organize its working day (North
Americans can have meetings at 7, Spanish people at 10 pm)
difference between Soft HRM (human resources management) and
Hard HRM nations (flexibility or not).
o Time lag must be taken into account (for the organization of
meetings, negotiations etc.)
– Must increase cultural awareness (with language, intercultural trainings
within the companies)
D. The Same Words Mean Different Things to People from Different
E. The Same Nonverbal Behaviour Means Different Things to People
F. Stereotypes Can Cause Misunderstanding
G. Gender differences
Gender can become a barrier in subculture communication within the same
In the USA, men (in a business context especially) often use talk to emphasize
status differences within the company while women more often use talk to create
interpersonal connections. Men frequently complain that women talk a lot about
their personal problems whereas women are in fact trying to create connection.
Women often say that men in a company do not listen to other people. They try
to use information to establish power positions when women on the contrary
focus on relationships.
Different status explains that male leader’s communication behaviors are task
oriented, are led by a feeling of dominance and attempt to control de
conversation. Men interrupt much more than women.
Female partners are more informative, receptive to ideas, more focuses into
Linguists noticed that women are more precise in their pronunciation than men.
Ex: they very often shorten words
The choice of the words is also different. Females usually select more intensive
adverbs whereas men use more descriptive words.
For men, language is a tool to emphasize an absolute and powerful
position. When women focus on the value of communication.
Linguists noticed that women use much more tag questions (isn’t it?), asking for
the confirmation of the statement presented. The speaker gives the impression of
being unsure and asking for the other person’s opinion.
Ex : more aggressive expressions in messages written by men (the vocabulary +
expression is more upfront) to show their dominance.
Men are more interested in presenting their personal point of view while
women are more interested in the conversation itself.
Some criteria to assess the different cultural
– the speed of contract negotiations
– level of formality between business partners (formal, less formal)
– topics such as money
medium of communication (can have cultural overtones)
linked to the degree of industrialization of the country, high or low context
High context cultures: Mediterranean, central European, Latin American,
African, Arab, Asian, American Indian much of the message is based on
what is unspecified. To be understood you must be understood through the
context, with nonverbal cues. Need to look between the lines to interpret
Low context cultures : Germanic, English speaking countries the
message is explicit and specific.
The culture/Identity affect verbal/non verbal communication.
AUSTRALIA, UK, GERMANY place the meaning on the words spoken. What is
said is said. In other cultures (JAPAN) they place a great meaning on the
context of the conversation.
In many countries, silence carries the meaning (showing that you think and take
into consideration what’s been said can be seen positively or not.)
The perception of time:
o Sequential cultures: North America, GB, Sweden, Germany, The
Netherlands = businesspeople give full attention to one agenda to
another (ex: timeline of time)
o Synchronic cultures : South America, Southern Europe, Asia, the
flow of time is viewed as a circle (past, present, future
Ought to # should do
Shall # will
This POV has an impact on how they assess:
Concept of long-term or short-term planning.
Reasons and emotions: both play a role.
Which of these dominate? depends on whether people show emotions (affective
people) or are emotionally neutral?
During business meetings, negotiations.
Neutral cultures: they do not express their feelings. They keep them
controlled and subdued. Japan, Indonesia, UK, Norway, the Netherlands.
Sympathy for Dutch managers but not for Italian people.
Emotional cultures: they always show their feelings (laughing, smiling,
grimacing, scowling = grumpy). Sometimes they can cry, shout, or leave
the room. Italy, France, the States
Business conception makes sense or not during a conversation. The best way is
to test the validity of your 1st idea through observation.
When it comes to communication, what is appropriate in one culture may be
rejected or even offensive in another culture. Reminder: no culture is right or
wrong / better or worse. They are just different. Worldwide companies should
accept that they are many way to communicate. They key to cross cultural
success is to develop n understanding, a respect for differences.
Video: Hofstede’s Power Distance: Definition & Examples – Video &
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