Global managers are needed more and more each day as companies expand globally.This increasing need for global managers is being spurred by the ability to travel quickly and the Internet, which have created new possibilities for global companies like GE, Exxon, Toyota, AT&T, and Walmart.
To become a successful global organization, companies must prepare their managers to manage and lead employees from different countries and from different cultures. This preparation and training focuses on topics ethnocentrism, types of cultures, and emotional intelligence.
Ethnocentrism is the “Belief that one’s native country, culture, language, and behavior” are superior over others (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2009). In practicing ethnocentrism, one can misjudge or discriminate against people who have different cultures. This type of behavior can be detrimental to non-global and global companies.
One way to overcome the obstacles of ethnocentrism is to educate employees on different cultures. Companies can train their employees to be culturally sensitive to different religions, dress, and other cultural practices. Companies can also train employees to observe reactions to their words and behaviors, and to avoid biased language. For instance, instead of saying “the female doctor”, simply state “the doctor”.
Types of Cultures
Cultures vary across countries, within states, and within local communities. Companies often provide diversity training to prepare employees to collaborate, manage, and lead other employees. This training helps the company by ensuring that employees have the cultural skills needed to achieve the company goals. This training also helps employees by providing basic social knowledge that employees can use to advance their careers. Some key differences in cultures are shown in the diagram below.
|Individualistic vs Collectivist Cultures||High-Context vs Low-Context Cultures||Polychronic vs Monochronic Cultures|
• “I” and “Me”
• Autonomous & independent
• Value self over others individual choice
• Behaviors dictated by non-verbal actions and indirect communications
• “We” & “Us”
• View selves as part of a group
• Value well-being of the group
• Behaviors dictated by written rules and direct communications
• One thing at a time
• Value order`
Emotional Intelligence is the “ability to manage oneself and interact with others in mature and constructive ways” (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2009). Knowing how to react and behave is a critical skill the employees need to be successful in the workforce.
There is a free Emotional Intelligence test provided by the Institute of Health and Human Potential. This test takes about 5 minutes to complete. When you get a free moment, please take the test, and refer to your results when needed.
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DeCarlo, S. (2002) The World’s Leading Companies. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/2010/04/21/global-2000-leading-world-business-global-2000-10_land.html
Kinicki, A & Kreitner, R. (2009). Organizational behavior: Keys, concepts, and best practices. Boston: McGraw-Hill.