Cross-Cultural Dynamics in the Workplace

2726 Words Mar 4th, 2012 11 Pages
Running head: Cultural Dynamics

Cross-Cultural Dynamics in the Workplace
Liberty University

In a world of increasing globalization and cross-cultural interaction, there are many barriers, which hinder the communication process. These barriers, present through cultural differences, can be a strength or a weakness to an organization. Leadership and managers alike, can minimize the effects of weaknesses, and capitalize on the strengths, only if they understand the cross-cultural dynamics they will encounter. Without this understanding, an organization will face many undue difficulties and challenges. Recognizing the cause of these is just the first step in being an excellent leader or manager in a globalized market.
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Croatians prefer close and intimate contact, often times getting so close that they touch the other person. If a U.S. individual continues to pull away, this could easily be misunderstood and could create some difficulties in the communication process. As Hall points out in a telephone interview with Allen C. Bluedorn, “Unfortunately, people often don't realize this, and they get into trouble” (Bluedorn, 1998). If negotiating a business deal, it is possible proxemics could play a role in the deal failing, simply because the pulling away of one individual is wrongly perceived as having an unsure or uneasy feeling by the other. In China, one’s personal space is also considerably less than that of someone from the U.S. Therefore the same considerations may be appropriate. On the other hand, in Thailand, proxemics is quite similar to that of U.S. culture. And to throw a twist into things, in Germany you have a couple different dynamics that come into play. While in general, one’s personal space is less than that of someone from the U.S., there is something intriguing that occurs when standing in lines. While waiting in line for a concert, for example, people will crowd the space, yet when waiting in line at a bank, it’s often difficult to determine if an individual is actually standing in line due to the
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