Cross Cultural Differences

In: Business and Management

Submitted By 1234567890
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Five major differences in the following areas create the greatest challenges:
Management styles American employees react well to a boss who is friendly and professional with them, treats them as equals, and expects them to be independent and self-motivated. Managers and employees do not expect the boss-subordinate relationship to be strongly hierarchical, or to be one of strongly committed personal loyalty: it is all about mutual respect. This can create a mismatch for employees from India, for whom a more quasi-paternal relationship is more the norm.
Job security and compensation structures The US has been through a workplace revolution in which expectations of job security with a lifetime employer has been replaced by loyalty to one's career and the attempt to maximize one's earnings. This results in a common acceptance of modest a base salary but a high bonus-earning potential. A common complaint I have heard from Silicon Valley employers has been about the discomfort of their employees from India with such an arrangement, with a strong preference for security over higher-stake risk.
Career development A very common American manager's question to an employee is: "What are your career plans?" This question, which embodies the mutual expectation that employees take independent responsibility for their professional advancement, runs counter to the expectations of work cultures in many other countries, including India, where the expectation is that it is the boss's responsibility to look out for and decide on an employee's future.
Performance evaluation The performance evaluation process of US companies today is a major culture shock for employees and managers from elsewhere. Highly formalized, it is based on mutually agreed-upon goals, involves forthright discussion of strengths and weaknesses, and has a formal written sign-off. Elsewhere, there may be…...

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