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Cross-cultural management research on Sino-African enterprises
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Culture is a method of inculcating a particular thought process, values, and beliefs that are taught or transferred by the elder member of the same cultural group. A particular culture includes the undefined rules and regulations as well as principles that are transferred from one generation to another (Rozkwitalska, 2014). The term cross-culture refers to the prevalence of different cultures at the same place and drawing a comparison between the two different cultures. Hence, cross-cultural communication refers to communication between people having different sets of cultures, values, and beliefs and it can also be termed as how people with different cultures communicate with each other.
Cross-cultural communication is, therefore, necessary for any organization which has a diverse workforce and for the company operating at a global level through owning the company in a foreign country or outsourcing its operations to other companies in different countries (Shahriar et al., 2018). This report is therefore based on the cross-cultural communication and its challenges at Accounting for Success while operating its business through outsourcing of its operations like bookkeeping and taxation in India which can further arise due to differences in the thought process, culture, and values around resources and people and can result in competition, conflicts and confusions among the employees.-
Cross-cultural communication challenges
There are various challenges while communicating in a place of the diverse workforce working in an organization. These cross-cultural challenges include ethnocentrism were the own thought, culture, and values stand to be important and correct and as a result, people tend to judge the opposite culture in a wrong way as it doesn't match up to their own culture and vision and there are chances that the people may perceive the behavior of another person as incorrect (Pandey, 2019). In the context to the challenges faced by the company accounting for Success, ethnocentrism between the Indian employee and the Australian employee can cause a conflict between their cultures and there can be a situation where there is comparison and disagreement between the Australian way of carrying out task and Indian way of carrying out tasks
Another problem that can arise when there is a workforce of different cultures specifically to the reference of the accounting firm Accounting for success is the overgeneralizing about the nature of the culture, region, or belief which can be also considered as stereotyping which hinders in the understanding of the other person culture and behavior and people continue to believe what they were believing about the opposite culture which can create further misunderstanding and conflict as it is often believed by Australians that the way of working of Indian is presumably lazy and weird and in contrast, the Indian people perceive the same about the Australian people which result in conflict and confusion at the workplace (Ashta et al., 2021).
Besides the stereotyping as challenges to cross-cultural communication in accounting for success between the Sydney office and the Indian Office, there are also psychological barriers that are prevalent in the organization's international operations (Fried, 2021). There can be a chance where any representative of Sydney may be involved at the Indian workplace to help the people train about the business process and can experience psychological stress if the representative is unable to fit in the Indian culture at Indian workplace which might affect the person psychologically and therefore will have a significant impact while communicating with the cross-cultural environment.
The language barrier is one of the major challenges while interacting in a cross-cultural environment for the Accounting for success Australian and Indian employees (Doukanari et al., 2021). Australian being more fluent in English can cause a lack of understanding by the Indian counterpart as it is believed that Indians are lesser fluent in English and their accent is different from that of Australian people. In this situation, the less fluent individual will tend to avoid communication which means there lesser inputs from the individual related to the work and can pose a challenge to the overall business as there is less understanding between the teams due to language barriers (Tsai et al., 2021). Also, the individual with less linguistic skills may feel less competent than the person who is a native English speaker which can be a demotivating factor for the person with lesser language knowledge or lesser fluency.
When there is a business across two different geographical regions, there can be various challenges associated while communicating between the two individuals and groups of individuals belonging from a different geographical location (Asatiani et al., 2021). There can be a lack of collaboration between the team based in the head office which is Australia in this case and the team in India which is the subsidiary of the accounting for success and therefore the smooth operations between the teams can be challenging. Also, the difference in the time zone between the two geographic locations can be challenging (Doukanari et al., 2021). Since the Australian time zone is five and half hours ahead of the Indian Standard Time which makes the operations difficult because of the time zones.
The other barrier related to the cross-cultural communication for Accounting for success is the conflicting values between the Australian and Indian employees. The most common conflicting values that Australian and Indian employees possess are as follows;
Direct and Indirect Communication
Australian people are believed to interact clearly and do not leave any chances for misinterpretations while the Indian people often speak with ambiguity. These conflicting values can result in perceiving the Australian people as insensitive while the person from Indian culture may be presumed as imprecise (Asatiani et al., 2021).
Informality and formality
Australian people are known for a casual way of interaction while people based in India are more formal or professional at the workplace. These values between the countries can cause conflict as for Australian people, Indian people can be presumed as stiff while for Indian people, the Australian people can be guessed as unprofessional. Hence it poses a challenge for the overall operations between the countries (Fried, 2021).
Flexible and structured scheduling
Australian people are known to be punctual and follow schedules while for Indian people a schedule is just a suggestion that might be changed. For example, the five minutes for Indian people can be one hour while for Australian people, it is considered to be disrespectful if the schedule does not adhere. Hence, the scheduling often creates a challenge for the management managing subsidiaries concerning the commitment to the schedule (Ashikali et al., 2021).
Culture plays an important role in showing disagreement in the workplace especially in Accounting for success where the Australian employees when showing disagreement are more composed as compared to the Indian employee who raises their voices out of disagreement. This creates challenges in open forums or meetings conducted within the organizations (Eon, 2021).
Impact of cross-cultural communications on people and resources
Since the challenges of the negative impacts have been discussed already in the previous section, it is imperative to discuss the positive impact that it will have on the people and resources of the firm Accounting for success. The positive impact that cross-cultural communication has on the people is that it enhances the creativity of the workforce as they are more aligned and there is increased work satisfaction that is achieved from the effective communication through the teams based in different geographic locations and cultures (Malhotra et al., 2021). Also, the interaction between two people having different cultures has the opportunity to gain knowledge of each other culture and have a diversified mindset. Also for some people working in a cross-cultural setting helps them to be able to expose themselves to diverse settings and learn through various opportunities can be beneficial in providing job satisfaction and further, it helps in managing the cross-cultural communication challenges (Arun et al., 2021).
The increased interaction between the groups belonging from different cultures can reduce the stereotype thinking and helps the culturally diverse workforce to gain trust and confidence in each other. Also, with the help of the cross-cultural team and their interaction, it is possible for the organization as well to develop social capital with the help of diversified team members. Another impact of cross-cultural communication is that it helps in fostering innovation which ultimately results in business growth and success (Malhotra et al., 2021).
Collectivism and Individualism perspective of cross-cultural communication barriers
The different perspective of the cross-cultural communication barrier is individualism and collectivism. In individualism, the value is given to personal independence as people having the culture of individualism see themselves separate from the other person and describe themselves based on personal characteristics and there is a mindset that is stable and unchanged. In this perspective of the cross-cultural communication barrier, the individual is more concerned about who he is from inside and there is the minimum influence of the factors such as the external individual (Lacko et al., 2021). In this perspective of communication, the message is conveyed clearly by prioritizing the necessary information conveyed without any ambiguity. Western cultures are more of an individualistic perspective.
The collectivist perspective of communication refers to the interdependence of the individual on various other groups and people with a collectivist perspective tend to see themselves linked to each other within the group. The person having a collectivist mindset define themselves as who they are as a group (Wang & Wang, 2021). In this culture, the individual prefers to maintain social bonding and expectations as well as social harmony. There is an indirect way of interaction by the individual with collectivist culture as they tend to avoid any conflict on what they say. For example, Asian and African cultures are more of collectivist behavior (Grossman et al., 2021).
Since Australia is more individualistic and tends to express its views directly, it sometimes creates conflicts between the subsidiary of Accounting for success in India which follows a collectivistic culture. Hence, arises a difference in cross-cultural communication resulting in confusion and misunderstanding which impact the overall business operations of Accounting for success. The alternative solution for Accounting for success to overcome these barriers is to provide training on the workforce related to abundant knowledge in the different cultures of the different people across the globe (Grossman et al., 2021).
To overcome the cultural barrier in the Accounting for success and to improve the business operations it is highly recommended that it is essential for the management of the Accounting for success to help the team member in embracing as well as accommodating to the difference in Australian and Indian culture respectively (Rozkwitalska, 2014). Embracing and accommodating to the different cultures will help the employees in being open-minded about the ways of life and have a different perspective towards their colleagues. This will also help the team to tackle challenges arising out of the cross-cultural communication barriers (Shahriar et al., 2018). From ethnographic research, the data collected from the respondents of various organizations across Australia, it was found out that out of 10 respondents, 9 of them have overcome the cultural differences through inculcating a habit of embracement and accommodation to the different cultures have helped the employees in overcoming their cross-cultural communication barrier as this has helped them to understand the culture deeply and consequently having respect and trust for each other while working in a team (Ashta et al., 2021).
To overcome the barrier of a different culture in accounting for success, it is also important for the management to work on creating a common culture for employees so that they can follow the same while at the workplace. This initiative by the management of the company will not only help in ignoring their respective personal thoughts and views while at work but also help in encouraging the employees to work as a team (Pandey, 2019). In an interview of employees of various multinational organizations, it is found out that out of 50 interviewees, 45 of them had expressed satisfaction with the approach of inculcating a team culture rather than the personal culture. This team culture has helped the employees to overcome any barriers related to their work as they are more focused on working as a team (Pandey, 2019). Also, working as a team has built a rapport among the employees of different cultures which has increased their productivity due to the creative and mixed ideas and there is the overall success of the organization.
Also, it is recommended that the organization should implement the theory of Hofstede's six cultural dimensions into the workplace which will allow the individual to communicate effectively with the other team having different cultures (Gallego-Álvarez & Pucheta-Martínez, 2021).
To conclude, from the above report it is clear that cross-cultural communication has both negative as well as positive aspects. The negative side includes the barriers associated with working in a cross-cultural organization such as Accounting for success while the positive aspect reflects the fact that besides, having cultural differences, working with a culturally diverse team for a longer period may result in an increase in productivity due to increase in the creativity, innovation and teamwork culture. This report has focused on several other aspects of cross-cultural communication such as how cross-cultural communication has an impact on the people and resources specifically for the case of the Australian firm Accounting for success whose business is expanded to India to operate its Taxation and bookkeeping activities through outsourcing. Also, there has been a recommendation provided with qualitative evidence as to how the company can increase the positive impact over the negative impact of the cross-cultural communication barriers.
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