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Introduction to Organizational Behavior


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Chapter 6 : International Organizational Behavior

Conditions Affecting Multinational Operations

How Culture Influences International OB

Differences in Cultures

Managing a Global Workforce: Cultural Adaptation

Differences in Managerial Leadership Across Cultures

Cultural Contingencies and Productivity

Chapter Summary

The international context of organizational behavior is becoming increasingly significant as organizations expand beyond their national boundaries. Managers of multinational firms have to manage a variety of social, political and economic environments as well as unique individual differences. The differences at the level of the individual include individualism/collectivism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, and masculinity/femininity, which are different in different countries.

Managers need to be sensitive to cultural differences across different countries to achieve their goals in the global economy. The various aspects that differentiate cultures are people's perceptions, their relationship with their environment, the time dimension, and the importance attached to public and private space. Differences between countries in these cultural aspects affect the way business can be conducted across the globe.

Employees who travel to a foreign country for work find it difficult to adapt to the new culture because of factors like parochialism, ethnocentrism and culture shock. Although culture shock acts as a potential barrier to globalization, it can be overcome through careful selection, training and assistance for employees on foreign assignments.

Managerial leadership is the process of influencing others to direct their efforts towards the achievement of specific goals. There are many factors that influence the way in which managers lead their employees. Some of these factors include personal values, interpersonal skills, background and the decision-making skills of the manager.

In some countries, the emphasis on production rather than productivity becomes a barrier to the improvement of the performance of the organization. It is not possible to transfer business practices directly from one country to the other. It is also not possible to use either the home country practices or the traditional practices of the host country. In such a situation, the best approach for expatriate managers would be to operate within the scope of home office policies, after adapting them to fit the culture of the host nation. Theory Z is an example of an organizational approach that integrates American and Japanese management styles.

The traditional and conservative approach to leadership cannot be used for organizations with a global presence. Globally competent managers have a good understanding of the worldwide business environment from a global perspective and try to learn about various cultures in order to carry out business operations in different countries successfully.

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