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Zusammenfassung intercultural management

Intercultural Management

The more global the companies become, the more global the way of making
business becomes. To benefit from common goals and win-win- situations
partners need to have a holistic approach to achieve these win-win-solutions.
Leaders have to be prepared for influences by other cultures and learn/benefit
from them. Learning from other cultures improves cultural empathy and mental
flexibility. Different competencies are no longer the only difficulty in the process
of decision making. Communication has become more important than ever. At
international events, communication should be sensitive to different cultures and
the use of a “lingua franca” is essential for making international business.
Decision making happens more and more in international egalitarian teams to
adapt the constantly evolving environment.

“Think globally, act locally!”

Strategies and decisions influenced by cultural mindset have to consider local


values and preferences. Act reasonable/sensible to understand people’s feelings.

Global managers have to adapt the local culture and the local standards
(without going native) by learning the language, because it is the key to a
country and a culture.

“When in Rome, do as the Romans do!”

What is culture?

Culture is a system of shared values, beliefs and meanings which is learned in


a group. It consists of language, table manners, humor and courtship which make
it difficult to learn a culture. Every culture has its symbols, rituals, behaviors and
heroes that manifest their values. No culture is in any way superior to any other.
Hofstede made up 4 criteria, the power distance, the individualism vs.
collectivism criteria, the masculinity vs. femininity criteria of a culture and the
uncertainty avoidance criteria.

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Zusammenfassung intercultural management

Michael Bond evolved a theory that says superior partners provide care and
protection and inferior partners own respect and obedience. Not loosing face,
respecting differences in status, keeping traditions and searching for stability and
harmony are some important principles Bond based his study on.

Edward Hall separated cultures into high context and low context cultures. In
a low context culture there are possibilities to improve by climbing up the social
or career ladder and we’re talking about heterogeneity where it is harder to
improve and as an outsider you should (“caveat”) avoid clichés and prejudices.

Knowledge Management

Knowledge is about two questions, “what is this?” and “what does it mean?”.
To understand and to use information you need to have intelligence. Knowledge
is the ability to act competently in a particular situation.

Knowledge is divided into explicit (consciously possessed knowledge that can


be shared and made accessible for other) and implicit or tacit knowledge that is
subconsciously understood and it is developed through actions and personal
experiences.

In business, Knowledge Management is a source of competitive advantage for


many companies. In order to create and administrate intellectual capital
companies have to understand the process by which knowledge is generated by
documenting the existing knowledge and facilitating the effective dissemination
of necessary knowledge.

Today Knowledge Management systems are used universally all over the
world, a big KM system is for example the internet. Especially in large companies
KM is very important because people leaving companies take their knowledge
(tacit knowledge) with them. Others are afraid to give their intellectual capital
away because they might loose value. In fact KM helps to remove redundancies
and people can learn from the experiences of others especially for intercultural
contacts. Without KM the wheel will be re-invented over and over again
(especially in large companies).

The value of human capital depends on the ability to use technology. The
workers and managers have to be prepared to work in multicultural
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Zusammenfassung intercultural management

environments. But all these abilities depend on the quality of education in school
and university. “Caveat!”

A problem of KM is to keep the knowledge base system up to date and to find


the right knowledge in the K base.