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Assignment - Frameworks For Culturally Diverse Workplaces

Theoretical Models for Working in Global Teams Assignment Help

Write analysis of theoretical models and their use in developing global teams and resolving conflicts in diverse workplaces. Describe the cultural intelligence (CQ) framework.

Analyze the role of cultural intelligence in leading effectively in a cross-cultural context. Assess the potential application of cultural frameworks and process tools for global organizations.

What application might tools such as Hofstede's cultural dimensions and the DAE or MBI models have for someone about to start working in another culture? Analyze personal learning for all of these tools and models.

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Answer - Theoretical Models for Working in Global Teams

Cultural intelligence (CQ) framework

The cultural intelligence or CQ framework is a globally recognized way of evaluating and improving the effectiveness in situations that are culturally diverse. It is an extremely critical component that everyone must have, especially given the fact that the world today has become increasingly globalized, together with the advent of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and innovation (Ang & Van Dyne, 2015). Cultural intelligence is the ability to empathize and work effectively with people from various cultural and ethnic backgrounds, making it a framework that travels far beyond the existing notions of awareness and cultural sensitivity (Ang & Inkpen, 2008). Cultural intelligence enables one to understand the manner in which cultural differences are to be strategically used for coming up with solutions that are increasingly innovative. In any given culturally diverse situation, the CQ framework is capable of predicting the following (Cultural Intelligence Centre, 2019) -

1. Personal adaptability and adjustment

2. Decision-making and judgement

3. Effectiveness of negotiations

4. Idea, trust, innovation and sharing

5. Effectiveness of leadership

6. Cost-savings and profitability.

The concept of cultural intelligence was first theorized by Earley and Ang (2003). The framework was later developed further, and broken down into four essential components, which are -

1. Cognitive CQ

2. Motivational CQ

3. Behavioral CQ

4. Metacognitive CQ.

A cultural competence program is focused on teaching the differences and aspects of various cultures, while a cultural intelligence framework asserts a slightly different approach. The first step is the CQ drive, which begins with understanding the curiosity and the motivation that is required for working harmoniously with others. It is followed by CQ knowledge, which helps to stop stereotyping and aims to help people better understand the differences between two or more groups (Cultural Intelligence Centre, 2019). The CQ strategy helps one learn the way in which planning can benefit everyone without being disruptive towards any particular culture. The final part of the approach is the CQ action, which helps one adapt accordingly when and as required.

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Role of cultural intelligence in effectively leading in a cross-cultural context

As discussed, the increasing globalization requires leaders as well as the employees to adapt to cultural situations of every kind. Leaders who are part of cross-cultural workspaces need to adopt a perspective that is multicultural instead of being country-specific (Ersoy, 2014). There is also the need to keep a balance between the global as well as the local demands, even when they might contradict each other. Also, the leaders must have the ability to work with more than one culture simultaneously, instead of being partial towards one specific or dominant culture.

The style of leadership that is effective in one scenario may be ineffective in another, since different cultural environments call for different managerial approaches. Also, cultural adaptability is as important to leadership as any other factor. Research also shows that cultural intelligence runs parallel to emotional intelligence; in other words, leaders who are able to influence the followers both emotionally and rationally are way more successful as compared to others (Kiznyte, Ciutiene & Dechange, 2015). CQ makes it possible for leaders to empathize and interact with people from diverse cultures, by developing sensitivity and adaptability (Ersoy, 2014). The key here is to embrace the diversity and understand how rewarding, empowering and stimulating it can be.

Cultural intelligence can also be said to be an indicator of the potential of a leader. It is also associated with their performance. Decision-making, cultural adaptability, interaction, trust and leadership effectiveness in a context that is cross-cultural in nature. Many researchers have further claimed that CQ enables leaders to successfully manage the various national, professional and organizational cultures (Ersoy, 2014). Leadership is a combination of actions that influences the organizational actions and functioning with the help of both logic and reason, along with passion and inspiration.

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Potential application of cultural frameworks and process tools for global organizations

An organization that is global in nature often faces many challenges and complexities, but there are numerous advantages as well, mostly due to the manner in which the different employees function. The ability to cope up with changes in such a case is faster than that of a team that is homogeneous, as the reaction to the external changes is quite quick (Kiznyte, Ciutiene & Dechange, 2015), and the availability of the collective mindset makes it easier to solve the potential conflicts and give way to solutions that are a lot more versatile. This also calls for the management of cultural differences in such a manner as to make everyone aware of the socio-cultural differences and safeguard the loss of organizational resources (Pawlowski & Bick, 2012).

Multicultural collaboration is when organizations work together to address an issue that is common to both. This collaboration usually lasts for a long term, and calls for the application of various cultural tools to make it easy for the employees to work together (Salas & Gelfand, 2013). The most important step for applying any such tool is to bring about an organizational awareness regarding the differences and challenges that would influence the management and functioning of the projects. An analysis of the pros and cons, together with how CQ would benefit all parties equally - these all are important facets for managing global organizations. Another potential application of such tools would be in case of workshops, training periods, coaching, on-site learning, and so on.

Application of Hofstede's cultural dimensions, DAE and MBI models and their comparison

When it comes to Hofstede's cultural dimensions, there are numerous applications for an individual who is about to start working in another cultural context. For instance, it helps to understand the power distance (Hofstede, 2011); if the culture that is being embraced usually practices a strong form of hierarchy, along with the presence of powerful leaders, it would be wise for the individual to maintain a similar demeanor. In this case, the emphasis would be more on the services that are being created in an attempt to show that everyone involved is benefitting from it. Moreover, it will help the person understand the numerous other aspects, such as the community ties, the sense of individualism, and the traditional gender roles that are part and parcel of any culture (Hofstede, 2011). Whether the organization focuses on the long-term goals, or thrives on ambiguity - all can be deciphered with the help of this particular model. Also, it helps one to understand the social restrictions that might be prevalent in the culturally diverse workplace.

The DAE (Describe, Analyze, Evaluate) model will help the individual understand the various themes of communication that are related to cross-cultural scenarios. It will help the individual refrain from projecting their ideas or thoughts in an unwarranted manner, and avoid trespassing into those arenas that would otherwise spark speculation (Stephenson, 2008). It will help the individual foster a more sensitive, exploratory and thoughtful atmosphere that will encourage more serious discussions and help him or her observe more carefully, thereby enriching the learning process.

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On the other hand, the MBI (Map, Bridge, Integrate) model will help the individual looking to start working in a culturally different workplace to understand the differences that are present between their own culture and the organizational one. It will help understand the territories assigned for the various aspects, and help him or her from overstepping those boundaries. Additionally, it will help the individual to understand the manner in which communication must be entailed, by taking all the differences into account (Stephenson, 2008). These very differences can also be brought together, and they can then be leveraged on to manage participation of all the workers, together with the ability to build on the ideas of the workers.

The Hofstede model, together with the MBI cultural model can be used to effectively develop global teams and resolve workplace conflicts in contexts that are culturally diverse. For instance, both the models help analyze the cultural differences by understanding the various aspects of the culture one is venturing into, and also assists in the exploration of the relationships that people share among themselves, which will further help to establish a strong line of communication.

Key potential results and benefits

The key potential benefits and results of Hofstede's cultural model and the MBI model are, that it enables one to understand the cultural differences, especially the power equations that are prevalent within an organization. For instance, Hofstede's power distance factor is quite similar to MBI's mapping step, and this will also help individuals develop a certain degree of comfort when addressing others within the multicultural workplace. Moreover, in order to work harmoniously in any organization, however big or small, communication is among the most essential elements that need to be addressed. Adhering to these selected models will enable to understand the manner in which the communication must be established, without overstepping any boundaries. However, a gap that can be mentioned in case of the first model, is that it was based on research that was essentially inconclusive in nature. In other words, only a single organization was considered for analyzing the necessary dimensions (Baskerville, 2003). Different organizations have different needs, and thus, it would be difficult to assume that it would be a wise decision to apply it across all avenues.

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