Culture and Business Management

: Culture and Business Management

We all tend to have a management style which has evolved during our working life and with which we feel comfortable.  Bear in mind, however, that your management style is probably heavily influenced by your country of origin.

Different countries tend to develop different approaches to management and corporate structure.  Some people are comfortable with the concept of hierarchy; others are not.  Some people see managers as mentors who are there to encourage and coach; others expect a more instructional approach from the boss.  

When working in a multi-cultural environment you need to be aware of:

  • Your personal style and how this may be viewed by people from other countries
  • The expectations of other cultures with regard to how they expect to be managed
  • The need to communicate your own approach to working so that your international colleagues or clients are not left feeling confused and unsure of your intentions

How will decisions be arrived at within your team or sphere of influence?  Will the boss make the decisions and then issue instructions or will a more consensus-style be developed in which all group members are encouraged to participate in the process?

Whichever style is adopted it is imperative that the process is understood by everybody from a very early stage in the life-cycle of working with people from other cultures:

Interactions with a multi-cultural dimension work most effectively when:

  • Everybody is engaged in a debate about the decision-making process at an early stage
  • Team members agree what decision-making process is most appropriate in which situation
  • This agreed process is clearly communicated
  • Everybody concerned is actively seen to be following the agreed procedure
  • The process is reviewed on a regular basis