Anda di halaman 1dari 5

Culture, Culture is the process by which a person becomes all that they were created capable of being Thomas

s Carlyle. What Ive read till now and what Ive understood from experience and what Ive learned, is that, culture is set of beliefs and norms followed by a certain group of people not necessarily living together but definitely living closer as in, in a confined radius of few hundred miles. Now the point is why culture varies when we move along geographically, frankly it doesnt, it does not vary on the basis of geography but more over there are certain very specific reasons which ignite the differences in certain people, the language being the most important, religion, obviously geographic location also effects some how and finally the unique background or we can say the roots of a person, where he/she comes from is what a person truly is. In the famous Disney classic about a family, roots and fight for what really is yours The Lion King the King Mufasa tells his son Simba in a calm voice, Remember who you are. This is a powerful line if we go into the deeper meaning that is embrace everyone, talk to everyone but never let go your true identity, always be the king youre meant to be. A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without root. Marcus Garvey

This course managing across culture and comparative management was more like a fun learning for me at least, I loved the fact a friendly American guy was trying to explain what culture is to mix of students from almost every corner of the world, like majority was from China but then there were Nigerian also. Then Dutch, german, even guys from middle east (KSA) and then finally us the Indian/Pakistanis and an American girl, a Scottish girl, Taiwanese, Indonesian and all mix Asian crowd. The fun part was always the different views we used to get when asked for our opinion on same thing, like in this one lecture we were showed this slides of a texas tv show where there was a confused family, a story revolving around a oil tycoon and his money and business tactics and women who wanted him, so Sir just showed us few pictures and asked for our opinion, majority of us didnt knew about this tv series, apparently it was famous in U.S so the reactions were hilarious, like I remember a Chinese girl said its just typical USA nothing new, and some other guy said no this is very bold. My point is culture is something which is in us, its not a definite truth that if they live in a same country there thinking is same and secondly every individual is

unique in its own way thats why when on our first tutorial we tested the hofstede model by doing that questionnaire and then comparing our values with our respective qualities, there were few dimension which were a little close to my country values but other wise it was totally different, hofstede dimensions fail to go into the individual culture or what I believe a mind set because of various experiences in life along with which a thinking changes and varies and also with ever changing world environment and coming generation with all the openness and technology and world now being a global village, pointing out someone and believing this guy is from xyz country so he is introvert or he definitely is scared of his superior would be kind of a wrong statement. My first multicultural group was in my IEI course where we were supposed to come up with a business plan. We were six people, and sadly it wasnt totally a multicultural group because four out of six were from china and one from France and lastly it was I from Pakistan. The first thing I learned from that group was French people are still a lot angry on Hitler, like literally, we were trying to come up with the name of the business and we finalized the name after 4 hours of brain storming session but at the last moment the French girl just got offended and after asking her again and again she told us the initials of this name are same as some small group of Nazis who were directly under Hitler for target killing, I mean ok she wasnt wrong but we literally spent 4 hours and came up with that name. And Chinese are definitely the most hard working people I believe but not all, if a chinese guy is least interested or he just believes he can do it on the last minute, trust me he wont even try to know before what hes supposed to do and Im sorry to say this but what Ive encountered is they are very non-creative people, they do what they are told or explained to do and they do it actually very good but just dont expect anything out of the box from chinese. Most of them are confused due to the huge language barrier I believe they are facing, because of various English accents we have to face daily in Glasgow I dont blame them, English is like chinese to the chinese people and then the accents, the most important being the Scottish accent, the simple American or the sharp, polished British accent and other like Greek, Italian, Indian or any other guy speaking English sounds totally different language so half of the time they act or maybe actually our confused. And our leader was a chinese girl who studied half of her life in Taiwan, she was so freak about making everything perfect that she actually used to re-do everything. Hofstede dimension values for china actually justify my views on my

colleagues, according to the survey done in China, PDI (Power distance index) which tells the extent to which a person relies on his superior and accepts and expects the un justified distribution of power, the PDI of china is high among 80s which shows they listen to the person in power, the leader the in charge and will follow them religiously. I experienced that as our group leader was chinese all other chinese mates actually rely on her for everything which was unlike me and also the French girl which actually believed she can do it herself and even do it better and this reflects the high IDV (Individualistic index), This means that the French favor individual and private opinions, taking care of themselves. In the work environment, the relationship with work is contract based, the focus is on the task and autonomy is favored. Nonetheless thanks to our leaders panic and pushing us we did a great job and got highest in our batch. So that push I believe was needed for us to come together and work as a team and put our best, which we did.

The group I was assigned for MACCM presentation, though due to majority of my colleagues are from china, it couldnt be totally multicultural but still was, out of seven four were from china, A Dutch girl (Netherland) which then assumed the role of our leader and an Indian guy and me, we both were mostly same in every aspect. Leader, the Dutch girl, I actually admired her professionalism, her planning and the way she handled this group. On one side it was us two the lazy Indian and a Pakistani believing we can do it on the last minute and on the other side they were those chinese who till the last day were confused what theyre supposed to do but she made sure everyone was on the same page till the presentation and yes we did good, I believe we did great.

On the first day when we were discussing who would be the leader she said its not like leading and we are not kids so we know what to do, if I become th e leader Ill just make sure everyones on track and does what he/she is supposed to do so which reflects her belief in being independent, hierarchy for convenience only, coaching leader, a direct communication all leading to the point that in Netherlands culture the PDI is low.

Another dimension which actually reflected her being a Dutch was her avoiding the uncertainty (UAI), her planning, as we had a time limit for presenting, she made us

practice the presentation thrice and actually used a timer to check if we all are not taking more time then were supposed to. Netherland overall has high score of 53 in UAI compared to china which has relatively low of 30, india has a score of 40 and Pakistan has a UAI score of 70 which is a surprise for me because I like to try new things, take risks, be innovative but this score is totally opposite.

The first day we were supposed to meet and greet our group mates and exchange email ids, there I remember one of my chinese colleague after knowing Im from Pakistan surprisingly asked is there always a war going on in your country, I was actually shocked to hear that but then thats how media works so I explained it to her that, this kind of war is actually going on in many parts of the world and one wont call it a war but certain areas under conflict. In my experience most of the chinese Ive worked with our reserved, they dont really like to mingle with other cultures, mostly when we were having group meeting, it happened many times, that they would talk to each other in their native and one of us would speak up and request them to please speak in English and share with everyone, then Ive felt their reluctant to come out of their comfort zone, what Ive felt they dont like to experience new things and are also shy, they run from presenting and also they face a lot of pressure due to language difference. German and Greek Ive seen both are confident, try new things and up for any kind of challenge.

The Hofstede MAS index states, being higher means that the society will be driven by competition, achievement and success. In my experience Ive seen Chinese people studying 18 hours straight in a library, reading extra material, preparing before hand for everything, their will to achieve is so high they sacrifice every leisure and prioritize study, And China MAS index score is high.

Studying abroad for me is not only about the quality of education its more about the exposure I would gain by living among multi culture people from literally all around the globe, experiencing a new thing everyday, learning something new like a new chinese word or maybe the traditional chinese dessert it all is a new experience and worth learning, out of 110 in my IBE batch, around 80 or 85 are chinese so its kind of a drawback because chinese people are more introvert or reserved they prefer being friends with a chinese so they can avoid the language barrier I suppose thats what

Ive felt till now. Otherwise I believe not every Chinese is same because in the same group the leader was very driven and motivated to do the best and another was least interested till the day we submitted. To Conclude, Ive learnt a lot how to interact with people from different culture, how to react, different reactions, way of speaking, way of handling misunderstandings, knowing people from different backgrounds itself is a vast knowledge and helps you a lot in practical life, after this degree when I have to start my practical life these experiences would go hand in hand when dealing with the customer from china or a buyer from Europe. Id say Hofstede model sums up cultural dimensions in a good way to understand a culture of a country in a broad way but not every individual is same, every individual is unique in his/her own way but deep down no one forgets his roots and remains true to his self and thats what makes us different and also same in a beautiful way.