Conflict Management among American and Chinese employees In the current essay we will analyze the conflict management among American and Chinese employees. To begin with, it should be noted that communicative behavior is part of any national culture. Under the term ‘communicative behavior’ is usually understood a set of rules and traditions of the people to communicate. Knowledge of communication norms and traditions of the people allow participants of the speech act, belonging to different national cultures, to perceive and understand each other, and consequently, to promote intercultural communication.
In addition, knowledge of intercultural communication can affect the solution of global problems, like clash of cultures. Particularly, even in case of talking the same language, people can not always understand each other correctly, and it is often the cause of the divergence of cultures. There are certain communication barriers that can be encountered in communication between Americans and Chinese employees. Sometimes intercultural communication at work can be ineffective and certain measures have to be taken. Such criteria as good work relationships and getting the Job done can help evaluate communication effectiveness.
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The barriers of intercultural communication include different communication styles, face concern, language barriers, various thinking patterns, lack of certain knowledge, and lack of communication within the company. Taylor (2010) suggests that public relations involve common methods to handle information in the process of interaction between people. Interdependence of people lies in the fact that together they form a coherent system of meanings – Jointly developed variants of understanding of specific situations.
Since the mid sass’s, culture has been seen as a set of material and spiritual values created by human. Culture is a multifaceted, complex, historically developing social phenomenon; in a wide sense culture is a way of understanding of reality, implementation of human creativity in the field of material and spiritual activities. The social aspect of culture is often associated with biological characteristics. For example, it is assumed that people of certain gender, age, skin color, and body composition (height, weight, etc. ) belong to a particular culture.
Today, the term ‘culture’ means a certain level of development of human society and expressed in the types and forms of organization f human life and activity, as well as exposed in its material and spiritual values. In general, the most common grounds of conflicts that arise between Chinese- Americans in a multinational company can be summarized as follows. Lie (2012) insists that typically, conflict is a process in which individual, group of people or a department of the company prevents the realization of plans of other employees.
Among the most common causes of conflicts between Chinese-Americans in a multinational company are: Interdependence of employees or departments. Example: functions of searching of clients and working with clients are separated thin the company. Call-center is engaged in searching of clients and sales managers are responsible for working with clients. Thus, call-center operators deliver customers’ applications to sales managers, and sales managers conduct further negotiations. In this situation, sales managers are dependent on call-center operators.
Differences in culture or status. Example: during the meeting, the young specialist presents a promising project that could bring new customers to the company. However, a top manager, because of personal beliefs, immediately refuses to support the idea. Unclear tasks and criteria of performance evaluation. Example: manager put a bunch of documents on the table of the employee and instructed to “analyze” these documents. Then, without waiting for questions, the manager left to drink tea.
But the employee does not know what means “analyze” the documents? With what criteria? What exactly he or she should find? It is likely that the employee does not do the Job the way the manager wants it to be done, because he did not explain exactly what he wants. Limited resources. Example: Director of Personnel tired of hearing complaints of the staff about permanent problems with computers ND finds that the company needs to buy new computers. SCOFF does not allocate money for it because in this month, the company’s financial condition is poor.
In this case, both top managers understand the importance of buying new computers, but the lack of resources is a barrier to their acquisition. Along with this, Wrester, H. & Lancer, F. (2010) distinguish the following types of conflicts within the organization: Conflict between employees. This conflict is usually based on personal differences. May be a typical quarrel or a deep confrontation of views. Conflict associated with the bob. Disagreements about the nature of work, which needs to be done.
Only a few people want to deal with unpleasant work, for example, to clean the office after the corporate party. Conflict regarding the process performance. People have different views on the organization and execution of work. For example, an employee can perform tasks in the same sequence, and the manager requires a different approach to this assignment. Furthermore, usually, there are following negative reactions to the conflict that arise between Chinese-Americans in a multinational company: Creating territories about the other group.
For instance, the manager gives the same task for two independent research groups consisting of Americans and Chinese respectively. Group of Americans considers that the task should be performed with creativity, while the Chinese strictly performed what was in the task without any deviations. As a result, Chinese people may form a stereotype that Americans are too lazy and can not perform what was needed from them, while Americans consider Chinese too ‘limited’ and hence may form a stereotype that they can not be creative.
Retention of important information. Instead to open ‘cards’ and sharing their own vision to some issue, Chinese people are very cautious and often try to keep silence and not make the superiors angry, while Americans often give their opinion and show their attitude to one or another issue. Consequently, Americans often consider Chinese too silent, too canny. In turn, Chinese employees think that Americans are too chatty and talkative. However, it is important to note that sometimes, conflicts within the organization can be very useful.
The main condition to usefulness of internal conflicts lies in the attitude of the organization itself, I. . Its top management to conflicts. In other words, conflict can be useful for the organization if it leads to changes in the organization. In this case, within the organization, there is formed the following consequence: conflict => changes => adaptation => survival. Furthermore, availability of representatives of different cultures is a healthy diversity pledge, I. E. The opportunity for top management to consider the same situation or problem from different angles.
This is an important aspect, which can protect the organization from wrong strategic decisions making and decline in profits. However, this situation is possible only if the management is always ready for constructive criticism and it is willing to listen to their employees and respond to their complaints and suggestions. Further, I would like to analyze the Hypotheses cultural dimensions theory. Egger Hefted was a Dutch scientist, who undertook a large research project to study the differences in the national cultures in the subsidiaries of multinational corporations in 64 countries.
He interviewed more than 160,000 managers and employees of organizations concerning their satisfaction with their work, colleagues, leadership, robbers, life goals, beliefs and professional preferences. During his study, Hefted revealed highly significant differences in the behavior of managers and specialists from different countries. Particularly, Hefted found that most of the differences in work values and attitudes can be explained by the national culture, and also depend on the place of the employee in the organization, his/ her profession, age and gender.
According to Newswomen (201 1), Hefted identified five dimensions that characterize managers and professionals and the organization as a whole: Individualism vs.. Collectivism. Power distance index. Uncertainty avoidance index. Masculinity vs.. Femininity. Long-term orientation vs.. Short-term orientation. Further, I would like to consider each of dimensions of the Hypotheses cultural theory in the context of conflicts that arise between Chinese-Americans in a multinational company.
Firstly, it is individualism vs.. Collectivism. Hi (2012) suggest that Chinese employees can be characterized with such cultural aspects as interference in the personal life of employees, strong influence on the health of employees, organization revises protection of the interests of the employees, such qualities as the sense of duty and loyalty of employees, promotion within the organization in accordance with experience and the use of traditional forms of motivation by managers.
In turn, American employees choose such cultural aspects as individual approach and initiative, no interference in the personal life, remote social connections, new ideas and methods are used by management to motivate the employees, the opportunities of promotion inside and outside of organization, employees can rely only on homeless to protect their interests and weak influence on health of employees.
Considering the solution to the differences between American and Chinese employees can be chosen tolerance about the certain issues, as being more attentive to each other and understanding the differences in the culture will help Americans and Chinese get along much better. Secondly, it is power distance index. Newswomen (2011) insists that power distance index measures the extent, to which the least endowed with the power individual in the organization accepts unequal distribution f power and considers it a normal state of affairs.
According to Hi (2012), Chinese employees in this case are characterized with the low frequency of expression and low qualification of the low-level workers, directive management style, inequality of people, and where subordinates treat their senior management as people other than themselves. Also, orders are not discussed, in comparison with American employees, and wage differentiation is large and White-collars’ have higher status.
In turn, American employees are characterized with the high frequency of expression and owe qualification of the high-level workers, democratic management style, inequality of roles, where senior management is available and where qualification of the low level workers is high. Mutual understanding and constant dialogue is a key to success of the multinational company where Americans and Chinese work together despite considerable cultural differences. Thirdly, it is uncertainty avoidance index.
Newswomen (2011) insists that the desire to avoid uncertainty measures the extent to which people feel threatened by uncertain, ambiguous situations, and the extent to which they try to avoid such situations. In organizations with high uncertainty avoidance index, managers tend to focus on private issues and details, always are focused on the task; they do not like to take risky decisions and responsibility. In organizations with low uncertainty avoidance index, managers focus on strategic issues, willing to take risks and take responsibility for themselves and the organization.
American employees often compromise with opponents, ready to uncertainly in work, and conflicts in the organization are considered as a natural state. As well, American employees are more willing to take risks than Chinese, and also they prefer small organizations, and they choose to live in the present day. In turn, Chinese employees do not usually take risks because of the fear of failure, they are not ready to uncertainty and are not willing to compromise with opponents a lot.
As well, Chinese usually have low motivation to achieve goals, they have considerable concerns for the future, they prefer large organization, and top manager must be an expert in management. In this case communication among Americans and Chinese is important, as this way it will be easier to understand the culture of each other and certain peculiarities that can cause considerable differences, according to Hi (2012). Fourthly, it is masculinity vs.. Femininity.
Newswomen (2011) argues that masculinity is a degree to which as the dominant values in society are considered: persistence, drive, earning money and purchase things, as well as low care about other people. Femininity is the degree to which as the dominant values in society are considered: relationship between people, caring for others and general quality of life. It should be noted that measurement of masculinity vs.. Femininity is essential to determine the methods of motivation in the workplace, to select the method of solving the most complex problems and also to resolve conflicts.
It should be notes that American employees have more examples from Female culture, such as the main value is quality of life, the difference between the sexes does not affect the exercise of power positions, they are working to live and they use their intuiting when they make decisions. In turn, Chinese employees have more qualities from Male culture, such as sing logic more often, always try to be the best, they live to work and success if the main value. Also, Chinese presume that a man should earn money, and a woman – educate children, and that a man should dominate in any situation.
According to Hi (2012), Chinese employees, as a rule, need more creativity and flexibility, and Americans need to search new approaches to mutual communication and new ways to deal with the cultural differences. Fifthly, it is long-term orientation vs.. Short-term orientation. Values, associated with long-term orientation are determined with prudently and assertiveness. Values, associated with short-term orientation are respect for traditions, social obligations and the desire not to lose face.
American culture is considered a culture with developed individualism, where the same values are applied to all, where other people are valued as potential resources, and where relationships between an employer and an employee are based on the benefit. American employees also focus more on quality of life and intuition. Americans, in comparison with Chinese employees, choose low level of formalization and standardization and tolerance towards people with deviant behavior and ideas.
In turn, Chinese employees have developed collectivism, where more important are relationships between people than tasks, and where relationship between an employer and an employee are based on the moral model. Chinese also appreciate overconfidence, focus on career growth and determination. Moreover, Chinese choose High level of formalization and standardization and intolerance towards people with deviant behavior and ideas. It should be noted that innovative ideas are necessary to deal with standards and individualism, which will help Chinese and
Americans to avoid conflict, to understand each other and depict the most important qualities that will improve the work within the multinational company. Based on different combinations of the aspects mentioned above, Newswomen (2011) suggests Hefted held cultural mapping organizations in many countries. Thus, the highest power distance characteristic of Latin, Asian and African countries, and the lowest – for German-speaking and Scandinavian countries.
Individualism predominates in developed countries, while collectivism – in the less developed and the east, while Japan occupies an intermediate position. The highest rate of masculinity – in Japan, Germany, Austria and Switzerland; moderately high rate – in English-speaking countries, the lowest – in the Scandinavian countries and the Netherlands, and moderately low – in some Latin and Asian countries, as well as in France and Spain. Uncertainty avoidance index is the highest in Latin countries, in Japan and in German-speaking countries, and the lowest – in English-speaking and China.
Long- term orientation is most pronounced in the East Asian countries, especially China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. Moreover, in terms of the parameters of ewer distance index and individualism vs.. Collectivism, the U. S. , Canada, the I-J, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Australia have the following type of culture – low power distance / individualism. In turn, Spain, France, Italy, Belgium – showed high power distance / individualism.
Finally, China, Pakistan, Turkey, Taiwan, Colombia, Venezuela, Portugal, Mexico, Greece, India, Japan cultures demonstrated – high power distance / collectivism. To sum it up, I would like to say that Chinese and American employees have considerable cultural differences. Due to the cultural preferences between Chinese and American employees, it is necessary to search new approaches and use creativity when looking for conflict solutions. It should be noted that Americans and Chinese need to respect the culture of each other and to communicate in order to understand each other better.