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Cultural Values

1. Can you provide an example of knowledge achieved by the interpretive view?

An organization is a breathing living thing, and most research about HRM treats an organization as such. Different authors have expressed this sentiment by suggesting catchy names such as “organizations in action,” which gives companies life and separates it from the idea that it is an abstract concept. The main objective of the human resource field is to understand the makeup and culture of an organization, mainly placing the focus on three perspectives or rather lenses through which an organization can be understood (Capper, 2018). These three perspectives include; critical, traditional, and interpretive, which will be the focus of this discussion. So, what is an interpretive view?

An interpretive view concerns a particular subject resulting from interpretive view research. An interpretive approach in research is based on social theories that understand different social constructs (Putnam & Banghart, 2017). The interpretive view has been used to obtain knowledge on various topics such as human resource management since such an area significantly involves the social behaviors of people. This perspective looks at the organization as a culture; as mentioned, an organization is a living and breathing thing, and the interpretive perspective embraces this concept. The focus is mainly on how the employees shape the organization’s culture, rather than direction and communication from the top to bottom. At every level of the organization, the culture is molded, remolded, and shaped.

Through gaining this insight on human behaviors, human resource managers can make effective tactics that they will use to manage people from different cultural backgrounds. This results in a culturally diverse workplace where people coexist in peace and harmony. It also results in the existence of a competitive workforce. For example, a manager can ask why the Muslim employees leave early on Friday afternoons; the answer maybe because they need to visit the mosque. This response will help HR use this information to develop a conducive workplace for Muslim employees. Therefore, interpretive view will create an inclusive environment within the workforce.

2. Discuss how the significant studies of cultural values are similar.

Cultural values are principles that people within a society live by which enable them to coexist in peace and harmony. Studying cultural values is essential since it provides a good understanding of principles that affect people’s behavior. Studies of cultural values have a single similarity which is they all encompass understanding the cultural principles of people from different societies, which affect their social behaviors.

Cultural values are fundamental in our societies, apparent in different regions of the world. According to Schwartz et al. (2012), in the last 30 years, researchers requested individuals to rate different values regarding their importance as their lives’ guiding principles. The analysis of the results showed that human value structure is similar in more than 80 countries, which means that the same values have been the same in different regions. It is easy to create a cluster of values that can fulfill a multi-cultural workplace. According to Schwartz (2012), all the values could be placed into three broad categories: conservation values, openness values, self-enhancement values, and self-transcendence values. There are value clusters that are motivationally compatible values, which are adjacent value types. On the other hand, there are opposing motivationally incompatible value types.

Therefore, different employees from different cultures can endorse the same values but associate with the same values in different ways. Equality regarding men and women is promoted universally, but some countries do not endorse gender equality (Hanel et al., 2017).

3. Evaluate whether cross-cultural differences in HRM practices are increasing or decreasing and why.

People from different cultures result in cultural diversity in the workplace. This necessitates for the human resource managers to have good cross-cultural HRM practices. There is an increase in cross-cultural differences in HRM practices due to various factors in our current time. One of the factors contributing to an increase in the cross-cultural difference in HRM practices is the growth of multinational enterprises globally (Zhu et al., 2017). This has resulted in a culturally diverse workforce, which necessitates the existence of cross-cultural HRM practices.

While Globalization is the main reason for a multi-cultural workplace, various factors contribute to the increased cross-cultural differences in HRM practices. The Internet and technology, in general, have made it easy for any individual to work remotely in any organization around the world. Currently, Web 3.0 brings virtual reality to the workplace and gets rid of geographic inhibitions (Hudson et al., 2019). At this moment, different cultures will interact, giving HRM a massive task of handling the increased cross-cultural differences. It is logical that if more people from every culture around the world can work in an organization, there will be more cross-cultural experiences and differences.

Therefore, Globalization and the fourth industrial revolution guarantee a multi-cultural workplace that results in more cross-cultural differences. It means that HR departments and HRM experts should be prepared with the required tools that will be needed to deal with the increasing cross-cultural differences in Human Resource Management Practices.

 

4. What are the origins of the `four influences’ framework? 

Due to a cross-cultural workforce, the four influences framework was developed to help understand people from different cultural backgrounds. The four influences are the cultural perspective, the universal perspective, the contingency perspective, and the institutional perspective. These influences significantly shape the cultural perspectives of different people from different cultures. The origin of these influences is the growth of a culturally diverse workforce. A culturally diverse workforce emanates from migrating people from different areas to more developed areas in search of better working conditions (Sent & Kroese, 2020). This migration resulted in a cross-cultural workforce which necessitated the creation of a framework to help understand people from different cultures.

In addition, the four influences help to understand the cross-cultural workforce and understand the culture of the country of origin. As mentioned, Globalization and the Internet will continue to make the world so small, whereby people will do business without geographic restrictions, and maybe even on Mars if that colonization comes to fruition, which comes to another cause for the creation of the four influences. Regarding outsourcing or expanding, the company will need to understand the business practices before venturing to partake in the business in the said country. One of the main aspects that need consideration is the Human Resource; different employees worldwide work differently; a UAE employee will take time to adapt if a Chinese company in China.

The purposes of expansion and better management of a cross-cultural human resource led to the development and polishing of the four influences. Because they help to understand these two aspects of HRM practices, giving credit to Hofstede as one of the pioneers who contributed to the development of the four influences (Sent & Kroese, 2020).

 

References

Al-Bayati, A. J., Abudayyeh, O., & Albert, A. (2018). Managing active cultural differences in U.S. construction workplaces: Perspectives from non-Hispanic workers. Journal of Safety Research, 66, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsr.2018.05.004

Capper, C. A. (2018). Organizational theory for equity and diversity: Leading integrated, socially just education. Routledge.

Gerard, N. (2019). Millennial managers: exploring the next generation of talent. Leadership in Health Services (Bradford, England), 32(3), 364–386. https://doi.org/10.1108/LHS-01-2018-0004

Hai-Ping, Y., Wei-Ying, Z., You-Qing, P., Yun-Ying, H., Chi, C., Yang-Yang, L., & Li-Li, H. (2020). Emergency medical staff’s perceptions on cultural value difference-based teamwork issues: A phenomenological study in China. Journal of Nursing Management, 28(1), 24–34. https://doi.org/10.1111/jonm.12854

Hanel, P. H., Vione, K. C., Hahn, U., & Maio, G. R. (2017). Value instantiations: the missing link between values and behavior? In Values and behavior (pp. 175-190). Springer, Cham.

Hudson, S., Matson-Barkat, S., Pallamin, N., & Jegou, G. (2019). With or without you? Interaction and immersion in a virtual reality experience. Journal of Business Research, 100, 459-468.

Putnam, L., & Banghart, S. (2017). Interpretive Approaches. The International Encyclopedia of Organizational Communication, 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118955567.wbieoc118

Schwartz, S. H., Cieciuch, J., Vecchione, M., Davidov, E., Fischer, R., Beierlein, C., … & Konty, M. (2012). Refining the theory of fundamental individual values. Journal of personality and social psychology, 103(4), 663.

Sent, E. M., & Kroese, A. L. (2020). Commemorating Geert Hofstede, a pioneer in the study of culture and institutions. Journal of Institutional Economics, 1-13.

Zhu, C., De Cieri, H., Fan, D., & Mike Zhang, M. (2017). Expatriate management in emerging market multinational enterprises (EMNEs): reflection and future research agenda. The International Journal of Human Resource Management29(11), 1787-1798. https://doi.org/10.1080/09585192.2017.1335997

 

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