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Paper Topic:

Cultural difference and cultural awareness in the workplace: the importance of cultural awareness of managers.

Running Head : Cultural Difference And Cultural Awareness In The Workplace : The Importance Of Cultural Awareness Of Managers

Cultural Difference and Cultural Awareness in the Workplace

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Culture awareness guides our understanding and behavior . It shapes how we approach the world . Eva Hoffman (1989 ) provides a vivid illustration of how culture informs our perceptions of the world around us and guides our actions . Hoffman , born in Cracow , Poland , immigrated with her family to Canada in 1959 , when she was 13 years old . In her autobiography , she describes how

her best friend passed around a journal to her schoolmates to "write appropriate words of goodbye (Hoffman , 1989 ,

. 78 ) before she left Poland . Her Polish friends wrote

Melancholy verses in which life is figured as a vale of tears or a river of suffering , or a journey of pain on which we are embarking . This tone of sadness is something we all enjoy . It makes us feel the gravity of life , and it is gratifying to have a truly tragic event -- a parting forever -- to give vent to such romantic feelings (Hoffman , 1989 ,

br 78

Approach to workplace diversity is stranded in a cultural analysis of differences . For employees and employers to negotiate a diverse workplace in equally productive ways . When African Americans became a more perceptible presence in the managerial ranks of U .S . organizations they were often portrayed as bicultural because they were compelled to follow white organizational norms in the workplace and then switch to black cultural norms at home . Sociolinguistic research suggests that some African Americans move from speaking Black English Vernacular in their own communities or when they are with other African Americans to speaking Standard English in white institutional frameworks such as school or work

Defined as "a native of many homes " the multicultural person is a difficult concept for a diverse work force . It suggests that at any given instance , an employee has a cultural home that has a comparatively stable , enduring set of cultural assumptions . Defined this way multiculturalism carries the same admonition as standard cross-cultural training for managers : When in Rome , do as the Romans do

Organizations in the United States signify a microcosm of the cultural dynamics of the country as a complete . People of numerous different cultural backgrounds come together to recreate , on a continuing basis our national (and organizational ) culture and identity . We don 't move from place to place rather , we recurrently reinvent home . In this conception , cultural awareness represents retaining an attitude of openness toward expressions of different cultures as simultaneously engaging in a continuing process of creating and recreating a multicultural culture . This resultant multicultural culture maintains the reliability of many cultures while integrating them into a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts

The emerging culture typically has the following characteristics Executives are responsible for setting the organization climate Systems and procedures are established that support diversity Recruitment , promotion , and employee development are closely monitored Culture awareness education...

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