Are You a Holistic or Specific Thinker

In: Business and Management

Submitted By Merbivore
Words 641
Pages 3
Assignment 1
Are you a holistic or a specific culture?

It is undeniable that globalization has changed the human resources landscape for many companies. Even businesses that do not employ cross-cultural teams have to communicate with foreign clients or suppliers occasionally or on a regular basis.
I personally find the cross-cultural management discipline fascinating. The holistic and specific cultures have always existed; we just never had names for them. In the past, managers operated mostly from an ethnocentric point of view with the understanding that they were creating jobs overseas and already had job descriptions and codes of conduct established and functioning.
The article by Professor Erin Meyer certainly highlights that we have come a long way from that period. I wasn’t very surprised by the disconnect that (still) happens within cross-cultural teams even for companies with the best intentions.
My first exposure to cross-cultural issues was managing a diverse US sales team working for a European company. While all team members had more or less an American cultural background, the team was diverse in race, age, religion and life experience. Even within a team that spoke the same language, no two team members was alike. Our biggest challenge was to reconcile marketing strategy in terms of market segments and products with a team where each representative had a different territory. Our market covered the construction market in the US West coast. A sales territory in a metro area like Seattle was very different from a suburban area in Tucson, Arizona. The team members were generally successful with big egos and resented much of the reporting to headquarters. Our European headquarters were highly keen on documentation of most aspects of the job. Contacts with clients, sales calls were to be entered in smartphones and synced in real time throughout the…...

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