Unit 5 Discussion Assignment
BUS 5211: Managing in the Global Economy, University of the People
In the discussion forum, you are expected to participate often and engage in deep levels of discourse. Please post your initial response as early as possible and continue to participate throughout the unit. You are required to post an initial response to the question/issue presented in the Forum and then respond to at least 3 of your classmates’ initial posts. You should also respond to anyone who has responded to you.
Culture as an Iceberg illustrates 3 levels of culture: Cultural Makeup That Is Visible, Cultural Makeup We Are Aware Of, and Cultural Makeup We are Unaware Of. These three dimensions of the cultural iceberg are made up subjective and objective components. Discuss the following:
- Discuss one subjective and one objective dimensions of culture from each level. Explain how leaders are challenged to pay attention to these dimensions. What is the outcome if they choose to ignore these dimensions?
- How do leaders deal with a cross-cultural team that has both monochronic and polychronic cultures represented? How does a leader deal with the team members who come from a different 'time-based' culture as him/herself?
Grade: 10/10 (651 words)
Edward T. Hall, an anthropologist, established the cultural iceberg model in the 1970s. According to Hall, only about 10% of the iceberg (external culture), the tip of the iceberg is visible above the waterline, and the majority of it (internal or deep culture) is unseen beneath the surface. (Romford, 2022) External culture (10%) comprises objective components: language, behavior, symbols, norms, customs, practice, music, dance, clothes, and food. Internal culture (90%) comprises subjective components: notion of justice, body language, priorities, preference for competition or cooperation, the pace of work, beliefs, values, the essence of friendship, roles about age, gender and so on. (Videnová et al., 2012)
Subjective and Objective dimensions of cultures
"Cultural Makeup That Is Visible" and "Cultural Makeup We Are Aware Of" is categorized as external culture. These can be observed. Visible culture has objective dimensions. As introduced above, multiple people formed language, symbols, norms, or customs over a long period. "Cultural Makeup We are Unaware Of" is categorized as an internal culture or invisible culture element. It is an implicitly learned, unconscious, and subjective component. Also, it is described as unconscious feelings, shared cognition, underlying assumptions, deeply embedded thoughts, or basic perceptions.
Most of the conflicts that leaders are generally aware of can be grasped superficially. However, simple problems are caused by "cultural makeup we are unaware of. Therefore, if we ignore the unseen causes, it will be challenging to solve the real issues.
Monochronic and Polychronic cultures
Monochronic and Polychronic are ideas related to time management. Considering monochronic and polychronic behavior patterns helps explore objective and subjective aspects of time. According to Hall, monochronic time is linear, tangible, and divisible into blocks. Monochronic time use emphasizes planning and scheduling. In contrast, polychronic time use occurs when two or more activities are carried out within the same clock block. (Lindquist & Kaufman-Scarborough, 2007).
For instance, gender and country have been linked to monochronic and polychronic cultures. Women are more polychronic than men when faced with combining work and social or leisure activities. (Lindquist & Kaufman-Scarborough, 2007). For example, countries with monochronic solid orientation are the U.S., Germany, and Japan, and countries with Polychronic are Italy, Saudi Arabia, and Ghana. (U.S. DEPARTMENT of STATE, n.d.)
According to Lindquist & Kaufman-Scarborough(2007), the nature of one's workplace can significantly impact time use and ability to schedule. One's organizational "time culture" may "dictate" the dominant or acceptable time use approach, whether monochronic or polychronic may result in conflict or confusion for the worker. (Lindquist & Kaufman-Scarborough, 2007). Based on the knowledge regarding Monochronic and Polychronic, leaders should show employees how they are expected to use their time to do their jobs and to support employees who seek responses that differ from their inherent use of time to get the job done. We also believe it is essential to make clear to all employees that Monochronic and Polychronic have their advantages and disadvantages and to communicate that one is not culturally superior to the other but that they are choosing what is appropriate for their work.
Using the iceberg model as an example, I explained that culture is composed of external culture (objective) and internal culture (subjective). When problems occur, internal culture, which includes priorities, preferences for competition or cooperation, the pace of work, beliefs, values, the essence of friendship, roles about age, and so on, tends to be ignored. I explained the importance of considering the cause of the problem and considering how to solve it with the internal culture in mind.
I also introduced the usefulness of keeping the monochronic and polychronic behavior patterns in mind. Polychronic indicates ways of thinking about time, which tend to some extent by gender and country. Time management is indispensable in the execution of work. Leaders should use this concept to know employees' working styles and prevent conflicts in the workplace.
Lindquist, J. D., and Kaufman-Scarborough, C. (2007). The polychronic monochronic tendency model: pmts scale development and validation. TimeSoc. 16, 253–285. doi: 10.1177/0961463X07080270 Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/237540246_The_Polychronic-Monochronic_Tendency_Model_PMTS_Scale_Development_and_Validation/citations
Romford, J. (2022, April 7) Iceberg Model of Culture. Agility Portal. Retrieved from https://agilityportal.io/blog/iceberg-model-of-culture-updated-2022-a-complete-guide
U.S. DEPARTMENT of STATE. (n.d.).“SO YOU’RE AN AMERICAN?: A GUIDE TO ANSWERING DIFFICULT QUESTIONS ABROAD. Retrieved from https://www.state.gov/courses/answeringdifficultquestions/assets/m/resources/DifficultQuestions-Dimensions-V2.pdf
Videnová, V,, Cagáňová, D., Woolliscroft, P. S., Makraiová, J.and Dagmar, V.V. (2012, November). Resolving Conflicts Within Multicultural Teams in Industrial Enterprises in Slovakia. Conference: 8 th European Conference on Management Leadership and Governance. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325581852_Resolving_Conflicts_Within_Multicultural_Teams_in_Industrial_Enterprises_in_Slovakia