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To: Senior Leadership
Topic: Cultural Differences as Barriers to Success
- Communications context and its influence expectations of managers and employees.
- Power-distance and its influence expectation of managers and employees
- Differences in communications context and power-distance contribute to conflicts within the new organization (PBI-FS), e.g. between transferred PBI personnel and newly hired islanders
1. What is the “communications context” and how could it influence the expectations of managers and employees and their relationships with each other at PBI-FS?
The communication context consists of high context and low context which is used to describe the cultural differences in communication of people between societies. According to the article Communication across cultures, high context refers to societies have close connections over a long period while low context refers to societies with many connections but of shorter duration. Individuals working together with different context background can cause a problem with communication within an organization between managers and employees in that decisions and activities are focus around a personal face to face relationships or often around a central person who has authority. On the other hand, with low context, individual decisions and activities are more task-centered which focuses more around the division instead of a central individual (Beer, n.d.). The difference in communication can influence the work ethic and expectation from both aspects of managers and employees because the unspoken words between each individual would be misinterpreted.
2. What is “power-distance” and how could it influence the expectations of managers and employees and their relationships with each other at PBI-FS?
Power-distance is the idea that everyone in society is not equal. In other words, the degree to which the less powerful member of society accepts and expects that the power is distributed unequally (Hofstede, G. (n.d.). The influence of power-distance forms a hierarchical structure within the organization where everyone knows his or her place in the structure and the structure is not challenged or justify. In some workplaces, this can be seen as subordinates expect to be told what to do where the boss might be seen as a dictator or someone with total power over his or her employees.
3. How might differences in communications context (low/high) and power-distance contribute to conflicts within the new organization (PBI-FS), e.g. between transferred PBI personnel and newly hired islanders?
There are clear differences in the communication of low and high context and power-distance that can cause conflict with employees and employers or personnel within an organization. In the case where Padgett-Beale, Inc. operates in a high context environment it would be difficult for personnel from island Banking Service to get accustomed to that type of environment seeing as they are coming from a low context environment that is easy to incorporate newly hired individuals. Simultaneously, the distribution of power is also different in each environment which would make it difficult for someone coming from a company where the relationship between the employer and employee is dependent on another company where the relationship is interdependent.
Beer, J. (n.d.). Communicating Across Cultures. Retrieved April 6, 2020, from http://www.culture-at-work.com/highlow.html
Hofstede, G. (n.d.). National Culture. Retrieved April 6, 2020, from https://hi.hofstede-insights.com/national-culture