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Business is the better setting. Because they are most important to a successful relationship, cultures are therefore disclosed during commercial talks. Family responsibilities, marriage, and painful life events like losing a loved one to illness or death are all recognized as being distinctive and basic aspects of culture (Hendon and Paul 2013, p.22). Business uses a similar concept because the economics is involved. Business practices on authority, communication, trust, wealth, and communication are influenced by cultural beliefs. Communication is a core element in business, due to the collaborative nature of the business activities (Haase 2014, p.57). Products are created and traded via coordination of several persons, often nationally and internationally. Therefore, this kind of coordination requires clear communication. Complex descriptions of goods and services must be understood mutually, and intricate business deals between traders. Cultural values vary across the globe hence contributing to staggering several styles of business. Therefore, the essay will discuss the aforementioned cultural values with regard to UK and India and the influence they have in their business.
These values have many merits and demerits when the people from these two different settings interact. Significantly, they need to understand their diversified cultures before they could interact in order to avoid unnecessary misunderstanding between them. Among the issues that may lead to their engagement is business. Cultural differences are a big barrier affecting trade between the British and the Indians (Deari and Lopez 2012, P.83).
That affect all spheres of life for example regionalism, language and religion. In contrast, the British people are famous for their love of tradition (Eune and Lee 2015, p.26). They tend to be rather conservative and prefer familiar things. They however recognize change and embrace it. The problem is that due to the rich and diverse cultural traditions of the Indians, they do not embrace change easily. Thus when doing business with the British they may end up insisting on the same product hence an improvement or a substitute to this product may not be fully appreciated (Eune and Lee 2015, p.27).
Particularly, Indians emphasize on trust and friendship before entering in the business agreement regardless of the profitability of the business deal. Due to their hierarchical organized nature, Indians find it problematic to work in a non-hierarchical structure (Harris, Philip, and Robert 2010, P.45). Additionally, when negotiating deals, they pay too much attention or concentration to personal titles. In contrast, British society however, is full of privacy and is individualistic in nature (Tian and Borges 2011, p.110). From early childhood, the British are trained to struggle for their purpose in life and are supposed to achieve happiness through personal realization. Due to this, the British people are mostly concerned about themselves more than others. As a result of this difference, when a British and Indian engage in business, there is always misunderstanding, as the Indian serve first their counterparts, because of their close ties. The British on the other hand in the same position look for other considerations, like how he or she benefits before she extend her services.
In fact, India is ranked at lowest position globally in promoting gender equality (Rakita 2013, p.15). This is because of how the Indian society is considered masculine with a peculiar vision of power and success. Due to their high gender inequality, in business only those women who hold a position of authority are treated with respect. Although the British haw also a high score on masculine aspect, and are ambitious, they adopt such system of values in school. However, in the UK, there is a lower level of gender inequality, and women are considered as important as the men (Rakita 2013, p.16). Due to this difference in gender equality between the Indians and the British culture, doing business may sometime be a problem. For example, typical Indian man prefer doing business with a British man than a woman regardless of the profits he would make, because of gender inequality mindset that they have grown with since childhood.
An Indian would rather kill their own needs and desires than to go against their traditions or what the society expects of them (Schneider and Jean-Louis 2012,p.24). In contrast, the British are open minded people and give priority to their needs and desires in order to be happy. Anything more or less is not a priority to them and can come after they have satisfied their own needs and desires (Dahl 2014, P.35). Such ties are not healthy for business, for example if an Indian were to trade a car to a British, he or she have to consider what his or her family will say about it. Thus even if the British is the highest bidder but the family want the car to be traded to a fellow Indian, the owner will have to respect his or her family's decision regardless of how much money he or she would have made or lost. This is because he or she has to do what the society expects of them.
With an estimated population of 1.3 billion people unlike the UK (Chaney 2015, P.112). Due to this huge population and their rich and diverse cultural traditions, India has very many languages unlike in the UK where English is the only language used for communication. As a result, communication between people from these areas in doing business negotiations may be futile unless there is an involvement of a translator (Schmidt, Wallace, Roger, Susan, and William 2016, P.90). Lack of a translator is a clear guarantee that nothing come out of the business due to lack of mutual understanding between them.
And has many different beliefs as a country even in their current state. For example, the Indians believe that the cow, an animal, is sacred and should be allowed to die a natural death. Due to these, the Indians would rather starve to death than feed on many cows that roam in their own streets are owned by no one due to their belief that the cow is a sacred animal (Hooker 2013, p.60). In contrast, the British lack such belief and would feed on various foods so long as it is tested and proven to be edible. Due to these beliefs that Indians have about cows, a British business person would make loses if he were to open a butchery or sell beef to the huge Indian population since no one will buy it.
Which is liked in Indian culture while the British listen to hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, heavy metal, rock music which is highly appreciated in the UK (Mattock 2013, p.50). Due to this difference therefore it is very unlikely for a jazz musician from the UK to prosper in the music industry in India just as it is for a sufi or Bollywood musician to do good business in the UK because they listen to different music depending on their culture.
And because of the very many religions and beliefs that it has given birth to may have potential problems to business. Unlike the Indians, the British lean more towards materialistic lifestyle and may not observe religion more seriously (Barac 2016, p.76). The problem comes in when for example, an Indian and a British want to do business in India but the day falls on a time when an Indian is to go and participate in religious activities. When this happens, the business will have to wait because the Indian has to respect that sacred day and have to do what the society expects of them on that sacred day. This will in turn be a disadvantage to the British who may not have enough time to wait another day in order to do business or rather the business may be urgent to him.
The quality of life in that country is poor (Hofstede 2011,p.62). Thus many people would not like India as their destination to do business for some days then go after some days. As a result, many investors prefer not to go to India and therefore many don't invest in that country unlike the UK where the quality of life is very good, and many investors prefer to invest there and even go there for a vacation.
The cultural differences between the UK and India bring potential problems for people from these two cultures to do business together. It is therefore advised that they should both understand each other's cultural background before taking part in business in order to avoid inconveniences that may be brought about by their different cultures. Despite the cultural differences, in my opinion, intercultural listening and speaking skills are a vital element in business that business partners opt to understand.
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Responsibility of Organization in Helping Employees Manage Work and Family Interface
Location of Institution
Responsibility of Organization in Helping Employees Manage Work and Family Interface
There is possibility of the blurring responsibility and roles in a working place. Truly, this exists between workers and organizations, and such a case is often likely to cause lack of accountability and chaos. However, it is easier to achieve the objectives of the organization when everyone clearly understands what the employer expects from him/her. Admittedly, organization has myriad responsibilities for the employees, but they can be summarized in succinct groups such as family interface and how to manage work.
People devote more and more life into their work and thus, the percentage of working women is increasing overtime. A lack of balance between work and family roles leads to Work Family Conflict (WFC) (Bauer and Neumark-Sztainer 2012, p.496). WFC affects women more than men and definite has a trickle-down effect to the organization as it affects overall performance of employee(s) therefore affecting the organization’s revenue.
Work-family interference is caused by a number of factors such as-Insufficient time and energy which makes it difficult to practice the other role (Moen, Kelly and Hill 2011, p.69). A good example is high workloads which takes time and drains our energy making it difficult to fulfill family responsibilities WFC will indirectly affect marital behavior and decrease closeness between couples. A company is partly, not wholly responsible for managing the effects of work and family interference as some of them are well beyond their means. These effects include increased emotional exhaustion which has a negative effect on job satisfaction.
Decreased job satisfaction; low levels of job performance have led to decreased job satisfaction. Inadequate intrinsic motivation which affects job performance, job satisfaction and commitment to the organization (Tranby and Huang 2011, p.404).Commitment in turn is affected by job performance and job satisfaction. Burnout is another effect of work and family interference as employee(s) are stretched far too thin between work and family responsibilities. Work-family interference tends to create stress among employees. Multiple roles lead to stress which also results to strain, low performance and ineffectiveness.WFC causes low productivity which affects the entire organization (Kossek 2012, p.152). Work and family interference leads to low turnover/revenue caused by the low performance, ineffectiveness and productivity.
All the above effects are well under the responsibility of the company to manage. But things such as divorce or separation of spouses caused by work-family are not the responsibility of the company to manage (Mahpul and Abdullah 2011, p.154). Other effects that the company is not responsible in helping the employee to manage are: Parental negligence as a result of being too absorbed in their work or weakening of relationships among couples due to less time spent together or attention given to their partner.
Organization role stress (ORS). The stress arising due to a person’s role is known a ‘Role stresses. Role stress has a negative impact on the organization’s outcomes. Therefore, it becomes very important for both the individual and the organization to work in an area with role stress management. Role stress affects job satisfaction among the employees. And in turn job satisfaction affects overall individual well-being and job stress. A company is responsible in helping employees with managing role stress by developing coping strategies in order to reduce this role stress (Gamor, and Boakye 2014, p.8).
Another way is by top managers establishing and maintaining family-supportive work environments. By doing so, they create a culture that helps employees balance between work responsibilities and non-work requirements (Sweet and Meiksins 2015, p.100). Such as, allowing their employees to leave work during the day and complete it at night or come in earlier in order to complete the work, working during non-typical work days and allowing their co-workers to cover up when the employee needs to attend to family responsibilities. Or even allowing them to take an off during a typical work day and compensating the time during weekends.
Managers should provide ongoing training programs, which aim to teach employees how to manage time effectively and resolve problems associated with work and family interference (Turk and Montgomery 2014,p. 442).Like, styles of coping with Work-Family conflict such as when an employee takes direct action to eliminate the stressor.
Tharmalingam and Bhatti (2014,p. 52).asserts that, a company can help employees manage work and family conflict through flexible work arrangements such as-flextime which is a system of working a number of set hours with the starting and finish times chosen within agreed limits by the employee, telecommuting where one can work from home making use of the internet, mail and telephone, compressed work weeks which are alternative work arrangements where a standard workweek is reduced to fewer than 5 days and employees make up for the full number of hours per-week by working longer hours and reduced hour schedules where employees work for a lesser number of hours. Such changes help in dealing with manpower effectively and also the net efficiency of the organization increases.
Another way is by managers being able to recognize situations of work and family interference and address them before many negative outcomes surface (Parker 2014, p. 661).The earlier the better as some negative outcomes such as huge losses may not be revertible or easy to recover from. Firms are more accommodative when family needs surface. When family needs arise such as the death of a loved one, need for care of an ailing family member or family emergencies arise, a company should consider the need for the employee to take an off or a short leave so as to cater for those needs.
Managers should strive to reduce role of ambiguity where individuals do not have certainty of what his or her tasks and domain hence individuals exert more mental energy to decipher the uncertainty (Ozcan 2013,p.48).This, in turn can exhaust mental energy and attention needed for family roles. Reduction of the role of ambiguity can be achieved by including items that can measure the role of ambiguity such as annual employee ambiguity surveys through questionnaires with questions like- ‘Do you feel certain about how much authority you have or do you know what is expected of you?’Prioritizing measures that cost the firm money such as child or adult day care, family leave and maternity leave so as to reduce the workload on others and also to maintain the organizations turnover. This can also aid in recruitment, reduce work and family interference and improve employee performance and productivity.
Managers posting schedules in advance to reduce chances of work-family scheduling conflicts (Nijp, and Kompier 2012, p.299). The schedules contain things like important meetings. Therefore, the employee(s) is able to schedule other important family matters on different dates or at a different time so that they don’t collide and he or she is able to attend to both of them. Offering employees, a “voice”. When employees have authority to solve problems, they are likely to have lower levels if stress and also perceive lower levels of work and family interference (Lyness 2012, p.1049). For example, a manager could review procedures for scheduling employee breaks that allow workers input into the decision of when they are needed the breaks to be. The breaks will therefore be at a convenient time for them. Maybe even at a time they can quickly rush to attend to family or children. This will help them balance and avoid strain on either side.
Implementing the Results Only Work Environment (ROWE) initiative (Cha 2013, p.184).This includes: increasing employees ‘appraisal of control over their work time. The desired work environment as per ROWE is employees can do whatever they want, whenever they want as so long as the work gets done. This allows the employees to cater to both family and work duties efficiently and on time.
Kelly and Okechuku (2014, p.485), proposed the method of schedule control. Employees be given a sense of control regarding the timing of their work, the number of hours they work to reduce incidences of them being forced to work overtime yet they had committed to other important family matters such as a peauditrician visit. This may be written is the contracts which they sign to agree to the conditions of the contract. Location where they work. Employees should be given a chance to choose the location which they want to work from as this affects their commuting time and total time from home. It also includes…just-in-time staffing which is flexible and unpredictable from employees’ perspective e.g, retail workers sent home when the floor is slow.
In summary, the paper has analyzed challenges employees face while they are duty and the easy employers can use to assist them to overcome. Particularly, employees are faced with various work-family conflicts such as role stress and inadequate time to attend to family. These work and family interference affect the organization and the company has the responsibility to help the employees manage these problems even though not all of them, through various initiatives and programs. In my opinion, I recommend the employers to start mentoring programs in their organizations
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Cha, Y., (2013). Overwork and the persistence of gender segregation in occupations. Gender & Society, 27(2), pp.158-184.
Gamor, E., Amissah, E.F. and Boakye, K.A.A., (2014). Work–family conflict among hotel employees in Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis, Ghana. Tourism Management Perspectives, 12, pp.1-8.
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Kossek, E.E. and Lautsch, B.A., (2012). Work–family boundary management styles in organizations: A cross-level model. Organizational Psychology Review, 2(2), pp.152-171.
Lyness, K.S., Gornick, J.C., Stone, P. and Grotto, A.R., (2012). It’s all about control: Worker control over schedule and hours in cross-national context. American Sociological Review, 77(6), pp.1023-1049.
Moen, P., Kelly, E.L., Tranby, E. and Huang, Q., (2011). Changing work, changing health: can real work-time flexibility promote health behaviors and well-being? Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 52(4), pp.404-429.
Moen, P., Kelly, E.L. and Hill, R., (2011). Does enhancing work-time control and flexibility reduce turnover? A naturally occurring experiment. Social problems, 58(1), pp.69-98.
Mahpul, I.N. and Abdullah, N.A., (2011). The prevalence of work-family conflict among mothers in Peninsular Malaysia. International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 1(17), pp.154-161.
Ozcan, S., 2013. Work-Family Conflict and Its Association with Job Performance and Family Satisfaction among Physicians. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 7(7), pp.43-48.
Nijp, H.H., Beckers, D.G., Geurts, S.A., Tucker, P. and Kompier, M.A., (2012). Systematic review on the association between employee work time control and work-non-work balance, health and well-being, and job-related outcomes. Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health, pp.299-313.
Parker, S.K., (2014). Beyond motivation: Job and work design for development, health, ambidexterity, and more. Annual review of psychology, 65, pp.661-691.
Sweet, S. and Meiksins, P., (2015). Changing contours of work: Jobs and opportunities in the new economy. Sage Publications. 42(3), pp.100-150.
Turk, M., Davas, A., Tanik, F.A. and Montgomery, A.J., (2014). Organizational stressors, work–family interface and the role of gender in the hospital: Experiences from Turkey. British journal of health psychology, 19(2), pp.442-458.
Tharmalingam, S.D. and Bhatti, M.A., (2014). Work-family conflict: An investigation on job involvement, role ambiguity and job demand: Moderated by social support. Journal of Human Resource Management, 2(3), pp.52-62.
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