People who want to work successfully with people from other cultures should be prepared for cultural differences

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1 3 Intercultural Management Competence Overview of the Manual» The Philosophy Globalisation and international cooperation influence life all around the world. Culture changes as opinions from one generation to the next change. But the change that is taking place now is radical and unique: The entire life culture of many people worldwide is changing and something completely new is emerging. Globalisation connects different lifestyles and learning cultures in diverse countries and creates new needs, new learning and professional competencies and new teaching concepts.technical achievements change the human consciousness and have a huge impact on our cultural behaviour. Whoever has the access to new communication forms and means can take part in an immense global network of changing people who are technically connected. New norms and values are the result of those people who define work, sense of duty, dependence, freedom, consumption, and entertainment differently. Property, socialization, friendship and responsibility are each described with different values. The internationalisation of management has changed a manager s traditional skill profile. Traditional management know-how alone is not enough to handle the challenges of today s world of business. Intercultural competence is a requirement for success in transnational and culturally mixed fields of work. It can avoid costly conflicts and misunderstandings and develop a synergistic effect in intercultural teamwork. Management methods have gained increasing importance not only in economics but also in fields of work such as administration, science, and non-governmental organisations. The reason for this is an increase in efficiency and quality awareness. Intercultural Management is designed to support fair distribution of power in company policies and organisational structures. It is not a new management method. This is about the classic management functions such as planning and decision-making, hiring and placement of resources and employees, personnel and handling negotiations. The manner in which all of these are executed is impacted by culture and differentiates itself in clear and work-related forms from culture to culture, country to country, and person to person. Intercultural competence is a lifelong learning process. It is supported by specific skills and abilities such as through: Tolerance of ambiguity (who can handle contradictory situations) Empathy (who can feel compassion and understanding for others) Frustration tolerance (who can work well with personal frustration and selfcriticism) Humour (who can look at him/herself from a distance and laugh) Identity (to know one s individual cultural characteristics) Conflict management (who can deal well with problems and solve them) Curiosity (who is open and wants to learn new things) People who want to work successfully with people from other cultures should be prepared for cultural differences because: Culture is the backbone of identity Values and norms direct the way people think and handle situations that are private and professional South and North, as well as East and West are more dependent on one another now than ever before. People who live in another region of the world or who live in their own country and behave in a different way feel quite conspicuous, odd and are seen as foreigners. Their behaviour will be compared to and measured by the behaviour of the majority, the locals of that country. Foreigners often experience rejection and discrimination. In today s world increasing technical communication includes the danger of a new division, between the information-rich and information-poor, yet another component of possible difference.

2 4 Overview of the Manuel If you do not have access to information then you cannot represent yourself. If you are not sufficiently represented, you cannot formulate your own needs. If you cannot formulate your needs then you cannot assert yourself and influence change. It is not easy for all people to accept the gradual and often threatening changes to their lifestyle. In fact, no one who comes from a hierarchical and fatalistic perspective can accept this easily. Many feel the process is too fast and others avoid taking part all together. Only about 60% of the members of a group fit the typical cultural description. For example, Germans are often described as systematic-thinking strategists. The fact is that many people in Germany do not fit this description at all or only do to a very small degree. In teamwork cultural specifics of people should be transparent and obvious to all its members. Multicultural fields of work must be transformed. Transitions must be learned. Learning must be newly defined. The implementation of a new learning culture in training and education, profession and business could make the process of understanding each other easier for all of us. The Training Material» The Target Group This material is designed for trainers. It should make their preparation of intercultural training programmes easier. This manual focuses on the relationship between business and culture in an international context. It poses questions and points out connections, which become clear by working through the content of the interconnected modules. It is a guide with multiple options that the trainers can develop and add his/her own concepts, programmes and individual methods to. This manual Intercultural Management Competence, after short adjustments to make it appropriate to a particular location, can be used worldwide. The modular structure provides the necessary flexibility to do so. In order for the material to be optimally used, the knowledge of the trainer needs to be considered as well as the knowledge of the target group. In multicultural work situations, cultural differences are normal. Intercultural training programmes deal with: Systematic development and comparison of one s own norms, values, perspectives, prejudices and racism Tactical knowledge transfer of different norms and values, cultural standards, country-specific information. Strategic standards to create competence in intercultural relations. Our assumption is that the trainers that this manual is designed for will have varying professional knowledge and training experience. This can mean that experienced trainers will not need to follow our Working Through the Module as much. It can also mean that they use only one or two of the modules or a part of one in combination with their own material.

3 5 Methods The learning and work methods that we prefer is a part of our identity. In seminars with people from various national backgrounds one can quickly see two main differences in their learning methods and work methods (i.e. An Indian in Germany ). cognitive learning (presentation style, memorizing) experimental learning (interactive style) This also deals with several factors, such as: How we are connected in a cultural system (society, family, work organisation, hierarchy) How individual our culture is. How we learned to learn and which learning style we prefer. Seminar experience with people who are on average under 40 years old and come from modern industrial societies shows that they prefer experimental learning. Learning by doing is very popular. Older seminar participants and particularly those who come from traditional cultures prefer to learn through reading, listening and being given learning recipes to follow. Finland s high evaluation in the Pisa study shows that an institutionally supported balance of both learning styles promises to be especially successful. Intercultural trainers must prepare themselves for the fact that some participants in a seminar or training programme are weary of modern interaction and moderation methods. Some associate the card method with games. Trainers would do best to think about the following questions before the seminar Which learning preferences do the participants have that I have to be prepared for? Which seminar methods should I employ? : Example An Indian in Germany An Indian manager is invited to a workshop in Germany. After the welcome, the German moderator explains the topic and the goal of the workshop. She asks the participants to share their wishes and expectations for these two days that they would spend together. Later the moderator distributes cards to the participants in order for them to write their answer to a particular question. While most of the Germans follow this direction, the Indians look very confused. The oldest in the group crosses his arms and says in a determined manner: I can tell you what I have to say. I don t need a card to do so. What happened? Why did the Indian refuse to participate in this? It is possible that 1. The moderator failed to explain why she wanted to work with the card method (in which ideas written on cards are sorted and organised, this represents a different quality of learning than orally reporting). 2. The Indian refused because he was significantly older than the moderator (man-woman, old-young) had a higher status than the other Indian participants which he didn t want to jeopardize (supervisor subordinate) took another role than the others in the room that he had to play saw the card method as a simple and childish game.

4 6 Overview of the Manuel The syllabus deals with two basic aspects of management Intercultural Questioning of Management Business-specific Questioning of Management It is obvious that every cultural group on earth deals with organisation and management in a different way. Communication and social relationship-building function on the basis of the culture they are in. As a result, style of leadership, communication forms in daily work and one s approach to dealing with tasks, differ from region to region. It is just as clear that it is separate from the generally valid basics of business management. For example, an increase in quantity of a product (higher sales) as a rule will cause a decrease in the cost of production. In double entry accounting, every entry requires an opposite entry. Clarity of strategic goaldefinition always makes the general setting of goals easier and the measurability possible. What is new in this manual is that it connects these aspects and looks at them in an intercultural context. Interactive presentations as well as moderated discussions, exercises, case studies, simulations and role plays make up a large percentage of participative and processoriented learning training programmes. An important basic principle of the methodological approach in a multilingual group is to be able to visualise input, discussions and processes. All of the tools suggested in each module point titled Tools for Trainers may not be available in every classroom. They can be replaced by different ones, i.e. a pin board instead of a board or paper on the wall. For more on this see Trainer s Guide for Effective Training. Contents Basic principles of management are found in the business management modules. The intercultural modules deal with questioning which of these basics are interculturally applicable management styles. It is important that the trainer pays special attention to the way he/she and the participants in a training course are culturally influenced (i.e. what are the different definitions and perceptions of such words as reliability or goal development as well as productivity, systematic and effectiveness ). It should also be analysed in which manner a bridge between people with specific conditions and diverse cultural competencies can be created, without judging the other s behaviour. For both aspects, the basic and elective modules are offered; in total there are 16 modules. The basic modules (4) contain fundamental answers to the topics of culture communication and strategy project management. Due to the central importance of these topics the basic modules are obligatory for each training which aims at imparting intercultural management competence in a narrower sense. The elective modules (9), built on the basic modules, give the trainer the flexibility and opportunity to specifically focus on the needs of the target group. The syllabus is completed with a summarized final module: Intercultural Competence, which, together with the present introductory module, forms the frame. Outside these systematics an additional module Trainer s Guide for Effective Training exists which, as an additional offer, gives an introduction into recent training methods on a more general level. The total maximum time for the training modules is 60 full hours. Depending on the choice and intensity and pace of the intercultural modules, the training could last from 3.5 to 5 days. It is also possible for individual modules from this manual to be integrated into workshops or training courses with other themes. The completion of the basic modules is a pre-requisite for the elective modules. It is also possible to choose only an intercultural or a training in business administration. From the elective modules a minimum of six need to be completed in order to guarantee the entireness of the intercultural management training.

5 7 The material can also be used for Interest-building and preparation for an intercultural management training course Development of planning and strategy competence in an international context Networking among one another (bilateral and international) The goals of the manual are to improve intercultural teamwork through Understanding cultural dimensions (individually, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally) Reflection about global dependence and the moral implications To inform about culture, intercultural relations, communication styles, globalisation, management, business, and ethics Becoming sensitive to other s/ foreign behaviour Viewing your own behaviour in relation to that of others (your behaviour is neither better nor the only way to behave) Structure of the Modules Every module consists of Subject of the module Description of the goal Content description Time frame Tools for the trainer (equipment) Working through the module Topic Summary Sometimes commitment Recommendation for the trainer Bibliography Handouts Basic Fundamentals Case studies Transparencies Checklists etc. The basic fundamentals for trainers give a comprehensive overview of the module s topic. Questions, literature references and, if applicable, further references that could be used by the trainer to prepare for the training course. It is also open to the trainer to distribute the basic fundamentals among the participants. Especially in the case of the modules related to topics of business administration the basic fundamentals contain basic knowledge which could be intensified independently by the participants after the training. The Working through the module sections describe every main didactic point that the trainer can teach. They contain the overall goal of each module, tips concerning the use of time, necessary materials, the training sequence and the training methods. Additionally there is advice concerning the use of the transparencies, Powerpoint presentations, and handouts for the participants. The handouts are included in the manual to be copied. They can be used to prepare the trainer and can be distributed to the group during the training. They can include the instructions for the training activities and case studies or they can provide a summary of the ideas presented.! A Tip Produce with the participants a short list of the main points for every module with the most important ideas. This paper serves as the review module at the end called Intercultural Competence.

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