Modernization in the 21st society has increased the level of globalization, thus, interaction of people from diverse cultures, especially in the workplace. Cultural differences in the workplace provide the employees with new social experiences which could result in either success or failure of an organization. Various organizations have different levels of embracing cultural diversities, which affects the satisfaction of employees and organization culture (Chua & Gudykunst, 2017). Communication context and power distance are some of the factors that define an organization’s culture. Organization management ought to embrace cultural diversity to enhance the successful implementation of its strategies.
When conveying or interpreting a message, it is crucial to understand the cultural communication context of a person for better understanding. A high context communication involves indirect communication where non-verbal cues are applied. On the contrary, low context communication is direct and precise. According to Chua and Gudykunst (2017), high context culture involves people interacting for long durations, while in low context culture, people interact numerous times for specified reasons.
The managers and employees from Padgett Beale are low contexts, while the PBI-FS job applicants (Islanders) are high context, a factor that could hinder successful communication. For easier assimilation and success of the organization, the two teams should engage in workshops, and team building activities to bridge their cultural gap.
The employees of an organization define the power distance between them and their leaders. In a high power distance relationship, the employees do not question the decision of the authorities as they feel obliged to follow them (Jeong & Crompton, 2018). On the other hand, organizations with a low power distance involve their employees in decision-making processes. The employees feel possession of some power in the organizational activities.
Employees from both cultural differences could have a challenge in their interaction hindering organizational success. In the scenario, Padgett-Beale employees have a medium power distance, while the applicants have a high power distance. The cultural difference would hinder healthy interaction between the two groups. However, it would be an advantage on the Padgett-Beale managing team as their directives will strictly be followed. The difference in power distance in an interacting team should be levelled through numerous interactions.
Cultural differences in an organization is a sensitive subject that should be addressed patiently. Cultural diversity could lead to misunderstandings in the workplace, resulting in conflict. When engaging in communication, some people prefer a direct and brief message while others like an engaging conversation. In addition, Han et al. (2017) believe that some cultures require one to communicate using non-verbal cues prioritizing written communication. Interaction between people from the two cultures could result in conflict due to a lack of understanding of their partner’s communication context.
In addition, the level of power distance shape how subordinates interact with their superiors in an organization. A low power distance culture involves employees interacting freely with their leaders while engaging in decision-making activities. High power distance requires the subordinate to strictly adhere to the rules of their leaders (Han et al., 2017). Interaction between people from the two cultures could result in conflict as they expect different reactions. Employees from a low power distance culture could challenge a leader’s decision in a high power culture resulting in a misunderstanding. Numerous efforts should be placed on interpretation during interactions of people from diverse power distance cultures.
While conflicts are bound to occur in a culturally diverse environment, organizational leaders must address the conflict with just. Cultural differences impact the level of employee’s job satisfaction, happiness, and the success of the organization. (Felipe et al., 2017). Also, they should establish team-building activities that enable employees to understand each other and evaluate a conflict without discrimination. Cultural diversity could have a positive impact on organizational success when embraced.
Chua, E. G., & Gudykunst, W. B. (2017). Conflict resolution styles in low-and high-context cultures. Communication Research Reports, 4(1). Web.
Felipe, C. M., Roldán, J. L., & Leal-Rodríguez, A. L. (2017). Impact of organizational culture values on organizational agility. Sustainability, 9(12), 2354. Web.
Han, D., Lalwani, A. K., & Duhachek, A. (2017). Power distance belief, power, and charitable giving. Journal of Consumer Research, 44(1), 182-195. Web.
Jeong, J. Y., & Crompton, J. L. (2018). Do subjects from high and low context cultures attribute different meanings to tourism services with 9-ending prices?. Tourism Management, 64, 110-118. Web.