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Eight Cultural Differences in the Workplace

Discuss any two of the following cultural differences you have observed in your workplace and how these differences affected communication.

* Degree of formality in the communication
* Social customs such as exchanging business cards, gifts, bowing, etc.
* Styles of dress
* Different uses of time, views of punctuality, etc.
* Tolerance for disagreement or conflict
* Gender roles
* Self-Disclosure
* Nonverbal Behavior

Solution Preview

This solution provides information for each of the eight cultural differences that should help you focus on two situations and relate them to your own workplace experience.

1. Degree of formality in the communication

Certain cultures are very formal and consider it disrespectful when emails, memos, or verbal communication from management or between co-workers is too "familiar." Conversely, for other cultures "formal" communication is reserved for serious situations, for disciplinary action, and the like, and when used regularly can be unsettling and make employees feel uncomfortable or threatened.

2. Social customs such as exchanging business cards, gifts, bowing, etc.

In diverse workplaces, many social customs are not familiar to everyone. The exchange of business cards seems to be fairly common in American workplaces, but the giving of gifts can mean different things. For example, in an organization that accepts bids for construction projects, accepting a gift from someone who could bid on a job presents a conflict of interest, unethical behavior, or the acceptance of a bribe especially if the gift is expensive and the gift giver is ultimately awarded the contract.

Most U.S. companies have rules against accepting gifts over a specific dollar amount to avoid the appearance of any unethical behavior. This may be insulting to someone of another culture who was offering the gift merely as a friendly ...

Solution Summary

In the expanding diverse workplaces of the 21st Century, employees and employers are faced with cultural differences among the workforce that requires knowledge, expertise, and sensitivity to manage. This 911-word solution provides information for each of the eight cultural differences in this assignment. The student can use the information provided in this solution to choose two differences and relate them to their own workplace experience.

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