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Scientific innovations and inventions have accelerated the growth of globalization. Nations can easily trade, socialize, share ideas, and assist each other in different spheres of life.
Improved international relations have enabled the movement of factors of production among nations with minimal barriers to trade. The cooperation has led to social, political, and economical globalization; although neither of the above three classifications of globalization have been fully attained, their effects can be felt in economic, political, and social spheres of life.
Critics of globalization appreciate that it has positive effect on economic wellbeing of countries. However they are quick to point out that globalization has high culture and identity loss/costs (Sheila 56). They are of the opinion that modernization has the potential of running roughshod over the world’s distinctive cultures and creates a single world which resembles a tawdry mall. This paper discuses the effect of globalization on a world culture.
Globalization and culture
Culture is the identity of people that any member adheres to. It has some defined attributes, some of them are written and others are not. The set way of operation that is governed by some cultural, communal, and societal goals assists in holding people together and creates a norm in the community.
When people trade, socialize or interact with each other in a way it has been enabled by globalization, there is the tendency that they will lose their identity and inherit a system of operation or a certain mode of conduct that is generally accepted by the community (in this instance, the word community has been used to refer to the larger global community created by globalization).
According to Tyler Cowen, modernization and cultural globalization have resulted into the growth of creativity, innovation, and invention among communities. When people interact, they tend to learn the other parties’ way of operation and the difference is likely to trigger some creative mind for the benefit of the two parties.
The above observation by Tyler Cowen can be interpolated either negatively or positively; from a positive angle, modernization has created a room for invention and innovation. On a negative note, the world is utilizing the differences it has as failing to create more differences that future generation is likely to run out of creative mind, as there will be lack of motivation in the form of current culture differences.
For example, in the 1950s, Cuban Music and Reggae was produced in Cuba with the target consumers as American Tourists who visited the country. In Cuba, the style of music was part of their tradition that the Americans loved to sing along. With diffusion of culture and more exposure, the style of music has been adopted by the Americans, and today it is played in modern clubs and bars.
Today, if a Cuban was to visit the United States, he or she was likely to feel accommodated by the structures as there are some similar attributes that he/she gets. In either French or German restaurants, a shopper is able to buy Sushi (Japanese foods consisting of cooked vinegared rice (shari) combined with other ingredients (neta)). Such a move shows how Japanese have been accommodated in both European countries (Sheila 256).
With cultural globalization, people of different cultures, ethnicities, nationalities, religions, and values find themselves in the same atmosphere where no one has the freedom to fully adhere or practice his culture. With such kind of setting, the most probable thing that can happen is people to develop a set of culture that will assist them transact business despite their differences.
The net result is a global culture; the effect and extent that global culture has gone in the world varied among nations and continents; developed countries have their culture more diffused and uniformity can be seen from their way of operation. In developing countries, there is a tendency of resistance to change the culture, but the force therein is strong. Efforts to change the culture of people are not deliberate, but they are necessitated by the prevailing condition in the world.
In contemporary business environments, organizations hire employees of different nationalities, ethnic backgrounds, cultural believes, intellectual capacity, and age. The nature and mix of employees calls for management to develop policies and management mechanisms that will gain from the differences in their human capital; to manage the diverse personnel, business leaders need to adopt international human resources management strategy (IHRM).
The policies that organizations embark on should entail policies that address diverse human resource issues; organization stands to benefit from diversity if the right management policies are set in place, but there is the risk that the differences create uniform business practice. With diffusion of cultures, management can enact some common human resource policies that cut across its diverse human capital. However, care should be exercised since chances of repellence in the event policies seem to be confronting with culture of people.
When managing human capital of different nationalities, businesses leaders should make policies that can assist in tapping their organization’s personnel’s intellectual capacity, as it grows their talents and skills. Culture is likely to affect people in different spheres, thus when companies have diverse human resources, they have to ensure that their programs are sensitive to the differences in culture and beliefs.
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When working in different countries, management should never assume that the human management style adopted in the country is fully-effective and applicable to another country; they should take their time, understand what the other country’s employee value and consider best. Management gurus continue to offer insights of how culture and ethnicity of a people affect their performance in their works; they have suggested culture intelligence to assist organization handle their employees effectively regardless of their nationality.
When making business decisions, the culture and exposure that someone has is likely to affect the kind of decision that he is going to make; people who are exposed to the right materials through televisions, the internet, and print media are likely to make more informed decisions. With culture globalization, there has been exposure to different settings and information is available through the assistance of communication channels; the resultant community is an informed community that can make quality decisions for the exploitation of available resources effectively.
Differences in norms and culture among different ethnicity, nationalities, and communities has been a hindrance to effective trade, to some extent, the differences have acted as non tariff barriers that has hindered the development of trade.
When people interact and change their cultural beliefs to adopt a uniform set of beliefs, they are breaking the unseen barriers of trade and create a room for more business, ideas, equality, and economic development. For example, among the Muslims, Women had been regarded as inferior to men and they could hardly be allowed to take leadership positions.
With the interaction with Christians and getting their take on the same, there has been a wave in the community that has enabled them to seek leadership positions like men have. The above case has shown how culture globalization has created opportunities to different people and enabled women to get more opportunities. In the developed worlds, the state and position of the woman had been respected long before the same was done in developing worlds.
As the developed and developing countries trade among each other, the developing countries are getting into the system and women have started to have their positions in the communities. Gender differences has been minimized by globalization, there has been the reduction on gender differences among communities were human beings can now relate more as people not on gender grounds as the case had been when culture globalization was not adhered to.
The rights of girl child campaigns have gained roots in different countries as culture diffuses to reinforce and create awareness to the need to protect women and reduce gender differences that have prevailed among communities for a lengthy duration.
When people of different cultures interact, they develop the sense of togetherness and there are shared common interests that are developed; globalization has enabled the interaction, as well as sharing of ideas, opinions, view points and ways of doing things in a way that facilitates trade. Trade prevails better when the trading partners have some common values, attributes, and beliefs.
Culture globalization has enabled people to have the same perception and attitude towards similar products; with the similarity, peace and harmony in doing and handling issues have been developed. When there is peace and harmony, business and trade prevail effectively.
When people share culture, it means that when someone is in a geographical location different from his or hers, coping will be easy as there will be likelihood that the person will get something that is the same with what he or she beliefs.
For example, although the Chinese food is different from American food, a Chinese visiting the United States only need to establish the restaurant selling Chinese food as the nature and the diversity has been accepted by both the communities. Sales and marketers have much to benefit from globalized world, they can easily develop new formats and marketing strategies developed can be similar and message passed remains the same.
According to Benjamin Barber, one of the main challenges that have been brought about by globalization is culture borrowing and culture mimicry; with the borrowing and mimicry people have lost their sense of identity that someone can manage to treat his brother wrongly and hide under the new system of global culture.
Although culture globalization has not been fully attained, there are moves that indicate that its full operation cannot happen. In areas like religion (religion is an aspect of culture), changing people’s religious believes have been a challenge. The existence of some elements that can hardly change results to the notion of global culture being a mere statement by advocators of the integration, the situation cannot be attained.
Some industries in the globe exist because of differences in culture of people, for example, the tourism industry is much dependent on the cultural differences of people in different places. With culture diffusion, the industry is likely to suffer a huge blow.
In Kenya, the East African country whose tourism is the second earner of the foreign exchange has multicultural where the tourisms from different countries visit to enjoy and learn the diversity of the country’s population.
The move to global culture is thus likely to injure some industries while supporting others. Culture within communities is supported by generally agreed attributes that passes from one generation to another. The “nature of passing” of modern global culture is challenging as people or the global community has not set mechanisms to pass the culture, reinforce, or even punish offender.
To pass the global culture, the materials that young generation become exposed to modern methods of passing information like television, radio, the internet, peers, and written materials. When such materials have been used to pass culture, there are high chances that young generation will get reinforcement of culture which is not good. Global culture is more likely to be for the larger global community benefit, but rarely does it address issue of an individual.
With the structures and development of global culture, there cannot be said to have an effective method of culture reinforcement or a system to punish offender. This means that the culture is vulnerable to changes and hicks ups. Any small attribute or change in the global world is likely to shake the culture of the people since it’s not based on a strong foundation.
With globalization, companies can work in different parts of the world as multinationals; however they have to be sensitive to the nature of products, services, and structure of employees they deploy. Multinationals generally have three main methods to get their employees on board, they use a localization approach, expatriates approach, and a third country approach.
To maintain quality and quantity workforce, the management should ensure that they are aware of the culture of people and manage them effectively. The challenge that multinationals have is putting the notion that with culture globalization, there is uniformity, thus there is no need to have culture intelligence and culture awareness programs.
For example, Pepsi has been a major competitor in the American industry as its style is more American, however the brand has not maintained strong competitiveness in African countries since its style of marketing and sales fails to meet the needs of the continents culture. The above example shows how the notion of global culture has been mis-interpolated (Sheila 256).
Other than human resources, department maintaining qualified and efficient human capital at the most affordable cost possible, they have the role of ensuring they combine their human capital in a manner that will benefit the entire organization.
Diversity and difference in culture by itself offers an organization rich knowledge, opinions, values, and experience, with culture globalization such important attributes to business competitiveness are lost; before an organization decides to fill a certain vacancy in its system, the human resources should liaise with the departmental heads to know exactly the kind of qualification that are sort for, in some instances, the management may advice for some age gap, nationality, gender, and experience.
It is through effective recruitment that an organization can build an effective team that meets its personnel requirement needs. When enacting empowerment and motivational policies or schemes, the management should ensure that the diversity of its employees has been considered.
There are people who are generally team-players, others prefer individualism, and others are charismatic leaders. When making decision, it is important to consider the diversity. Management gurus has continually advised companies to have culture coaches when operating in a country they are not very sure of the nature and the culture of the people; with the coaches, they can develop orchestrate teams and make products that meet the requirement of customers in the country.
Diverse human resource can be biennial to an organization is managed effectively; failure to manage diversity effectively means exposure to risks. Management gurus have continued to support the use of culture intelligence and culture awareness programs to support the culture awareness within organizations; those companies that have undertaken the advice are doing better than those who have not.
Although cultural globalization has build strong operating base through which trade can prevail, it has brought some challenges to the world and the people in general. The lack of identity has resulted into sharing of values likely to dilute societal values and norms.
When the community lacks strong values that are maintained with a certain mechanism, the result is a disintegrated society were social evils are the order of the day. For example, in developed countries, one of the vises that the countries are dealing with is use of drugs and substance abuse by young people.
Although this is taken as a normal condition or social evil, psychologists have suggested that lack of strong values and low behavior standards by young people can be to blame. When the blame is further analyzed, it is seen that parents are not able to raise morally upright children as they have less regard to their cultural beliefs and practices which they consider to have been eroded by globalization.
With diffusion of cultures, there is less emphasis on family and societal values, parents and the community in general seem to ignore the need to maintain, pass and transfer culture to younger generations. When culture is not transferred, children are exposed to new global culture that might be different from the norm.
The results are the families that have low moral standards and which values are questionable. Generally, organizations require physical, human, and informational resources for their operation; business-leaders should realize that human capital is the most crucial capital their organizations have.
In a modern globalized world, organizations have diverse human capital; to manage the capital effectively, companies need to adopt international human resources management strategy. The strategy assists an organization benefit from its personnel diversity as it mitigates risks associated with a diverse workforce. With culture globalization the workforce seems to have the same ideologies an attributes that hinder creativity, innovation, and invention (Sheila 56-78).
Globalization has resulted into culture diffusion, culture sharing, and multiculturalism; the uniformity in culture facilitates trade among nations and promotes international relations and understanding.
However, multiculturalism has been blamed of dilution of people’s cultural values, norms, and virtues. Multiculturalism has also been challenged as a mere statement by business philosophers that will not be attained in the near future as family structures vary among different parts of the globe.
Sheila, Lucy. Globalization and Belonging: The Politics of Identity in a Changing World. London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004.