BU52021 Assignment Sample – INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT 2022
Cultural shock is a phenomenon experienced by an individual when he or she moves from one place to another. According to the view of Septiana and Rahmawanti, (2020), the differences between the environments of the two places cause cultural shock for an individual. The term can be used to refer to personal disorientation, which an individual can feel when he or she experiences an unfamiliar way of life in an unknown environment.
It can be said that culture shock is a feeling of uncertainty, anxiety, confusion or depression experienced by people when they are shifted into a society that is completely different from their own society. It can occur when people do business, go to another country for studies or move to another city or country. As influenced by Hudriati et al. (2017), the syndromes of cultural shock arise when an individual feels unfamiliarity with local customs and behaviours.
In order to deal with such situations, many companies around the world often provide training to their expatriates to acclimate and reduce cultural gaps so that they can perform better for a company. According to the view of Zinia et al. (2018), cultural shock occurs when people leave the comfort of their home and go to a completely foreign land, whether it is for business operation, job, schooling or permanent shift.
The impact of cultural shock can be intense if the difference between two locations is massive, for instance, shifting to a metropolitan area in another country from a small rural area. As opined by Sevim and Hall, (2018), cultural shock can also be experienced when people move from one area to another within the same country.
The feeling of staying abroad can be intense at the beginning; however, the syndrome of cultural shock usually fades away with time. For instance, a traveller gets used to new places, customs, and food and becomes comfortable with it with time.
There are specifically four stages of cultural shock, which is known as Oberg’s four stages model. People dealing with cultural shock usually go through four phases of Ober’s model. The four stages of this model have been discussed below:
The phase of Honeymoon
The first stage of Oberg’s four stages model is the honeymoon phase, as people initially are thrilled to be in a new and different environment. At first, staying in foreign places is considered to be adventurous by people shifting to new places. As opined by Sevim and Hall, (2018), if an individual is on a short trip, then adventurous feeling continues till the end of the trip.
In this period, the difference between old and new cultures is seen in the light of romance. For instance, in the initial phase of moving from one place to another, people at first can like new surroundings, foods, living standards and local habitats. During the first few weeks, most of the people who visit foreign places feel fascinated about the new culture.
They interact and associate with new people who can speak their language and are polite to foreigners. However, this phase ends soon, just like any other honeymoon phase. Honeymoon phase for people who shift to a new country for a long-period eventually ends, even if they want it to stay. According to the view of Rese (2018), the honeymoon stage passes out soon, and people are hit by cultural shock once this phase is over.
The phase of negotiation
The second stage of Oberg’s four-stage model is the negotiation or frustration phase. It is considered to be the most difficult phase of cultural shock. People living in foreign countries and those who travel frequently are mostly familiar with this situation. After a few months of stay, for instance, two to three months (depending on individual), and the difference between two cultures becomes apparent, which can create anxiety among people staying abroad.
The excitement of the honeymoon stage may give way to some unpleasant experiences, which can make people feel frustrated and angry.
This is mostly because they continuously experience unpleasant and unfavourable events that can perceive strange and unfamiliar to the culture of an individual staying abroad. According to the view of Septiana and Rahmawanti, (2020), the fatigue of not understanding signs, languages, and gestures begins, which may cause miscommunication frequently.
Language barriers, differences in hygiene practices, traffic safety, accessibility and quality of food may give rise to a sense of disconnection from the surroundings. At this stage, small things may cause severe frustration among people living in foreign countries, such as missing a bus, losing keys or not being able to order food conveniently.
As influenced by Farcaș (2020), people at this stage feel frustrated and longing to go home where things are familiar as well as comfortable for them. For instance, students studying abroad develop feelings of loneliness and homesickness which eventually affects their lifestyle.
Due to the stress of living in a foreign country without the support of their parents, students often feel anxious and feel more pressured in adjusting to a new culture.
The phase of Adaptation
The phase of frustration is toned down after a period of time, usually 6 to 12 months (depending on the individual). People shifting to new places often feel used to and more comfortable in a new culture in this phase. This phase is called the adaptation phase of Oberg’s four-stage model. In the adaptation phase, people become more familiar and comfortable with different food, culture, people as well as language.
As argued by Fitriana and Intan Pradita, (2020), navigation becomes easier in this stage, and the support of friends and communities are established. Details of local languages become more recognizable in the adaptation phase of this model. For instance, students visiting abroad for obtaining a degree course may feel comfortable with the surroundings in the adaptation phase.
The phase of Acceptance
As the above mentioned emotional phases pass, the final stage of cultural shock occurs, which is the acceptance phase. Acceptance phase does not mean that new cultures and surroundings are completely understood by individuals shifting to foreign countries. It is rather a realization that a complete understanding of a new culture or surroundings is not necessary for residing in a foreign land (Fitriana and Intan Pradita, 2020).
During this stage, an individual can have familiarity and can chalk down the resources they need to feel at ease in foreign countries. For instance, people visiting any foreign country do not make a comparison between their culture and the new culture at this stage.
The conceptualization of diversity revolves around the idea of respect and Acceptance of diverse culture and belief. It simply means understanding that every individual around the world is unique. As argued by Fitriana and IntanPradita, (2020), recognizing differences between individuals and accepting them the way they are can be defined as diversity.
It can include different dimensions such as race, caste, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and so on. Diversity can be referred to as exploration of these distinct factors in a safe, nurturing as well as the polite environment. It is a phenomenon of moving beyond tolerance and understanding each other by embracing and celebrating the prosperous dimensions of diversity residing inside each individual.
It is a reality that has been created by people around the world on the basis of a broad spectrum of philosophical and demographic differences between people. According to the view of Fitri and Murtiningrum, (2020), supporting diversity is extremely important in every field, such as in a business organization.
Respecting diversity at the workplace can help the organization to create a healthy environment which in turn can ensure the smooth functioning of an organization.
The term inclusion refers to practice or policy to provide equal opportunities and resources for everyone, especially those who might be marginalized. For example, people with mental or physical disabilities and people belonging to minority groups. It can be defined as a state of being included or made a significant part of something. For instance, when a book undercover many ideas, it can be called the inclusion of many ideas.
According to the view of Fitri and Murtiningrum, (2020), when people belonging to different sectors are called upon to form a group, it is known as the inclusion of people from different groups. The term inclusion is often seen as universal human rights.
The main objective of these phenomena is to embrace all the people irrespective of their caste, creed, race, gender, disability or medical needs. It simply means getting rid of discrimination and providing even opportunities and access to everything to every individual residing on earth.
Job performance can be defined as the overall expected value from each individual employee of an organization. It determines the behaviour of employees working in an organization over a period of time. Job performance can be termed as a property of behaviour, for instance, what people at work do for the betterment of an organization.
According to the view of Fitri and Murtiningrum, (2020), the behaviour of an employee has the expected value of an organization and hence, it can be noted that the job performance of each individual employee of an organization determines its overall profitability. The behaviour of every employee can be distinguished on the basis of work or help they do for the growth of an organization.
The outcomes of unique behaviours of every employee are measured; therefore, it can be said that their value is expected. Job performance of employees can be further broken down into two parts such as contextual performance and task performance.
Relationship between diversity and inclusion
Diversity and inclusion are often related to each other, and it is almost impossible to discuss inclusion without highlighting its relationship with diversity. As stated by López (2020), the graphic provided below shows the intersections as well as primary and secondary dimensions of diversity.
Talking about the relationship between diversity and inclusion, it can be said that increasing diversity is the first and most prominent step towards more inclusive governance. Inclusive governance is needed to ensure the inclusion of every individual in terms of the provision of rights and freedom.
According to the view of Chung et al. (2020), inclusion can be denoted as the difference between being invited to a party and being asked to engage more freely in the party, such that to dance and enjoy.
Figure 1: Dimensions of diversity
(Source: Brimhall et al. 2017)
The main reason for talking about inclusive governance is not to be analytic about any board or its practices. As influenced by Brimhall et al. (2017), if individual talks about diversity, then talking about inclusion is the next suitable step. Therefore, it can be noted that the terms diversity and inclusion are closely related to each other.
The relation between diversity and inclusion show ways to create more compatible governance, which can include and welcome differences so that everyone feels that they are alike and have similar rights. The relationship between diversity and inclusion is important to ensure justice to every individual around the world irrespective of their caste, gender and other important factors.
Relationship between diversity and job performance
Diversity in the workplace directly affects the job performance of employees working in an organization. It can be said that diversity in the workplace can determine the efficiency of its employees. People belonging to diverse regions and sections come under a roof to work for an organization. Therefore, it can be noted that the workplace of an organization is one of the most significant places which reflects diverse culture.
According to the view of Mousa (2017), the diverse culture of a workplace can often be a reason for conflict as it can cause many issues within an organization, such as communication issues. However, maintaining diversity properly can help the workers of an organization to deal with all such issues. Proper maintenance of diversity in a business organization can enhance the job performance of each employee working in it.
This, in turn, can increase their job productivity which can be beneficial for the overall business of the company. Adopting diversity management as well as a diverse workforce by managers of an organization can help them enhance employees’ behaviour which can add several traits to the organization which can enhance the job performance of both its employees as well as the organization.
Relationship between inclusion and job performance
Inclusion in the workplace can decrease the stress levels of employees, which in turn can enhance their job performance. Exclusion is one of the prime reasons for increasing workplace stress among the employees of an organization.
As influenced by van de Brake et al. (2018), employees often feel disheartened and dissatisfied when they do not feel included in various jobs related to their organization which has negative impacts on their job performance. Therefore, in order to enhance the job performance of employees, an organization needs to make them feel included and need to promote a sense of inclusion within them.
Retaining valuable employees after a global assignment is one of the major reasons which determine the success of an organization. In this section of the study, successful training of repatriated employees working in Rio Tinto has been discussed (Riotinto.com, 2021). The multinational mining and metal corporation has recently been dealing with the issue of retaining its valuable employees.
In this context, the company needs to provide proper training to its repatriated employees in order to retain them. The company needs to recognize ways to face the challenge related to repatriated employees (Lloyd and Mertens, 2018). There are various steps in which the organization can help and train its employees in order to retain them and avoid the risk of repatriation. The vital steps to provide training repatriation in Rio Tinto are as discussed below:
Repatriates can play a significant role in helping the organization to grow and develop a global workforce by serving the organization as a mentor for the expatriates going for global projects. Conversation between expatriates and repatriates can help the expatriates to understand the positive aspects of international projects. It can also help the expatriate to stay alert while working on a global project (Buengeler et al. 2018).
Conducting forums for repatriate
It is the prime responsibility of human resource management to convey the value of international experience to the employees. Rio Tinto needs to construct a group of repatriates who can share knowledge on international projects regularly with the expatriates. This can boost the confidence of expatriates, which eventually can enhance their performance (Gassanova, 2021).
Proper training is essential for an employee to deliver the best performance for organizational development. This event can be conducted in a very simple way, such as meeting with the top management or the human resource manager (Davoine et al. 2018). The human resource manager is responsible for providing proper training to the new employees so that they can easily cooperate with the other employees in the organization for huge productivity.
Dealing with cultural shock
Employees that have worked at their home culture are supposed to get shocked after they join another organization in a different region. Cultural shock is quite natural for any employee if they enter into a completely new business environment (Burmeister, 2017). Proper training can mitigate such issues in an organization. However, reverse culture shock can impact the overall business performance of an organization (Burmeister et al. 2018).
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