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Introduction

Running Head: COMPARATIVE INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT Comparative International Management and cultural Differences [Name of the writer] [Name of the institution] Comparative International Management and cultural Differences This study is a reflection of the relatively recent drive to acknowledge cultural diversity within psychological research and theory (e.g., Pepitone & Triandis, 2005, p85). Along with Betancourt and Lopez (2002, p11), we assert that a main restriction of popular psychological theories has been that they have ignored culture, and, consequently, have lacked universality. We argue that cultural differences may significantly affect judgments made by researchers and managers when making (a) observations for data collection, (b) performance appraisals in a diverse workplace, and (c) decisions within an international business context. A common assumption underlying the previous research is that for a given observation target, a group of observers can be selected to meet the requirements of the observational study, regardless of the context. However, when the purpose of the observation is to collect data for cross-cultural studies or to make decisions in international management, this assumption becomes questionable. A single group of observers, no matter how carefully selected, may not satisfy all demands of an observational study. ...read more.

Middle

An example will illustrate this problem. (Abel 1998 p94) In the aforementioned scenario, should it be concluded that one cultural group possesses higher observational accuracy than the other? For example, should one simply reject the Asian observers' scores as poor because they lead to completely different results? For observations conducted in cross-cultural studies and for decisions being made in an international management context, it may be more interesting and useful to consider the results of both groups. The same logic is true for the external validity of the findings based on observational research. When conducted for similar purposes (collecting data for cross-cultural studies or for decisions in international management), any consideration of external validity should also include the recognition of cultural differences. Given the purpose of the observation (i.e., collecting data for cross-cultural studies or for decisions in international management), the effects of cultural differences should be considered in the entire process of the observational study, that is, before and after the actual observation takes place. To support this argument and to provide a specific illustration of the need to consider cultural differences, we conducted a laboratory study to examine the effects of cultural differences on observers' ratings. ...read more.

Conclusion

(Ambady 2004 p31) Conclusion The results of this study also suggest that differences in culture can impede effective interaction among managers from different cultures. This implication is important for practitioners working in an international management context, as well as within culturally diverse organizations. For example, when employees are evaluated, the cultural or behavioural preferences of observers from different countries or cultures may lead to different assessment results, even though these observers may have actually observed the same behaviour. Biased data may be collected from the observations, and this bias can affect the quality of management decisions. (Erez 2003 p85) Finally, this study has some limitations because we did not measure each of the cultural values directly. Without these measurements, the relationships between the cultural values and the scores from the observers were difficult to confirm. In other words, the next stage is to collect a more comprehensive set of empirical data that more directly ties cultural differences to observational differences. Also, it should be pointed out that, at present, our knowledge regarding the effects of cultural differences on observation and judgment making is very limited. This important issue merits further research attention. Continuing attempts must be made to capture the complexity of the relationship between cultural differences among observers and their observation or judgment making. ...read more.

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