• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12

Culture Shock

Extracts from this document...


Culture Shock 1 Definition of Culture Culture as the most complex terms has countless different definitions ranging from complicated phrases to the simple statement describing culture as "the way we do things around here". The widely used definition of culture is that of Meads (1951), "A body of learned behaviour, a collection of beliefs, habits and traditions, shared by a group of people and successively learned by people who enter the society"(Joynt and Warner, 1996, P. 33). Hofstede(1980) created the very illustrative definition of culture as "the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another". Again to Hofstede's option, culture is learned not inherited, it is not impossible to learn new cultural traits and to unlearn old ones (Manz, 2003, online). Therefore, it must be feasible to integrate cultural differences. Culture has significant influence on the behaviour of individuals. In general, a person's perceptions, attitudes, motivations, values, learning experience and personality are shaped by culture. The importance of culture lies in the fact that it provides the body of knowledge and techniques that enable people to act, both physically and socially, in the world and make sense of the people and around world . (Forester, 2000, p.63) Culture items 'above the waterline' include language, food, festival, clothing and dress, architecture and art. Those ''below water line' are much more numerous and include business ethics, values, morality, facial and body language, male/female relationships, family fidelity, learning style, work motivation and employee loyalty(Forester, 2000, P.64). It is essential to understand and respect the different element of culture if people have to adapt to working and living in foreign culture. With the rapid process of globalization, the individual's ability to adapt to new cultures is one of the most important elements of a successful assignment. Hence, anyone working on an international assignment has to be knowledge about the cultural aspects of the environment they are moving to. ...read more.


Of course this model only describes an ideal process of Culture Shock and adaptation. Not every individual in every situation goes through the process according to Oberg�s model. The development of real conflicts can differ significantly. On the one hand some intercultural encounters cannot make it through the crisis phase and no way of communication and recovery can be found. Instead of improving understanding and accepting differences the conflict escalates and finally leads to separation. On the other hand there are intercultural encounters that only show minor effects of crisis or even no Culture Shock at all. Another criticism to the model is that the phases do not necessarily appear in such a strict sequence. Marx found it to be more realistic to use a model "that is not strictly linear but integrates a dynamic and repetitive cycle of positive and negative phases until you break through Culture Shock." 5. How to deal with Culture Shock - Possible Solutions 5.1. The need for effective International Human Resources Management Due to international growth of companies, the building of strategic alliances and networks or cross-cultural mergers and acquisitions the number of expatriates increased significantly over the last 30 years. Becoming an expatriate is usually associated with possibilities to increase salary, career opportunities, and self-development. Nevertheless, an international assignment also goes along with a high social pressure in the family or relationship, the temporary or permanent loss of social relations, a risk for career planning, and depending on the host country considerable Culture Shock and integration problems. The limited availability of personnel willing and capable of working abroad for an extended period of time as well as the specialized requirements of the job and the need for internal recruitment oftentimes leads to the fact that there is only a small number of candidates to choose from. As a consequence, in many cases the candidate chosen is simply "the man who happened to be there". ...read more.


Nevertheless, no wonders should be expected from preparatory training. It is not possible within the framework of usually rather short training programs to reprogram adults who are socialized in one culture. Of course it is not the aim of training to change the total mindset of an individual, that would be the wrong approach. It is rather the effort to create a certain openness towards foreign and sometimes bewildering attitudes and behavior, cultural awareness and skills, and therefore intercultural competence. 3.3.2. Practical assistance - Help and support during the assignment Practical assistance contributes significantly toward the adaptation of the expatriate and his family. Being left to fend for themselves would most likely increase the negative effects of Culture Shock and thus make adjustment much more difficult and stressful for all persons involved. In order to avoid the feeling of being left alone many companies offer support in establishing a pattern of day-to-day life including friends, banks, shopping, laundry, transportation, and so on. The sooner this routine is set up the better are the prospects that the expatriates will adapt successfully. Some companies even have an own relocation service that helps expatriates with all tasks from planning the travel to organizing schools for the children. Other important aspects during the actual assignment include professional support, permanent information about developments in the parent operation, regular communication between domestic mentor and expatriate, information trips to the home operation, and training programs. All these measures help to prevent the "out of sight - out of mind" phenomenon that contributes to the problems of re-entry shock. The permanent information flow reduces the irritation about organizational changes in the parent operation and facilitates reintegration. A domestic mentor plays a crucial role when it comes to finding a new position for the former expatriate. The returnee has to deal with many difficulties and drawbacks when resettling and having an influential supporter during this time is worth a lot. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Comparing poems section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Comparing poems essays

  1. Examine the way in which Culture affects the relationships of the main characters in ...

    with at dams or pools on neighboring farms wore bikinies but the sight of their bellies and thighs in sunlight had never made him fell what he felt now, when the girl (Thebedi) came up the bank and sat beside him, the drops of water beading off her dark legs

  2. Max Dupain Assignment

    Max Dupain carefully composed his images to emphasise this formality. Using techniques contrasting those of pictorialism that had been prominent in other Australian photographers at the time, Dupain refined his photographs with disciplined composition and sharp adherence to modern guidelines.

  1. Free essay

    Love and loss

    telling her husband to remember her and that their relationship will end in her death, but in the last 6 lines she has a softer less demanding tone compared to the first 8 lines, she also realises her death could cause a lot of grief for her husband.

  2. Clash of cultures coursework

    The subject of relationships is also used in "The Train from Rhodesia" to emphasise the point in the story that all human relationships, including within the white ruling, are contaminated by apartheid's brutalising attitudes: "Through the glass the beer drinkers looked out, as if they could not see beyond it".

  1. Different Cultures

    This demonstrates how she realised Paulus was just another white mane and to him she was just a black woman. It was as simple as that. I think that Njambulo played a huge role in Country Lovers because he supported Thebedi and he didn't care whether the baby was his or not.

  2. What is a culture? How does it affect the behaviour of an individual?

    - In section 4 notions of organisation culture and its importance for organisations is discussed. - Section 5 defines the organisational culture of IKEA and compares it with Swedish culture to see how much is it affected by national culture.

  1. Not My Business and 'District 6' compared.

    The narrator continues to stress District 6's destruction, 'trodden on, crunch in tall, purple-flowering amiable weeds'. He repeats the same idea twice using 'trodden on' and 'crunch' for emphasis showing the unchanged situation of district 6. The poet further uses the narrator to show a sense of belonging to District 6 in the second stanza, 'my feet...my hands...my lungs...my eyes.'

  2. What can you learn about teenage fashion from source one?

    But in source 4 it says that they were 'studied with respect'. We can infer from this that the adults paid attention to the teenagers. The sources are probably contradicting themselves because of the time span, source one was about the 1950s and source four is about 1961.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work