Cultural Awareness

Abstract
Within this report the aim is for organisations to develop and maintain positive attitudes towards cultural differences within the International Hospitality industry - Cultural Awareness introduction. This report will help to maintain and determine the opportunities that organisations can achieve if their limitations to cross-cultural competence can be avoided and by ensuring that the organisation implies an attitude of cross-cultural respect.

Introduction

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Globalization has become a growing trend for organisations and that means they have to develop an effective international management strategies that will resolve the current issues, this means that organisations has to have a more systematic approach and understanding of value that diversity benefits brings into the International Hospitality industry. (19/10/2013)). Cultural diversity has become the most important factor in the working life within the hospitality industry due to becoming more diverse in the terms of race, ethnicity, national origin and other personnel characteristics of their staff members (Shaw and Barrett-Power, 1998). There isn’t any agreed definition for the term, but there is a new guidance from the Chartered Management Institute (2008) and they have suggested that it is about: “Valuing the differences between people and the ways in which those differences can contribute to a richer, more creative and more productive environment” The most visible term of diversity can be seen as (age, gender and colour) though the non-visible differences are (culture, religion and disability) these have been founded on the premise that adapting these differences which will help create a more productive environment for which every employee feels valued, also where their talents are being identified and fully used for in which their organisational goals are met (Kandola and Fullerton, 1998).

What Culture is?
“The word culture can be said to be referred to the lifestyle of an entire society, also the term culture can be used in anthropology to help refer to a complex system of beliefs, values and codes of conduct. Society sees cultural differences as the variations in the way of life, traditions, beliefs and the laws that surrounds different countries, societies, religions and also people” (Business Dictionary) (18/10/2013). “Here are some examples of cultural differences and they are as following” (18/10/2013): 1. Clothing – For example Scottish men wears kilts to express their heritage. 2. Food – For example Islam people aren’t allowed to eat pork. 3. Language – For example Scottish people have their own language to communicate with one another. 4. Rules/ Laws – For example the European rules and regulations are different from United States of America’s rules and regulations.

What Attitude is and how it is manifested?
“Attitude is a predisposition or tendency to react positively or negatively that is aimed at a certain object, person, idea or a current situation” (BusinessDictonary 18/10/2013). “It also has a huge influence on an individual’s choice of action and also which can be influenced by an individual’s response to a certain challenge, incentives and rewards (together these can be called stimuli)” (BusinessDictonary 18/10/2013 “They are four major components that influence attitude and how an individual reacts and they are”: 1. Affective: An individual’s emotions and feelings towards another person can alter the affect they have for the person. 2. Cognitive: An individual’s belief or their opinions can differ from other people’s beliefs to their culture and background. 3. Conative: An individual’s inclination for the required action to ensure that they can accept the differences of another person culture and background. 4. Evaluative: An individual’s positive or negative response to stimuli for them to take action on their attitude towards a certain person’s culture and background.

An individual’s attitude can also be affected by the way that person has been brought up by their parents, it also can be influenced by a person’s emotion and behaviour. Another theorist has describes that a person attitude towards cultural diversity can be stated into two categories which is ethnocentric to ethnorelative stages, this is describe by (Milton Bennett appendix 1) my understanding of his Milton Bennett’s DMIS model is that it helps to describe the perspectives and behaviours that individuals face with cultural difference, and helps to identify and outlines a “continuum” of increasing cultural awareness, understanding, and adjustment.

Implementing a management strategy towards cultural diversity within the International Hospitality Industry For organisations to manage effectively within a global or a domestic multicultural environment, they will need to recognize that they are differences and also learn to use these to their advantage, instead of attempting to ignore all the current differences or just simply allowing the differences to cause problems (Adler, 1997). It is said that managers should be taught how to adapt and respect the differences with work and also how to maximize the contribution of each employee (Cascio, 1998). Managers and their employees have to recognize that cultural diversity has its own potential advantages and disadvantages that helps to define an organisation’s strategy to help them manage cultural diversity within the workplace. Alder (1997) has identified the following strategies for managing cultural differences. And these are as following: 1. Ignore cultural differences

2. Minimize cultural differences
3. Manage cultural differences

1. Ignore Differences: This strategy is where managers and employees adapt that they don’t recognize cultural differences or how it impacts the organisation, they also believe that “our way is the only way” to manage and organize. They see diversity as irrelevant. This strategy of ignoring cultural differences it precludes the potential of minimizing the negative impacts and also increasing positive impacts of diversity. 2. Minimize Differences: This strategy is where managers commonly adapt the ethnocentric method. Here they do recognize that cultural diversity but however only as a source of problems that occur within the workplace. Within an ethnocentric organisation, managers and employees believe that “our way is the best way” to help organize and manage. Within the strategy they attempt to socialize all employees into the behaviour pattern of the dominant culture, by adapting an ethnocentric organisation then they prevent the possibility of benefiting from many cultures that are present 3. Managing Differences: For organisations that do adapt the strategy of managing differences within the workplace are synergistic organisations. They recognize the impacts of cultural diversity that can lead to both advantages and disadvantages. For the managers that using this approach believe that “our way and their way of behaving and managing differ” but both aren’t superior to each other. By applying a strategy then organisations create advantages that they could benefit from.

Opportunities
People’s attitude towards cultural differences can both have positive and negative impacts on the organisations but however these differences couldn’t be considered as hazards but rather opportunities and benefits if properly managed (Day, 2007). The opportunities that an organisations can benefit from include innovation, competitiveness and knowledge transfer. When associated with the benefits of cultural diversity there are four commonly mentioned reasons why companies within the International Hospitality Industry have to endure to be diverse. The four most commonly mentioned benefit of cultural diversity is: 1. Valuable Innovation – First of all, diversity often stimulates new business innovations (Johansson, 2007). Employees within the organisation who multicultural backgrounds and experiences can bring in more improved innovation due to providing them with their new ideas from their viewpoints. 2. Effective Knowledge Transfer – Within organisations cultural diversity can be useful in the knowledge transfer, although people come in different shapes, forms, and colours and do not seek out to be different from other people. Rather, people prefer to be with their own kind (Denton, 1997). This knowledge transfer helps to enhance the works productivity and efficiency. 3. Increasing Competitiveness – Due to hospitality industry being extremely competitive for companies to survive they have to control labour cost as well as increase customer count. Within todays dynamic markets companies have to serve various customer groups with different cultural background, hence forward cultural diversity within the workforce can help companies to develop understanding of customers’ needs and keep long term business relations 4. Building Image – Cultural diversity can help organisations to enhance their corporate image. The hospitality industry has been somewhat passive about building a positive industry image for the public (Fernandez, 2006). Helps companies to recognize and accept diverse cultures.

Limitations
Within an organisation there are still many limitations and challenges that are faced when it comes to attitude towards cultural differences, either being an individual’s perspective or their behaviour. These are some of the challenges that are faced within organisations: 1. Communication Issues

2. Discrimination Issues
3. Training Issues
4. Workplace Issues
5. Stereotyping Issues
6. Prejudice Issues

Conclusion
Globalization is a growing trend within businesses and have to give a rise to the need for the development of effective international management strategies therefore for many organisations there is a need to entail the thinking of a more clear approach towards cross-cultural aspects and issues. This report showed that there are always going to be more opportunities rather than limitations when it comes to cultural diversity, also for the understanding and management of diversity that has become important within the hospitality industry. Many of the cultural barriers that are commonly associated with diversity can be overcome in which this then will help to increase the awareness and sensitivity of cultural diversity management.

Recommendations
To ensure that all organisations within the international hospitality industry implement a strategy towards cultural diversity there have been many recommendations that can help them to achieve this within the workplace and also which recommendations that can be applied for which will benefit the organisation. Diversity has become a global aspect that affects the industry and which needs to be properly addressed and maintain, the recommendations that should be set out are: 1. Implement a diversity strategy for the organisation to follow. 2. To introduce diversity questionnaires for all employees to fill out. 3. Implementation of a cultural awareness scheme for all employees to attend. 4. Initiate a diversity management training program.

5. Adopt an employee relationship management system
6. Overcome the stereotypes and increase fairness

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