Communication styles are based largely on cultural dimensions.

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Select 3 of the critical incidents below and analyze them. Your analysis should contain at least three scholarly references each that pertain directly to the incident (can be taken from class materials). Your analysis should be completed as formal written report in APA format. You can take the format of an executive briefing or a training session. The analysis should be complete and supported by literature, not an opinion piece. You are being evaluated on your ability to communicate a statement and support it with facts, or in other words, create an argument. Critical Incidents

Culture is commonly defined as a shared system of beliefs and values that shapes a group’s behavior. People interpret the behavior and communication of others through their own cultural biases and typically will identify anything that is different from their own values as “wrong” or “inappropriate.”

Communication styles are based largely on cultural dimensions. One researcher who helps us understand cultural values around the world is Geert Hofstede. He lists the following five cultural dimensions and describes how they vary across cultures (Hofstede, 1967–2009).

Power distance is the extent to which a group of people accept the unequal distribution of power among different segments of their society. Venezuela, the Philippines, and Mexico have high power distance and accept the inequality in their societies, whereas Denmark, Austria, and the United States are among the countries that have low power distance, or low tolerance for inequality.

Individualism is the value that a culture places on individual rights and well-being, as opposed to collective rights and well-being. Australia, the United States, and Great Britain tend to be individualistic countries, whereas Colombia, Japan, and Nigeria tend to be collectivist.

Masculinity is the value that a culture places on assertiveness and competitiveness. Japan, Mexico, and Austria are among the more masculine societies, whereas Denmark, Sweden, and Norway are among the more feminine societies. Typically, the more masculine cultures will also stress a greater difference between gender roles in the society.

Uncertainty avoidance is the degree to which a culture is comfortable with doubt and ambiguity. Cultures that tend toward high uncertainty avoidance will seek to avoid multiple choices or positions. Greece, Portugal, and Japan tend to be high on uncertainty avoidance, whereas Singapore, Sweden, and the United States tend toward low uncertainty avoidance and are more comfortable with choice and ambiguous situations.

Polychronic cultures tend to value tradition and long-term goals over short-term goals. Countries such as Brazil, Spain, and China are more patient and less interested in time management, whereas in monochronic countries such as Germany and the United States, the focus is on “saving time,” “making time,” or “not wasting time.”

Additional information about cultural dimensions is located in our course and at this web site:

After you select three critical incidents, relate the cultural dimensions as they relate to your critical incidents (may be more than one). Explain how your chosen critical incident relates to one or more cultural dimension(s) in your report. Here are some more cultural dimensions to consider:

Universalism/Particularism Power Distance Hierarchy/Equality Individualism/Collectivism Space: Private/Public Communication: High/Low Context Communication: formal/ informal Communication: direct/indirect Communication: non-verbal Competitiveness Interpersonal Distance and Touch Time Relationship building Gender roles

You may want to conduct your own research to learn more information about cultural values for the purpose of this assignment.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Critical Incidents

4/17/2019 Critical Incidents – HRMN 302 5050 Organizational Communication (2192) 2/2

What are critical incidents?

Critical incidents are tools for increasing our awareness and understanding of human attitudes, expectations, behaviors, and interactions. They are intended to engage participants at a meaningful, personal level as they examine attitudes and behaviors that might be critical to their effectiveness in the roles they are already performing or preparing for (in the workplace, in educational settings, and in society at large). Critical incidents in intercultural communication training are brief descriptions of situations in which a misunderstanding, problem, or conflict arises as a result of the cultural differences of the interacting parties, or a problem of cross-cultural adaptation and communication. Choose 3 of the following critical incidents for your assignment: 1. A student was not satisfied with her new class. She wanted to move to a higher class. First, she consulted the student advisor who said that she could not move up at this time. The student, still unsatisfied with this answer, asked the other student advisor. The second student advisor gave her the same answer. Next, she made an appointment to see the coordinator of the Language Training Program. The coordinator consulted the student’s teacher and the student’s test scores and explained to the student that, according to the guidelines, she was unable to move to the next level at that time. The student was still not satisfied and made an appointment to see the dean and then intended to talk to the president of the college. Meanwhile, the teacher couldn’t understand why the student did not just accept her decision. She also could not understand why the student could not see that there were policies in place so that no matter how high up she went in the college hierarchy, it would not change the outcome for her. What does this scenario tell us about the student’s assumptions and the teacher’s assumptions? 2. Samantha liked her new job, but she felt that the environment was very cold. Samantha said that no one talks about their family or their personal lives, only about work. She feels it is very difficult to work in such an environment and she wishes her colleagues would share more with her. What kind of culture is Samantha in and how is she responding? 3. One of Tim’s employees is always late. Besides being late, he tends to go on and on when talking and wastes valuable time at work. Sometimes Tim has to cut him off. The employee seems to feel offended and thinks Tim is being rude. Tim believes that they are on a strict schedule and things have to be done by a certain time; as well, things are scheduled to take a certain amount of time. 4. The new manager had a meeting with Sunny where he praised her work and made good comments on her effectiveness and timeliness. When Sunny received her formal evaluation, she was surprised to see that she had scored a 9 out of 10. Sunny was upset with the manager and could not understand why he didn’t tell her the truth. She also was surprised to see that there was no way to compare herself with the other employees, since their evaluations were confidential. 5. Peter went downtown to an office to pick up some documents. When he arrived, he went to the front desk and talked to the receptionist. The receptionist was very helpful and seemed to go out of his way to make sure Peter wouldn’t have any trouble getting what he needed. Peter was very happy with the service and thought about how different it was from the service in his country. About half an hour later, he was just getting ready to leave the office when he realized that he had one more question. The receptionist was not at his desk, but Peter saw him in the hallway so he rushed out to catch him. Instead of helping Peter, the man told him that he was on his break and that Peter would have to wait until he got back. Peter was surprised by the receptionist’s response, it would only have taken a moment of the man’s time. 6. Robert has been sent overseas to a new office. When he arrives at the office, one of his first tasks is to select some local hires for office positions. Robert is looking for people who are bilingual and have office experience, especially is customer service. However, he is told that one of the applicants is the manager’s nephew and should be given special consideration. Robert is offended and does not want to even interview that person. The manager reports back to the parent company that Robert is inflexible and disrespectful. What is going on? 7. Sara is a new employee and has a colleague who frequently comes by her desk and stops to talk. He leans in and shares stories of his life outside of work. Sara feels uncomfortable and is beginning to think that she needs to report him for sexual harassment, especially since she is uncomfortable with the distance between them. Why does Sara feel this way? What might the colleague be thinking? 8. Jay was surprised to come into his new workplace and find a framed picture of himself entitled “Employee of the month”. Jay felt extremely embarrassed and could hardly work that day, especially when clients came into the store and recognized him in the picture. Jay finally ended up going to his manager and asking him to take down the picture. What are the values at Jay’s workplace and how are they conflicting with Jay’s own values?