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Cross-cultural Management and Its Importance in the ASEAN Region

“Cross-cultural” management involves offering a comparison between two or more different cultures or cultural regions.
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What do you understand by the term “cross-cultural”? “Cross-cultural” is primarily the process of offering a comparison between two or more different cultures or cultural regions. Managing Cross-cultural diversity in the workplace requires an ability to carry out comparison between cultures that exist in a typical multicultural workplace both efficiently and effectively. Now it is very hard to change somebody’s belief systems and culture to which he or she belongs. The best way is to understand these differences and accordingly adapt to it. Here I would like to mention that “Organizational cultures” or OC are different. They are somewhat formal in nature and primarily deal with an organization’s shared assumptions, values and beliefs. OC deals with the differences in practices across organizations.
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Hence, Organizational culture should not be confused with cross-cultural management. Cross Cultural management deals with how socially constructed cultural backgrounds that individuals come from are managed so that differences could reduce, and a synergy could thus develop. Nonetheless, they both cross each other at times in organizations. We thus see that Cross-cultural knowledge is a must-have for executives, managers, project managers and leaders. So why is knowledge of cross-cultural diversity so important in the ASEAN region? To expand the business and become competitive, multinational companies have opened their business units or developed partnerships in the ASEAN region where they could effectively exploit reduced labour and production costs. In today’s emerging ASEAN, local executives and workers are working alongside their international counterparts.
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The rising prosperity of ASEAN region has meant that more multinational companies are operating in the region. Such developments also mean that workers and executives with diverse backgrounds must mix and work together. These require specific inter-cultural management skills which are never easy to acquire, as attitudes and behavior differ from person to person, including the socio, cultural backgrounds they come from and the managerial techniques they possess also differ. Add to the fact that ASEAN region that includes both maritime and mainland regions in Southeast Asia, has immerse economic and cultural disparities even among themselves. In this globalized world it is crucial for workers to understand cultural differences, failing which communication issues may develop.

“Cross-cultural” management involves offering a comparison between two or more different cultures or cultural regions. Managing cross-cultural diversity in the workplace requires an ability to carry out a comparison between cultures that exist in a typical multicultural workplace both efficiently and effectively.

Cross-cultural management involves dealing effectively with interacting individuals’ socially constructed cultural backgrounds, so as to reduce differences and develop synergy. This skill is thus essential for executives, managers, project managers and leaders.

Knowledge of cross-cultural diversity is particularly important in the ASEAN region, as competitive multinational companies seeking to expand their businesses have opened their business units or developed partnerships in the ASEAN region, where they can effectively exploit reduced labour and production costs. Thus, in today’s emerging ASEAN, local executives and workers are working alongside their international counterparts, making cross-cultural management a vital necessity.

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Multiculturalism In ASEAN

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