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Part A Overview

Cultural Competence is defined as an ability to
deal with various cultural backgrounds including the understanding of cultural
difference and the knowledge of different demands. From the perspective of Organisational
Behaviour, cultural competence is crucial to both workforce and organisation
itself. Employees with great cultural competence often have better ability to
cope with clients from various cultures and tend to be more experienced in
overseas business. Companies with a culturally competent environment have
advantage on attracting FDI and foreign clients. Actually establishing a
diversified workforce is listed in targets of many companies. Cultural
Competence Training is so popular among companies and even government starts to
value the treasure of workforce diversity. Johns (2018) points out that
Newfoundland and Labrador provincial government increases $90000 fund to
Cultural Competence Training, and it will play a crucial part in supporting an
immigration and refugee welcome environment.

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Cultural Competence is not only closely related to
organisation and workforce, it is an important soft competitiveness of
companies now. According to the report in Cultural Competence Program website,
more and more businesses choose to CCP to build a diverse workforce with multi-
media resources and comprehensive understanding of cultures. Two concepts that
related to cultural Competence is Cross- cultural Competence and Workforce
Diversity.  Cross- cultural Competence
refers to the effectiveness to apply skills, knowledge, experience and
understanding to cross- cultural environment. And Workforce Diversity means the
variety of difference among people who works in an organisation.

 

Impacts of Cultural Competence is mainly positive
both to organisation and to workforce. For business, culturally competent
environment benefits the future development of companies because diversified
workforce tends to bring more innovative thoughts. Employees could enjoy better
response thus lead to a more productive workforce. Marketing will be much
easier if cultural competence is valued in a company because of the experience
of dealing with clients from different cultures. Customer service will be more
satisfying. Training for cultural competence adds advantage     for individuals, especially for those who
want to work in international businesses.

 

A good example I can think of is Haier Company, a
comprehensive family appliance company which is famous for its refrigerators
and air- conditioners. When Haier is firstly established in 1984, it is a small
refrigerator producer with only a couple of employees, but it did well in using
foreign investment. Haier cooperates with producers from Germany, Japan and New
Zealand and spreads its business to many products including all family
appliances, computers, cellphones, laptops and IT products. In the development
process, Haier always value cultural competence and hire staff from different
nationality to build a diversified workforce. In recent years, Haier has been
spreading business to developing regions of Africa and Southeast Asia, which is
largely connected with its business strategy of hiring local employees and
sending Chinese staff to combine an innovative workforce. As a national brand
with good reputation, Haier made its own animation series characterised by
Haier Brothers including one Chinese kid and one Germany kid. This is a goof
representation of Haier’s value of cultural competence and cross- cultural
competence. 

 

Part B Opinion Statement

I agree that cultural competence is an important
value for businesses, but I also observe that some companies in China overvalue
cultural competence that they prefer to hire foreign employees even they lack
other competitiveness compared to local staff. The benefit of cultural
competence is the better understanding and communication with clients from
various cultures, so I think language, communication skills, ability to deal
with emergency are all vital qualities in recruitment. Foreign employees are
not necessarily better, so companies need to set up an effective assessment
system. As for businesses with the demand of dealing with foreign clients, FDI
and overseas business, recruiting employees from target regions certainly
benefits the future development. 
Cultural awareness should be also taken into consideration in employee
assessment. Better knowledge of various cultures will benefit labour
productivity and performance, so increasing cultural competence training should
be included in the company operation. Lumby and Farrelly (2009) mention a shift
from cultural awareness to cultural competence training is much easier and
acceptable. Their research uses interviews, surveys, questionnaires and data
review, and concludes that many CCTs are not very well- evaluated, so both
implementation and evaluation of CCT programs need to be enhanced. 

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