Cross-Cultural Exchange in UK Multinational Companies
Any global company in the United Kingdom is capable of integrating different cultures into their business culture, and there is a number of ways to go about it, as well as a plethora of benefits that come with working in a multicultural organization. Culture is a complicated concept that is “transmitted through the process of learning” (Ferraro 2017, p. 11), and it consists of values, ideas, assumptions, and beliefs. Culture is usually gained through different processes and applied in all situations and environments ranging from business to personal life. This paper is going to focus on ways to promote the integration of different cultures into a global company located in the United Kingdom, the effects of having a culturally diverse team, and tools to create a truly cross-cultural business environment.
The effects of culture on business
Multiculturalism in business brings about a number of significant benefits. When cultures are combined, new ideas and fresh approaches are generated. The infusion of new cultures results in a broader perspective, a new way of looking at things, new markets, expanded horizons, and new opportunities. Therefore, multicultural companies can produce services and products that appeal to the customers. In this context, business culture reflects the global landscape, which is not monocultural by any means. For instance, having a diverse cultural business environment is at the very core of a multinational UK-based telecommunication giant Vodafone (Hamilton & Webster 2015). As any other global company, it continually builds its business strategy around diversity and multiculturalism.
Ways to diversify organizational culture
Cross-cultural integration does not happen on its own. According to Meyer (2014, p. 114), “effective cross-cultural collaboration can take more time than monocultural collaboration and needs to be managed closely.” Therefore, a cross-cultural company needs thorough management that follows certain rules in order to merge different cultures smoothly and reach the ultimate goal. Before attempting diversification and cultural enrichment, managers should conduct research using survey questionnaires to assess potential obstacles on the way to cross-cultural diversification (Ferraro 2017). Diversity starts at the very top of the organization, thus, specific policies need to be incorporated into the existing organizational culture in order to streamline the transitional process (Rozkwitalska, Sułkowski & Magala 2017). Encouraging company employees to initiate their own diversification and cultural exchange programs will speed up the process, as well as reduce any potential resistance.
Managing multicultural companies
It is important to make all processes transparent and encourage workers to voice their opinions and all possible concerns. Thus, an open discussion is a key part of cross-cultural exchange and learning experience in any global company located in the United Kingdom. It is important to bear in mind that different cultures have different understandings of management (Wetherly & Otter 2014). Therefore, company managers need to be well-versed in all aspects of the professional culture of the country or the region they are directly working with to avoid any confusion and potential misunderstandings.
Multiculturalism is one of the pillars of the modern global business community. The benefits of multiculturalism for UK global companies are far-reaching, and they will continue to be a source of creativity and innovation for many years to come. As long as the world is becoming more and more diverse and multicultural, businesses need to follow the same trajectory to stay relevant in the twenty-first century. Cross-cultural exchange is a powerful tool that brings out the best in people, making them work together to come up with new and great things every single day. Any company from an international powerhouse to a local business will benefit greatly from the cross-cultural exchange, diversity, and multiculturalism.
Ferraro, GP 2017, The cultural dimensions of global business, Routledge, London.
Hamilton, L & Webster, P 2015, The international business environment, 3rd edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Meyer, E 2014, The culture map: breaking through the invisible boundaries of global business, PublicAffairs, New York, NY.
Rozkwitalska, MC, Sułkowski, Ł & Magala, S 2017, Intercultural interactions in the multicultural workplace: traditional and positive organizational scholarship, Springer International Publishing, Cham.
Wetherly, P & Otter, D 2014, The business environment: themes and issues in a globalizing world, Oxford University Press, New York, NY.