Discuss one subjective and one objective dimension of culture from each level. Explain how leaders are challenged to pay attention to these dimensions. What is the outcome if they choose to ignore these dimensions?
From the top level of an iceberg, I would like to discuss the “Vision”. Speaking from my personal vantage point, the vision did not mean something grandiose to me ever. When I work in a project, vision means delivering the project successfully. So, I feel vision varies a lot when it is considered subjectively.
I think it is important to mention when I joined my current or previous company, we had to read the vision. I do realize, leaders often come up with the vision. They are not focused on one single project. The vision is for the whole organization, for each employee, where we want to be and how and may be why. Subjectively each employee in an organization has a defined role and they need to deliver to meet the goals. But on objective sense, as each employee perform their duties and reach their goals, the organization as a goal advances towards the goal the leaders have for it. For example, in our industry, we need to maintain a certain quality of the applications we deliver, before our organization could be considered for ISO standard. It was our leader’s vision to get ISO and Six Sigma complied. So, each of us had to goal to maintain the quality of each project we have in our organization. After working for years and maintaining quality our company got those certifications. Leaders had to pay attention to the vision objectively and then they realized the subjective part for each employee, so they planned and set the goal for each of us so we work towards achieving the vision.
If leaders decided to ignore either subjective or objective or both dimensions, then their won’t be any plan to achieve those visions. Leaders cannot ignore the subjective dimension, because in a growing organization when the new employees join in, they usually do not share the same vision. If the leaders decide to be just subjective and not objective, then it won’t be possible to think about the bigger picture, or in my organization’s case, think beyond the projects.
From 2nd level, I would like to talk about Policy. For our organization we have different policies such as travel and expense policy, relocation policy and there are tier specific policies. When you consider some of the policies subjectively, such as Manager and above get their cell phone bills reimbursed but employees do not, might seem unfair. And employees from different tiers might feel bad about these policies and might feel they do not have as good benefits as their seniors do.
But objectively, the organizations want to reward their top talents, with some extra perks they want to make sure that they do not lose the talents to competitors. Leaders should always promote meritocracy. As policies are there to treat employees who belong to the same tier equally without discriminating and also policies are like laws inside an organization which employees cannot violet. Which make sure that organization has a safe, healthy work environment for everyone.
I personally feel the policy is most important for every employee and leader for any organization. For example not disclosing your salary or performance appraisal to any co-worker or sexual harassment policy – I feel policy shapes culture within an organization. Leaders need to focus on policy to shape up the organizational culture. If leaders choose to ignore either or both dimensions of policy the organization can get into legal, ethical, operational problems ( Reference, n.d.).
From 3rd level, I would like to discuss feelings, which at least for me used to get hurt a lot when I was really new to the industry. And I know every new employee goes through that phase when they do not feel good about their yearly performance appraisal or yearly bonus and in some cases how their managers treat them. Feelings are very subjective. Some people are very sensitive and get hurt a lot. But as employees gather experience most of them learn not to take things personally.
Objectively, for leaders, it is crucial that they focus on the task at hands and focus on achieving the goal. So, a manager cannot only consider how employees would feel about his or her actions.
Now let us discuss, what happens in leaders ignores employees feeling subjective dimensions or objective dimension. In my personal experience, I have seen leaders often choose to ignore subjective dimension of it and focus on objectivity because business comes first. But that is where leaders should work on mindfulness and start empathizing, otherwise, employees feel ignored and eventually, they leave. Ignoring objective dimension might mean the loss of business, so leaders should never do that.
How do leaders deal with a cross-cultural team that has both monochronic and polychronic cultures represented? How does a leader deal with the team members who come from a different ‘time-based’ culture as him/herself?
Before I start answering, I just wanted to mention that I took the test and turns out I am more monochromic than polychromic. Saying that a leader has to be observant and mindful to understand who is monochromic and who is polychromic. Being a team leader myself, I can say, both type of employees can play a vital role. Especially in my industry (IT Services), you need people who will make sure that quality meets a certain standard and there are leads who usually perform many tasks, such as peer review along with his usual tasks. Moreover, they get pulled into many directions. Team members ask for guidance, managers ask for reports and so on. I believe leaders have to understand the cultures first then they will have to be placed in a role where his or her skills will be best utilized and beneficial for the organization.
A leader has to be culturally intelligent to understand the team members who come from a different ‘time-based’ culture. The leader can take help from a mentor, practice active listening, observing, mindfulness etc (MingJi, n.d.). A policy is a very good tool which is applicable to everyone in an organization that leader can use to standardize certain things. For example, if the employees are coming late to work or meetings, the leader can introduce them to the company policy. The leader has to guide them so they adopt the acceptable work culture. It is mostly local since these employees might be expats, so they will need to adapt to local culture while the leader has to make sure that he/ she informs the employees about the culture and tell them what is expected.
Retrieved on 10/7/2018. Retrieved from https://www.reference.com/business-finance/examples-organizational-policies-cc0002baf597c98a
Diana J. Wong MingJi (n.d.). International Cultural Differences. Retrieved from https://www.referenceforbusiness.com/management/Gr-Int/International-Cultural-Differences.html