Human Relations


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Human Relations­ MGMT611
Lesson 19
Diversity isn't a slogan--it's a reality when you're hiring people everywhere.
Robert M. Teeter (U.S. pollster and business executive)
Diversity raises the intelligence of groups.
Nancy Kline (U.S. author)
Globalization/ Cross-cultural variation:
Recent theorists conceive of globalization as linked to the growth of social and cultural interconnectedness
across existing geographical and political boundaries. Globalization and cross-cultural diversity clearly opens
up opportunities for development. It is not a new phenomenon. Globalization is introducing and instilling
cross cultural values in people. Globalization refers to the spread of new forms of non­territorial social
activity (Ruggie, 1993; Scholte, 2000). Human relations have become diverse due to the increasing personal
and workplace complexities. Many people from overseas are working in various organizations in Pakistan
who come from different cultures. Similarly many Pakistanis are working overseas who have their own
values and norms. This type of diversity may be useful in learning new and more efficient ways of doing
things. If the individuals are better trained in accepting the cultural diversities they will be more successful in
their personal and organizational life.
Importance of cross-cultural differences:
The purpose of this lesson is to provide information that is useful for developing effective working
relationships with people from cultures substantially different from your own. The cultural differences may
exist within the same country or from different countries. Being able to work well with people from other
cultures, both outside and inside your own country is important for personal and organizational success.
Being able to relate to a culturally diverse customer base is also necessary for success.
Major dimensions of differences in cultural values:
Culture is a learned and shared system of knowledge, beliefs, values, attitudes, and norms. As such, culture
includes an enormous amount of behaviour. Diversity is increasing in day to day life of individuals and
organizations due to globalization.
The factors of diversity:
Diversity involves a wide range of group and individual characteristics. One should be capable of accepting
these kinds of diversities and working with people of diverse behaviours in personal life and work places.
Here are some of the factors of diversity one should be familiar with.
. Race
. Sex or gender
. Religion
. Age (young, middle aged, and old)
. Generation differences, including attitudes
. Ethnicity (country of origin)
. Education
. Abilities
. Mental disabilities (including attention deficit disorder)
. Physical disabilities (including hearing status, visual status, able-bodies, wheelchair user)
. Values and motivation
. Marital status (married, single, cohabitating, widow, widower)
. Family status (children, no children, two parent family, single parent, grandparent, opposite-sex, same-sex
. Personality traits
. Functional background (area of specialization, such as marketing, manufacturing)
. Technology interest (high-tech, low-tech, technophobe)
Human Relations­ MGMT611
. Weight status (average, obese, underweight, anorexic)
. Hair status (full head of hair, bald, wild hair, tame hair, long hair, short hair)
. Style of clothing and appearance (dress up, dress down, professional appearance, casual appearance,
tattoos, body piercing including multiple earrings, nose rings, lip rings)
. Tobacco status (smoker versus nonsmoker, chewer versus nonchewer)
Human relations self-assessment:
Cross-Cultural Skills and Attitudes:
Here is an interesting exercise to evaluate one's own cultural diversity acceptance behaviour. Listed below
are various skills and attitudes that various employers and cross-cultural experts think are important for
relating effectively to co-workers in a culturally diverse environment. First answer them in Yes or No, and
then find out where do you stand.
ˇ  I have spent some time in another country.
ˇ  At least one of my friends is deaf or blind or has some other handicap.
ˇ  Currency from other countries is as real as the currency from my own country.
ˇ  I can read in a language other than my own.
ˇ  I can speak in a language other than my own.
ˇ  I can write in a language other than my own.
ˇ  I can understand people speaking in a language other than my own.
ˇ  I use my second language regularly.
ˇ  My friends include people of races different than that of my own.
ˇ  My friends include people of different ages.
ˇ  I feel (or would feel) comfortable having a friends with a sexual orientation different from mine.
ˇ  My attitude is that although another culture may be very different from mine, that culture is equally
ˇ  I appreciate the art from other countries.
ˇ  I would accept (or would have already accepted) a work assignment of more than several months in
another country.
ˇ  I have a passport.
Interpretation: If you answered in "Yes" or "Applies to Me Now" to 10 or more of the above questions,
you most likely function well in a multicultural work environment.
If you answered "Not There Yet" to 10 or more of the above questions, you need to develop more cross-
cultural awareness and skills to work effectively in a multicultural work environment. You will notice that
being bilingual gives you at least five points on this quiz.
Major Dimensions of Cultural Differences:
Seven dimensions (or facets) of cultural values that help explain how cultures differ from each other are
described here.
1. Individualism vs. collectivism:
Some cultures give more value and importance to personal interests and development rather than collective
good. Individualistic people believe that their interests take priority.
Collectivistic people are more concerned with the organization or the work group than with themselves.
2. Acceptance of power and authority:
People from some cultures accept power distance at different organizational levels; in some other cultures
people do not recognize a power hierarchy. There are cultures where people work as a team in an
organization. In our culture there is hierarchy of power.
3. Materialism vs. concern for others:
Some cultures emphasize assertiveness and the acquisition of money and material objects. At the other end
of the continuum is concern for others, an emphasis on personal relations, and the common welfare.
4. Formality vs. informality:
A country that values formality attaches considerable importance to tradition, ceremony, social rules, and
rank. In contrast, informality refers to a casual attitude toward these same aspects of culture. There are
Human Relations­ MGMT611
people who are more methodical than others. They give more importance to the rules and regulations.
Different people have different way of doing things.
5. Urgent time orientation vs. casual time orientation:
People from countries with an urgent time orientation view time as a limited resource and tend to be
impatient. People with a casual time orientation view time as an unlimited and unending resource and tend
to be patient. One must have the ability to work with
both type of people.
6. Work orientation vs. leisure orientation:
A major cultural difference is the number of hours per week and weeks per year people expect to invest in
work versus leisure, or other non-work activities. Leisure seeking behaviour is generally less productive.
7. High context vs. low-context cultures:
There are some cultures which are high context, and there are others which are low context. Chinese culture
is high context culture. High-context cultures make more extensive use of body language. People in low-
context cultures seldom take time in business dealings to build relationships and establish trust.
Another diversity is regarding being present oriented or future oriented. Those people who belong to
present oriented culture believe in rewards in present, whereas future oriented people believe in future
Religious Values and Bicultural Identities:
In addition to these well-publicized dimensions of cultural values, many other cultural differences in the
workplace require consideration. An important example is that differences in religious practices often affect
when people are willing to work or not to work. Religious diversity can create problems as more companies
move to 24/7 schedules.
Another complexity about understanding cultural differences is that many people have bicultural identities
because they identify with both their primary culture and another culture. Further, according to this theory,
people retain a local identity along with their global identity.
Applying Knowledge of Cultural Differences;
The key principle to recognizing cultural differences is to be alert to these differences, and to be sensitive to
how they could affect your dealing with people. To improve interpersonal relationships on the job,
recognize that a person's national values might influence his or her behaviour. For example, emphasize
nonverbal communication with a person from a high-context culture.
Dubrin, A.J. (2005). Human relations: Career and Personal Success. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey,
Ruggie, J. G. (1993). "Territoriality and Beyond: Problematizing modernity in international relations".
International Organization 47; 139-74.
Scholte, J. A. (2000). Globalization: Theory and Practice, London Printer.
Table of Contents:
  1. HUMAN RELATIONS:Some Guidelines for Effective Human Relations, Communication has 3meanings
  2. CULTURE AND PERSONALITY:Definition of sub culture, Definition of Personality, Types of Persons
  4. PERCEPTION AND INDIVIDUAL BEHAVIOUR:Three concepts of personality, Bias in Perception
  5. PERCEPTION AND GROUP BEHAVIOR:Characteristics of Groups, Individual and Group Behavior
  6. ATTITUDE AND BEHAVIOUR:Types of Attitudes, Steps to turn attitude into action
  7. PERSONAL MOTIVATION AND ACHIEVEMENT:Needs and Motivation, Self-discipline and motivation
  8. SOLVING PROBLEMS SKILLFULLY:Problem solving and cognition, Ways to solve problems
  9. CREATIVITY IN PROBLEM SOLVING:Barriers to creativity, Tips to solve problems creatively
  10. HANDLING PERSONAL ISSUES:Self-Defeating Behaviour, Positive attitude to tackle personal problems
  12. COMMUNICATION AND HUMAN RELATIONS:Process of communication, Improving gender barriers to communication
  13. ORGANIZATIONAL COMMUNICATION:To improve listening skills, Types of organizational communication
  14. UNDERSTANDING COMMUNICATION STYLES:Modeling communication style, Sociability continuum
  15. SELF-ESTEEM:Building process of self-esteem, Self-esteem and public image
  16. BUILDING SELF-CONFIDENCE:The importance of self-confidence and self-efficacy, Balanced Self-Confidence:
  17. BECOMING A LEADER-1:Assessing leadership role, Traits and Characteristics of Effective Leaders
  18. BECOMING A LEADER-II:Theories of leadership, Developing leadership potential
  19. GLOBALIZATION AND CROSS-CULTURAL DIFFERENCES:Religious Values and Bicultural Identities
  20. IMPROVING CROSS-CULTURAL COMPETENCE:Strategies to improve cross-cultural relations, More steps to improve Cultural Relations
  21. BUILDING GOOD RELATIONS WITH MANAGERS:Impressing your manager, Coping with a problem manager
  22. BUILDING GOOD RELATIONS WITH CO-WORKERS:Make Co-workers feel important, Maintain Honest and Open Relationships
  23. BUILDING GOOD RELATIONS WITH CUSTOMERS:Salesperson Represents the Business, Approaching the Customer, Excuses vs. Objections
  24. CHOOSING A CAREER-1:Ten Myths about Choosing a Career, Attitude toward and Perceptions about Myself
  25. CHOOSING A CAREER-II:Choosing a career and developing a portfolio Career, Suggestions for career Preparation
  26. FINDING A JOB:Targeting your job search, The Internet and Résumé Database Services, Extreme Job Hunting
  27. SIGNIFICANCE OF RESUME:Major types of resumes, Electronic Submission of the Résumé
  28. IMPROVING INTERVIEW SKILLS:Successful interview, Knowing the employer or Organization
  29. IMPROVING WORK HABITS-1:Reasons of procrastination, Techniques for Reducing Procrastination
  30. IMPROVING WORK HABITS-2:Developing the proper attitudes and values, Time-management techniques
  32. TAKING CONTROL OF YOURSELF:Develop Outstanding Interpersonal Skills, Business etiquettes
  33. EXERTING CONTROL ON OUTSIDE ENVIRONMENT:Important communication tip, Exerting control over the outside world
  34. MANAGING PERSONAL FINANCES-1:Your personal financial plan, Steps in budget making
  35. MANAGING PERSONAL FINANCES-2:Basic investment principles, Tolerance for Investment Risks, Types of investments
  36. ACHIEVING HAPPINESS-1:Finding happiness and enhancing your personal life, The key to happiness
  37. ACHIEVING HAPPINESS-2:The Five Principles of Psychological Functioning, Your mind and Happiness
  38. ACHIEVING HAPPINESS-3:Need for intimacy, Working out issues with relationships
  39. APATHY AND ITS REMEDIES:Let us try to understand the various definitions of apathy, Coping strategies for apathy
  40. ENHANCING PERSONAL ETHICS-1:Influence of Culture, Common ethical problems
  41. ENHANCING PERSONAL ETHICS-2:Common ethical problems, Guidelines for Behaving Ethically
  42. HELPING OTHERS GROW:Being a Nurturing, Positive Person, A list of mentoring behaviour, Coaching skills and techniques
  43. REVIEW-I:What is a Human Relation?, Meanings of Communication, Two types of stress, Some personal problem, Communication style
  44. REVIEW-II:Steps to build self-confidence, Globalization, Building Good Relations with Co-workers, Good work habits
  45. REVIEW-III:New model of career advancement, Choosing your investment, Tactics for Dealing with Difficult People