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    by Published on 29th July 2013 09:00 AM
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    Five Obstacles to Intercultural Communication and Understanding:

    1. LANGUAGE – Vocabulary, syntax, idioms, slang and dialects all cause difficulty, but the person struggling with a different language is at least aware when he/she is in difficulty.* A more pronounced problem occurs when he/she thinks he/she understands.* The person clings to the meaning of a word or phrase in the new language, regardless of connotation or context.* The infinite variations are so impossible to cope with that they are brushed aside.
    2. NON-VERBAL – Every culture has a special “hum and buzz of implication.”* People from different cultures inhabit non-verbal sensory world.* An individual abstract what is seen, heard, felt or learned into the personal world of recognition and then interprets it through the frame of reference in terms of his or her own culture.* Some non-verbal signs and symbols such as gestures, postures and vocalizations can be learned once they are perceived in much the same way as a verbal language is acquired.* Other signs and symbols, such as time and spatial relations, or forms of respect, status and formality, however, are more difficult to grasp because they are further way from awareness.
    3. PRECONCEPTIONS AND STEREOTYPES – In most general terms, the function of culture is to lay out a predictable world in which an individual is firmly grounded and oriented.* Stereotypes are over-generalizations which help make sense of what goes on around us, but they often interfere with objectivity because they rely on selective perceptions and portions of information which correspond with already-existing beliefs. In this way, they concretize reality – often incorrectly – and rationalize cultural prejudice.
    4. TENDENCY TO EVALUATE – Each individual’s culture appears correct, proper and natural, so each individual tends to endorse or reject the statements or actions of others, rather than try to properly understand the thoughts and feelings expressed.* Communication is stymied by this kind of evaluation, but it is exacerbated by the presence of feelings and emotions as well.
    5. HIGH ANXIETY – Unlike the previous obstacles, anxiety is not distinct but underlies and compounds the others.* The presence of high anxiety or stress is common in cross-cultural experiences because of the uncertainties involved.* The native of one country may be uncomfortable when speaking with a person from another (foreign) country because he or she cannot maintain the normal flow of conversation and non-verbal interaction to sustain communication.* The other person may experience a similar discomfort, with the added tension of having to cope with the alien pace, climate and culture he or she in ensconced within.

    by Published on 29th July 2013 08:59 AM
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    Intercultural Negotiation
    As the world becomes increasingly connected, people both at home and in travels abroad, must consider the important issue of intercultural negotiation.* This post is a primer for use by readers in learning about this issue.

    The Intercultural Dimension:

    All cultures have their own preferred styles and strategies for dealing with and managing conflict.* Yet it is quite difficult to be culture-specific when discussion how to deal effectively with cross-cultural conflicts.* Nevertheless, there are some general skills involved in cross-cultural negotiation and conflict management that can be highlighted.
    A basic requirement for effective conflict management and negotiation is to know as much as possible about the other culture(s).* Although experiential knowledge is preferable, research of the culture, norms, values, history, society etc. can be very helpful.*The most significant feature of good cross-cultural relations, as most cross-cultural sources will indicate, involves avoiding stereotypes.* Although certain generalizations may be fairly assessed in regard to how certain cultures deal with conflict, individual differences should always be considered as paramount.* In fact, some cultural specialists suggest that all conflicts are intercultural to an extent, since each individual person has their own personal history and experience, their own set of beliefs, values and assumptions, and ultimately, their own set of “survival skills.”

    The Successful Intercultural Negotiator:
    Successful intercultural negotiators are always cognizant of the fact that people do, indeed, feel, think and behave differently, while at the same time, they are equally logical and rational.* Stated differently, competent intercultural negotiators recognize the differences between people while simultaneously appreciating the intrinsic rationality behind such divergent feelings thoughts and behaviors.* That is to say, individuals, groups, communities, organizations and even nation states possess diverse values, beliefs and assumptions that make sense from their own perspective.* Thus, effective intercultural negotiators are sensitive to the fact that each person perceives, discovers, and constructs reality — the internal and external world – in varied yet meaningful ways.* They understand that difference is not threatening; indeed, it is positive, so long as the differences are managed properly.
    Five Intercultural Negotiation Skills:

    1. EMPATHY – To be able to see the world as other people see it.* To understand the behavior of others from their perspectives.
    2. ABILITY TO DEMONSTRATE ADVANTAGES of what one proposes so that counterparts in the negotiation will be willing to change their positions.
    3. ABILITY TO MANAGE STRESS AND COPE WITH AMBIGUITY as well as unpredictable demands.
    4. ABILITY TO EXPRESS ONE’S OWN IDEAS in ways that the people with whom one negotiates will be able to objectively and fully understand the objectives and intentions at stake.
    5. SENSITIVITY to the cultural background of others along with an ability to adjust one’s objectives and intentions in accordance with existing constraints and limitations.

    by Published on 24th July 2013 09:05 AM  Number of Views: 551 
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    Eight Mistakes to Avoid in Intercultural Negotiation:

    1. Avoid looking at everything from your own definition of what is “rational,” “logical” and “scientific.”
    2. Avoid pressuring the other party with a point that he/she is not readily prepared to accept; wait for a more favorable time.
    3. Avoid looking at issues from the narrow perspective of self-interest.
    4. Avoid asking for concessions or compromised which are politically or culturally sensitive; you will not succeed with this kind of approach.
    5. Avoid adhering to your agenda if the other party appears to have a different set of priorities.
    6. Avoid speaking in jargon (i.e. using colloquialisms), which can confuse the other party and even create a feeling of mistrust.
    7. Avoid passing over levels of authority in manners that compromise the sensibilities of middle level officials.* The top tier of the hierarchy may have the power to commit the organization or governing entity, but implementation will require the support of people at intermediate and lower levels.
    8. Avoid asking for a decision when you know that the other party is not able to commit.

    by Published on 25th June 2013 09:57 AM
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    Moving non-core activities performed in-house to specialists outside the company helping the* business to focus on core competencies and improve performance standards is the main premis of outsourcing. The growth and rewards of this practice can be quite high but the downsides are daunting.

    So what are the pros and cons of outsourcing?

    The potential from outsourcing and BPO related activities:

    • Savings in terms of cost from labour arbitrage
    • Productivity improvements from access to experienced and up-to-date skills
    • The potential to focus on the core business without the distractions of a difficult function in-house
    • Enhanced access to expertise (but at a cost)
    • Operational cost control as the cost becomes very transparent and controlled
    • Improved accountabilityas you know who is responsible for what service
    • Flexibility to reallocate resources and meet company goals
    • Improved Human Relations management in terms of career development potential for peripheral functions.

    As for the downside of outsourcing* the list would include the creation of a dependency mentality coupled with a* lack of innovation and integration with the core business – along with a loss of competitive edge. Outsourcing can garner these ill-effects mainly when used as a short term technique to reduce costs.* To avoid this Outsourcing has to be planned carefully going beyond mere cost control and with carefully thought-out strategies and logistics in place to ensure success. A productive nurturing culture is imperative, especially in the beginning, to set the backdrop for a successful relationship.

    How to make the most of outsourcing

    Apart from reducing the development time and the cost for example new services* an outsourcing relationship can free up resources and orient them towards innovation that can really add value to the core business. It is this potential for the sources of innovation to be focused on the core business competitive needs that is at the heart of the aphorism ‘to focus on core competences’ – In fact it means to build the core. There must also be good communications and systematic tracking and measures in place to help understand how the service is evolving and how improvements can be made. This goes well beyond simplistic SLA types of measures and is in fact an example of proactive innovation.* An outsourcing provider who is willing to learn and understand the business drivers of the client organisation and who can provide the right kind of expertise to a client at the right place can be a company sttrategic asset. The type of proactive innovation can make all the difference to an outsourcing partnership.

    Tips for the Outsourcer

    • Treat outsourcing as a strategic investment, clearly defining goals, strategies, objectives and time lines.
    • Choose a firm that has goals you can identify with and a track record that you can use productively in your industry.
    • Set up control processes to manage the interface between the two organisations – treat them as part of the business which is in fact what they become.
    • Once you have outsourced a service* trust the service provider to do the job – heavy handed control or excessive monitoring can get in the way of good service and can only add to costs.
    • Build a contract that has concrete objectives performance measurement strategies and incentives in place – this will clarify things for the provider and provide sustained motivation.

    Tips for the provider

    • As with the outsourcer outsourcing is a strategic investment – define goals, strategies and objectives.
    • Build a contract with the client that spells out performance measurements on the basis of concrete objectives – use it to streamline processes
    • Develop an open rapport with the client build a relation that aligns the interests of the outsourcer, the vendor and customers.
    • Build a measurement system to montitor progress and make sure robust management processes. are in place – use it to negotiate changes and upgrade performance responsibilities.

    The paranoia surrounding outsourcing is slowly waning and being replaced by a grudging acceptance and recognition of how both sides can benefit. Reports are coming in that well crafted outsource deals restate the value of outsourcing – and add to the stability of the concept. According to a Global Insight study sponsored by the ITAA (Information Technology Association of America), the benefits of offshore IT outsourcing added $33.6 billion to real gross domestic product in the United States in 2003. During 2008, real GDP was expected to be $124.2 billion higher than it would be in an environment without IT software and services offshore outsourcing.

    There is value to be achieved by Outsourcing what is needed is a well crafted management strategy to deliver the promise that Outsourcing offers.


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    by Published on 20th June 2013 11:40 AM     Number of Views: 705 
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    Is foreign outsourcing of American jobs by American Companies immoral? I Say YES!

    Lawmakers in more than 25 states and in the United States Congress have identified foreign outsourcing as a threat to US employment and prosperity. Legislators must ban federal or state contracts with companies that would outsource jobs to foreign countries.

    If no action is taking, US companies will continue to fire American workers in significant numbers and replacing them with foreign workers in low-wage countries such as India, China and Eastern Europe.

    Of course, outsourcing is nothing new. The US and State governments and American Corporations have been outsourcing domestically for decades such services as data base management, janitorial services and payroll.

    The recent increase in foreign outsourcing in which US companies buy services from foreign-based providers has been make increasingly cost effective due to the personal computer and the Internet.

    According to the data from several experts, over one third of the world trade growth has been achieved by means of foreign outsourcing to other countries. This has caused the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs in the United States and has had a major effect on the US Economy.

    Foreign outsourcing has changed the demand for skilled and unskilled labor and altered the structure of wages in the United States. Foreign outsourcing sends production to countries where labor costs are lower than in the US.

    As a professional web designer, I have seen many American businesses outsource their web projects to foreign countries. American businesses fail to realize that they are spending their money overseas and not supporting the US economy. They are causing American workers to lose their jobs.

    Cire Web Site Design & Hosting provides affordable web design and hosting. We have been in business since 1996. Due to foreign outsourcing we have been forced to reduce our workforce by over 70%. Buying American may cost more, but it is the moral thing to do. Stand proud America and buy American.

    Mitch Webb

    Affordable Web Design & Hosting

    Affordable Web Design Services

    Allow Cire Web Site Design & Hosting to build a professionally designed web site for your company.

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    Article Source: Mitch Webb - EzineArticles.com Expert Author

    Foreign Outsourcing of American Jobs