Cultural dissonance is an uncomfortable sense of discord, disharmony, confusion or conflict experienced by people in the midst of change in their cultural environment. When I migrated to Australia a few years back, it was the first time I had travelled to a Western country. I went shopping to a supermarket and asked the Sales Assistant for a specific ingredient which we use for cooking. He could not understand my English accent and called the manager for help. When the manager came to help us, I explained the ingredient which I wanted and was trying to explain her use of the ingredient. The manager could not understand what I was explaining and midway she told me that first I should go and learn English in a manner that Australians can understand.
Her response was so nasty and she spoke so loud that a few of the other shoppers started staring at me. I felt so hurt and insulted because of the manner in which manager confronted me in front of so many people.
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In getting the best output from the employees they have to manage the social responsibilities of the employees and be friendly to the customers in terms of image and competitive strategies. The study by Reardon et al. (2005) found that in Kazakhstan ethnocentricity did result in negative economic development for an emerging company. The managers while working in global environment have to understand consumers’ ethnocentrism in that country for the success of the product as shown by Nadiri and Tümer (2010)
Work values are a set of values that include good performance, taking initiative and working well with others. The international manager can set his own work values and goals. It is important for the international manager to understand the following major dimensions that define the cultural differences amongst groups in this regard:
1. Whether what is more important – rules or relationships
2. Whether they prefer to function as a group or as individuals
3. How far they get involved in the work system
4. Whether they display any emotions at work
5. Whether they like to prove themselves or depend on the management to receive the status
6. Are they able to multitask or they prefer to do one thing at a time.
For a manager to be successful it has to have policies which take into account the cultural aspect of employees and customers.
Reardon, J, Miller, C, Vida, I & Kim, I 2005, 'The effects of ethnocentrism and economic development on the formation of brand and ad attitudes in transitional economies', European Journal of Marketing, vol. 39, no. 7/8, pp. 737-54.
Nadiri, H & Tümer, M 2010, 'Influence of ethnocentrism on consumers’ intention to buy domestically produced goods: An empirical study in North Cyprus', Journal of Business Economics and Management, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 444-61.
Vida, I, Dmitrovic, T & Obadia, C 2008, 'The role of ethnic affiliation in consumer ethnocentrism', European Journal of Marketing, vol. 42, no. 3/4, pp. 327-43.
Deresky, H. & Christopher, E., 2012, International management : managing cultural diversity, Pearson Australia