Importance of relationships in organizationsMany full-time employees spend more of their waking hours with co-workers than they do with their spouses and families. As such, it is important to allow employees the opportunity to build quality relationships with their co-workers.There are many benefits that can be reaped by small business owners who allow and foster good relationships in the workplace.(McFarlin, n.
d.)Improved TeamworkHigher Employee Retention Rates -When employees feel connected to a company, whether it is because they share the same vision as the company leaders or they feel as though their fellow co-workers have become like family, they will be much less likely to want to seek employment at another company. Increased ProductivityAccording to the Gallup Organization, people who have a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaged in their jobs.
(McFarlin, n.d.)Power Distance has a great impact on relationships in workplace. Basic areas of inequality:Physical / mental abilities and characteristicsSocial status and prestigeWealthPowerLaw, rights, rules(Andrews.edu, n.d.)On the cultural scale of Hofstede’s analysis, the Hofstede’s Power Distance scale indicates a high degree of power distance within the Thai culture.Thailand scores 64 and Italy scores 50.
(Hofstede Insights, n.d.). This is illustrated in Thailand’s respect for their King and religious figures.
(Pdx.edu, n.d.)Thailand has a hierarchical society in which relationships are based upon social superiority.
How one is treated is based upon where the individual fits within the hierarchy. In general, age connotes level of superiority, however, social status may be determined by general appearance, job, education, family name, and social connections. Within most Thai family systems, parents are at the top of the hierarchy and are to be given the utmost respect.
(Pdx.edu, n.d.)Employees in high power distance are unwilling to participate in decisions and are content with their managers making decisions and giving instruction which they follow passively. Communication takes place vertical downwards, with little or no horizontal communication. Overall communication is anemic. Unethical behavior tends to take place because managers don’t need to justify their decision to lower level employees.(Khatri, 2009).
In the West, everyone’s voice matters, everyone’s opinion counts and even the most junior of employees can tell the boss he’s wrong. That’s not the case in Thai culture. Here, the boss is rarely questioned and what he or she wants is just accepted without question.For Thais, being humble is more desirable than being right or finding a great solution.
(Tuohy, 2016)For your Thai friends, age, rank and social status must be taken into account when deciding whether or not they should say what’s on their minds. The Thai way of doing things is to know your place.This is a situation where tensions and miscommunications often arise between Thais and foreigners. Thais end up thinking foreigners don’t know their place and foreigners feel like Thais are lazy and complacent when they don’t “catch” mistakes.(Tuohy, 2016)Language DifferencesLanguage differences are an obvious barrier to intercultural communication. If you speak only English and a shopkeeper speaks only Japanese, you won’t be able to communicate verbally.
Even if you’ve studied the language or an interpreter is available, dialects, different accents and slang can cause problems. In addition, words don’t necessarily translate from one language to another in a clean one-to-one correspondence. The same English word may have different meanings to people from different cultures.
(Farnen, 2017)Feelings and EmotionsIndividuals from the United Kingdom and Japan typically keep a tight control of their emotions, while Italians and French are more comfortable showing their feelings. Loud talking might embarrass an Englishman, for example, but an Italian may just be expressing excitement. Differences in culture and communication styles can even cause fear. As a result of this anxiety, people from different cultures may pull back and avoid trying to communicate at all,(Farnen, 2017)Remaining calm, smiling, and not raising your voice during any type of conflict is the way to handle tough situations in Thailand.Thai people avoid open confrontations. Their culture dictates that conflicts hurt the harmony of a group and that relationships are permanently damaged from confrontations. They also believe that arguing is embarrassing and makes everyone uncomfortable.(Tuohy, 2016)Foreigners are raised to think that confrontation is positive and constructive.
Disagreements are good for the growth of a work team. They don’t hurt personal relationships since business and personal relationships are completely separate.This leads to miscommunication because foreigners often think they can confront a Thai colleague and that the relationship won’t be damaged. The Thai colleague will be very hurt and not understand why their foreign colleague is so cruel sometimes yet so friendly other times.
They might wonder, “Are foreigners completely nuts?”(Tuohy, 2016)The Western style of communication favors direct negative feedback while Thai people find this unpleasant.The Thai style favors indirect negative feedback. If a Thai friend or colleague has something negative to tell you, they will do it privately and gently. They might try to disguise negative feedback as advice.(Tuohy, 2016)Body LanguagePeople sometimes take offense because of differences in body language across cultures. For example, a businessperson from Latin America might stand closer to a client than someone from North America would.
This may make the North American feel crowded and want to back away. People from southern Europe typically use more eye contact than Britons and Americans, which may make the English-speakers uncomfortable. Because the French typically smile less than Americans, sometimes Americans think they aren’t friendly.(Farnen, 2017)Level of ContextAsians sometimes say “yes” or “maybe” when they actually mean “no,” according to the Diversity Council. Asians often consider an outright refusal blunt rather than honest.(Farnen, 2017).
Foreigners are taught low-context communication, so this is how they talk. They say what they mean and mean what they say. If they say “I don’t want the pork,” they don’t want it. If they wanted it, they probably would have taken it before you even asked.They specialize in simple, straightforward conversation with little subtext and expect the same from others.Thais, on the other hand, use high-context communication. Whatever they say, there is subtleness that foreigners don’t often pick up on.
The trouble starts when foreigners expect their Thai friends to simply say what’s on their mind and communicate in Western ways. Thais often get offended when their foreign friends don’t follow the communication rules. Foreigners are left scratching their head as their Thai acquaintance walks away, embarrassed by, what they consider, an unpleasant interaction.(Tuohy, 2016)Solution for Italian Manager to overcome intercultural differences.communicate your intentions, seek feedback , involving HR , Be accommodating.