Cross Cultural Management Issues in Russia - Essay Sample

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Carnegie Mellon University
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Case study
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Working in Russia is totally different from working in America. All the differences are exhibited by different business scenarios that are undertaken through working as an expatriate in Russia. Some of the business scenarios that Lindsay will find herself in demonstrating the differences in culture and how things are done in Russia include working as part of a cross cultural team, trying to motivate subordinates to work hard on a project, networking with people within and or outside the organization, negotiating a contract with a key supplier/buyer and risk assessing when doing business in Russia.

Working as part of a cross cultural team

There are a number of issues experienced when working as part of a cross cultural team. One cultural issue evident in the Russian working environment is the corporate structure. In Russia, companies follow a strict well-defined hierarchy unlike business back in the United States (French, 2015). Decisions in the Russians business are made by the single autocratic authority thus delegating tasks and making decisions for both middle and lower level employees.

How Russians communicate to their employees is totally different from how it is done in America. In Russia, more concern is given to the spoken words unlike in the United States where business directions are given using written communication. According to Ferraro & Briody (2017), the Russians managers prefer giving their directions with the word of mouth, unlike the Americans who usually appraise fax, letter and email. On the other hand, managers in Russia businesses prefer face to face meetings since feedback is given and issues are discussed and explained out at the point. The reason as to why they disregard the written communication is the time factor where one has to wait for feedback to be delivered. Body language in Russians businesses is less demonstrated unlike back in the United States during meetings. Some of the visual cues such as posture and eye contact common in American business meetings are not common in Russian business meetings as they listen silently without even nodding in agreement.

Another culture exhibited in Russia when working as part of the cross-culture team is the aspect of meetings and teamwork. How meetings are conducted in Russia is different from how they are conducted in America. Russian meetings are serious and formal where any form of casual behavior is considered as disrespect (French, 2015). Decisions are made in groups. Therefore, direction and information are shared while in other cases, decisions are given a one-on-one basis. Personal relationships are valued by the Russian people and this makes the Russian business people suspicious of strangers. For that reason, most of the Russian business people work in small groups which they know each other very well. The small teams work together on a daily basis and this becomes a regular practice instead of forming new groups now and then.

Dress code is another issue exhibited by the Russian business people. According to Ferraro & Briody (2017), Russia there is usually a unique dressing attire where women dress in suits, skirts and blouses while the men wear dark suits. However, women are exempted from wearing slacks during work sometimes a practice that is not allowed in America. The type of dressing also depends on the level of salaries earned. Those employees who earn more wear expensive attires than those who earn less. Thus, employees in Russia wear according to how their salaries permit. Wearing expensive clothes becomes a sign of credibility in the business world. The idea of being well dressed is immediately adopted by the American professional working in Russia ending up to dress elegantly to be perceived as equals.

Gender roles in the workplace in Russia are also appreciated. Both men and women are offered equal opportunities at the workplace. However, irrespective of men and women being given equal chances in the workplace, the status of women in Russian society is still low. The Russian workplace is totally different from that of America since very few women hold top ranking positions in the business (French, 2015). Being an American woman working in Russia makes you be viewed as inferior although they are also treated with an old-fashioned courtesy and in a very polite manner.

Trying to motivate subordinates to work hard on a project

The type of motivators used in Russia for subordinates to work hard on a project differs from those used in America. The differences come in because of the individual cultural features in the country, aspects of Russian mentality and the level of economic development. In Russia today there exist many ways to motivate the employees/ subordinate without raising their pay. According to Krickovic & Bratersky (2016), due to lack of time among other reasons, many managers in the Russian businesses are not ready to use other creative ways to motivate the subordinate.

Promoting two-way communication is one of the Russian culture used by the top managers to listen and talk to their employees. Working as an expatriate, it was evident that Russia upholds the culture of open-door policy in most of the businesses. Having the aspect of open-door policy in the companies made the employees feel comfortable and contribute their best to the business (Punnett, 2014). The two-way communication culture came out to be more effective than use of monetary incentives at the same time not giving attention to your employees.

According to Krickovic & Bratersky (2016), being honest with the employees was another cultural aspect evident in the Russian business how they motivate the subordinate to work hard on a project. There were several meetings being held that presented the employees various ways in which the company gains and losses money. On the other hand, the subordinate of every organization was shown the available opportunities that would be utilized to fuel the success of the project.

Training the subordinate to motivate them to work hard on the project was another cultural practice in the Russian organization. Employees were given a chance to grow and develop which made it easier for them meet the project goals. The top managerial staff of the Russian companies creates a good partnership with the employees which in turn motivated them to work even harder (Punnett, 2014).

Involvement of employees in decision-making was also another cultural aspect in the Russian organizations. According to Krickovic & Bratersky (2016), in every decision that was made and which was to impact the business, some representatives of the subordinate were involved. This gave them a chance to question every matter being brought about and thus understand the need for various changes in the business. Involving the employees in decision-making made them to feel confident working in the organization and also be always aware of their status in the organization.

Organizing celebration and special days were another way to motivate the subordinate to work hard on the project (Punnett, 2014). Such celebrations were used to create time for team building and also the staff gained morale. Having such breaks for the subordinate to have coffee or any other drink was a way to help employees stay motivated. In addition, such schedules were created to make people excited and face the project goals in a positive manner.

Status of the company and comfortable atmosphere in the workplace were other aspects motivating the subordinate to work hard on the project goals. According to Krickovic & Bratersky (2016), it was the responsibility of the organization to maintain a high profile which made the subordinate to feel proud working for the organization. On the other hand, creating a comfortable working environment made the employees feel motivated and for that reason easily achieve the laid goals of the business project.

Opportunities for studying and foreign business trips were also common as a way to motivate the subordinate to work hard on the project. Opportunity for studying seemed to receive much support from most of the subordinate staff as such helped them to sharpen their skills (Punnett, 2014). On the other hand, foreign business trips also made the subordinate to be excited and have a break from the normal working routine. Such steps in the organizations of Russia helped to raise the self-esteem of the workers which made them remain motivated all along.

Networking with people within and/or outside the organization

The issues associated with networking vary from one organization to another in Russia. On the other hand, the networking issues evident in the process of networking within the organization and outside the organization also differ. According to Voldnes et al. (2014), networking culture in Russia has also influenced how business opportunities are exploited as well as the right time to look at the opportunities. The issues associated with networking in Russia makes the organization to be aware of the risks as well as the commercial benefits of the same.

Networking in Russia within or outside the organization is full of issues. The first issue encountered in Russia is finding the business value. All the organizations in Russia find it necessary first to find out the impact of networking to the profile of their business (Voldnes et al., 2014). The value of the business is the uttermost concern of almost all the managers of the organizations in Russia. If the type of networking does not impact the business in a positive way then it becomes hard to incorporate it into the system.

Networking with people within and outside the organization was also faced with some cultural barriers. According to Voldnes et al. (2014), research shows that almost all the organizations in Russia face a good number of cultural barriers during the process of networking. However, most of the organizations have invested in time and the necessary resources to fully understand the appropriate networking design to adopt. Understanding the design of the networking helps to establish the right relationship between the organization and the outsiders.

The legal constraint is another issue arising in Russia when it comes to networking with people within and/or outside the organization. There a good number of privacy policies and data security that has to go along with networking. All the networks have to adhere to the set policies which provide for privacy of both the data belonging to the organization and that belonging to the outsiders (Voldnes et al., 2014). Failure to observe the set rules by the state of Russia attracts severe punishment which can even lead to the closure of the organization.

According to Voldnes et al. (2014), since networking involves negotiation between the organization and the clients, all the parties involved must be able to manage their behaviors. The way in which all the organization in Russia work is different and even currently it is still changing. For that reason, the managerial staff of the organizations is concerned with changing the way they evaluate their employees to maintain the appropriate behavior in the workplace. On the other hand, the market access is commoditized using the new business models which the manager of the organizations in Russia has approved to be highly efficient.

Negotiating a contract with a key supplier or buyer

According to Madono (2016), negotiating a contract with a key supplier or a buyer in Russia has to follow the contract law. All the contracts signed in Russia have to adhere strictly to the agreements and all the parties rights and obligations have to be respected. The overall legal system of Russia is based on the civil code. The core values guiding every contract in the country consists of the codi...

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