“How Well Do You Know Your International Colleague?
In the Adler text, page 87, complete the exercise “How Well Do You Know Your International Colleague?” Answer each of the questions in a paper format and at the end of your paper offer a brief (no more than one page) reflection on lessons you have learned in this exercise.
The paper should be 4 to 6 pages, plus a cover page and a references page.
Copied from Adler text, PG 87
Think about a colleague from another culture with whom you are currently working or have worked with in the past. See how many of the following questions about him/her you can answer, howmany you think you know the answer to, but are not certain of (and therefor run the risk of projected-similarity error), and how many you don’t know at all (and therefor run the risk of selective-perception error). If you are still in contact with the colleague, you ay want to check the accuracy of your perceptions with him/her after having completed the exercise. Note that the exercise is written as if your international colleague is a woman. If your colleague is a man, just imagine the following questions are about him (instead of about her).
• How large a family does she come from? How many brothers and sisters does she have? Is she the oldest? Youngest?
• From what socioeconomic status is her family? Are they among the richest in the country? The poorest? Did her parents earn the family wealth or was it inherited? Is the family highly respected in the community? Why? Why not?
• What is her religion? How important is religion to her? Can you ask her about her religion? Does she want to tell you her spiritual beliefs? How does her religion or spiritual beliefs affect the way she works? How does it affect the way she works with you?
• What type of education did she receive? Did she attend private schools? Public schools? Religious schools? What proportion of people in her country has attained the same level of education? Did she gain entrance into the highest levels of education primarily through performance (tests), money, or personal connections? Did she receive all of her education in her home country? Does she concid3er her education to superior or inferior to your own education?
• Is he married? Whom did she marry? Was it arranged? Does her husband’s family influence where she works? Is her closest relationship with her husband? Her mother? Her children?
• Does she have children? How many? What type of a relationship does she have with her children? How much time does she spend with her children each day? Would she consider boarding school? What does she see as her responsibility to her children?
• What type of home does she live in? is it in an elite neighborhood? Is she satisfied with it? Does she lie with her extended family or her nuclear family?
• As a person, what is most important to her? What are some of her most deeply held values?
• Why did she choose the career or profession she did? Is ti what her father did? Is it what her mother did? Is it considered a high-status profession?
• Why does she work? For the money? Prestige? Loyalty? Responsibility? Personal satisfaction? Does she have to work to survive economically? Does she come from a culture that “works to live” OR “lives to work”?
• What does she need to get ahead in her career? How important to her career is the success of her work with you?
• In her culture, how are people viewed who work with foreigners? Who travel internationally? Who have foreigners as friends?
• Do high-potential managers in her company (and culture) or just average performers usually get sent abroad to work?
• What does she think about your culture? What does she see are your culture’s strengths? What would she like to learn from your culture? What does she want to learn from you?
• What totally annoys her about your culture? What does she see as your culture’s weakness? How does she see your culture as getting in the way of working with you?
• In which ways does she see your culture as being ahead of her culture? In which ways does she see her culture as being ahead of your culture? Does she believe in cultural synergy; that is that you can combine your two cultures to develop new and innovative approaches to business, including to managerial and organizational challenges?
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