Source: E-mail dt. 7 December 2011
CROSS CULTURAL MANAGEMENT AND INNOVATIONS WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO INFOSYS TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED
Dr. R. Karuppasamy M.Com., MBA. M.Phil., Ph.D
C. Arul Venkadesh MBA, PGDPM, (Ph.D)
Assistant Professor, Coimbatore Institute Of Engineering And Technology
"Cross Cultural" became incorporated into official policies in
several nations in the 1970s for reasons that varied from country to country.
Keywords: Cross cultural, Organization culture, Bicultualism, official policies, multicultural.
The doctrine that several different cultures
(rather than one national culture) can coexist peacefully and equitably in a
single country. It is the acceptance or promotion of multiple ethnic cultures,
for practical reasons and/or for the sake of diversity and applied to the
demographic make-up of a specific place, usually at the organizational level. As more and more companies have started recruiting people
irrespective of their race, religion, gender and nationality, they are bound to
face some of the common problems associated with Multicultural Workforce. The
concept of “Multicultural Workforce” is gaining currency in the
In a political context the term has come to mean the advocacy of extending equitable status to distinct ethnic and religious groups without promoting any specific ethnic, religious, and/or cultural community values as central. Cross Cultural as "cultural mosaic" is often contrasted with the concepts assimilationism and social integration and has been described as a "salad bowl" rather than a "melting pot."
Cultural or cultural pluralism is a policy, ideal, or reality that emphasizes
the unique characteristics of different cultures in the world, especially as they
relate to one another in immigrant receiving nations.” ~ First used in 1957 to describe
is a term often used to describe societies with a proliferation of different
cultures. Around the world wealthy countries have large numbers of immigrants
with their own cultures and languages. This multicultural reality has caused
problems in some nations, but also has led to cultural exchanges that have
benefited both groups. For instance the introduction of the cuisine of the
Indian subcontinent to the
The term "multicultural" can also be used to refer to localities in cities where people of different cultures co-exist. The actions of planners and those engaged in formulating public housing policy can result in some areas remaining monoculture, often due to pressure groups active in the local political arena. Workplace diversity refers to the variety of differences between people in an organization. That sounds simple, but diversity encompasses race, gender, ethnic group, age, personality, cognitive style, tenure, organizational function, education, background and more. Diversity not only involves how people perceive themselves, but how they perceive others. Those perceptions affect their interactions. For a wide assortment of employees to function effectively as an organization, human resource professionals need to deal effectively with issues such as communication, adaptability and change. Diversity will increase significantly in the coming years. Successful organizations recognize the need for immediate action and are ready and willing to spend resources on managing diversity in the workplace now.
The "business case for diversity" theorizes that, in a global marketplace, a company that employs a diverse workforce (both men and women, people of many generations, people from ethnically and racially diverse backgrounds etc.) is better able to understand the demographics of the marketplace it serves and is thus better equipped to thrive in that marketplace than a company that has a more limited range of employee demographics.
An additional corollary suggests that a company that supports the diversity of its workforce can also improve employee satisfaction, productivity, and retention. This portion of the business case, often referred to as inclusion, relates to how an organization utilizes its various relevant diversities. If a workforce is diverse, but the employer takes little or no advantage of that breadth of that experience, then it cannot monetize whatever benefits background diversity might offer.
CROSS CULTURAL IN
concerns have long informed
The culture of
The term Cross
Cultural is not much used in
Orthodox Hindus form the majority, followed by the Muslims. The actual
statistics are: Hindu (80.5%), Muslim (13.4%, including both Shia and Sunni),
Christian (2.3%), Sikh (2.1%), Buddhist, Bahá'í, Ahmadi, Jain, Jew and Parsi
populations. Linguistically, the two main language families in
INFOSYS AND DIVERSITY
Infosys Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: INFY) was started in 1981 by seven people with US$ 250. Today, they are a global leader in the "next generation" of IT and consulting with revenues of US$ 5.7 billion (LTM Dec-10). Infosys defines, designs and delivers technology-enabled business solutions that help Global 2000 companies win in a Flat World. Infosys also provides a complete range of services by leveraging our domain and business expertise and strategic alliances with leading technology providers, offerings span business and technology consulting, application services, systems integration, product engineering, custom software development, maintenance, re-engineering, independent testing and validation services, IT infrastructure services and business process outsourcing.
pioneered the Global Delivery Model (GDM), which emerged as a disruptive force
in the industry leading to the rise of offshore outsourcing. The GDM is based
on the principle of taking work to the location where the best talent is
available, where it makes the best economic sense, with the least amount of
acceptable risk. Infosys has a global footprint with 65 offices and 59
development centers in
A global company must reflect the diversity of the world it serves. Infosys' employees represent the widest possible variety of nationalities, cultures, genders and gender identities, employment histories, and levels of physical ability. We recruit employees from global talent pools and provide paths for professional growth to all members of the society. Within such a diverse company, people bring to the workplace contrasting opinions and worldviews. As these people interact, they develop new ideas, methods and perspectives. Infosys recognizes and promotes this power of diversity to drive innovation. Infosys actively fosters inclusivity across business units and company offices.
Infosys was the first Indian IT company to establish an office for diversity and inclusivity. Today, we have employees from 83 countries. Women constitute more than 32% of our workforce. Infosys Women Inclusivity Network (IWIN) promotes a gender-sensitive work environment. IWIN recognizes the unique aspirations and needs of women. It provides avenues for vocational, personal and psychological counsel to enable professional and personal development. Our new Family Matters Network provides support to employees on parenting matters. The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) has honored Infosys for excellence in inclusivity and Infosys BPO for diversity hiring.
CHALLENGES OF DIVERSITY IN WORKPLACE
Taking full advantage of the benefits of diversity in the workplace is not without its challenges. Some of those challenges are:
Communication - Perceptual, cultural and language barriers need to be overcome for diversity programs to succeed. Ineffective communication of key objectives results in confusion, lack of teamwork and low morale.
Resistance to change - There are always employees who will refuse to accept the fact that the social and cultural makeup of their workplace is changing. The “we’ve always done it this way” mentality silences new ideas and inhibits progress.
Implementation of diversity in the workplace policies - This can be the overriding challenge to all diversity advocates. Armed with the results of employee assessments and research data, they must build and implement a customized strategy to maximize the effects of diversity in the workplace for their particular organization.
Successful Management of Diversity in the Workplace - Diversity training alone is not sufficient for your organization’s diversity management plan. A strategy must be created and implemented to create a culture of diversity that permeates every department and function of the organization.
Culture - Culture refers to the cumulative deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and material objects and possessions acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group striving.
-Culture is communication, communication is culture.
-Culture is the systems of knowledge shared by a relatively large group of people.
Sub Culture - A social group within a national culture that has distinctive patterns of behaviour and beliefs, A subdivision of a national culture or an enclave within it with a distinct integrated network of behaviour, beliefs, and attitudes
Cross Cultural - The doctrine that several different cultures (rather than one national culture) can coexist peacefully and equitably in a single country. It is the acceptance or promotion of multiple ethnic cultures, for practical reasons and/or for the sake of diversity and applied to the demographic make-up of a specific place, usually at the organizational level.
Example- schools, businesses, neighborhoods, cities or nations.
INFOSYS CROSS CULTURAL AND INCLUSION APPROACH
Infosys technologies limited see challenges as opportunities to create an inclusive work culture where everybody enthusiastically takes ownership for the future of the corporation and becomes a change agent in transforming the organization.
~ N.R. Narayana Murthy, Chief Mentor, Infosys
Infosys have differences and commonalities, some differences are obvious and need to be recognized for creating an inclusive work place. The intent is to help in removing the barriers that they may face, prevent dissimilarities affecting the business decisions and leverage the advantages that diversity offers. It is important to recognize that workplace integration needs arising from these changes for establishing and providing appropriate support systems, policies and practices. They are an equal oppurtunity employer and recruitment and promotion policies based on meritocracy. The diversity and inclusion approach is incremental and business drives, the diversity tam at Infosys focus on propagating and promoting diversity and inclusivity among employees (internal perspective) through ACTION, before proceeding with the external stakeholders (suppliers, vendors, marketplace) focus.
ACTION stands for:
Audit inclusivity and diversity levels,
Create change agents,
Train the managers,
Initiate and implement alternate work models,
Organize and assist affinity groups,
Network with external bodies to bench mark practices.
To foster inclusivity, Infosys encourages the employees to participate and contribute their views through focus based networks. They have been experiencing diversity in terms of gender, national origin, physical ability, parental status, and work experience.
Infosys Women’s Inclusivity network (IWIN) – To create gender sensitive and inclusive work environment. This addresses their work life balance and development needs of women employees.
Infyability – To support consciously with physical disabilities through equal opportunities tam. Establishing a platform to share knowledge and experience. Also they focus on skill enhancement, training campaign, celebrating world disability day.
Family matters Network – To parenting work life balance issues. Employees given online expert counseling and providing referral service on daycare and information on schools for their children.
Recommended steps that have been proven successful in world class organizations are:
Assessment of diversity in the workplace - Top companies make assessing and evaluating their
diversity process an integral part of their management system. A customizable employee satisfaction survey can accomplish this assessment for your company efficiently and conveniently. It can help your management team determine which challenges and obstacles to diversity are present in your workplace and which policies need to be added or eliminated. Reassessment can then determine the success of you diversity in the workplace plan implementation.
Development of diversity in the workplace plan - Choosing a survey provider that provides Comprehensive reporting is a key decision. That report will be the beginning structure of your diversity in the workplace plan. The plan must be comprehensive, attainable and measurable. An organization must decide what changes need to be made and a timeline for that change to be attained.
Implementation of diversity in the workplace plan - The personal commitment of executive and
Managerial teams is a must. Leaders and managers within organizations must incorporate diversity
Policies into every aspect of the organization’s function and purpose. Attitudes toward diversity
Originate at the top and filter downward. Management cooperation and participation is required to
Create a culture conducive to the success of your organization’s plan.
Ward off change resistance with inclusion. - Involve every employee possible in formulating and executing diversity initiatives in your workplace.
Foster an attitude of openness in your organization. - Encourage employees to express their ideas and opinions and attribute a sense of equal value to all.
Promote diversity in leadership positions. - This practice provides visibility and realizes the benefits of diversity in the workplace.
Utilize diversity training. - Use it as a tool to shape your diversity policy.
Launching a customizable employee satisfaction survey that provides comprehensive reporting. - Use the results to build and implement successful multicultural climate in the workplace policies. As the economy becomes increasingly global, our workforce becomes increasingly diverse. Organizational success and competitiveness will depend on the ability to manage diversity in the Workplace effectively. Evaluating your organization’s diversity policies and plan for the future, starting today because “HAPPY EMPLOYEES ARE NOT PRODUCTIVE EMPLOYYES FOREVER”.
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