Cultural Dimensions of Performance Dialogues in Organizations (Essay Sample)
There are five cultural dimensions of performance dialogues in the organizational setting. First, there is a structural inequality in the balance of power between various cultures where minority workers are on the receiving end. Second, individualism has overridden collectivism where people are expected to look after themselves as opposed to forming powerful coalitions. Third, the fear of the unknown is rampant among different cultures due to the ‘uncertainty’ factor. Fourth, Hofstede believes there is systemic inequity between genders in the workplace. Finally yet importantly, there are long-term versus short-term consideration in performance appraisals
As it appertains to the balance of power between different cultures, members of the dominant culture usually get the best performance appraisals based on the false notion of superiority that is imposed by the mentality of the tyranny of numbers. For instance, in a typical white dominated workplace, the assumption is that the majority are always right is prevalent. Power in the organization is centralized in favour of the more dominant cultures and the low power distance cultures are usually side lined during the provisional performance dialogues (Trompenaars, 1996 p 56). Those acting in the supervisory capacity belong to the dominant cultures and they are largely seen as democratic, impartial, and practical in their evaluation of employee performance. The dominant culture in many organizations, therefore, is that the structural imbalance in the distribution of power among various cultures is a dominant force that directly influences the manner in which organizational performance is evaluated for workers in lower power cultures. The balance of power, according to Hofstede, is arranged in a vertical organizational structure with the dominant culture at the top of the pyramid. The central claim here is that the inequity in power between the dominant and minority culture employees has been normalized in the performance dialogues.
The second dimension in performance dialogues in the typical organizational setting is based on the notion of the ‘fear of the unknown.’ It has been observed that people from different culture fear what they do not know about the others. It all comes down to the cultural propensity to resist change for fear of the unknown or the fear of a perceived danger resulting from acceptance of many cultures. Superiors will tend to conduct their performance appraisals by considering members of the dominant cultures as the perfect performers. The power of the supervisor depends on their ability to control uncertainty.
The third dimension entails individualism versus collectivism. It is to be understood that in a highly individualistic society like the one in the United States, performance appraisal is conducted purely in the terms of a worker’s individual productivity without any regard to whether they play well with others in a teamwork scenario. The expectation in an individualist organizational setting is for an employee to show personal commitment to improve productivity and the performance will be appraised based purely on the basis of individual effort (Gesteland, 2012 p 67). On the contrary, in collectivist societies, individual performance is gauged according to the ability to collaborate with others in the context of teamwork. Training, recruitment, and performance appraisal are all focused on teams as opposed to individuals.
The fourth dimension of performance dialogues revolves around the projected gender gap between male and female employees. One of the most observable workplace disparities is gender imbalance, which extends from the setting of performance standards, communication of rules, expectations, feedback, and the actual performance appraisals. Men will most likely get the most decorated job evaluations under the assumption that they are better performers than their female counterparts. (Trompenaars, 1996 p 56) To remedy this longstanding gender gap in the assessment of workplace productivity, supervisors are urged to consider performance appraisal techniques that acknowledge that men and wome
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