Asthma Incidence And Smoking Among Immigrants In California Essay Example

Problem Statement

For a long time, researchers and medical experts have investigated the relationship between asthma and cigarette smoking (Cho & Paik, 2016; Koyun & Eroğlu, 2014). This relationship is founded on the fact that cigarette smoking causes the settlement of irritating factors on the air pathways, thereby worsening asthma attacks, or causing their resurgence (Tamimi, Serdarevic, & Hanania, 2012). Similarly, smoking often damages small hair-like structures (cilia) on the air pathways, which should clean the airway off dust and excessive mucus. From this destruction, the cilia are unable to operate normally, thereby triggering asthma attacks (Tamimi et al., 2012).

In addition, smoking causes excessive production of mucus in the lungs, which may lead to the blockage of air pathways, causing asthma attacks. According to Currie and Baker (2012), 25% of asthma victims are cigarette smokers. Based on the aforementioned factors, a combination of smoking habits and asthma often causes the severity of symptoms associated with the disease. Lung dysfunction and impaired short-term therapeutic responses are also other negative effects of smoking, which are associated with asthma.

Although asthma is a significant public health problem in America, its relationship with smoking is influenced by different socioeconomic factors that vary across gender lines, education levels, and cultures (just to mention a few) (Rottem, Geller-Bernstein, & Shoenfeld, 2015). Numerous studies have investigated the relationship between asthma incidence and smoking among different races and different genders.

For example, studies by Corlin et al. (2014) have assessed the relationship between asthma incidences among Chinese immigrants living in Canada and their smoking behaviors. Other studies have also investigated this relationship, relative to patients’ country of origin, area of residence, and education studies. For example, Gatrell and Elliott (2014) have explored the relationship between geographic differences and health status among immigrant groups in the US. Studies by Tienda and Adserà (2012) have similarly investigated the incidence of asthma among different socioeconomic groups and across different groups of people with different accesses to health care services.

These researchers have pointed out that genetics, socio-demographic factors, and environmental factors have a profound impact on the incidence of asthma across the aforementioned demographic profiles. Most of their studies are generalized in the sense that they explain the relationship between asthma incidences and smoking through cross-national surveys. Furthermore, most of them are based in developed countries that do not have many immigrant groups.

Some of their studies are also outdated and do not represent ethnic and racial changes that characterize different immigrant groups today. Thus, few of these studies reflect the continuing changes in immigrant status or explain the relationship between smoking behaviors and asthma cases in states or regions that have multiple immigrant population groups, such as New York and California. The proposed study seeks to fill this research gap by exploring the relationship between asthma incidence and smoking among immigrants in California. The independent variable is asthma incidence, and the dependent variable is smoking.

Significance of the Study

The findings of the proposed study would help to fill the research gap identified above by identifying unique attributes about the demographic profiles of immigrant populations in California, which affect the relationship between asthma incidence and tobacco smoking. This way, it would be easy to formulate health interventions that address these attributes to achieve the highest levels of success in smoking reduction. Indeed, by formulating interventions that touch on the core of the relationship between smoking and asthma incidence, it would be easier for health providers to focus their attention on only those areas that are bound to yield the best results in reducing the incidence of asthma cases.

The findings of the study would also help to support professional practice focused on asthma management through the reduction of risk factors associated with its incidence. More importantly, the findings of this study would help health experts to develop focused interventions that appeal to unique immigrant dynamics as a strategy to minimize the effects of smoking on the overall health of the immigrants. The resultant findings could also create positive social change by promoting healthy lifestyle habits among the target population by minimizing harmful behaviors, such as smoking. This could occur through increased sensitization about the relationship between asthma incidence and smoking among immigrant populations.

Lastly, this study would help to point out whether changes in immigrant status within the target population have created significant differences in the relationship between the two variables discussed. In other words, by evaluating our findings and those of past studies, we would be able to establish whether they are consistent with past findings, or not.

Background

The following listed articles will be explored to provide background information regarding the relationship between asthma incidence and smoking among immigrants in California.

  1. Al-sheyab, Gallagher, Gallagher, and Shah (2013) explored the relationship between smoking and asthma incidences among high school students in Jordan. The purpose of the study was to investigate the impact of a peer-led education program on the ability of students who were suffering from asthma to stop smoking and improve the quality of their life. The researchers found that there is a need to develop early interventions for smoking prevention among Jordanian males, who were suffering from Asthma because their likelihood of engaging in the habit is high.
  2. Shani et al. (2013) explored the relationship between Asthma incidences among Ethiopian born immigrants and of those living in western countries. They found that the intensity of asthma increased after their travel to western countries. The researchers used 1,217 matched controls for a population sample of the same number of immigrants and found that asthma incidences among second-generation immigrants did not significantly differ from those of the native population. The findings affirm the view that environmental exposures affected asthma incidences.
  3. Polosa and Thomson (2013) did a study to explore the relationship between smoking and asthma incidences and found that the two share a positive relationship because smoking increases the incidence of asthma. The study also found that smokers who suffer from asthma had more trouble managing their condition compared to those that did not smoke.
  4. Tamimi et al. (2012) also conducted a different study to explore the relationship between smoking, asthma and COPD cases by demonstrating that the inflammatory symptoms caused by smoking in asthmatic patients could as well lead to the creation of inflammatory symptoms in COPD.
  5. Cho and Paik (2016) conducted a different study to investigate the same research issue but assessed it by investigating the relationship between e-cigarettes among South Korean immigrants, as the chosen study population. After assessing a sample of 35,904 students, the researchers pointed out that there is a positive relationship between e-cigarette consumption and increased asthma incidences.
  6. Corlin et al. (2014) conducted a study to investigate immigrant health by comparing the health status of Chinese immigrants to America and White natives. The authors found that Chinese-born immigrants had better health than their hosts did because they were less exposed to cigarette smoke.
  7. Poureslami, Shum, and FitzGerald (2015) explored the reasons why Chinese immigrants in Vancouver continued smoking and found that their cultural inclinations provided less internal incentive to stop smoking.
  8. Corlin and Brugge (2014) conducted an independent research study to investigate the incidence of asthma among immigrant populations and found that there is a “silent epidemic” of asthma among immigrant subpopulations in America. The authors said the epidemic was largely unreported because of poor access to health care services within this immigrant population.
  9. In a study conducted by Garcia-Marcos et al. (2014) to assess the relationship between immigration and asthma, a positive correlation between the two variables sufficed. The authors argued that immigration status significantly affected the incidence of asthma.
  10. Gatrell and Elliott (2014) also conducted a similar study by exploring the relationship between geography and health status among immigrants. Although the study assessed different health variables, it found that geographical differences significantly affected the incidences of asthma among immigrants.
  11. In an article titled, “Immigrant Advantage,” Kolker (2013) says that Americans could learn how to reduce the incidence of diseases, such as asthma, by emulating the dietary practices and discipline that some immigrants exude from their culture. The authors drew attention to the high incidence of smoking and alcoholism in America as significant contributors to asthma cases in the country.
  12. In another book titled, “The Immigrant Health,” Loue (2013), shows the flip side of immigrant health by saying socioeconomic factors have always made it difficult for immigrant populations to gain access to health care services, thereby increasing their incidence of asthma.
  13. Streja et al. (2014) also contributed to this discussion by saying poor living conditions have increased secondary smoke exposure to children born in immigrant families, thereby increasing their incidence of asthma.

Framework

The selected theoretical model for the proposed study would be the trans-theoretical model. It is used to assess people’s willingness to improve their health by adopting positive behavioral changes. The selection of the trans-theoretical model is informed by our research question, which is focused on understanding the relationship between asthma incidences and smoking among immigrants in California. Smoking is a behavioral issue that could easily be addressed by the trans-theoretical framework because the model focuses on behavioral change measures to promote health. Since it could affect health outcomes through variations in asthma incidence, it is easy to see how it aligns with our research topic.

Because the gist of the paper is centered on evaluating smoking habits as a predictor of asthma incidence, it was necessary to use a theoretical framework that has a lot of efficacy in interrogating behavior change. The trans-theoretical theory has such a record because researchers have demonstrated its efficacy in promoting smoking cessations (Koyun & Eroğlu, 2014). It has also been used to guide clinicians in helping people to stop smoking (Koyun & Eroğlu, 2014).

Usually, when adopted in the context of smoking cessation, clinicians help smokers to desist from the habit using the five stages of this theory, which are pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance (Koyun & Eroğlu, 2014). The use of the proposed theoretical framework for this study will provide insight into behavioral patterns among immigrants that contribute to their smoking behaviors and the incidence of asthma within the population.

Research Question and Hypotheses

At the onset of this study, we pointed out that our research purpose would be to explore the relationship between asthma incidence and smoking among immigrants in California. The research question stems from the same purpose. It appears below:

  • RQ: Is there an association between asthma incidence and smoking among immigrants in California?
  • Null Hypotheses: Asthma incidence has no relationship with smoking among immigrants in California.
  • Alternative Hypothesis: There is a positive relationship between asthma incidences and smoking among immigrants in California.

Approach for the Study

According to Rovai, Baker, and Ponton (2013), there are two main research approaches – qualitative and quantitative approaches. I will use the quantitative approach in the proposed study. This approach aligns with our research question, which is investigating if there is an association between asthma incidence and smoking among immigrants in California. The incidence of asthma is a quantitative measure because data on asthma reporting is usually presented in numbers. Similarly, smoking is often measured in terms of the number of people who do it. These two sets of data are quantitative in nature. Therefore, the selection of the quantitative technique is a natural process based on the nature and characteristics of the variables we measure.

Secondary Data Types or Sources of Information

The proposed study would incorporate secondary data as the main source of information. The secondary data would come from different sources of information, including state records, information from federal databases, national health surveys, and information from health agencies. The main source of data for this paper would be the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS). Other sources of information for the proposed study would be

  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS);
  • Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR);
  • National Addiction & HIV Data Archive Program (NAHDAP);
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Analytical Strategies

The proposed data analysis techniques would be employed to organize and statistically analyze the secondary information outlined above. To analyze the data, I will use ANOVA, Chi-Square, and bivariate analysis methods. The bi-variate analysis would be useful in analyzing the two variables of the study – asthma and smoking behaviors (Babbie, Wagner, & Zaino, 2015). The Chi-Square tests would be used to analyze the observed and expected frequencies of asthma incidences and smoking behaviors within the immigrant population (Babbie et al., 2015).

This way, the researcher would be able to investigate if there are disparities, or areas of convergence, between the variables under analysis to support a relationship between them. The ANOVA technique would be instrumental in testing group differences between smokers, as one group, and people who suffer from asthma, as another group.

Other Relevant Information

It is important to understand that the differences in cultures and smoking habits among immigrants living in California could be a limitation to our study because California is comprised of different immigrant groups, including (but not limited to) Hispanics, Africans, and Asians. These groups have unique cultural differences that affect their smoking habits. The same differences may impede our understanding of the relationship between smoking and asthma because we depict them as one target group of analysis.

Reference List

Al-sheyab, N., Gallagher, R., Gallagher, P., & Shah, S. (2013). Cigarette smoking in adolescents with asthma in Jordan: Impact of peer-led education in high schools. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 3(9), 13-21.

Babbie, E., Wagner, W., & Zaino, J. (2015). Adventures in social research: Data analysis using IBM® SPSS® Statistics. London, UK: SAGE Publications.

Cho, J.H., & Paik, S.Y. (2016). Association between electronic cigarette use and asthma among high school students in South Korea. PLoS ONE, 11(3), 1-13.

Corlin, L., & Brugge, D. (2014). The hidden asthma epidemic in immigrant subpopulations. Web.

Corlin, L., Woodin, M., Thanikachalam, M., Lowe, L., & Brugge, D. (2014). Evidence for the healthy immigrant effect in older Chinese immigrants: A cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health, 14(603), 1-8.

Currie, G., & Baker, J. (2012). Asthma. Oxford, UK: OUP Oxford.

Garcia-Marcos, L., Robertson, C.F., Ross, A.H., Ellwood, P., Williams, H.C., & Wong, G.W. (2014). Does migration affect asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema prevalence? Global findings from the international study of asthma and allergies in childhood. Int J Epidemiol., 43(6), 1846-54. Web.

Gatrell, A., & Elliott, S. (2014). Geographies of health: An introduction. London, UK: John Wiley & Sons.

Kolker, C. (2013). The immigrant advantage: What we can learn from newcomers to America about health, happiness and hope. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.

Koyun, A., & Eroğlu, K. (2014). The transtheoretical model use for smoking cessation. European Journal of Research on Education, 21, 130-134.

Loue, S. (2013). Handbook of immigrant health. New York, NY: Springer Science & Business Media.

Polosa, R., & Thomson, N. (2013). Smoking and asthma: Dangerous liaisons. Eur Respir J., 41, 716–726.

Poureslami, I., Shum, J., & FitzGerald, M. (2015). Why do Chinese people with COPD continue smoking: The attitudes and beliefs of Chinese residents of Vancouver, Canada? Diversity and Equality in Health and Care, 12(1), 18-27.

Rottem, M., Geller-Bernstein, C., & Shoenfeld, Y. (2015). Atopy and asthma in migrants: The function of parasites. Int Arch Allergy Immunol, 167, 41-46.

Rovai, A., Baker, J., & Ponton, M. (2013). Social science research design and statistics: A practitioner’s guide to research methods and IBM SPSS. New York, NY: Watertree Press LLC.

Shani, M., Band, Y., Kidon, M., Segel, M., Rosenberg, R., Nakar, S., … Vinker, S. (2013). The second generation and asthma: Prevalence of asthma among Israeli born children of Ethiopian origin. Respiratory Medicine, 107, 519-523.

Streja, L., Crespi, C.M., Bastani, R., Wong, G., Jones, C., Bernert, J., … Tashkin, J. (2014). Can a minimal intervention reduce secondhand smoke exposure among children with asthma from low-income minority families? Results of a randomized trial. Immigrant Minority Health, 16, 256. Web.

Tamimi, A., Serdarevic, D., & Hanania, N. (2012). The effects of cigarette smoke on airway inflammation in asthma and COPD: Therapeutic implications. Respiratory Medicine, 106, 319-328.

Tienda, M., & Adserà, A. (2012). Migrant youths and children of migrants in a globalized world. London, UK: SAGE.

Bloom’s Taxonomy As A Learning Tool

In 1956, Benjamin Bloom created a framework that would help educators focus on the intellectual comprehension of their students. The taxonomy provides a hierarchy of perception levels and is used for creating performance assignments and ensuring feedback from students (Churches, 2009).

The taxonomy features three domains: cognitive, affective, and psychomotor, each further subdivided into categories. Since Bloom concentrated on the first one (see Table 2), the other two were developed by his successors. Usually, the following levels are identified (Pierre & Oughton, 2007):

Table 1.

Cognitive domain Affective domain Psychomotor domain
Knowledge Receiving Imitation
Comprehension Responding Manipulation
Application Valuing Precision
Analysis Organizing Articulation
Synthesis Characterizing Naturalization
Evaluation

As far as its relation to the audience is concerned, the taxonomy was traditionally perceived as a tool for the earlier years of school education. However, it has been revised and has become more universal for application at primary, secondary, and even tertiary levels. Thus, the target audience has broadened significantly (Rupani & Bhutto, 2011).

As far as curriculum planning is concerned, the implications run as follows:

  • the taxonomy provides a strategy for developing any kind of educational content;
  • it assists in mapping the purpose of the curriculum to the assignments that students should perform;
  • it guides in improving cognitive skills for the elaboration of critical and creative thinking;
  • it is used for doing projects that require the collaboration of all reflection levels (Churches, 2009).

Table 2. Cognitive Domain (Churches, 2009)

Category Definition Keywords Sample Questions
Knowledge The ability to recollect previously learned information (facts, dates, definitions, concepts, ideas, etc.) tell, list, arrange, define, describe, identify, tabulate, quote, duplicate, label, outline, match, memorize, name, recognize, recollect, repeat, reproduce, select, omit, relate, etc. What is…? Who is…? Where is…? Can you define it…? When did … happen? Who were the major…? Which one…? Why did…? How would you explain…? What kind of of…?
Comprehension The ability to comprehend, assess, interpret information based on prior knowledge, and restate ideas classify, compare, juxtapose, demonstrate, explain, extend, illustrate, infer, outline, show, summarize, restate, translate, paraphrase, predict, locate, estimate, etc. How would you classify…? How would you explain…? What if we contrast…? Can you paraphrase…? What facts or ideas prove…? How would you illustrate…? What can you conclude about …?What is implied by…?
Application The ability to use knowledge in order to complete an assignment calculate, compute, solve, implement, apply, construct, discover, employ, illustrate, manipulate, write, modify, utilize, build, model, operate, practice, predict, prepare, relate schedule, sketch, etc. How would you implement it…? How would you solve it…? How would you demonstrate your understanding of of…? What approach would you use to…? What elements would you include…?
Analysis The ability to examine and classify information analyze, appraise, categorize, estimate, differentiate, identify, diagnose, infer, conclude, correlate, modify, solve, deduce, debate, detect, diagram, distinguish, predict, determine, examine, etc. What are the features of… ? Why do you think… ? What is the theme… ? What is the motive of… ? What inference can you make… ? How would you classify… ? What is the relationship between… ? What ideas justify… ?
Synthesis The ability to originate ideas into a new product create, hypothesize, invent, develop, assemble, synthesize, tell, write, rearrange, categorize, combine, comply, generate, compose, design, etc. • What changes would you make to…? What would happen if…? Can you invent…? How could you change…? How would you test…? Can you formulate…? Can you predict…?
Evaluation The ability to perform assessment and make judgments award, choose, select, criticize, decide, defend, determine, prioritize, dispute, evaluate, judge, justify, measure, interpret, compare, mark, rate, appraise, prove, disprove, assess, value deduct, etc. Do you agree…? How would you prove…? Can you estimate …? Would it be better if…? What would you advise…? What would you choose…? Was it better…?

References

Churches, A. (2009). Bloom’s digital taxonomy. Educational origami, 4(1), 1-44.

Pierre, E., & Oughton, J. (2007). The affective domain: undiscovered country. College Quarterly, 10(4), 1-7.

Rupani, C. M., & Bhutto, M. I. (2011). Evaluation of existing teaching learning process on Bloom’s Taxonomy. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, pp. 119-128.

Dutch And Lebanese Business Culture Comparison

Introduction

Globalisation is a rising trend in today’s business environment. It involves international integration resulting from continuous exchange of culture, views, as well as products and services. It is mainly fuelled by advances in telecommunication and transportation infrastructure (Siegel, Licht & Schwartz 2011). Clever Clogs International is one of the firms that have embraced globalisation. It is a financial institution based in Lebanon. The organisation is rapidly expanding its activities across the globe. It has recently opened a new branch in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. As a result, there has been a felt need to send a manager to oversee the operations of the new division for a two year assignment. Clever Clogs International’s main aim is to revolutionise the banking sector in efforts to prevent the occurrence of another economic crunch.

The organisation has already identified the manager to be transferred to the Amsterdam station. It is a female Muslim who is in her mid-thirties. There is no doubt that she is the most suitable candidate for the assignment. The reason is that her hard work has earned her two promotions within the four year period that she has been with the company. Evaluation records also show that she has the right skill-set to handle the task. However, the candidate had never been in a foreign assignment before. For this reason, no formal training on international operation has been offered to the manager. Consequently, Clever Clogs International has sought the help of an external party to deliver a cross-cultural briefing report to the new manager. The purpose of the brief is to sensitise the manager on the challenges linked to globalisation that face executives in the financial sector (Siegel, Licht & Schwartz 2011).

One such challenge is surviving mergers and acquisitions. Banks and other financial institutions tend to merge with or acquire other firms when entering into new markets (Aguinis, Joo & Gottfredson 2012). Cultural conflicts often ensue, especially among employees, which negatively affects their performance. For Clever Clogs International to successfully run its newly opened branch in Amsterdam, it is important to conduct a brief overview of macro-level factors associated with the Netherlands.

Macro-Level Facts of the Netherlands

The Netherlands is one of the world’s greatest democracies. The government is known to embrace neutrality in international matters. Over the past few years, the country has become a member of numerous international organisations, key among them being the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). The country’s economy is considered to be one of the most liberalised in the world. It relies heavily on international trade. The government of Netherlands is considered to be one of the most progressive agencies when it comes to international trade (What about the Netherlands? 2013).

Foreign companies are welcome to invest in the economy. The country’s population is also diverse. About 80 percent of the persons living in the Netherlands are of Dutch origin. The remaining 20 percent is made up of people from different nations across the globe. Such countries include Germany, Indonesia, Morocco, and Turkey. As a result, the workforce is also highly diverse and is made up of different cultures. Consequently, executives working in the country should be adequately prepared to deal with numerous cases of cultural conflicts.

Following globalisation, some of the sectors in the Dutch economy, such as fishing, agriculture, trade, shipping, banking, and finance, have grown rapidly over the past two decades. The reason is that many foreign firms have moved to invest in the Netherlands. Amsterdam, the capital and a major financial hub in the country, plays host to most of these organisations. Some of the businesses import labour from their mother country. However, the government of Netherlands is opposed to the move in a bid to create more employment opportunities for the country’s population (What about the Netherlands? 2013). For this reason, executives of the foreign firms should be ready to work with the Dutch people in spite of their cultural differences. To better understand the Netherlands, the country will be compared to Lebanon based on Geert Hofstede’s theory.

A Comparison between the Netherlands and Lebanon

Introduction

The Geert Hofstede’s theory will be used to compare communication in the two nations. The framework describes the manner in which the culture of a particular society affects its members (Hofstede 1993). At the same time, it seeks to shed light on the effects of cultural values on the behaviour of people. In the workplace setting, the theoretical framework is used to show how organisational values are influenced by culture. More emphasis is on the financial sector. In the past, the framework was used to compare the various elements or dimensions of the cultural values of different nations.

In total, the theory has six dimensions. The first element is the power distance index (PDI). It identifies the relationship between individuals with varying levels of influence in the society. The second dimension is individualism versus collectivism (IDV). Its main purpose is to assess the degree to which members of a particular society are organised into groups (Hofstede 1993). Uncertainty avoidance index, abbreviated as UAI, is the third dimension of cultural values. It illustrates the extent to which the society is willing to tolerate ambiguity. It may be in the form of events that are unexpected or unknown to the members (Hofstede 1993).

Masculinity versus femininity (MAS) is the fourth dimension proposed by the theoretical framework. It describes the extent to which the society champions for achievement, assertiveness, heroism, and the use of material rewards to honour success. The fifth element of Hofstede’s theory is the long-term versus short-term orientation (LTO). Here, the theory attempts to create a link between the past and the present to determine whether the society honours and upholds traditions or not. Indulgence versus restraint (IND) is the sixth dimension proposed in the theoretical framework. It is a measure of happiness within a particular setting. It seeks to evaluate the extent to which the society allows free gratification of different human desires.

The table below shows the scores of both Lebanon and the Netherlands on the six dimensions:

Table 1: Comparison between Lebanon and the Netherlands based on the dimensions of Hofstede’s theory

Dimension Lebanon Netherlands
Power Distance Index 75 38
Individualism versus collectivism 40 80
Uncertainty avoidance Index 65 14
Masculinity versus femininity 50 53
Long-term versus short-term orientation 14 67
Indulgence versus Restraint 25 68

Source: What about the Netherlands? (2013) and What about Lebanon? (2013)

The figure below shows how Lebanon and the Netherlands perform in terms of the six dimensions of the Hofstede’s cross-cultural communication framework:

Comparison between Netherlands and Lebanon
Figure 1: Comparison between Netherlands and Lebanon. Source: What about the Netherlands? (2013) and What about Lebanon? (2013)

Although the Hofstede’s theory is successful in illustrating cross cultural communications, it has attracted criticism from various analysts.

A Critique of Hofstede’s Work in Relation to Macro Level Indices

Different criticisms on Hofstede’s theory have emerged in relation to the macro level indices. To begin with, critics are of the opinion that his work only focuses on national cultural values (Hofstede 1993). The values are not necessarily similar to those in cultures of specific sectors. National cultures are also been slowly eroded by globalisation (Imai & Gelfand 2010). The reason is that new ideas are introduced into the country. As a result, the six dimensions highlighted in the theory are not entirely relevant to the macro level indices used in daily-level management practices in the finance sector (Imai & Gelfand 2010). For example, the high individualism index reported in the Netherlands may have no effect on firms operating in the financial sector (Moti 2015). The reason is that the organisational culture can be changed through continuous training of the workforce on the importance of working together in tightly-knit groups (Gelfand et al. 2012).

Hofstede’s theoretical framework also leaves out numerous possible dimensions of cross cultural communication that are relevant to macro level indices used in day-to-day management practices. They include demographic factors, such as religion, race, and ethnicity. Such aspects need to be looked into carefully in daily management practices (Kline 2010). An executive should acknowledge and respect these aspects to improve the relationship between them and their subordinates (Triandis 2006). In the financial sector, these factors are important since they touch on the identity of the individual. The decisions made by the manager of a financial institution need to accommodate persons from all walks of life (Liviu 2015).

Business and Management Challenges Faced by International Managers

As an international manager, it is important to note that decision making is based on the contingency theory. The framework insists that the behaviour of the leader should be considerate. One has to create positive relationships with other stakeholders in the organisation, mainly employees and customers. However, this is often a difficult task owing to the diverse nature of the workforce. The manager has to put into consideration the different cultures represented within the firm (Liviu 2015). Failure to do so will translate to cultural conflict within the workforce. In the case of Clever Clogs International, the new manager sent to the Netherlands needs to develop genuine links with the workforce (Blasco, Feldt & Jakobsen 2012). The reason behind this is that service delivery organisations, such as those operating in the financial sector, depend entirely on the efforts of their employees. Failure to show consideration may lead to poor performance.

According to the contingency theory, another challenge faced by international managers involves initiating structures. An administrator is expected to lead by example. One is charged with the responsibility of assigning roles to subordinates. Planning is also a major role of the management. At the same time, the manager is required to schedule tasks to be completed by the firm. However, this is not often possible for executives in foreign assignments (Aycan et al. 2013).

The reason is that they are not fully aware of the factors that they need to put into consideration when making such decisions. For example, managers of financial institutions operating in foreign countries find it difficult to create a match between organisational goals and those of the employee (Coldwell et al. 2008). The reason is that the individual members of the workforce may differ from one another (Thomas & Peterson 2014). The culture of the home country also tends to differ from that of the foreign nation. Consequently, decisions are made at a slower rate owing to numerous consultations that require to be carried out before final decisions are made.

Conclusion

Rising globalisation has prompted many firms to expand their operations into foreign nations. Managers from the parent company have to be sent on foreign assignments to oversee the running of the new divisions. In some cases, the administrators may lack the skills needed to run international firms (Blasco, Feldt & Jakobsen 2012). They may also lack knowledge on how to deal with the issue of cultural differences. As a result, they are often faced with the challenge of cultural conflict. To prevent such occurrences, it is important to brief managers sent on foreign assignments. International executives working for financial institutions need to be culturally competent. The reason for this is that the performance of service delivery companies depends purely on the commitment of the workforce.

Three major considerations should be factored in when handling international assignments. They include:

  1. The realisation that no two countries have the same cultural settings. As such, a foreign assignment to one nation needs to be handled differently from that in another.
  2. The acknowledgement that cultural differences are to be appreciated and respected by international managers to enhance the success of the divisions they are running.
  3. The realisation that decisions made should be inclusive to improve productivity.

The manager overseeing the Netherlands branch should be aware of these cultural differences.

References

Aguinis, H, Joo, H & Gottfredson, R 2012, Performance management universals: think globally and act locally’, Business Horizons, vol. 55, no. 6, pp. 609-616.

Aycan, Z, Schyns, B, Sun, J & Felfe, J 2013, ‘Convergence and divergence of paternalistic leadership: a cross-cultural investigation of prototypes’, Journal of International Business Studies, vol. 44, no. 9, pp. 962-969.

Blasco, M, Feldt, L & Jakobsen, M 2012, ‘If only cultural chameleons could fly too: a critical discussion of the concept of cultural intelligence’, Academy of Management Journal, vol. 46, no. 6. pp. 1149-1160.

Coldwell, D, Billsberry, J, Meurs, N & Marsh, P 2008, ‘The effects of person-organisation ethical fit on employee attraction and retention: towards a testable explanatory model’, Journal of Business Ethics, vol. 78, no. 1, pp. 611-622.

Gelfand, M, Leslie, L, Keller, K & Dreu, C 2012, ‘Conflict cultures in organisations: how leaders shape conflict cultures and their organisational-level consequences’, Journal of Applied Psychology, vol. 97, no. 6, pp. 1131-1147.

Hofstede, G 1993, ‘Cultural constraints in management theories’, The Executive, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 81-94.

Imai, L & Gelfand, M 2010, ‘The culturally intelligent negotiator: the impact of cultural intelligence (CQ) on negotiation sequences and outcomes’, Organisational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, vol. 112, no. 2, pp. 83-98.

Kline, J 2010, Ethics for international business: decision making in a global political economy, Routledge, London, UK.

Liviu, W 2015, ‘The new face of global M & A intercultural issues in banking industry’, Forum Scientiae Oeconomia, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 127-131.

Moti, U 2015, Human resource management (HRM) in the global perspective: theory and practice, University of Abuja, Abuja, Nigeria.

Siegel, J, Licht, A & Schwartz, S 2011, ‘Egalitarianism and international investment’, Journal of Financial Economics, vol. 102, no. 3, pp. 621-642.

Thomas, D & Peterson, M 2014, Cross-cultural management: essential concepts, 3rd edn, Sage Publications, Inc., New York.

Triandis, H 2006, ‘Cultural intelligence in organisations’, Group Organisation Management, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 20-26.

What about Lebanon? 2013, Web.

What about the Netherlands? 2013, Web.

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