Questions and Case for Discussion
1. The term culture shock is used to describe the trauma a person feels when they move to a culture different form their home culture. It’s the misunderstanding by the traveler of the host’s cultures way of life, language, customs and values.
2. The stages of culture shock are four part: 1. The positive beginning or the honey moon phase where everything new in the host culture is viewed in a positive light. 2. The Crisis stage is where all those new things once viewed as interesting become tedious and stressful. 3. The adjustment phase is where the traveler starts to learn to cope with the new culture in affective manner. 4. The acceptance phase is where the traveler realizes that the new culture is far easier to deal with when their attitude towards the host culture is positive.
3. Multinational firms can alleviate culture shock by careful selection of candidates for overseas assignments and predeparture training.
4. Intercultural training offered by multinational firms include the following: 1. The intellectual model- this is fact based lecture styled training including the use of group discussions and video tapes of the host culture. 2. Area training model- this is also called the simulation model. It is centered on the trainee rather than the trainer and is focused on problem solving rather than acquiring information of the host culture. It emphasizes affective goals, culture-specific content and experiential processes 3. The self-awareness model- This is an unpopular training processes in which the theory is that a person aware of their values and customs would be better equipped to deal with a foreign culture. It involves participants to be involved in group settings where their behaviors are critiqued. It has been found to be threatening to the trainee as they are required to deal with their own feelings and emotions. 4. The cultural-awareness model- emphasizes cultural insight where the trainee spends time contrasting the values and customs of their own culture to that of the upcoming host culture 5. The Interaction approach- is based on participants interacting with people in the host country 6. The Multidimensional approach- says that no one approach is good enough to prepare the participant for living abroad. Instead this training method integrates cognitive, affective and behavioral aspects of training. Advocates of this method believe that this is the best approach when preparing a participant for an overseas assignment
5. Different forms of cultural stress include preparing for the move, unpacking and getting settled in the new country, adjusting to the new foods, housing problems, adverse or differing climates, new services, and trying to communicates in a different language can all be troublesome to the person on an overseas assignment.
6. Positive coping skills that can be used to alleviate stress when abroad may include taking up a new skill or hobby, planning a family events, talking your problems out with friends and family and trying hard to change your outlook on the whole situation help. Also exercise and meditation can relieve stress as well