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Medgar Evers College ​alright so I can talk about scheduling and conducted looking at cultural diversity as it relates to knowledge sharing and organizations why we bother looking at knowledge sharing and cultural diversity well one of the arguments is that today there's a lot of competition in the workplace and if you want to be sustainably competitive advantage you need to actually harness to knowledge than the organisation so knowledge management has been deemed as the key to the sustainable competitive advantage it's not your technology it's not what your company owned it's what your people know and what they implement so that you're not repeatedly reinventing the wheel yet in the literature of knowledge management it's bending that culture is is very important component is nebulous thing that's how are you going to get people to take on this knowledge manage the mission that to use somebody else's known as opposed to coming up with their own how to share your knowledge with somebody mean snowing so yeah what is culture and it's one of those things that we can sort of describe but if you can sort of see it through artifacts in terms of how do people dress in the workplace how do they interact with each other or is there a lot of sociability ionic people are friendly with each other or is it very formal but really it's about the shared norms beliefs and assumptions it's what tells you what is right what is proper how is things done here it is you know what steamed route these are all based and culture that how you are defined and culture world will all those so there's different sources of culture there's your national culture so being Canadian means something to us right when you go and travel internationally things that are a little different and it's because it's counter to what your shared norms beliefs and assumptions are how the world operates but we also have regional differences so I've been born and raised in sask to lift an Ontario came to New Zealand and I can tell you there are regional differences across Canada but in and so it's very interesting looking at how those nuances come to play also there's organizational culture so even within the same industry different organizations will have different feels about them different ways of things are being done and also there's different professional culture so I know in many organizations you'll have different professions represented they'll have your accountants you'll have your HR personnel and they have different professional cultures from their own training in terms of beliefs assumptions and norms of how things are supposed to be done my research looked at knowledge floats and what is a non flow and it's basically the patterns that evolved in terms of how knowledge is being shared throughout the organization so who's sharing with whom who's asking for the knowledge from something else it's these patterns that even in the organization so what I was really interested in looking at was having cultural differences within an organization impact these flows of knowledge in the organization because if there's barriers where their thought to be barriers that's something that needs to be addressed and when I did was I did a two week Spenny at a Japanese subsidiary in the United States so Japan and mus have very different cultures and in addition within that subsidiary there was a Caucasian American workers caucasian Canadian workers it was very large constituency they're Hispanic workers african-american workers and the expatriates the Japanese workers Babu came in from Japan so all five had very different regional and national cultural values or beliefs and assumptions in addition it was a one place building where it had not only the business component of finance accounting marketing HR all that was all in one side of the building and attached to the back side with the manufacturing and distribution so very different professional cultures were present in the organization as well so we had I spent a lot of time talking observing measuring and really what I felt was four key findings and this is how diversity impacts how knowledge is shared and closer organization the first and foremost was that national professional culture defines what is good work and I think that this is one of those assumptions that are really critical even here in it and Newfoundland if it's not even an international subsidiaries we have cfa's coming in from different regions from different countries and these are all come with assumptions of what is good work so for example the biggest highlight here was a distinction between what Japanese employees considered to be good work versus what the North American employees Dean was good work and this this was a very good night the quote on up and read it but it's a shame if your footage app knees in American worker next to each other the American worker will look lazy and the Japanese worker will look stupid that a Japanese worker will spend 10 hours of cleaning machine with a toothbrush and the American will grab those were two down the walkway right so you can see that there's a lot of derogatory comments regarding that that there's assumptions that they are doing the work poorly but really the Japanese culture is really about consensus building it without glue volume and so you're going to have a lot of buying from your superiors because again the Japanese culture has what's called high power distance that there's a lot of deference to superiors and elders in North America there's a low power distance

and really what that means is that even if I was subordinate I expect to have a lot of stay with regards to what my superior to sighs all right and also North America is more individualistic that we have this assumption that the individual can make the decision in them it might be wrong and they might be held accountable to it but there's no finger-pointing in Japan whereas in North America there can be finger pointing right and so these differences in these norms and beliefs and values lead to different types of good work it was very interesting because japanee the president of the subsidiary was Japanese and he said Japanese business practices have to stop they can't be here there's no place for them here and I said actually it does because what these individuals are doing are mitigating the risk you're operating in a new environment for the company this risk needs to be so this has the different good work practices actually benefit the organization and so identifying that diversity of these cultural beliefs is really important to identify what is that good work and how is that impacting things like a promotion if you know that when there's gender differences in terms of leadership those each kind of reason what seemed to be good working in leadership if that's not housed within your performance appraisals you'll get basically systemic discrimination so that was one of the interesting issues the other was that looking at first language defined barriers to efficient all the chair okay so obviously expatriate Japanese individual plus Hispanic community that was working there English was a second language and when English is a second language it creates barriers to efficient knowledge sharing it's harder to explain your expertise and your understanding using a second language I know have you gone over to Japan it's a lot harder for me to express what I know that I know bent right but it's harder to express it in a language that's not native to your thought processes and so was interesting that it created these physical barriers in terms of the knowledge close it was like they were just kind of stopped along the language lines but they had to share on some critical critical formal knowledge sharing and what they found was and it actually came with better knowledge sharing so when there was a language barrier people put in the effort to understand what was being said there was active listening there was checking in to make sure that you understood versus when it was English to English there is no active listening and so often times there would be an assumption of understanding of the null when in fact there was a complete misunderstanding okay and I know against time you get to Newfoundland there is a dialect here that is all England's right but the understanding and the implications of what does that work really mean that creates a hiccup so without the act of listening and support for the active listening you can actually create these inefficient military the finally head was that there was different types of knowledge flows there was a formal knowledge flow and that was really about the strategy knowledge or the operational knowledge so the stuff that really had to be shared for proper business processes and what was that in that regard was that there was differences because we have a Japanese was very high power distance they believe that disappears really are the ones that need the knowledge or that they need to get the information from the superiors the Japanese managers were very much up chaining okay so knowledge sharing with the president the American director and the parent company and so is interesting very very little lateral with coworkers with the portal knowledge sharing and very little coming down to subordinates in terms of formal military versus the American manager they actually had a lot of lateral and a lot downward and some up but never up to parent company even the American director that was fluent in Japanese and had actual personal ties to the parent company because he had been over there many many times never shared with the pear company he always went through the president so these different values and norms and beliefs led to different flows and so as an organization if you're bringing in different cultures if you were they should need to understand that it might create these little pockets of knowledge sharing that you might actually need to bring down these and get a dress that defined that explicitly as good practice the final was that there was informal knowledge sharing as well an informal all share is what we call the water cooler discussions you know what they happen probably feels like bossip writer the little interesting tidbits that pop up and it was interesting that what happened was it was through shared experiences shared frustrations shared languages and shared practices were the things that defied the informal knowledge sharing so the crew that went smoking outside together they have a shared a lot of the informal knowledge sharing together so they knew what was going on it wasn't formal stirred strategy or operations that was the scenario was really what's going on so how does organizational culture influenced the dalek flows first and foremost a management support what is management say about knowledge sharing and the president of this organization was very explicit than sharing when stalin really important if you hide it important if you protect it you will have no place in this organization in the long term that really emphasized and so does the director emphasized a learning organization they were growing rapidly they needed everyone to learn so that they could prove promoted and bringing up the people underneath them as well very intolerant to act according interesting there's also very explicit in tourist to national culture and language excuses so while it was a little bit of a hiccup for understanding and I did the good work that the Japanese workers were bringing to the workplace it actually helped in terms of removing that I can't understand it right I just not even going to bother

asking so it was interesting because when I was saying to him afterwards in my discussion with the president he said you know I might actually want to invest in some Japanese language classes here because putting in the effort to express some communication it'll probably be at the level of a great pot or a kicker five you're often right but that effort well and also in that training of the language skills you start understanding the grammar structure so that you don't assume the person stupid because they're not forming a sentence partner they're forming a sentence very probably considering their language helps you remove some transparent so what does this mean for other companies in terms of you guys I'm sure you have some cfa's in your organization right and from that you can see that there's possibly language barriers and it might not be obvious in terms of the Japanese versus English when I know even English to English and I go over to England and I I trained over there an agility dog stuff and I talked about my agility pants I usually in a fairly get Snickers from the Pentagon I'm sorry that's trousers right there not under right so the understanding of the language differences and incorporating the act of listening and training your voice on how to engaged share that knowledge is really important identify improper or incomplete knowledge flows where are those barriers that you really need that knowledge to be flowing that's just not because of the what's good work and you can also influence knowledge closest oddly by your formalization identifying chains of who needs to be sharing with whom and identify was tolerated and what's not tolerated so while national and regional cultural differences will define in professional cultures as well will be finalized appropriate behavior the organization the president the HR department that supervisors have a very strong same training that so you can organization we defined that ball would be off of nationally Syracuse University.