MEASURING INTRA-COUNTRY LEVEL OF COMFORT AMONG SUBCULTURES IN ITALY

Abstract:
In order to compare the level of comfort among different sub cultural groups at multicultural work places in the national context, several observed and unobserved variables (comfort scales) are described. The inter city differences in Italian cities in terms of the level of comfort among various sub cultural groups are studied. The results obtained from the comparison of multi cultural workplaces from different large Italian cities are presented and analysed. The paper finds there is no significant ‘city’ effect on most of the comfort scales when analysed from the responses from several large Italian cities. Impact of other control variables like ‘gender’, ‘age groups’, ‘income – groups’ on the derived comfort scales is analysed and documented.

See full text at http://emi.mvso.cz/EMI/2013-01/02%20Vijesh/Vijesh.pdf

Comfort with Foreign Cultures (CFC) Scores for New Countries

Comfort with foreign cultures at Multinational Workplaces may vary according to the cultural origins of the members of multicultural teams. While performance of international project teams improves if the teams are multicultural, intercultural discomfort may create new glitches and challenges for the team managers to ensure smooth team coordination.

New research, a comprehensive three country study on India, Italy and Portugal indicate new CFC scores for members originating from these countries. The scores indicate their level of comfort as local cultures with other cultural groups of foreign origin in international teams working on same projects in MNEs

Final CFC scores

The CFC scores above indicate level of comfort of employees as local cultures from India having lesser level of comfort with colleagues of foreign cultures than for the employees as local cultures from Italy and Portugal. The CFC score differences among Italy and Portugal is not very significant. The scores are based on the scale from 0 to 100. CFC scores based on the stereotype effect are also given which indicate that level of comfort with foreign cultures is not significantly explained by the level of stereotypes present in different cultures. In this case India is not really having a major stereotype effect and yet shows significant higher level of discomfort with foreign cultures than Italy and Portugal.

What is wrong with India’s kind of capitalism?

Capitalism is always contrasted with socialism. Yet both have great similarities. Not in terms of what the two ideas advocate, but in the sense that both are the product of philosophical ideas of how humanity should be working, living and owning. It is debatable which of the philosophical ideas is more logical and more practical for good life. The answer to this question lies in understanding the point of the philosophers and administrators.

The difference between a philosopher and an administrator is that a philosopher thinks with a free mind without the constraint of being responsible to rule a sea of its subjects in most challenging ways. Philosopher writes based on the free will and provides lots of examples and reasoning for why his concept is right and perhaps why others may be wrong. It is the part of the philosophical writing and research. Criticism is most welcome to such free thinking and there is no final word in philosophy. As ideas, most philosophers will convince you the basis and logic of their concepts of human life and controls of the subjects in a society, and it is up to the administrator, if he is able to fully or partially adapt to the idea successfully to rule its people in his region or nation. Therefore what happens is that an administrator needs to adapt to a particular philosophy most suitable to ground realities of the cultures and life style of its citizens.

What US did by adopting the idea of free capitalism was to use the philosophy to benefit from the advantages while avoiding the pitfalls as mentioned in the original philosophy of democracy and free market economy. It was achieved not in decades but over centuries of experimentation with the philosophical idea of capitalism, modifying the idea to suit to the practical realities of ruling a peculiar set of population with specific demography as prevalent in that part of the world. USSR on the other hand, perhaps could not really experiment with the idea of socialism innovatively enough to suit the requirement of an administrator and tried to dream the philosopher’s way, leaving no space for administrative modifications required in a purely philosophical idea. Finally the idea failed in that part of the world, leaving the remnants of the idea to People’s Republic of China, which wowed to preserve the philosophy of socialism and experimented with it to suit the administrative requirement of its own realities, like what US did with their original philosophical idea of free capitalism. In case of China the timing of such experimentation came out to be perfect and today, China could prove the efficacy of its own kind of capitalism which is result of experimentation of its own kind of socialism too.

On the other hand India just decided to experiment with the capitalism in its most basic form, 60 years back, after Britishers were out of the country. It was like reinventing the wheel again. Many countries like South Korea, Malaysia and others just copied the capitalist practices of long practiced US capitalism supported by its own kind of democracy. While India came out to be the largest democracy of the world, it did not choose to copy the administrator’s form of capitalism long practiced in US and Europe. India tried to build upon the basic philosophical idea, but had been sluggish to learn and experiment with the same to suit its ground realities, a mistake similar to what was done by socialists in Russia. The result is that India today faces major challenges in reaping the benefits of democracy, which in its present and recent past form is at best flawed if not junk.

The biggest problem with the Indian capitalism is that, it is not supported with an administrator’s kind of democracy, at best adopting a philosopher’s kind of democracy and more as a formality and on paper rather than being as a mission to achieve results and in its true spirit. Away from so called Meritocracy as invented by Singapore and later adopted by China. That is where the real contrast comes among Chinese Capitalism and the resulting current situation of Indian capitalism.

On the other hand, difference between US capitalism and Indian capitalism can be best seen from the point of view of the resolve of US to make sure that every American is provided equal educational opportunities supported by a dynamic and sound school infrastructure at the state cost and available to both poor and rich entrants (born in random households / parents perhaps by the will of so called GOD) in this world but as US citizens. The idea ensures the true fruits are reaped of the idea of democracy and free capitalism, lest only children’s of rich families will be able to show their inborn strengths to take the country’s capitalism to new heights. The same is not true for India, where only rich families are able to provide right opportunities to their children, while poor kids never see the light of even basic middle-income life. Lack of basic school infrastructure defies even the very idea of free capitalism in its administrative form rather than philosophical terms. It is interesting to note that lack of schooling to the poor kids of India’s population which forms a majority results into a lot of inborn talent being wasted and not put for the national growth because of unequal opportunities available to poorly born kids in poor households/parents of India.

In other words without the right riders and enablers, the idea of democracy is farce for a country like India. It was more so when it was born 60 years back if not today. A literacy rate of around 74% way below world average ensures a lot more talent not being put for national growth leave aside a thought of meritocracy irrespective of family background of new entrant of this world as Indian citizens. China do not have such a situation albeit different route taken with respect to its political idea. Therefore the most debated concern related to ‘China’s future political stability’ may be a mere figment of imagination of certain philosophers, not too happy with the administrator’s experimentation with the basic idea of Chinese socialism.

In all, India needs a major rethink of its own kind of capitalism which needs to be supported by a real workable democracy which is result oriented like that of US, and which makes popular but real sense and considers checks and balances of the original philosophical idea of democracy in a form which gives prosperity and economic growth. Otherwise India needs to junk its 60 years old idea and perhaps restart afresh, after all the race can not start with different starting points, to be fair to the real winner.

INCOTERMS 2010 revision is more practical

INCOTERMS 2010 which contain 11 delivery terms comprising of 7 ‘multimodal’ or ‘place to place’ terms and 4 ‘port to port’ terms are now much more easy to understand and applied more practically to today’s international logistics practices. A seller or the buyer is not really interested to know what happens at the sea port or at the airport and the different terminal formalities which are taken care by the multimodal transport operator (MTO) or C & F agent. Therefore it makes more sense to refer to delivery terms in the export contract as place to place delivery terms either at the sellers place or close to buyer’s place unless the cargo is loose cargo being shipped and handled by any of the 2 parties at the ports.

This is what was discussed and concluded at the one day I.T.S – MDP held on 10.08.13 at Hotel Jaypee Siddharth, New Delhi. The topics covered at the MDP were – INCOTERMS 2010 and Letter of Credit. The MDP was attended by executives from several MNCs.

One day I.T.S - MDP

One day I.T.S – MDP

Foreign cultures and level of comfort – a three countries empirical investigation in multinational firms

Abstract

Level of comfort with foreign cultures (CFC) is one of the critical variables in the ease of working in multicultural work teams. In an increasingly multi-cultural working environment in corporations, the observed and latent behavior influences the working relationship amongst employees and has great weight on individual and team performance. This paper investigates level of comfort among employees, which is influenced by the observed and latent behavior at multinational work places in three countries. A framework has been developed and implemented in Italy, Portugal and India, with a controlled sample design to ensure the cultural diversity. Paper analyses that there is a significant ‘country’ effect on many CFC scales. The Mean score differences based on each of the comfort with foreign culture variables among Portugal, Italy and India are also significant, indicating level of comfort of local cultures with foreign cultures differs from country to country.

Key Words: Inter-cultural comfort; Cross cultural teams; Multicultural work places; Cultural identity

Read full text at

http://www.iiste.org/Journals/index.php/EJBM/article/view/6217*

Level of Comfort between Local Employees and Foreign Employees in MNC workplaces may vary

Abstract

Geert Hofstede studied the cultural dimension in multinational firms which play significant role in the professional conduct of employees. Fifth dimension was supplemented on a cross cultural study of Chinese Confucius behavior. In the changing global cross cultural conduct at work place, the firms are facing more challenges than ever before in forming and performing in multi-location and multi-national teams. This study attempts to read the variables to build a framework which measures the Level of Comfort (LoC) between local culture and foreign culture in the multinational firms. The framework developed is also tested on a pilot study with 200 respondents from 10 countries. Results show that Level of Comfort can be measured through a structured questionnaire and also that this level of comfort vary among countries included in the study.

Read Full Text at

http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/ijbm/article/view/19560

Indian Political Eco System Vs that of US

For one it may be thought ‘out of place’ to compare Indian Politics with US Politics. For a change let us compare these two so called distant eco systems.

We generally tend to think Indian politics is the result of the thought process of a large number of uneducated, unprivileged, primitive thinking people as against more refined educated, elite, world class electorate of US. Therefore it may look inappropriate to compare the two political ecosystems. It is being debated that today US political system is largely dysfunctional as far as important policy decisions are to be taken for the common good of the people and to bring out the economy from current mess. The so called ‘free thinking features’ of world’s most refined democracy are proving to be fatal to the country’s destiny. One such important legal feature of the US political system is proving to be very detrimental to the growth of US economy is the ‘political lobbying’. In fact if we look at the state of affairs of the ‘political decision making’ and consensus for important legislations required for US policy making, ‘lobbying’ is the only way to get certain laws passed albeit more favoring the lobbyist than the common Americans. Otherwise the partisan nature of the US politics which has plagued the US political ecosystem in recent decades is making it difficult to allow policy makers to get their legislations passed through consensus among democrats and republicans. The divide between the two major parties is so huge and so opposed to each other that good sense is finding it difficult to prevail. Important measures required for bringing back the economy of US to its erstwhile glory are not being passed due to lack of consensus among the major parties.

Is Indian Political system also plagued by similar partisan politics of the type being expeeinced by US system? Commoners say it does not matter whether it is BJP or Congress all are of the same school of thoughts. Then it is very different from what is the situation there in US. However lack of consensus at parliament and wastage of political time at the venue of political gathering of world’s largest democracy shows similar signs of partisan politics away from common good of the people, quite similar to what one see in US politics today. It is being debated that US politics need a ‘radical center’ (a term invented in the US referring to the moderate centrist political party ready to bring radical changes). This third front already seems to be emerging in India with experiments by common people of civil society of India, while its need is still being debated in US. To that extent Indian political lab seems to be at the advanced stages to reinvent new political ideas suitable to modern democracy in tune with the aspiration of current generation of voters. That makes Indian political system perhaps more resilient to current changes of the voters than the US political system.

Is US Going With The Wind?

There has been quite a debate in recent past about US lost its position geopolitically. It may not be appropriate right now that it is not true given all the economic and financial indicators about the country. The political scenario at present is at its worst, with lots of partisan politics and a possible lack of understanding on what are the ills facing this great country on this planet. Consensus among political players on important long-term measures is not forthcoming with each opposing party toeing the opposite views on almost every issue facing the country. The infrastructure throughout the country is dilapidated. People do not seem to be putting their best efforts to work hard. Saving rate is still very low. Educational excellence is not forthcoming. Skilled immigrants are still being shooed away. The success formula so exploited by the country till recently is being ignored.

But all is not lost for the country. I recently talked to some senior business leaders in Singapore and Malaysia about their views on the loosing sheen of US, they argue that US is still the most sought after destination for the best of scientists, talented IT professionals, distinguished educationalist and other top professionals. They still have no other choice to show their best. US still remain one of the freest economies with a lot of potential for new entrepreneurs and new start-ups. Moreover, it is still a country where all kinds of professions or professionals are still respected. Innovators are still hopeful for this country to offer them a ground and finances to do their experiments with their creative ideas. US still remain one of the best mixes of races, gender and cultures. It is still the country which offers more commanding jobs to women than men in their navy fleet.

So what can be expected of US in near future, in terms of taking a lead it has taken in the last century on the world stage? It is argued that if the US citizens are ready to forgo some of the major expectations from their governments mainly related to social security and the government is ready to take call on long-term measures to bring out US economy out of reds, there is still a strong possibility to see the US coming back to its original glory. Political leader’s attitudes and responsible behavior seems to be the key to its recovery, it has been suggested.

Geopolitical Scientists of Ancient India

In the modern world the term Geopolitics was first coined by Rudolf Kjellén, a Swedish political scientist, at the beginning of the 20th century. The doctrine of Geopolitics gained attention largely through the work of Sir Halford Mackinder in England and his formulation of the Heartland Theory (World Island, Rimland and Periphery) in 1904. According to his theory the world was divided into three regions – Heartland (the secure part of the world consisting of large parts of Russia, Northern parts of China, Eastern parts of Europe, Mangolia) which was seemingly secure and had potential to prosper due to cushion provided by the rimland (the second part of the world consisting mainly of regions of India, Southern and Eastern parts of China, Sahara Desert, large parts of Western Europe) which were more prone to attackers from the sea-side and the peripheral world, which consisted mainly of large parts of Africa, Australia, US continent and numerous island countries of far east which were likely to be in most turmoil to be able to prosper. Today although the situation is very different and world geopolitical view is very different.

Ancient India had its own great geopolitical scientists. One most astonishing example seems to be that of Chanakya, (3rd century BC), the great teacher, a great politician and a person who really had a great regional view if not the world view of that time. His geopolitical understanding of the time was very deep which helped him to get to the job of uniting a number of independent states on the Indian continent and around. Without an understanding of risks involved with fighting the foreign invaders with a united power, he could not have achieved was he could achieve in his life time. His geopolitical understanding of the time was remarkable given the lack of communication, education, infrastructure of his time.

Originally a teacher at the ancient Takshashila University, Chanakya managed the first Maurya emperor Chandragupta’s rise to power at a young age. He is widely credited for having played an important role in the establishment of the Maurya Empire, which was the first empire in the archaeologically recorded history to rule most of the Indian subcontinent. Chanakya served as the chief advisor to both Chandragupta and his son Bindusara.

Chanakya is traditionally identified as Kautilya or Vishnu Gupta, who authored the ancient Indian political treatise called Arthaśāstra. As such, he is considered as the pioneer of the field of economics and political science in India, and his work is thought of as an important precursor to Classical Economics.Chanakya’s works predate Machiavelli’s by about 1,800 years. His works were lost near the end of the Gupta dynasty and not rediscovered until 1915.

Two books are attributed to Chanakya: Arthashastra and Neetishastra (also known as Chanakya Niti).

The Arthashastra discusses monetary and fiscal policies, welfare, international relations, and war strategies in detail. The text also outlines the duties of a ruler.Some scholars believe that Arthashastra is actually a compilation of a number of earlier texts written by various authors, and Chanakya might have been one of these authors.

Neetishastra is a treatise on the ideal way of life, and shows Chanakya’s deep study of the Indian way of life. Chanakya also developed Neeti-Sutras (aphorisms – pithy sentences) that tell people how they should behave. Of these well-known 455 sutras, about 216 refer to raja-neeti (the dos and don’ts of running a kingdom). Apparently, Chanakya used these sutras to groom Chandragupta and other selected disciples in the art of ruling a kingdom.

Other works of ancient India geopolitical scientists are attributed to the development of Vedas and Puranas, mostly geopolitical accounts of ancient India political situations of as far as 2500 BC India. Although most of the Geopolitical accounts of ancient India have debatable accounts and sources of information is limited, they give a glimpse of prowess of great Indian geopolitical scientists and thinkers.

Significance of Understanding of International Trade Procedures and Documentation

While operating in international markets, a businessperson can not transact without the interventions of mainly four groups of intermediaries or regulators – 1) Governments of host and home country, 2) Banks in both the countries, 3) Transporting group – Different payers involved with the overall logistics of carrying the goods from home country to host country, 4) Misc Group – Different service providers which facilitate the transaction of the goods internationally. Due to the simple fact that the transacting parties are located in different countries with different set of laws and regulations as also differing business practices, it becomes too complicated for them to carry out their transactions without the active participation of different players belonging to these groups or categories of entities. While governments of exporting and importing countries have their own objectives and compulsions to intervene, other groups are motivated to intervene seeing opportunities of profit in international transactions. Banking groups thrive on providing their services for profits of their own, transporters carry out their role on daily basis to make profit from the movement of the goods. Miscellaneous group consists of service providers which thrive on peculiar situations arising from international transactions.

In all, the involvement of so many parties in international transactions create a set of challenges and opportunities. The understanding of International Trade Procedures and Documentation is vital to meet these challenges and exploit these opportunities to its maximum.

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