Managing Cultural Diversity in Asia
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Managing Cultural Diversity in Asia

A Research Companion

Edited by Jawad Syed and Mustafa F. Özbilgin

This Companion provides an authoritative overview of how cultural diversity is managed in Asia. Although the Asian context appears at first sight to be irreconcilably divergent in terms of diversity management approaches, the contributing authors seek to explore thematic and geographical demarcations of the notions of cultural diversity and equality at work.
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Chapter 12: A Comparison of the Japanese and South Korean Mindset: Similar but Different Management Approaches

Yang-Im Lee


Yang-Im Lee Introduction It has been suggested that diversity management is a widely interpreted area of study and that there is a need to revisit existing issues and concerns (Lorbiecki and Jack, 2000: S18). It has also been suggested that there is a need to look more closely at functional diversity in teams (Bunderson and Sutcliffe, 2002) and to comprehend more fully aspects of organizational change (Capowski, 1996). This would indicate that the different approaches used need to be synthesized so that a greater theoretical understanding emerges (Harrison and Klein, 2007: 1200–201). What is important to note, is that research needs to be undertaken into diversity management that balances cross-national and intra-national diversity so that it is possible ‘to truly understand cross-cultural phenomena, and thus further improve the quality of cross-cultural research’ (Tung, 2008: 41). Research undertaken by Rowley et al. (2010) into the role of women in management in a Confucian culture, proved revealing as it highlighted gender inequality due to male dominance, which was rooted in societal expectations and cultural norms. The turnover of staff is another key issue that can in part be related to gender bias, and ultimately to a firm’s productivity (Robinson and Dechant, 1997: 23). The findings of such research would help those managing international business operations to devise relevant cross-cultural training programmes (Ellis and Sonnenfeld, 1994: 80), to harness the qualities of those involved in group work (Thomas and Ely, 1996) and to make sure that local management practices were developed (Newman...

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