Cultural Perspective Essay

The quality of Rice's academic life and the Residential College System are heavily influenced by the unique life experiences and cultural traditions each student brings. What personal perspective would you contribute to life at Rice? (500 word limit)

Christmas dinners at my grandma's house have never consisted of just the traditional pecan pie and mashed potatoes. Even prior to my birth, my family had a split Christmas, with one side of the kitchen stockpiled with dishes of green bean casserole and corn and the other with traditional Filipino dishes like lumpia and chicken adobo. Food has always made me feel more connected to both my Filipino and American cultures. Every time I've sat at my grandma's scratched wooden table to dig into a plate of pancit while my cousin ate a slice of honey-glazed ham, I was reminded of my blended heritage. My childhood exposure to Filipino food also made me more open to the cultures of others. From day one I've had to accept that there's more than just one type of food or one type of language. Even before I started kindergarten, I had grown accustomed to hearing my grandmother yelling at one of her siblings in Tagalog over the phone. So while my four-year-old peers had stared at our pre-k teacher like she had grown a second head when she started our rudimentary Spanish unit, I picked up on it quick. I would bring home Spanish language coloring sheets and try to teach my parents Spanish. I was so excited I must have told my poor dad that "manzana" was Spanish for apple hundreds of times.

My curiosity regarding the different languages and cultures of the world didn't stop there. Over these past thirteen years of school, I've met a myriad of ethnically diverse students. Some of my best friends have been from Thailand, from Nepal, from Jordan. Although some of my friends have shied away from food from other countries, I'm always eager to try something new. For example, last year during my friend's graduation party, several of my friends turned their nose up at the Thai food offered to them. Even though my friend was polite in response to this, it was obvious that she was slightly offended. I made a point to grab extra of everything in front of her even though I had never tried any of it before. While I mostly did that to be supportive of my friend, I also did it just because I was excited to experience her culture through the likes of jook and other dishes. I'm a firm believer in the use of food as a bridge between cultures and people, something that's evident in the range of food I eat.

Food isn't just something consumed to gain energy, just as language isn't something Instead, these things are indicators of any one person's identity, culture, or upbringing. Someone who dines on Twinkies and Doritos is going to have a much different culture than someone who eats dried squid and seaweed for a snack. I believe I can impact the students of Rice by encouraging them to be open-minded about all aspects of culture and leading by example, fork and knife in hand.

Allana, why are you discussing only food when you should be discussing how you have a unique cultural identity because of your being a Filipino - American? When you are asked to speak of cultural traditions, you must represent the side of your identity that is not well known to the reviewer. Granted that he will be more than familiar with the American culture, values, and traditions so you should focus on the Filipino side of your family culture and traditions. What you are relating is not really a representation of the culture and traditions of that side of your family.

Having some Filipino friends myself, I am fascinated by the respectful culture that the Filipinos seem to have. I never could understand why my friend always placed the back hand of his elders on his forehead when he saw them. I found it strange. Until he explained to me that this was a sign of respect and a request for blessings of the general kind in his life coming from his elders. Apparently Filipinos are big on respect for their elderly. Then there are those terms that he uses on his siblings to signify they were older than him. I can't remember the terms exactly but he said it meant elder brother / sister.

Those are parts of his culture that made him unique in my eyes and also, made him quite popular among our schoolmates and shared friends. It is my belief that these are the kinds of cultural traditions that the essay is asking you to represent. These are the qualities that you can share with the student community which can help it become not only inclusive, but more progressive and evolved as your extended family. These would be the unique contributions that you could make to Rice College.

If you can't think of any cultural traditions to write about, ask your grandmother. I bet she will have boatloads of stories to tell you. My friend told me that he got to know about his Filipino side because of his grandmother. Maybe the same thing will work for you?

Ford is one of the largest automakers in the US. Today, the company operates globally. Ford conducts operations in different countries of the world opening its outlets in different countries. The international market expansion opens new opportunities for the company to enhance its marketing performance and competitive position in the industry in global terms. However, the international market expansion stimulated by the process of globalization brings not only positive effects but also raises substantial problems, which Ford has to overcome to keep growing and to enhance its marketing position consistently. In such a situation, Ford faces substantial cultural barriers because the company has to operate in the multicultural environment. At the same time, the company should come prepared to take into consideration ethical and social issues to avoid internal conflicts within the company and to maintain positive company-customer relationships. Therefore, the process of globalization opens large opportunities for such companies as Ford to expand its operations globally but the international market expansion raises cultural, ethical and social issues, which the company has to deal with to keep progressing and maintaining its business development successfully.

Today, the company operates internationally due to the progress of globalization which contributed to the elimination of fiscal barriers and emergence of free trade. In such a situation, Ford has taken the full advantage of the globalization to advance its business to international markets. The company has expanded its operations globally to reach its target customer group worldwide. The international market expansion involves the construction of assembling plants and research centers of the company in different countries of the world, establishing corporate standards in new outlets of the company.

As Ford enters new markets, the company confronts the problem of cultural barriers which are two-fold. On the one hand, the company faces the problem of cultural gaps between managers of the company transferred from the US and local managers and employees hired by the company in local labor markets. Local employees have different cultural norms and traditions. They are accustomed to a different management style and manager-employee relationship. As a result, when they start working with American managers, the latter may face considerable problems because their management style may fail to work effectively because of cultural differences between managers’ and employees’ background.

On the other hand, Ford confronts the problem of cultural gaps between the company and customers. To enter a foreign market successfully, Ford has to close cultural gaps between traditional policies of the company and cultural norms and traditions of customers. Customers have specific cultural background and the company cannot ignore it, while developing its business in a new market. For instance, European culture is apparently different from American one. In such a situation, policies that work effectively in the US may not always work in the EU.

At the same time, to eliminate possible cultural barriers, Ford attempts to introduce cultural norms and standards, which are grounded on universal, humanistic values. In such a situation, the company attempts to avoid the risk of cultural conflicts within the company as well as between the company and its customers. The introduction of corporate standards helps the company to develop universal policies for all outlets of the company, regardless of their physical location. In this regard, the company has to take into consideration the flexibility of its corporate cultural standards.

In this regard, the flexibility is one of the crucial elements of policies conducted by the company. Ford encourages its managers to conduct flexible policies. In fact, flexibility helps managers to adapt to the culturally diverse environment (Ogbu, 1993). As a result, managers can elaborate the management style that matches cultural norms and traditions of their subordinates. In such a way, managers will minimize the risk of errors. At the same time, the company also focuses on hiring local managers and employees to minimize the risk of tension and cultural conflicts between managers and employees. Instead of transferring managers from the US, the company offers local managers and employees training that makes them come prepared to work according to corporate standards.

However, cultural issues may be complicated by ethical issues that arise in the course of the global expansion of Ford. In this respect, it is worth mentioning the fact that the company entering the new market may face considerable ethical problems, which often emerge because of cultural differences. For instance, Ford operates internationally that means that the company operates in developing countries or countries, where democracy is under-developed. As a result, the company has to adapt its policies to specific cultural environment and to deal with ethical issues that arise. For instance, Ford may face the problem of corruption, when operating outside the US in a developing country. Hence, considerable ethical issues arise. On the one hand, the company needs to implement its strategy of the international market expansion and to enter the new market. On the other hand, the company faces the problem of corruption and the risk of unfair competition. In such a situation, the problem of corruption means that the company has to deal with local, corrupted authorities (Van der Borght, 2000). In such a situation, Ford confronts the ethical dilemma between its corporate standards, which do not admit the involvement of the company in corruptive actions, on the one hand, and the corruption of the local authorities, on the other.

At the same time, the international market expansion of Ford faces a number of social issues, which affect consistently the organizational performance of the company. For instance, social standards and social security in the EU, one of the major markets for the company, is consistently higher than in the US. As a result, the company has to develop its social responsibility in relation to employees, which may include compensation plans, health care coverage, and other socially important issues. In fact, the development of the social responsibility of the company becomes very important for Ford not only in the EU but also in the US and other countries because social standards keep progressing.

Moreover, the company has to respect social standards and conduct policies of social responsibility to maintain the positive image of the company in the US and the EU. For instance, if the company slips to the violation of employees’ rights or the use of child labor, Ford is likely to confront substantial problems in the US and the EU. As a result, Ford tends to conduct policies of social responsibility in any country, where the company operates.

Thus, the process of globalization opens new opportunities for Ford to expand its business internationally. However, the company confronts the problem of cultural barriers between its cultural background and specific cultural norms and standards of employees and customers abroad. The international market expansion also raises ethical and social issues, which the company has to deal with to implement this strategy successfully.

June 29, 2015 |Free Essay Sample Papers|Tags: Cross-Cultural

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