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Culture case study: Valley Farms International & cultural group assessment

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Case Study: Valley Farms International.
    1. Culture consideration.
    2. Determinants of culture.
    3. Time orientation.
    4. Communication orientation.
    5. Power and structure orientation.
    6. Thinking orientation.
    7. Improving relations.
  3. Cultural diversity within the group.
    1. Cultural gaps: Language, punctuality and communication orientation.
    2. Cultural gaps between group members.
    3. Recommendations for Future Group Work.
  4. Appendix one: Leona's personal reflection.
  5. Appendix two: Stephane's personal reflection.
  6. Appendix three: Kevin's personal reflection.
  7. References.

Understanding diverse cultures is significant if one is to be socially astute, sensitive, and effective within complex cultural contexts. The Iceberg culture theory, if used correctly, can prove to be a meaningful tool that can assist in identifying important cultural similarities and differences. It is by building upon these culture theory conclusions that one can determine the existing cultural challenges and in response, the creative methods that one can use to ease the noted cultural distinctions. Applying culture theory is relevant and can be used to examine Valley Farms International, a case study describing international business within a culturally dynamic environment. In addition to applying culture theory to the Valley Farms International case study, culture theory can further be applied on a more personal and interactive level. The group, namely Stephane Marin, Kevin Sullivan, and Leona Hancharek then become the specimens for this culture theory examination. It is only through the practical application of culture theory that the true intricacies and wonders of cultural diversity are made manifest. Valley Farms International abounds with examples of cultural differences; it is by delving further into the case that one can fully understand the many facets of cultural difference and its influence in the business environment. In examining the case of Valley Farms International, it is important to analyze the case by noting the applicable determinants of culture, followed by applying the Iceberg culture theory to draw out similarities and differences.

[...] A second cultural challenge Roberts faces involves the different communication styles that each culture is most accustomed with. For Roberts, his direct approach to communication may appear to be blunt and insensitive, while the more indirect Republican approach may appear to be highly evasive and convoluted. The different approaches to communication may also be challenging in that small miscommunications could easily escalate into difficult and uncomfortable situations. Another factor Roberts may find challenging is the cultural structure difference. While Roberts is familiar with a fixed structure with clearly outlined rules and expectations, the Republicans are fluid and flexible with their actions. [...]


[...] culture that are present as these determinants often form the founding blocks that influence each person's cultural upbringing. To begin, let us consider John Roberts. John Roberts, an American, is a practicing Christian who is accustomed to a representative political philosophy where the political instability and political risk are both relatively low. Roberts is also familiar with a free market economy where there is little government intervention within the market. Education is another determinant that is of importance, as Roberts originally was employed as a university professor of finance, and has had some exposure to international business. [...]


[...] By treating this matter as a difference in cultural orientation rather than a lack of commitment, we found a mutually beneficial solution to an issue that had potential to cool relations between group members had it not been addressed the way it was (as is often the case in group assignments). Communication Orientation An additional cultural difference that Kevin and Leona found rather interesting was the way in which Stephane presented his arguments and suggestions. When pointing a certain aspect of the article out, Stephan would first re-state the question, put his suggestion into context; explain where it is in the article, followed by a clarification of why he thinks this. [...]

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