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The maturity model Iben Jensen, Professor (mso), Department of Learning.

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1 The maturity model Iben Jensen, Professor (mso), Department of Learning

2 Why bother with definitions? 25 years with the concept of culture? Why? Culture is one of the most powerful concepts in contemporary sociology (‘constructing the other’) Knowledge on culture determines strategies in international cooperation Common sense knowledge on culture and national differences (discourses) influence political as well as financial decisions

3 Discussion at the tables (30 min) Counting process (1-2-3-4-5) Use a couple of minutes to read the maturity model (hand-out) Use the next five minutes individually to assess (for each of the two dimensions) the level of maturity of the organization you work for now (or have worked for).

4 Table discussion, continued Take a turn around the table and discuss: How and why have you assessed your organization as you did? Give examples. Discuss: What would it take for your organization to become more mature? Reflect on the maturity model: –Did the model make sense as a tool? –Are some important elements lacking? –Was any part of the model irrelevant?

5 Level 1 The organization does not enter foreign markets. The organization has a positive attitude towards international markets, but prefers the national market. Other markets are perceived as unfamiliar and very different. The organization does not collect data about international end users.

6 Level up? Interest/motivation for other markets Other markets are perceived as unfamiliar and very different. –Theoretically this attitude rely on a common sense /descriptive perception of other cultures and a low degree of intercultural competence –No data about the other reinforces this attitude

7 Intercultural competence Engagement, curiosity, respecting the other Knowledge related to the market and local working practices Awareness of one’s own practices – and presuppositions of ‘the other’ Communication skills : Meta-communication – to be able to communicate about the communication Knowledge about the formal rules (tax, income level, image) related to the area/product

8 Level 2 The organization enters international markets, which are perceived as similar (e.g. Scandinavian markets). National cultural differences are seen as important, but the organization assumes similarities between neighboring cultures. The organization collects data about end users in markets that are considered similar or where the language barrier is low (e.g. Scandinavian markets and English speaking countries).

9 A level up ? Assuming similarities between neighbor countries is theoretically called parallel- cultures. Misunderstandings are common as differences occur at micro-level and are misinterpreted Jokes about neighbor countries should be avoided (they become dull)

10 Level 3 The organization enters selected international markets. Countries are seen as separate national entities with unique cultures. Other countries are often compared to the home country. The organization collects data about end users in a few selected strategic markets.

11 Cultural awareness This is the level for experiences and stereotypes It is important to reflect on single experiences as such – do not generalize too fast Be aware of self-idealisation; constructing your self as rational and the other as irrational and determined by their culture Look out for similarities in practices and explore social differences

12 Iben Jensen Fixed points Cultural presupposition Cultural presupposition Positions of experiences Positions of experiences Intercultural communication Cultural self- awareness Cultural self- awareness

13 Cultural presupposition All understanding relies on preunderstanding or prejudices: It is prejudiced to think, that you have no prejudices against other people. A simplistic understanding of ‘the other’ which is foremost seen in cultural meetings Be aware how ‘They’ are described ”Not only Danes but also Germans seem to be rather shy.” ”The Koreans are more intellectually skilled than Danes” Iben Jensen

14 Cultural self-awareness In cultural meetings we have a tendency to describe ourselves as we want to be. Cultural self-awareness is a simplistic ideal understanding of one’s own culture. Take note of which words are used by ‘us’ ”Denmark has a very flat structure; an easy way to discussion with top managers. (We like that). Abroad, it is generally more hierarchical” (from staff meeting) Iben Jensen

15 Positions of experiences Is the position from where you get your experiences

16 Fix-points Topics which within seconds create great stir Coherence between own identity and fix-points Iben Jensen

17 Level 4 The organization enters all relevant markets. Culture is seen as complex. Users from a country are seen as diverse groups of people having different practices. Users are also seen as having similarities in practices across countries. Employees are aware that their own culture influences their view on other cultures and practices. The organization collects data about end users in all strategic markets.

18 Awareness of own practices (Power and hierarchy) Flat structure (power is not directly visible) In a flat structure you need to know the signs of power in order to localize the power (apart from the boss) Equal communication, but norms for how you are expected to discuss with your boss. Hierarchical structure (power is directly visible) In a hierarchical structure, power is visible The boss has a much LARGER table – showing his position Power and rules defined by power are defined – and everybody knows who is in charge

19 Level Up Going from theoretical insight to international practice It is mutual learning between the organisations and the markets they relate to … Developing strategies for common new practices …

20 Culture as practice From the perspective of Practice theory culture can be seen as series of practices. In globalised societies more and more practices will be common across countries … A conceptualizing of global personas.

21 Level 5 = IDEAL The organization enters all relevant markets. Culture is seen as complex and the organization has developed strategies for handling national differences/practices and cross-cultural similarities. Employees have awareness on how their own culture influences their view on other cultures and practices. The organization collects data about end users in all relevant markets.


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