Importance of relationships in organizationsA lot of full-time employees spend most of their time with co-workers than they do with their families.Therefore, it is important for employees to build good relationships with their co-workers.There are many benefits for organization that foster good relationships in the workplace.(McFarlin, n.d.)Eg; Improved Teamwork – When co-workers have good relationship, they can communicate with each other better and they understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses better.
Lower turnover rates -When employees has a sense of belonging to a company, they will be less likely to seek employment at a different company. According to the Gallup Organization, people who have good friends at work are seven times more likely to be engaged in their jobs. (McFarlin, n.d.)Increased Productivity – People are more likely to be motivated and inspired when working with close ones, therefore higher productivity.Power Distance has a great impact on relationships in workplace. Basic areas of inequality:Physical / mental abilities and characteristicsSocial status and prestigeWealthPowerLaw, rights, rules(Andrews.edu, n.
d.)On the cultural scale of Hofstede’s analysis, the Hofstede’s Power Distance scale indicates a high degree of power distance within the Thai culture.Thailand scores 64 and Italy scores 50.(Hofstede Insights, n.d.).
This phenomenon can be seen in Thailand’s respect for their King and religious practices.(Pdx.edu, n.d.
)Thailand is a hierarchical society where relationships are based on social status and it may be determined by education,job,family name, and social connections.(Pdx.edu, n.d.
)Employees in high power distance are reluctant to take part in decisions and are satisfied with their managers making decisions and giving instructions. They are used to obeying instructions from their superiors. Communication takes place vertically downwards, with little or no horizontal communication, due to this behavior unethical decisions and behavior tends to happen because managers don’t need to justify their decision to lower level employees.(Khatri, 2009).Overall communication is anemic.In Italy, everyone’s voice matters, everyone’s opinion counts.Thai people prefer to be humble than being right or finding a better solution.(Tuohy, 2016)For Thais,age, ranking and social status must be taken into consideration when deciding whether they should be honest with a person.
This is a situation where tensions and miscommunications arises between Thais and foreigners. Thais feels that foreigners don’t know their place and foreigners feels that Thais are self-satisfied when they don’t spot mistakes.(Tuohy, 2016)Language DifferencesLanguage differences is a distinct barrier to intercultural communication.Words don’t normally translate from one language to another exactly the same.
The same English word may have different meanings to people from different cultures.(Farnen, 2017)Feelings and EmotionsMost Thais keep their emotions in disguise, whereas Italians are more comfortable with showing their emotions to others.Talking loudly in public might be unusual and embarrassing for an Asian, but it is an Italian way to express their excitement. Differences in culture and communication styles can even cause anxiety.
As a result of these negative emotions, people from different cultures may be discouraged and refuse to communicate with each other.(Farnen, 2017)Staying calm,not raising voice during any tough circumstances is the key to handle situations in Thailand.Thai people dislike and avoid open confrontations. Their culture has an impression that conflicts affects the peace within a group and that relationships are permanently damaged from confrontations. (Tuohy, 2016)Foreigners such as Italians comes from a background where they think that confrontation is positive and constructive. Arguments are good for the growth of a team. They don’t hurt personal relationships and are capable of separating business and personal relationships completely. This leads to misunderstanding because foreigners often think they can confront a Thai colleague and that the relationship won’t be affected but Thai colleague will take it seriously and not understand why their foreign colleague changes their attitude towards them drastically.
(Tuohy, 2016)The Italian style of communication prefers direct feedback whether positive or negative while Thai people find this impolite.The Thai style prefer indirect negative feedback. If a Thai colleague has something negative to tell you, they will do it privately and carefully. They might try to disguise negative feedback as advice.(Tuohy, 2016)Body LanguagePeople sometimes take offense because of differences in body language across cultures.
(Farnen, 2017)Level of ContextThais sometimes say “yes” or “maybe” when they actually mean “no,” according to the Diversity Council. (Farnen, 2017).Thais use high-context communication.There is subtleness and second meaning in their conversations which foreigners don’t often pick up on.Foreigners are used to low-context communication so they say what they mean and mean what they say. They prefer to engage in simple, straightforward conversation with little subtext and expect the same from others.The conflict starts when foreigners expect their Thai friends to be straightforward and say what’s on their mind with less guessing on the other hand Thais often get annoyed when their foreign friends don’t follow the communication rules and are blunt.(Tuohy, 2016)Solution for Italian Manager to overcome intercultural differences in Thailand.
Communicate your intentions – Sharing each other’s purpose and ideas will help to clear unnecessary miscommunication. The team will understand each other better.Seek feedback – feedback is a useful way to access and evaluate one’s performance. We can make changes according to the feedback we get from others.
Involving HR – HR can help to organise team building activities, to boost up team relationship.Be accommodating – As a Italian working with Thais vice versa, it is important to be understanding, paying attention to details and feelings of one another.