miércoles, 18 de mayo de 2011

What is the dominant religion in Colombia? What are the religious implications for doing business here?

The dominant religion in Colombia is the Catholicism, especially in Antioquia there is a very religious cultures.
The way of behaving and customs from people are influenced by the Catholicism, nowadays it has change a little and people is less influenced in business by their religion, but still there are some people who really are influenced.
People here do not think deceiving is a good way of making business, or hiding information from the other. Also it is really important for religious people that people respect their beliefs even if they do not share them.

Image retrieved from http://www.jefferywestover.com/?p=3033

Since diversity is a source of competitive advantage, what could be the recruitment strategies to effectively target to diverse groups? What would be the consequences of ignoring diversity?

The recruitment strategies to effectively target to diverse groups for me would be:
  • ·         Look for people that are different, but that are also confortable with being with different people to avoid conflicts.
  • ·         Look for people whose characteristics are different from the others, but no just different but also useful.
  • ·         Treat people always with respect even if you do not share their way of thinking.
  • ·         Encourage differences among employees.
The consequences of ignoring diversity can be that you are not embracing different points of view, your point of view is not always the best, so it is good to count with people that thinks different. Also if you do not pay attention to diversity, your employees can get offended because they think their way of being is not appreciated. Also like the question says, you could be abandoning a really good source of competitive advantage.

Image retrieved from http://www.humanext.com/diversity-at-work.html


A group is when two or more people with common interests and objectives are in continuing interaction, a team is a group of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common mission.
There are four aspects of group behavior:
  • ·         Norms of behavior:  Standards to evaluate the behavior.
  • ·         Group cohesion: It’s what makes a group stick together.
  • ·         Social loafing: The failure of a group member to contribute resources to the group.
  • ·         Loss of individuality
Tuckman’s five stage model of a group development:
  1. Forming: Little agreement
  2. Storming: Conflict
  3. Norming: Agreement and consensus
  4. Performing: Clear vision and purpose
  5. Adjourning: Task completion.
Members of a group can contribute in different ways, Contributors are data driven, Collaborators focus team on mission, Communicators are good listeners and Challengers are like devil’s advocate.
Diversity is “The variation of social and cultural identities among people existing together in a defined employment or market setting” (Cox 2001).
Valuing diversity means recognizing and appreciating that individuals are different and that diversity can be an advantage.
Diversity can be seen both as a value-added activity or a potential performance barrier.
There can be some misunderstandings based upon diversity because of the different languages, accents, cultures, etc.
Religion is a Shared beliefs and rituals concerned with the realm of the sacred, it can Shape attitudes toward work and entrepreneurship and can affect the cost of doing business, and gives formal approval to existing social arrangements.
Religion encourages a sense of unity, provides a sense of understanding and a sense of belonging.
Conflict theory and religions:
  • ·         Karl Marx believed that once people have created a unified system of sacred beliefs and practices, they act as if it were something beyond their control. Religion words against social change.
  • ·         Max Weber suggested the religion sometimes encourages social change.-“Spirit” of capitalism-Protestant work ethic
Some religions and the International business:
  • ·         Christianity: If one works hard, he or she will succed.
  • ·         Islam: Under Islam, people do not own property, but only act as stewards for God and thus must take care of that which they have been entrusted with.
  • ·         Hinduism: Practiced primarily on the Indian sub-continent, focuses on the importance of achieving spiritual growth and development, which may require material and physical self-denial
  • ·         Buddhism: Buddhismis also seen as a religion whose focus on spiritual achievement undermines wealth creation.
  • ·         Confucianism: Interest of collectivity is higher than that of individual. Confucius taught that salvation is attained through right action based on three key teachings (Loyalty towards the superior, reciprocal obligations of superiors to subordinates and Honesty.
 •Fang, T (1999) Chinese Business Negotiating Style, London: SAGE Publications Ltd.
•Hill, C. (2007) International Business: Competing in the Global Marketplace. 7ed. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
•Weber, M. (1958) The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, New York: Scribner's Press.

• Cox Jr., T. (2001) Creating the multicultural organization. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
• Ely, R. and Thomas, D. (2001) “Cultural Diversity at Work: The Effects of Diversity Perspectives on Work Group Processes and Outcomes,” Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 46, No. 2, 2001, pp. 229–273.
• Jamieson, D. and O’Mara, J. (1991) Managing workforce 2000: Gaining the diversity advantage.
• Nelson, D and Quick, J.C. (2009) Organizational culture. In Organizational Behavior: Science, the real world and you.
• Slater, Stanley, F., Weigand, Robert A., Zweilein, Thomas J. (2008) ¨The business case for commitment to diversity¨. Business Horizons 51: 201-209. 

1st Image retrieved from http://englishihonors.pbworks.com/w/page/19065494/Anthem-WebQuest-and-Wiki-Project
2nd Image retrieved from  http://wanderingdhamma.wordpress.com/2009/12/19/buddhism-and-the-category-of-religion/

According to Kuruppuarachchi (2009), what benefits and problems arise as a consequence of the creation of virtual team? Identify five each. Based on this, explain how to make the transition from a more traditional team structure to the more distributed team structure?

  • ·         Speed up product development and project management.
  • ·         Flexibility in resource allocations and working scheduling.
  • ·         Flexibility in working hours for employees.
  • ·         Financial gains through improve productivity, reduced cos, reduce travel time, etc.
  • ·         Skilled, qualified, and talented workforce is possible regardless of the distance.

  • ·         Additional costs for setting up remote offices.
  • ·         Too many members are possible in a team.
  • ·         Quality control is difficult.
  • ·         Ineffective communication in the absence of face-to-face communication.
  • ·         Lack of permanent reports or reports are not available centrally.
I think it is a good idea to move forward to distributed teams, because the benefits are more significant than the problems, I think the biggest problem would be the communication, so an enterprise should create a good communication system with their employees when going into this kind of team.
This team well used can bring a lot of benefits to the enterprise, so it is important to be well prepared to take advantage of it.

Kuruppuarachchi, P. R. (2009). Virtual team concepts in projects: A case study
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

1st Image retrieved from http://www.haldig-garden.com/
2nd Image retrieved from http://keep3.sjfc.edu/students/wno02862/e-port/bamboo%20fun.html

Communication and virtual teams

Communication is the evoking of a shared or common meaning in another person.
The perceptual screen is a window through which we interact with people that influences the quality, accuracy and clarity of the communication.
Language is the words, their pronunciation and the methods of combining them, used and understood by a group of people.
Reflexive listening is the skill of listening carefully to another person and repeating back to the speaker the heard message to correct any inaccuracies or misunderstandings.
One way communication is when a person sends information to the other, and the other just listens, and do not make feedback. Two way communication is when the two parts interact.
Non verbal communication is when communication does not involve words, there are four basic types:
  • ·         Proxemics: Individual perception and use of space.
  • ·         Kinesics: Study of body movement.
  • ·         Facial and eye behavior: Movement that adds cues to the receiver.
  • ·         Paralanguage: Variations in speech such as tempo and tone.
There are different barriers to communication such as the physical separation, status differences, gender differences, cultural diversity and language.
Virtual teams are “Virtual teams are groups of geographically, organizationally and/or time dispersed workers brought together by information technologies to accomplish one or more organization tasks’’ (Powell et al., 2004).
The fully traditional teams and the fully virtual teams differ in the location of the members, the type of communication and the coordination of team tasks.
An advantage of virtual teams is the availability of a flexible and configurable base infrastructure. A disadvantage is that they are vulnerable to mistrust, communication breakdowns and conflicts.
The dimensions of an effective virtual team communication are: Communication, understanding, role clarity, leadership attitude and well planed monitoring mechanisms.

• Ebrahim, N., Ahmed, S., & Taha, Z. (2009) Virtual Teams: a Literature Review.
Australian Journal of Basic & Applied Sciences, 3(3), 2653-2669. Retrieved from
• Kuruppuarachchi, P. R. (2009). Virtual team concepts in projects: A case study
Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Retrieved from
• Nelson, D and Quick, J.C. (2009) Organizational culture. In Organisational
Behavour: Science, the real world and you.
• Powell, A ., G. Piccoli and B. Ives (2004) Virtual teams : a review of current literature
and directions for future research. The Data base for Advances in Information
Systems , 35: 6-36.
• Rosen, B., S. Furst and R. Blackburn (2007) Overcoming Barriers t o Knowledge
Sharing in Virtual Teams. Organizacional Dynamics , 36: 259-273.
• Shachaf, P. and N. Hara (2005) Team Effectiveness in Virtual Environments : An
Ecological Approach. INFERRIS, P.A.G., S., (Ed.) Teaching and Learning with Virtual
Teams. Idea Group Publishing.

1st Image retrieved from http://www.freelanceapple.com/5-communication-tips-that-make-you-money/
2nd Image retrieved from http://www.strategydriven.com/2009/04/07/management-and-leadership-managing-your-virtual-team/