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HET Forum organizes discussions in English on a variety of topics with guests from around the world for local and international students in Taiwan to benefit and better both the regular and international programs at Taiwanese Universities.
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CS – NCUT
Org. Behavior Forum, FCU, IMBA
Future and singularity
One statement from Eddie Constantinescu’s speech was that cultural studies would exploit prejudices. According to Eddie, it is a better approach to find “the human factor” in all of us and not limit an analysis on the peculiarities of a country. As reasons for his opinion he mentioned that human basic needs are all the same and that this goes deeper than cultural differences. He proposed to focus on similarities and common ground instead of separating.
Having lived in three different cultural environments (Europe, Africa and Asia) I am glad to hear Eddie’s statement that there is common ground and a universal, human factor in all of us since we share the same basic needs. I personally observed that the key issues and goals people deal with most seriously are quite similar, even though the background and surrounding may differ completely. However, I think cultural analysis in the International Business context are still a very helpful tool and should not be neglected completely based on the arguments mentioned before. First, the existence of different cultures cannot be neglected. According to Hofstede, culture is a “mental software” that is programmed in the human mind in the course of a life and which depends on the surrounding of the respective individual. According to the “iceberg model”, there are visible, obvious (such as clothing, greetings et cetera) and invisible, underlying aspects of culture such as beliefs and traditions. If these invisible aspects are disregarded, conflicts can occur and for sure business can be affected negatively.
Conclusively, I think Eddie’s approach to focus on common ground such as shared values is good advice for International Business is very helpful. Still, in my opinion, cultural studies have their legitimation since they can help to roughly understand an environment that might be very different from your own, to avoid making obvious mistakes or insulting due to different traditions. Not only business partnerships but also large potential customer groups can be dealt with in a better way if their culture – which is undeniably existing – is not left out in the relationship. Still, stereotyping is a danger in cultural analysis.
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“Many will argue against China’s previous “one child policy”, but many more will also argue for it, because it is how China raised itself to be the 2nd largest economy in the world, By investing more into less individuals being born rather than dealing with too many individuals having no work and food, the discipline of its system was able to endow its people with certain advantages. It will not be a mistake to imply that most governments worldwide are undisciplined and also allow citizens to be undisciplined. Let’s not confuse that with corruption. Corruption and discipline are totally different and although China has corruption in its government just like any other government does, few would argue against the fact that China’s government is a lot more disciplined than most governments on earth and has probably done more for its people and businesses in general than any other developing country over the past decade or two. Although it still has a lot of work to do, China can be an example for many developing countries.”
I would like to comment the topic how we are influenced differently by our culture we are raised in. In my opinion a different behaviour and mind-set of different cultures results from different values, beliefs and assumptions the cultures are maintaining.
I like the ‘Lewis Model’ as illustration who tries to categorise three different groups, the multi-active, the linear-active and the reactive cultures. And for sure there are a lot of mixtures between these categories.
I am personally experienced these cultural differences and how they benefit each other in a meeting at the company I am working for. At first, there have been a lot of German, linear-active people who were focus on observing the planned structure of the meeting and get their tasks done quickly.
At second, there has been a Mexican, a multi-active culture, who tried to build up a conversation between the people and maintain a discussion.
And at third, there have been a Chinese guy from a reactive culture, who was listening and observing carefully and whenever there was a situation in the meeting e.g. regarding the technique where he could offer his help, he recognized it.
I enjoyed seeing how these cultures benefit from each other and how they were able to use their different set of skills to get the best out of the situation.
In conclusion, I would agree with the statement that different cultures in a company can contribute with their different skills, even the process until they know how to handle each other needs some time and appreciation.
Eddie’s speech is mainly focusing on the cultural aspects and ethics in international business. Business that happens overseas is very different from home, and everyone experiences it differently. Eddie covers many different instances of how things may be different, like if one’s culture, ethnic group, or religion, we are naturally separated. But if we go deeper, and understand more, we can see that we are much more alike than we realize. Another point that he makes is China’s policies. On the outside, people might think that the one child policy is harsh on families, but it is actually a great help on population control, and also the bringing up of a better next generation. I think that Eddie makes pretty good sense in what he is saying, and he helped in clearing up some things that I didn’t understand before, and even though I didn’t really understand him at first, it got better later on.
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In his speech, Eddie showed us that from now on, the cultural differences between the many countries were really exploited and taken into account by and also in companies.
Indeed, firms with many international employees are better able to evolve quickly and intelligently.
Different cultures will compete and complement each other in order to bring out the best in each.
Eddie put forward the idea that nowadays, especially after the Facebook scandal on the use of our personal data, we had to rediscover the human.
Indeed, with all these technologies, the consumer is exploited more than the worker.
Our personal information are no longer secure, they no longer belong to us.
There is therefore a real alienation of the man, which is reduced to a simple source of data, and information which will be resold and reused by the companies.
The man is objectified.
But, as a consumer, it is almost impossible for us to detach ourselves from all these technologies and social networks. And that, companies know it reallt well and take advantage of it.
Following this scandal, we all received emails indicating that the protection of our personal data had been changed, and that it was therefore necessary to accept the new conditions of use.
This really supports Eddie’s idea that there is a problem with the use of consumers by businesses.
Our world must therefore become more ethical.
For that, one of the really interesting ideas raised by Eddie is the one about universal income. It is ethical because no difference will be made between individuals. But, it is also unethical because we can say that some people will benefit from not working, or that some large families will have problems feeding all their children…
But will it help to motivate people who want to earn more to work ?
How would such a reform be welcomed ?
How could wealth be produced even if without working anymore, individuals have an equal salary every months ?
Many questions remain unanswered, and I would have liked Eddy to go deeper into this.
In conclusion, our world today needs to evolve and move closer to the humanity present in every consumer instead of just considering it as a database.
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In Eddie’s speech, I realized the cultural aspects and ethnics in international business. Because we are in different country, we have different background so everyone has not the same thought. We would has lots of experiences. Like in our class, we are from different country, our culture we have learned before, our religion also distinct. But every business has lots of advantages, we can learn and make them be more effective. And because of Eddie, we have different opinion before I listen this speech, but I have a great time to this saying, also agreed his opinion. Maybe now I could not use this information, but I think it would make my future be more better.
And my name is Branny 何鈺淇
Eddie’s talk discussed a variety of topics, covering and providing ideas on a wide range of issues. One topic that stuck with me in particular was the idea of universal basic income.
Hereinafter I’d like to comment on the idea of universal basic income.
The first time I heard about the proposal of potentially implementing such a concept in future society really intrigued me since it is somewhat of a counterintuitive idea. It seems to be that recently it has been talked about a lot more compared to a few years ago.
I find it interesting how the concept of UBI is connected to and viewed as a solution to the danger of increasing unemployment due to the rise of automation. Contrasting the idea of UBI as a way to combat the problem of poverty due to automation, I think the money which would be provided in the form of UBI should be used to invest in education and trainings of today’s workforce in order to lift people’s skill set and equip them with know how that ensures them employability in a time where automation in the workplace is the new standard.
Furthermore, providing a specified amount of cash to every citizen of a country as an unconditional benefit with no strings attached means that a certain level of trust needs to exist. Trust in the ability that people will know how to use the budget given in the most efficient way and that it won’t disincentivize and therefore decrease innovation and productivity of an economy.
Adding to that, ensuring the perpetuity of UBI is one issue that concerns me, since the only way I could see governments securing those funds for every citizen and forever is through incredibly high taxation rates.
But this concept contains one aspect I find very interesting in a good way:
By securing the basic needs of everyone through UBI, people are enabled to pursue more in life. It would make it easier to pursue a career of interest and seek employment for reasons more meaningful than to ensure supply of basic human necessities. It could lead to an increase in professional satisfaction and innovation in society.
To conclude this comment on Eddies talk, I’d like to say that I appreciate and found it to be vey interesting to hear someone else’s view and opinion concerning this much talked about topic of universal basic income. And with the ongoing trial happening in Kenya I am curious to see what the outcome and effects on society and economy are.
Student ID: E1062141
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As a guest student at Providence University, Taiwan, I have had the opportunity to attend Dr. Daniel L. Clincius lectures in International Business.
“Kindling a Global Learning Campfire of Cultures, Science & Technology” is not just one of the headlines of Dr. Daniel L. Clinciu book, “Education, Careers and Globalization – THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE STRONG, THE UNEXPECTED…” It is also the whole foundation of the way Daniel teaches. In every class he encourages all students to take part and comment on the topics and share the opinions, suggestions and ideas. With sincere interest in hearing the student’s opinions and questions, Dan is teaching a model that good teaching and learning is not just lecture but an interaction between teachers and students.
Via HET Forum, Dan introduces students to global learning and interaction.
To discuss the subject Culture, Eddie Constantinescu from Chicago participated as guest lecturer using live forum. As a Danish citizen, it was very interesting and thought-provoking, among many things, to hear Eddie’s participation proved that the future of learning, work and innovation takes place when establishing a common global platorm that ideas and knowledges can be shared across borders. I want to thank the both of you for interesting teaching and inpiration.
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Agreeing with my classmates and Eddie’s talk, I think that the bussiness world will stand and keep strong if we work respecting other cultures and protecting the honest rules of the market. It’s also very interesting how UBI participates in all this system. I will use this knowledge in my future workplace. Thank you!