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IBUS404 Cross Cultural Management

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IBUS404 Cross Cultural Management

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Course Code: IBUS404
University: Victoria University Of Wellington

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Country: New Zealand

Discuss about the Cross Cultural Management. As business students, all this experience helps us to realize that Maori approach to business should be regarded in a different way from that applied by a traditional approach.

In the last years, the academic discussions around the challenges pose by intercultural relations in business have been gathering increasingly steam. However, most of these discussions consider cultural aspects as those linked to nationalities, taking for granted subcultures differences (Avruch, 2002), especially when it comes to indigenous expressions. Yet, even when some scholars try to approach these aspects, they mostly do it by their own cultural perspectives, their western worldviews (Ruwhiu & Wolfgramm, 2016), like a person who are analysing indigenous practises in business from the outside door.
So, in order to avoid this biased worldview, heading towards a comprehensive understanding of the indigenous values, our visit to the Te Tahawai Marae was paramount. There, we had the chance to live within the Maori culture environment for some hours and experience a little of their worldview. As business students, all this experience helps us to realize that Maori approach to business should be regarded in a different way from that applied by a traditional approach. All the issues and conflicts inv lving these different approaches will be discussed in the questions below, in the light of the learning we had from the visit.
Differences between Indigenous business and traditional business 
An indigenous business or a M?ori business is owned, managed, and operated by the M?ori in which M?ori cultural values and tikanga (law and customs) are strongly appreciated (Ministry of Education, 2013). The total asset of Maori businesses was more than $42.6 billion in 2013 (accounted for up 6.1% of New Zealand’s  total asset) (Morrison, 2017). Moreover, annually, more than $12 billion from Maori enterprises is contributed to New Zealand’s GDP. It, thus, could be said that, together with non-Maori businesses, M?ori businesses play vital role in New Zealand’s economy.
Therefore, we believe it is necessary to get insight about differences between Maori and non-Maori relating to worldviews as well as distinctive approaches in business. There are several typical features which could be mentioned such as structure of society, connection of family, community decision making and land rights and responsibilities (Puke Ariki Education., n.d), as well as  explanation of Cause and Effect and Relationship with Land and Resources  (Miller, n.d). We will develop upon these points below.
Structure of society: in the indigenous society, the whanau (extended family) is fundamental element and the greater portion of family connection (hap?).  Within the whanau and hapu, members in this society would probably work together, while the vital unit in Western society is nuclear family in which home and business are separate places (Puke Ariki Education., n.d).
Family connection: for indigenous people, Whakapapa (genealogy), involving blood or marriage, is certainly demonstrated as a crucial feature in every sector they want to act. On the contrary, in Western world, family relationships are more important to some individuals than others (Puke Ariki Education., n.d).
Community decision making: in Maori perspective, although decision making is led by Rangatiga (a group on the move), decision of Individual in wh?nau and hap? is made by themselves. On the other hand, In Western countries government and local authorities make decisions (Puke Ariki Education., n.d).
Right to own land and responsibility: as indigenous views, it is believed that it is impossible to own land, but its usages rights can be offered by the primary guardians and looked after for the next generation who will occupy it in future. Dissimilarly, all Western people including individuals, group or organizations could outright right to own land and freely conduct what they want to do within its legal boundaries. This also raises the critics regarding to ecological responsibility (Puke Ariki Education., n.d).
Explaining cause and effect: while Maori gives the explanation for causes and effects by including all natural and supernatural phenomena, metaphor and narrative, the Western view utilizes science figures such as objective, analytical, ideally mathematical, value-free (Miller, n.d).
Relationship with Land and Resources: unlike the relationship of the Maori with land and resource, which is symbiotic and reciprocal, descended from land, the connection between Western people is simply the ownership with the separation of human from land (Miller, n.d).
It is apparent that the differences in worldview lead to some typical dissimilarities in conducting business. Some of the typical characteristics of Maori businesses namely business motivation, operating with M?ori culture, values, and tradition, alongside modern techniques and technologies could be pointed out (Ministry of Education, 2013).  
Unlike traditional enterprises which put mostly financial profit into priority, Maori businesses pay more attention on balancing the work-life.  According to the world’s largest study of indigenous entrepreneurs, the respond from 958 Maori out of 1004 interviewees demonstrated that the typical Maori entrepreneur aims to work for helping others, getting the equilibrium between working and life rather than wealth creation, since the Maori typically do not concentrate on wealth as a motivation for conducting business (Glenn, 2006). This reflects collective aspect of Maori’s worldview.  In other words, for Maori businessmen, the final purpose of producing profit through conducting businesses is providing benefits to their community as well as keeping sustainability of the ecological system (NZherald.co.NZ, 2015).
As the social structure in worldview mainly focus on wh?nau (extended family), the basic unit of society, with wider groups related by family ties (hap?), this lead to typical feature of Maori businesses: caring of people both from external and internal enterprises, like a proverb of the M?ori: He aha te mea nui o te ao, maku e ki atu? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata (What is the most crucial thing in the world? I will tell you, it is the people. It is the people. It is the people) (New Zealand Story Group, n.d). In Maori’s businesses, customers are treated as Maori’s family members, not just a financial incentive, and this provide inextricably linked to their customer, because this offer them a sense of adherence and proximity. In contrast, current Western society is seen as being value-free, materialistic, analytical and mathematical (New Zealand Story Group., n.d).
In terms of operating with M?ori culture, values, and tradition, M?ori emphasizes connection to the land through genealogy, as we told above. Conversely, modern Western society treats land as a commodity.  Besides, Maori business is considered relating to guardianship, because it is clear that legacy of culture of Maori entrepreneurs is appreciated.  In addition, they hold a strong sense of duty for caring and preserving that legacy and the environment for future generations, which is best captured in M?ori principles – or kaitiakitanga (Miller, n.d).  In other words, sustainably grow along with protect the values of traditional culture, custom, as well as preserve ecological system is always put in the first priority by Maori business.
Last but not least, if applying open innovation with model inside-out is the strategic option on the rise for Western commercial firms like Apple, Intel and Microsoft, harnessing latest technology and innovation is defined by Maori people as the optimum approach to do business. They believe that everything about their tourism industry is innovative, not only focusing in reaching lots-of-money, but especially trying to offer something that’s sustainable for their customers. Based on another interesting aspect of a recent report, the result has shown that 18 percent of Maori enterprises claim to use the very latest technology (Glenn, 2006).
The typical example of Maori business is Ng?i Tahu Tourism, which is one of the greatest tourism operators in New Zealand. Annually, more than one million customers are hosted across 11 businesses and more than 25 sole experiences, including Shotover Jet, Glacier Southern Lakes Helicopters, Agrodome and Earth & Sky.  One of the core values, manaakitanga (or hospitality), drives the way they do business (New Zealand Story Group., n.d).
With more than 56,000 registered members the company is owned by Ng?i Tahu and is evaluated as the largest indigenous tribe, or iwi, by population in the South Island.  Their vision is clear that “a commitment to people, culture & innovation is supporting inter-generational tribal growth” (New Zealand Story Group., n.d). Traveling and working with Ng?i Tahu, customers and their team are treated as their own family. It is apparent that they are confident that their aged-old culture in New Zealand comes from M?ori and that sense of manaaki, or hospitality, which they have done so well.
As a feature of Maori business, conducting business of Ng?i Tahu includes how they look after the environment, and deliver health and safety systems as part of their businesses, while also providing support to the wider New Zealand tourism industry.  Based on evaluating the value of human, Ng?i Tahu aims to provide customers with best experience and unforgettable moment. Moreover, striving to create that authenticity of connection, Ng?i Tahu Tourism has been approaching their business with a spirit of innovation, continually seeking out new ideas and technologies to enhance the customer experience and reinforce their core purpose, such as utilizing Kruse Audio Translation technology and headphones, triggered by GPS location on Dart River Adventures tour. Overseas visitors can hear the story of the location in their own language, which provide more interesting experience for their trip, for instance (New Zealand Story Group., n.d).
Differences in language and perception can create intercultural issues? 
As it was already discussed, Maori culture is grounded in a perspective that emphasizes a harmonic relation among people and also between people and nature. The whanau (extended family) and the whakapapa (genealogy) are concepts that shape the way Maori see their family, their tribe (Puke Ariki Education., n.d). The environment that surround them, the nature, is important to the same extent. The relation between people and nature is symbiotic and reciprocal (Miller, n.d), this is, they affect each other, which means they should care one another. Naturally, since these elements lead the way Maori people conduct their lives, they may be regarded as cultural aspects, which straight interfere in their perception, their worldview, different from a western or traditional worldview (Ruwhiu & Wolfgramm, 2016).  
In the question above, we could see how these two worldviews guide distinctive manners of dealing with family (people, in general), land and natural resources, cause and effect relations and all environment itself. In a business point of view, this can give Maori people a good advantage in customer services, as they treat people like their own family, regarding them with respect and attention. But, apart from the business, can these elements create intercultural issues for Maori people living in New Zealand nowadays?
As most of the western countries around the world, New Zealand has been facing a change in some cultural values in face of the globalization, boosted by a steady technological advancement. Attitudes towards religious beliefs, materialism and nature have been converging to homogenized practices that emphasize personal achievements, as career and wealth, as a standard (Whalley, 2004). In order to reach and keep this standard, people engage in a lifestyle that increasingly prioritize more time for working and less time for living. This means that they have less and less free time to think about their family, their community and the nature that surround them. Worse still, they often exploit the nature to their own benefit, on an attempt to reach their achievements.
Of course, a society’s patterns of acting comprise its cultural practices (Hofstede, G., Hofstede, G. J. & Minkov, 2010), which, in turn, reflect its people worldview. In this sense, we can say that New Zealand’s most people western worldview is opposite to the Maori worldview, since they emphasize different aspects. On one side, we have a culture linked to the nature, based on ancestry and narratives as a way to convey knowledge; on the other, a short-term-outcome-oriented culture, not-contemplative.
And we could experience a little of this difference when we visited Te Tahawai Marae. First of all, we noticed that they can preserve their place very calm, completely different from the busy environment of most of the Auckland city. It seems that the time inside the Marae runs slowly than those outside. And this quietness is indispensable for them to contemplate the nature and worship their ancestral. In this way, we think that this lifestyle, or tikanga (Te Tahawai Marae, n.d.), cannot fit the routine required by actual western societies. In order to normally conduct their lives as citizens of New Zealand, nowadays, of course this people have to compromise and adapt their day-by-day habits, behaviours and customs. Following the rules and the laws of a western society, the dominant cultural pattern, is an issue that this people have to deal with, as a way to keep their legacy alive among the new Maori generations.
One of these legacies is the language, important cultural expression to any folks. In our visited to Te Tahawai Marae we really experienced language as a barrier as all the protocols held by the hosts were uttered both in English and Maori. Even though most of the speeches in Maori could not reach the guests understanding, they could transmit the oral culture from that people. That is the reason why they should be always kept in their protocols. In this case, it is not about objective communicating by the words meaning, but communicate their culture itself, reflected by the language.  
Is there conflict caused by these different cultural approaches?
In terms of reaching quality of studies, in addition to the theoretical content, it is essential to study and learn on everything outside the classroom. As international students, besides learning each other’s cultures, is also very important to know Indigenous cultures, especially in order to harmoniously live in New Zealand.
In our visit to Te Tahawai Marae, we learned many things about Maori people. We heard their speeches and singing and we could experience the uniqueness and prominence of their culture. We learned how to greet them with the traditional touching of noses and listened about their history.
The Maori tribes came to New Zealand a long time ago, from the Polynesia. They had been the first inhabitants of this land, before the Caucasians arrived. Maori ancestors arrived in the North Island and South Island of New Zealand around years 800. In 1840, the British and Maori parties signed the Treaty of Waitangi. The Maori were given British citizenship. This treaty was a recognition of Maori land rights in exchange for the Maori acceptance of British sovereignty. However, the treaty was often violated by white immigrants who invaded Maori land (Maverick, 2018). That is the reason why Maori people still have conflicting memories nowadays. One of the Maori ladies who had received us on the Te Tahawai Marae said, in a certain moment, “We don’t like the British’s Queen. We have our King”. We could clearly realize at that moment how Maoris feel about British people. We could see the conflict inside their feeling. No matter the conflict has happened a long time ago in history, it still remains in Maori memories.
Nowadays, the Maori population account for 14% of New Zealand population (Flaser, 2018). We can easily see and recognize how the pure Maori is. Maori people have expressive traits and they like to show how frightening they can be, especially in competitions. We can see that in rugby games, when they do the HaKa to demonstrate how they are strong and look more frightening than their competitors (Maverick, 2018). Maori people have very strong idea coming from traditions. Even though they have a singular lifestyle, they have no difficult to join in society and live together with intercultural relations. Nowadays, many things have changed but “Maori” still comes to our mind as the first image when we talk about New Zealand.
The Business approach of the Maoris is altogether different from that of the traditional business approach. The visit to the Te Tahawai Marae have given a deep insight about the indigenous culture. The experiences gathered from the visit have been reflected in the questioned that have been answered in the course of this research study. It have been observed that the tikanga regulations are highly relevant in the management of indigenous Maori business. The outcomes of the traditional business are also significant and this is established from the fact that the annual revenue that is generated by the indigenous Maori business comprise a significant share of the annual GDP of New Zealand. In this context, it has been assessed in the course of the study that the intrinsic factors like societal structure, family ties, decision making power of the community as well as land rights as well as the responsibilities that define the broader differences between the traditional business pattern and the indigenous business design of the Maori. Other significant differences that re noticed between the business norms of the two business communities are ways of treating the customers. In the Maori culture, the customers are treated as family members and not only as incentive structures for financial gain only. In the same way the difference between the treatments of land is also evident between the Maoris and the traditional business exponents. The Maoris acknowledge the connection with land through genealogy. On the contrary, research reveals that the modern secular business communities generally treat land as a business community only. Intercultural issue also arise owing to the difference in perception. For evidence, Maoris value their family, culture, people as well as communities equally at the time of the business growth. On the contrary, the factors like globalisation and resulting out of it business optimisation have been the most feasible outcome of these. The competitive strength of the Maoris are derived out of the definitive life style of living together and maintaining internal relations. In fact, Maoris have emerged as a definitive ad exclusive segment of New Zealand.
Reference List
Avruch, K. (2002). Cross-Cultural Conflict. Encyclopedia of life support systems. Retrieved from: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/research/groups/ctccs/projects/translating-cultures/documents/journals/cross-cultural-conflict.pdf. 
Flaser, C. (2018) TripAdvisor: 100% pure New Zealand. Retrieved from: https://www.newzealand.com/nieuw-zeeland/
Glenn, B. (2006, August). He hakari: Celebrating Maori business success. Retrieved from: https://search.proquest.com/docview/204562542/EE0C13FC141B4CF3PQ/4?accountid=164702
Hofstede, G., Hofstede G. J. & Minkov, M. (2010). Culture and Organizations – Software of the Mind: Intercultural Cooperation and Its Importance for Survival. Mc Grall Hill. Retrieved from: https://testrain.info/download/Software%20of%20mind.pdf
Maverick, D. (2018). Five things you didn’t know about M?ori culture in NZ. Tamaki Maori Village. Retrieved from: https://www.tamakimaorivillage.co.nz/2017/03/five-things-you-didnt-know-about-maori-culture-in-nz
Miller, D. R. (n.d). Western and Mäori Values for Sustainable Development. Retrieved from: https://www.firstfound.org/david%20miller.htm
Ministry of Education. (2013, August 9). M?ori business. Retrieved from: https://seniorsecondary.tki.org.nz/Social-sciences/Business-studies/Maori-business
Morrison, T. (2017, June 20). The Maori economy is booming – just not for Ngapuhi. Retrieved from: https://www.noted.co.nz/money/economy/the-maori-economy-is-booming-just-not-for-ngapuhi/
New Zealand Story Group. (n.d). M?ori Business Stories: Culture And Creativity. Retrieved from: https://www.nzstory.govt.nz/blog/maori-business-stories-culture-and-creativity/
New Zealand Story Group. (n.d). Ng?i Tahu Tourism. Retrieved from: https://www.nzstory.govt.nz/stories/commitment-to-people-culture-and-innovation-ngai-tahu-tourism/
NZherald.co.NZ. (2015, December 8). University of Auckland: Making money not the biggest reward. Retrieved from: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/university-of-auckland/news/article.cfm?c_id=1504296&objectid=11557212
Puke Ariki Education. (n.d). Two peoples, two worldviews. Retrieved from: https://pukeariki.com/Portals/0/pdfs/Comparing%20worldviews%20on%20A3.pdf
Ruwhiu, D. & Wolfgramm, R. (2016). Kaupapa Maori Research: a contribution to Critical Management Studies in New Zealand.  Retrieved from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/229035367_Kaupapa_Maori_Research_a_contribution_to_Critical_Management_Studies_in_New_Zealand.
Te Tahawai Marae (n.d.) Te Tahawai Marae website. Retrieved from: https://www.tetahawai.org.nz/index.html.
Whalley, J. (2004). Globalization and Values (paper presented at Cefiso Venice Summer Institute in Munich, Germany). Retrieved from: https://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp1441.pdf.

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