Summarize of achieving complementarity and synergy

From the text, we learned that culture otherness still exists even along with the processes of harmonization and standardization in society, culture and business. The decades of discussion about the convergence and divergence of values and practices indicate that otherness can be neither denied nor suppressed. Despite intercultural work settings are often conflictual or at least involve frictional loss and what more is interculturality can lead to targets and budgets not being met due to misunderstandings, intercultural management research and practice can explain misunderstanding and provide insights into how they may be reduced or even avoided. There are several approaches used. One of them focuses on the analysis of differences and difficulties. Another one is focus on the competencies of the interculturally competent individual. There exists a further approach which views interculturality in a positive and productive light as a resource.

By analysis the differences of cultural and combine these differences which is called cultural complementarity will create benefits and enhance performance. According to Crouch, there are three approaches to the subject in the literature.

• Complementarity is based on contrasts, differences and contradictions. By combining different individual elements and components it compensates for systemic deficits. This means that the individual elements need each in order for themselves and the system to survive.
• Complementarity is based on commonalities and similarities. Systemic elements influence each other and reinforce certain effects.
• Complementarity is understood, from an economic point of view, as the complementation of elements as resources, such as factors of production.

In order to achieve cultural complementarity in management interaction both at the organizational and also at the individual levels of the kind described above, three fundamental conditions need to be fulfilled for these competencies to be able to bring about the desired cultural complementarity.

• The individuals involved must possess a value-free openness to enable them ethno-relatively to recognize and value the characteristics and properties of other groups. They must move from rejecting or merely tolerating cultural otherness towards accepting and valuing it. There would be no polarities such as either/or or right/wrong but continual of both/and.
• The characteristics valued as qualities and strengths are consciously employed as resources.
• The characteristics are combined to correspond best to the situation to be managed in the given context.

Intercultural synergy in the context of international management can be understood as the outputs which arise from the combination and interaction of individuals from different cultures and which are of higher quality than the sum of the individual actions, it is called intercultural strength of synergy. High synergy societies are succeed in living together peacefully and harmoniously and in developing together (Benedict). As Maslow puts it: “High synergy from this point of view can represent a transcending of the dichotomizing, a fusion of the opposites into a single concept.
In order to achieve cultural complementarity and intercultural synergy in work settings, it seems to be of fundamental importance that certain framework conditions are present and also that certain process are applied. In particular, bicultural play a special role. Because some individuals often internalize more than one linguistic and cultural reference system due to mobility and immigration.

In addition to framework conditions, processes and immanent models are necessary to achieve cultural complementarity and intercultural synergy. These are constructed consciously or unconsciously as a result of the communicative actions of interactants from different cultural settings. A process orientation, which regards interculturality above all as a process of exchange and development, and not as a mere confrontation of culture-specific properties, is one wat to achieve intercultural synergy. Adler (1980) suggests various steps to facilitate he creation of intercultural synergy: (1) Situation Description, (2) Cultural Interpretation, (3) Cultural Creativity and (4) Cultural Synergy. There is another similar process is described and further developed by Hampden-Turner (1990) in his dilemma theory. A dilemma is a situation in which an interactant must choose among several options, each with various advantages and disadvantages, in other to achieve his/her goal.

The process of reconciliation according to Hampden-Turner (2000) consists of the following steps: (1) Recognize cultural differences by describing the situation and the problem, (2) Respect cultural differences by identifying and analyzing dilemmas, (3) Reconcile cultural differences by resolving intercultural dilemmas finally (40) Realize and root in order to install best practices and possible synergistic action.

Maznewski und DiStefano (2000) came up with MBI process model (M – mapping commonalities and differences, B – bridging differences and then I – integrating them ) in order to shape intercultural team processes. The MBI model can help to identify diversity and manage it in a respectful way.

The Renault-Nissan alliance did succeed in the intercultural management. Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault-Nissan, underlines his view: “Synergy is not only what exists in one company or the other. It is not just about transferring best practices. It’s also about creating together something that neither one could have done alone.