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International organizational behavior refers to the manner in which the principles of organizational behavior are applied across the board in corporations with international subsidiaries and affiliations. This is important due to the fact that companies that operate in other countries but originate elsewhere usually have previously established corporate cultures that may not take into consideration the unique factors presented by the new culture in other countries. The relevance of international organizational behavior systems here is the fact that it will allow the company to study the organizational behavior of the employees in the new culture in relation to their previous studies and understanding regarding the behavior in the organization. Such a knowledge will allow the management of the company to make better decisions and concessions that will help structure it for greater employee output and general organizational excellence.
An example of the application of international organizational ethics can be seen in the case of an advertising firm from the United States that opens a branch in Spain. Such a company would have to study the peculiar attributes of the Spanish culture in relation to the way it affects the behavior of the employees. Cultural diversity is a reality that cannot be overlooked by the management of the company if it desires to use such a diversity as a means for achieving some form of corporate advantage. In this sense, the company would have to make adjustments to the expectations regarding the relationship between the various employees — something that may differ from the expectations of the manner in which employees from the United States interact with each other.
Another example of an issue that may come up in the study of international organizational behavior is the delegation of roles within societies where the roles are divided according to the sex of the employees. Some cultures may not allow their women to have the kind of independence that the women in the United States enjoy. In such a situation, this type of attitude may be carried over into the work place and may reflect in the manner in which employees relate. Where this is the case, the company will also have to make an adjustment of its expectations regarding the different sexes in order not to create any unnecessary tension that will detract from the ability of the employees to fully perform their duties. The main issue in international organizational behavior is an understanding of the fact that there is no one set of rules that can be applied internationally without making some sort of concessions.
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