Cultural Barriers in Outsourcing Industry

Culture is one of the major barriers of successful offshore outsourcing. The cultural barriers should be dealt with in an understanding to succeed in offshore outsourcing. A brief look at the cultural and business practice shows that western countries like USA and UK adopt individualistic approach while Latin America and Asia follow collective culture. It also highlights that western countries work with short term orientation while Asian countries work with long term orientation. Even the perception differs as westerners perceive objects in isolation with a sharp focus and narrow lens while Easterners cognize it holistically with wide angle lens. The cultures in the East follow compare and contrast style and easterners are sensitive to criticism and very often lack the capability to negate. Westerners adopt directness of criticism and communicate deviously with implied meaning and though the differences can be dissolved through communication and understanding, it does play an important role to creating a successful freelancing business.

The differences in culture have an effect on interactions between parties and how they communicate and the interpretation of their communications. It also has an impact on the understanding of the project and commitment to work. To work with people of other geographical region, initiative is needed to gain more understanding with willingness to adjust and convert it into action.

Providers and buyers have to make a conscious effort and display patience to achieve cultural awareness in behavior.  Human beings have two systems in their mind, one is intuitive part and the other is reflective part.  The factors of native culture is registered in system one. When another new culture is learned it is registered in system two. The intuitive part that is system one naturally predominates the self. To effectively overcome the cultural barrier, one has to make a conscious effort to practice the new culture of the other persons he is interacting. Changes needed to adapt to the other culture has to be learnt and practiced.

The necessary change of individual thinking has to be made to understand the principles of culture. Every culture has unique perspective to help in eliminating the problems. Instead of being judgmental, it is better to be open without prejudice and accept it to bring in better results

The purpose to understand and to overcome cultural barriers is to produce an congenial environment to extract the best in a cost and time effective manner. The highlight in working across cultural barriers is to establish a comfortable communication channel and allow and encourage freedom of thoughts and expressions. In popular outsourcing destinations such as India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, organizational hierarchy is in force and management people make decisions and the team follows it. This practice prevents providers from initiating healthy discussions with superiors and problems do not get voiced and so are stretches in deadlines. Buyers from western countries should be aware of the fact that if the eastern provider agrees passively he or she may not have voiced important issues. It is the responsibility of the buyer to create an environment to establish open communication. It is important to give freedom and delegate autonomy for a success in outsourcing industry be it as a provider or a buyer.

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