Social norms shared by the members of a society define the appropriate ways to act in given situations or condition. Norms therefore help to define the nature of social and for the foundation from which individuals in the given society form the base their interaction with one another as well as make available a common a reference point. In such a society, the agreed norms enhance and promote the feelings of personal and group identity.
Norms help in the shaping of behavior in the society or in a group by providing boundaries between which members of the group get social approval for their behavior. As a high school principal, it is necessary to use ones leadership skills to create an effective environment where students can uphold norms and values. This will create an effective high school system where the school affairs are run smoothly with minimum confusion and waste of time as well as maximizing student learning (Evertson et al, n.d)
Informal social norms
Through the use of informal social control, the principal can ensure that there is establishment of patterns and routines that will ensure that the interaction and movement of the students within the school is checked and that the student community will behave in a desired manner. The conduct of behavior and procedures are the patterns for accomplishing school tasks as well as accepted way of interaction between students and should be made known to the students so as to raise their awareness about the expectations. The principal seeks to communicate the expectations from students by the development and enactment of both.
The expectations given to students by the principal are desired behaviors or outcomes of the behavior in the school. In the school setting, the principal can express his or her expectations to the students through meetings and forums where the principal has opportunity to confer with the student body. This will make it easier for the students to meet this expectation as they know what is required of them. The principal can also make their expectations to be known by the students directly by teaching the school rules and routines. This will provide openings for the students to exercise them and thus offering the principal a chance to respond to them. Consistent response by the principal can include both positive consequences to reward a student’s appropriate conduct and negative consequences to discourage a student’s inappropriate behavior.
The principal may draw the attention of the students towards the harm and dangers that may be posed by vices such as bullying, drug abuse etc. if practiced by the students. The principal is required to build a system within the school through the use of clubs and societies where members if such groups will be socialized into these norms. This will ensure that the students follow the norms as those who do not follow them are disapproved and in the end establish a social order. For instance, those caught smoking or drinking alcohol should be disapproved of their conduct within their group. This motivates the group to employ the norms and thus shape its member within the school as those who break the norms may be subjected to ridicule and even exclusion.
However, in a college situation, formal social norms may be used rather than informal norms. In college, social control can be achieved through the use of rules and regulation that govern how college students should behave. This approach is necessary college students may not be in a position to act or work as a group but as individuals. This means that informal norms cannot be natured and therefore necessitating the use of formal systems. This will help govern students behavior as who break the norms will be subjected to rules and regulation of the college. This then will effectively help control and direct students behavior in college.
Influence of Culture in Business
Culture is has been the cause of difficulties in many companies who have established business outlet internationally. The issue of culture cuts across many facets of business such as negotiation, managing of subsidiaries located abroad, establishment of new outlets as well as training of personnel (Forsgren & Johanson 1992). Communication failure due to cultural differences can cause undesired impact such as extreme loss of business opportunities and even deprivation of competitive advantage (Browne et al. 2001)
The culture of western countries is quite different from that of other cultures in many areas of the world. Culture demands caution and planning especially for western companies that seek to establish business in such foreign countries with different culture. This will prevent business loss such as one suffered by Wal-Mart suffered where it experienced a one billion dollar loss in Germany as their stores could not make profit due to cultural differences (Schaefer 2008)
The case of Alcatel-Lucent
In 2006, Alcatel and Lucent merged to form Alcatel-Lucent a French-American telecommunications company. This merger was done despite the call of analysts, who were doubtful from the beginning of negations about the acquisition. Lucent was operating in Murray Hill, New Jersey while Alcatel was based in Paris. However, the development since the merger has not been encouraging and it has been revealed that the deal is ensnared in cultural differences. This has therefore made it hard to manage Alcatel-Lucent, a company running in both France and United States. These two countries have a big difference in both their cultural and business differences. Although the merger of Alcatel-Lucent seemed wonderful and promising “in a PowerPoint presentation”, a number of serious integration challenges has faced the merger and its effects cannot be under looked by both parties. Cultural issue, that was raised in the beginning of the deal but was underestimated still lingers and has pose threat to the growth of the company. Appointment of executive such as Russo who does not speak French comfortably has also raised a front for misunderstanding (Jolly 2008)
According to Roger, a senior vice president and telecommunications psychoanalyst for Nielsen IAG, a market research firm, “Lucent executives had found it difficult to adapt to Alcatel's corporate culture” (Jolly 2008).The issue of language came into play as there were communication breakdowns between the French regulators and private-sector executives. The company reported to have had a net loss a net loss of €1.1 billion, or $1.7 billion, by the end of the second-quarter since the company has not produced a quarterly profit since the merger.
Overcoming the cultural barrier
The need to overcome cultural background is crucial for the success of a company’s operations in other foreign nations. Through planning and organization, a company can adapt to the culture of the partner country to ensure that its operations and products do not conflict with the foreign countries. Company need to research on the culture of the partner country as well as seek help from international managers and consultant in order to find ways of establishing business opportunities and rapport (Marx, 2001). The company has to come up with marketing strategies that are sensitive to the culture of the partners so as to ensure that sales are made.
Business relationship between companies, customers and business partners must have a mutual direction. Companies in foreign countries must seek to establish a common intention to exchange goods and service as these connections will provide a possibility of both parties reaching the specific objectives.