Cultural norms of deference to authority figures can inhibit Indian employees from challenging the status quo and sharing innovative ideas with managers.
In a working world made smaller, managers increasingly oversee employees across the globe — and the cultural divide. But while crossing cultures can create new opportunities, it brings challenges, too.
Take India, which seeks to transition from an economy based on manufacturing and offshored services to one based on innovation and design. A challenge for managers is to foster independent thinking in a culture where employees are socialized to defer to authority figures more than are their western counterparts.