Enculturation relates to the unconscious and conscious conditioning process by which individuals obtain and transmit culture. Enculturation involves learning the dynamics and adaptations of a particular culture including the established set of ideals, norms, prescribed values as well as the proscribed beliefs and behaviors that allow a person to be socially accepted within that culture. Some of initiators include authority figures, peers, parents who shape children`s view on life and steer children towards acquiring morals, competence and behavior that is socially accepted allowing the child to form their own individual beliefs and behaviors (Pitts, 2009). As such, an enculturation program is one that allows individuals to learn a culture in its particularity and uniqueness.
In the business aspect, culture is the foundation for organizational success. This is what makes an enculturation program extremely vital as it allows organizations to prominently capitalize on culture as a driving force to attain organizational performance, team productivity and newcomer socialization lack of which can ultimately lead to the failure and early closure of a company (Srivastava, et al 2017). Enculturation is an ongoing and dynamic process that ensures cultural compatibility of all individuals in the workplace.
Pros of Enculturation
Culture is a significant part of an individual`s life as it influences one`s views, values, beliefs and even behavior. In essence, an enculturation program provides a platform through which individuals can understand culture in a manner that allows them to build long-lasting, sustainable and beneficial relationships whether in the workplace or society. Consequently, the pros of enculturation cannot be overstated. Enculturation liberates a person from cultural captivity. It allows a person to become acquainted with patterns of behavior that allow them to choose a particular cultural fit. It promotes cohesion providing a deep sense of belongingness that can inspire optimal participation that permeates the business and social landscape (Pitts, 2009). Besides, an enculturation program provides a clearer understanding regarding the complexities of joining a large integrated group be it at the workplace or in society. It thus allows individuals to appreciate how complex a specific system is as well as develop techniques that allow them to work best within that system to achieve goals.
Cons of Enculturation
Enculturation programs often tend to compare cultures. Different cultures have different rules of behavior. Drawing distinct lines between these can create tension, strife and hinder growth. It can also promote ethnocentrism where certain beliefs and cultures are considered superior to others. It can also lead to the loss of one`s cultural identity robbing the person of their uniqueness and edge.
I believe that an enculturation program is a great idea. It is a proactive approach that allows people to understand how different specialties operate. Enculturation develops relationships allowing individuals to become efficient, creative, open-minded, knowledgeable, and client centered by understanding and emulating standard ideals of behavior. The benefits of adopting an enculturation program outweigh the disadvantages.
Cultural Factors to Incorporate
Various cultural factors can be implemented in an enculturation program. These include cultural identity, language preferences, behavior and conflict to acquire high levels of cultural homogeneity and provide the most appropriate evaluation for that given program.
Pitts, R. (2009). An exploratory case study: Effects of a physician organizational socialization (enculturation) program. The Permanente Journal, 13(2), 31.
Shimahara, N. (1970). Enculturation-A reconsideration. Current Anthropology, 11(2), 143-154.
Srivastava, S. B., Goldberg, A., Manian, V. G., & Potts, C. (2017). Enculturation trajectories: Language, cultural adaptation, and individual outcomes in organizations. Management Science, 64(3), 1348-1364.
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