I will conduct a cultural analysis of the United Kingdom internship workplace based on the core text of the Cultural Analysis Toolkit. The Cultural Analysis Toolkit has eight components, and we will use them all to conduct our cultural analysis of the United Kingdom parliament, specifically the Member of Parliament Guy Opperman’s offices. The eight components are status, authority, involvement, collaboration, time, directness, emotion, and organization. Before conducting the analysis, I hypothesize that there will be many differences in the workplace in the United Kingdom parliament and that of the Michigan State House of Representatives. However, there will also exist many similarities become politics is uniform among democratic countries around the world.
Concerning status, it is an achievement orientation with recognition of birthright. Members of Parliament have to go canvasing to get votes from the public, and their perceived value is based on initiative, accomplishments, and capabilities to bring resources to their constituents. Each team member is treated with respect regardless of birthright but heavy on accomplishing tasks efficiently. The workplace will be particularist in the authority section because rules are selectively based on the situation, sometimes making exceptions. On the first day, Guy Opperman immediately mentioned that as long as we completed tasks and assignments, there was no need to be punctual on time. However, since I am an unpaid intern, the rules might differ because the other office workers are always punctual on time. I am given a time frame to arrive instead of an exact time because of class and train delays.
Regarding involvement and collaboration, the workplace values building relationships first and moving onto task oriented agenda. Subsequently, it is a collectivist culture where we all work on a project together and voice our opinion regarding certain projects. When I arrived at the office, my co-worker/supervisor Thomas greeted me, and we had a long conversation about the political news and event happening that day-today was President Biden’s visit to Ukraine and how that will shape the war in Ukraine. Afterward, we will discuss the day’s agenda on what needs to be done and where to get resources to write constituent responses. The projects such as data collection, constituent response, and policy research are done together as a team and contribute within a google document.
Within emotion and organization, plans are subordinate to relationship maintenance and subject to frequent change, and emotions are made obvious in interaction. Since there is not a set amount of time to accomplish certain tasks, plans, and schedules are bound to change due to uncertainty. Flexibility is the case in our intern office because the constituent response time depends on the email’s complexity and topic regarding certain subjects. For example, a person who reaches out about the Ukraine war might take about ten minutes to get a response, but others who reach out about Guy Opperman’s approaches to the economy may have to wait a day or two to get a response due to the complexity. In the office, emotion is visible on each co-worker’s face, from satisfaction, dissatisfaction, and disappointment. A wide range of facial expressions is visible in the office. In Indirectness, information is organized logically, and disagreement is voiced openly and resolved through debate, but in my case, since I am working as an intern, I follow information. For example, a constituent concerned regarding religion and the government might initiate an enthusiastic thought, but I will have to consult with Guy Opperman before replying to the constituent. The eight components of my workplace’s cultural analysis are covered in the above paragraphs.
There are similarities in the cultural analysis of the United Kingdom parliament with the Michigan House Of Representatives, such as status and authority, but in others, it is the opposite. I was expected to be punctual on time; a punctual time in the Michigan House of Representatives was to arrive fifteen minutes before and leave fifteen minutes after the end of the day. Everything is set from the meeting agenda, lunch, and the time to complete tasks. If one were to arrive late to an event or meeting in the house, it would be frowned upon to receive a judge’s eye contact, which I have received multiple times. There is a saying in the United States, “Time is money.” Individuals are expected to respect and value the other person’s time. Another main difference is collaboration; the United States is an individualistic culture where work is divided among team members based on expertise and regroup to present their work. While the two workplaces have similarities and differences, it is a unique experience resulting from a cultural difference.