Cultural awareness refers to the full understanding of the culture in question. According to Lum (2011), cultural awareness involves the self in the cultural background where people are able to learn about their cultural background, issues, and relationships in a contextual sense. Civic engagement, on the other hand, refers to the awareness of certain aspects of today’s world such political awareness involves the knowledge of one’s own culture which is the responsibility of each and every good citizen. Efforts to improve one’s knowledge of their culture can be referred to as acts of civic engagement. These acts in any business setting include direct actions that help to enhance the quality of life of people in the business setting. Civic engagement requires knowledge of a number of factors such as cultural factors and in a way, cultural activities participation can be considered as a way of civic engagement. Preservation of different cultures and customs is a civic responsibility of every citizen. This has not been the case however as cultures and customs are becoming eroded on a daily basis and soon, many people will forget some of their most important cultures and therefore their identity. In an effort to rectify this, many organizations have been set up in order to ensure different cultures are preserved. The Native American Cultural Center (NACC) is an example of such an organization. This essay will take a look at some of the ways the NACC can use to encourage cultural awareness and civic engagement in business culture and therefore ensure the preservation of different cultures. It will also take a look at the outcomes of the methods used.
Native American Cultural Center: Importance of Cultural Awareness
The NACC mostly offers services to tourists where it helps educate them on the different cultures of the places they visit. It also educates tribal members on the cultures of different tourists who visit their homelands. The main aim of the Native American Cultural Center is to preserve Native American Culture for future generations (Shotton & Waterman, 2013). One of the ways the NACC does this is through building evidence-based actions to teach culture and civics throughout history. This involves the use of artifacts and other historical items which are preserved throughout the years and each carries its own story. Such historical items include carvings, drawings, games, and also some dances that have been carried on over the years. The impact of such activities such as the preservation of artifacts will assure that the cultural practices talked about from one generation to the other actually existed and that they are not made up. Songs and dances are memorable and this will make it easier for culture to be preserved throughout generations. They are also entertaining and therefore many people will be willing to learn them and as a result, this will enhance cultural awareness and civic involvement in the preservation of culture.
Another role that the NACC will play in the effort to spread cultural awareness and enhance civic engagement is that it will hire knowledgeable staff to teach the local Native American tribes about their way of life in terms of aspects such as religion, food, and how the environment was preserved. In every country, there exist certain people who are dedicated to studying the way of life of different people in the community and this becomes their profession. Such people often have knowledge of the communities' cultures and the changes that have occurred over time. These professionals will therefore be a very useful addition to the Native American Cultural Center team. They will help inform tribes about the real Native American Cultures and point out the changes that have eroded these cultures. As a result, tribespeople will be aware of the true Native American ways and practice them hence preserving this culture. Furthermore, the tribespeople are more willing to listen to professionals who inform them about their cultures as opposed to stories being carried around from generation to generation as they could be distorted.
Organizing cultural fares is also another effort that the NACC will make in order to spread cultural awareness and enhance civic involvement in cultural preservation. These fares will be organized on a yearly basis and scheduled at the time when the NACC expects many tourist visits. The NACC will involve the hired professionals to ensure that the people attending the fares get the correct information about the Native American Culture. The NACC will also call upon tribespeople to showcase their Native American cultural practices that have been carried on in their families. This could be in the form of dances, songs, or stories. These fares will help the tourist interact with real Native Americans and they will therefore get to learn firsthand about their cultures. They will also act as a platform where the Native Americans will play a civic role in ensuring their spread awareness of the native culture. The NACC can also encourage the local people to organize individual events which help uphold the Native American Cultures. They can even offer to give them the space for free and encourage such events frequently. The centers will also extend visitors’ stay during such events which will add to their satisfaction and they are therefore likely to attend future events together with other friends and families. As a result, this will increase sales for the NACC as well as cultural awareness and civic engagement.
Finally, the NACC will make an effort to spread cultural awareness and increase civic involvement in cultural awareness through organizing free tours once in a while to different cultural centers. These tours will also be publicized using online platforms. Many Americans seem interested in learning about the Native American culture but they lack the knowledge of where to begin. Others lack the income to pay for tours in these cultural centers. Free tours will give every American an opportunity to learn about the Native American Culture as well as tourists. Publicizing these tours will ensure that everyone has knowledge of such tours and is able to avail themselves. As a result, many Americans will get an opportunity to learn about the Native cultures and also enquire about things that they might have heard about the cultures. This will ensure that the right information about the culture has been passed on from generation to generation regardless of class.
Cultural and Civic Engagement Efforts for Businesses
It is however important for the business to remember that since it operates in a complex global environment, it must face many regulatory and ethical issues. It is therefore important that the NACC ensures that the efforts it makes to increase cultural awareness and civic engagement must be in line with the company’s missions, visions, and values in order to avoid these issues. One way the cultural awareness and civic engagement efforts can be aligned with the company’s goals and values is through ensuring that the company prices the fares in a manner that is fair to all people. They should consider that some people may not be well off financially while a big portion of the rest belong to the middle class and should use this information in pricing tickets for the fares. This will ensure fairness to all clients rich or poor and as a result, the organization will portray integrity.
Another way the organization can ensure that its effort is in line with the company’s vision, mission and value is through embracing diversity. As much as the company tries to preserve traditional culture, it must remember that times are changing and it, therefore, must ensure that teaching of these cultures does not cause a rift in the community. It will do this by accommodating some of the changes that have occurred in the Native American culture over time and embracing diversity. NACC must be sensitive to the community the organization is operating and it can do this by getting advice from community leaders about the likes and dislikes of the people. This will ensure that as the hired staff talk to different communities about the Native American culture, they are able to avoid things that might annoy the community and embrace those that will help win the friendship of the community. This will help in the cultural awareness process as well as the civic engagement of the community.
The organization is also required to carry out corporate social responsibility in the community in which the organization operates. Corporate social responsibility refers to the continued efforts by the business to maintain higher and higher standards of living for the people of the community (Amaeshi, Nnodim & Osuji 2013). The organization is therefore required to come up with a decision that complies with this social responsibility. One of the ways the NACC will do this is by offering employment to the local people within the centers. The locals can also be hired during the fares to showcase the ways of the traditional Native Americans. They can be paid to perform songs and dances during these fares. NACC can also give back to the community by using some of the income made during tours and fares to uplift the community by investing a certain percentage of community projects and supporting charity initiatives.
Finally, the NACC must come up with an ethical code of conduct that will guide the employees when faced with ethical dilemmas. The ethical code of conduct will contain the dos and don’ts for the staff which will ensure they uphold ethical behavior. An organization that shows good ethical behavior will earn the respect of the locals and therefore make its operation easy. Many locals will be willing for example to volunteer in cultural fares and this means civic engagement will be increased if the organization exhibits ethical behavior. The different decision-making processes can be used by the company when it is creating Its ethical code of conduct depending on what the employees feel is fair. These can include majority decision making e.g. ballot boxes, hierarchical decision-making, or even proportional-decision making.
Ensuring that the efforts being made by the company are in line with its mission, vision and values will have a lot of positive impact on the company as it will help improve corporate exposure as well as company profits. This is because it will help ensure a high return on investment as well as the sustainability of the business. The sustainability of a business means that the business remains of value and relevance. This is important for any business NACC included. The mindful consideration of different people within the community will help avoid any rift that may occur in the organization due to diversity. As a result, the organization exhibits more readiness to achieve its goals. This will help cancel out the negative external factors that may cause the business to fail and will help increase utilization of the positive external factors which will ensure the sustainability of the business.
Another thing that would bring about the success of the business is the decision of NACC to practice social responsibility. This is because practicing social responsibility will make the business more popular with the people and therefore enhance the business culture. The company will earn the trust of public members and this will mean more customers. This will in turn help improve company value to the people and therefore ensure the sustainability of the business. The business will also be able to improve the quality of people’s lives through involvement in community projects and charities. Additionally, the ethical behavior of the company will spark the interest of stakeholders in the company. Stakeholders refer to people with an individual interest in the company. These include investors, creditors, volunteers, employees, etc. When the company upholds...
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