Development organisation in an urban facility

As we venture into this major event of building a manufacturing factory, which will be situated within a major residential development area, concerns are being raised about noise and the impacts it will have on the health of the community nearby. Since relocating, the company to a different place is an uphill task and very expensive, we have involved the local community in the decisions that might affect them due to the operations of our factory.
In line with our goal to embody environmental sustainability and to support economic activity that will improve the quality of life of the nearby community and the urban residents, we will engage the residents in discussions to obtain their views and to alleviate their worries. In consultation with the community, which consists of people with various economic, education and occupation backgrounds, we have brought their needs, concerns and aspirations and presented them in this strategy.

We believe that a strategy is needed to provide a coordinated and effective approach to consulting our neighbouring residents. Industrial noise generated from stationary sources such as production plants, refineries, manufacturing facilities, factories, pumping stations, etc. can affect people in various ways depending on a number of key variables. The discussion would involve the residents nearby and not factory workers. Noise emissions from factories to the environment pose the greatest challenge to the industry and the regulators to establish and maintain appropriate limits. Noise is considered a biological stressor and excessive exposure to it is a health risk since it can contribute to the development and aggravation of stress related conditions such as high blood pressure, ulcers, migraine headaches, coronary disease and colitis.
The body usually responds automatically to noise as a warning signal. Though reactions to a one time exposure to noise do not result in any irreversible effects, research suggests otherwise in some cases.  The purpose for this strategy is to provide clear guidelines on how to undertake the consultations and then implement the recommendations. The aim of this strategy is to minimize the noise levels that emanate from our factory into the environment by seeking the views of the neighbouring community and giving them a chance to influence our decisions. Our agreed objectives is to carry out a consultation that is inclusive, accessible and valuing diversity; communicate back the results of the consultation back to the community; implement the results of our consultation.
Why Culture?
To determine these challenges, a framework definition of culture is important. Culture defines how we work, communicate, interact, decide, act and respond in the working world. Our backgrounds such as race, gender, or national origin shape our culture. Our economic status, groups that we join, where we live brand us with different cultures. Conflict resolution draws much from our cultural backgrounds. Since our factory is sited in a major urban residential area, the nearby people hail from different cultural backgrounds shaped with their economic status, place of birth etc.
We expect to be misunderstood by some of our neighbours while illustrating to them our strategy, much of this might be because of different cultural values. Just as anthropologists Avruch and Black (1993) stated “…One’s own culture provides the “lens” through which we view the world; the “logic”… by which we order it; the “grammar” … by which it makes sense”, we expect people to respond to our solution differently. Some might also interpret it as “abnormal”, “weird”, or “wrong” (Avruch & Black, 1993).
Facing the Challenges
To carry out this consultation, the influence of culture on our communication has to be understood. As engineers, we will be tasked with interpreting to the community what we believe and have tested to be low noise and with minimum or no health hazard. We will also be expected to help in the decision making process for the implementation of the consultation results. We must also involve some representatives of the community in the daily operations of the factory and the environmental safety achieved at different stages.
Sample Project
In a survey conducted on cross-cultural challenges involved in Japanese overseas projects, 33 Japanese professionals from various organizations educational institutions in Japan responded to the survey. This research investigated the challenges faced by the Japanese workers in international projects. Most of them preferred cross-cultural training to better equip them with what to expect from other cultures.
Effectiveness of trans-cultural approaches
Training for our employees is necessary for them to understand the complaints that might be raised from time to time by the residents during the operations of the factory. The residents will also be notified of the allowable noise levels recommended by organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO). In doing these, we expect to improve our interaction and communication with the residents and achieve our goal of environmental sustainability to improve the quality of life of the nearby community.
Avruch, K. and Black, P. (1993). Conflict Resolution in Intercultural Settings: Problems and Prospects. Conflict Resolution Theory and Practice Integration and Application. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

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