Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner's 7 Dimensions of Culture Hofstede's 5 Cultural Dimensions Hall’s 3 Cultural Dimensions
Being a global leader Not an added skill but a sine qua nom “qualification” because of: – Globalization increased interdependency btw countries & people – Cross-border flow of goods and money, events & decisions in one company/country affect another one in another part of the world – Executives face more variety (domestic workforce more diverse)
Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner's 7 Dimensions of Culture Adopted from www.mindtools.com The 7Dimensions of Culture were identified by management consultants Fons Trompenaars and Charles Hampden-Turner, and the model was published in their 1997 book, "Riding the Waves of Culture."
Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner developed the model after spending 10 years researching the preferences and values of people in dozens of cultures around the world. As part of this, they sent questionnaires to more than 46,000 managers in 40 countries.
They found that people from different cultures aren't just randomly different from one another; they differ in very specific, even predictable, ways. This is because each culture has its own way of thinking, its own values and beliefs, and different preferences placed on a variety of different factors.
They concluded that what distinguishes people from one culture compared with another is where these preferences fall on each of the following seven dimensions:
7 Dimensions Universalism vs particularism. Individualism vs communitarianism. Specific vs diffuse Neutral vs emotional. Achievement vs ascription. Sequential time vs synchronous time. Internal direction vs outer direction.
You can use the model to understand people from different cultural backgrounds better, so that you can prevent misunderstandings and enjoy a better working relationship with them. This is especially useful if you do business with people from around the world, or if you manage a diverse group of people. The model also highlights that one culture is not necessarily better or worse than another; people from different cultural backgrounds simply make different choices. However, the model doesn't tell you how to measure people's preferences on each dimension. Therefore, it's best to use it as a general guide when dealing with people from different cultures.
1. Universalism Vs Particularism (Rules Vs Relationships) People place a high importance on laws, rules, values, and obligations. They try to deal fairly with people based on these rules, but rules come before relationships. People believe that each circumstance, and each relationship, dictates the rules that they live by. Their response to a situation may change, based on what's happening in the moment, and who's involved.
Universalists Do the “right” thing every time. What’s right is right regardless of circumstances or who is involved Apply the rules across the board to every situation Place a high value on the rules The rules are more important than the relationship Obligation to society is more important than obligation to in-group A contract is a contract
Particularists Fit their actions to a particular situation The relationship is more important than the rules Demonstrate high connectedness to a group Places a high value on the relationship Obligation to in-group is more important than obligation to society If conditions change, they expect the contract to change
Negotiating with Universalists They know the “right way” to do things They may not be very flexible Explain why it fits the rule and is not an exception Treat everyone the same – no exceptions Don’t expect to modify the contract later - “A deal is a deal”
Tips for Particularists Work within the rules Learn the normal operating procedures and industry practices. Do not expect to change them Try to avoid renegotiating a completed contract – it is seen as “bad faith” Exceptions to the rules might not be welcomed or tolerated.
Negotiating with Particularists Take circumstances into account To each according to his/her needs Insiders are treated differently Focus on the relationship, not the rules Be flexible The contract is always in flux, even after signing
Tips for Universalists Be willing to make adjustments Try to be flexible while you stay within the rules Update your knowledge. Don’t be following rules that are not current
Typical universalist cultures include the U.S., Canada, the U.K, the Netherlands, Germany, Scandinavia, New Zealand, Australia, and Switzerland. Typical particularistic cultures include Russia, Latin-America, and China.
2. Individualism Vs Communitarianism (The Individual Vs The Group) People believe in personal freedom and achievement. They believe that you make your own decisions, and that you must take care of yourself. People believe that the group is more important than the individual. The group provides help and safety, in exchange for loyalty. The group always comes before the individual.
Typical individualist cultures include the U.S., Canada, the U.K, Scandinavia, New Zealand, Australia, and Switzerland. Typical communitarian cultures include countries in Latin-America, Africa, and Japan.
3. Specific Vs Diffuse (How Far People Get Involved) People keep work and personal lives separate. As a result, they believe that relationships don't have much of an impact on work objectives, and, although good relationships are important, they believe that people can work together without having a good relationship. People see an overlap between their work and personal life. They believe that good relationships are vital to meeting business objectives, and that their relationships with others will be the same, whether they are at work or meeting socially. People spend time outside work hours with colleagues and clients.
Typical specific cultures include the U.S., the U.K., Switzerland, Germany, Scandinavia, and the Netherlands. Typical diffuse cultures include Argentina, Spain, Russia, India, and China.
4. Neutral Vs Emotional (How People Express Emotions) People make a great effort to control their emotions. Reason influences their actions far more than their feelings. People don't reveal what they're thinking or how they're feeling. People want to find ways to express their emotions, even spontaneously, at work. In these cultures, it's welcome and accepted to show emotion.
Typical neutral cultures include the U.K., Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland, and Germany. Typical emotional cultures include Poland, Italy, France, Spain, and countries in Latin-America.
5. Achievement Vs Ascription (How People View Status) People believe that you are what you do, and they base your worth accordingly. These cultures value performance, no matter who you are. People believe that you should be valued for who you are. Power, title, and position matter in these cultures, and these roles define behavior.
Typical achievement cultures include the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Scandinavia. Typical ascription cultures include France, Italy, Japan, and Saudi Arabia.
6. Sequential Time Vs Synchronous Time (How People Manage Time) People like events to happen in order. They place a high value on punctuality, planning (and sticking to your plans), and staying on schedule. In this culture, "time is money," and people don't appreciate it when their schedule is thrown off. People see the past, present, and future as interwoven periods. They often work on several projects at once, and view plans and commitments as flexible.
Typical sequential-time cultures include China, Russia, and Mexico. Typical synchronous-time cultures include Japan, Canada, Norway, the U.K., and the U.S.
7. Internal Direction Versus Outer Direction (How People Relate to Their Environment) People believe that they can control nature or their environment to achieve goals. This includes how they work with teams and within organizations. People believe that nature, or their environment, controls them; they must work with their environment to achieve goals. At work or in relationships, they focus their actions on others, and they avoid conflict where possible. People often need reassurance that they're doing a good job.
Typical internal-direction cultures include Israel, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, and the U.K. Typical outer-direction cultures include China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia.
Geert Hofstede (1980, 1991) Studies of 117,000 IBM employees covering 72 national subsidiaries, 38 occupations, 20 languages. Used employee attitude surveys taken in 1968-69 and 1971- 73 within IBM subsidiaries in 66 countries. Statistically analyzed answers which revealed four central and largely independent bi-polar dimensions of a national culture. Dimensions to explain systematic differences in work values and practices at the country level: Power distance Uncertainty avoidance Masculinity and femininity Individualism and collectivism [Confucianism and dynamism]
Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions Understanding Workplace Values Around the World Armed with a large database of cultural statistics, Hofstede analyzed the results and found clear patterns of similarity and difference amid the responses along these five dimensions. Interestingly, his research was done on employees of IBM only, which allowed him to attribute the patterns to national differences in culture, largely eliminating the problem of differences in company culture.
1. Power/Distance (PD) This refers to the degree of inequality that exists – and is accepted – among people with and without power. A high PD score indicates that society accepts an unequal distribution of power and people understand "their place" in the system. Low PD means that power is shared and well dispersed. It also means that society members view themselves as equals
2. Individualism (IDV) This refers to the strength of the ties people have to others within the community. A high IDV score indicates a loose connection with people. In countries with a high IDV score there is a lack of interpersonal connection and little sharing of responsibility, beyond family and perhaps a few close friends. A society with a low IDV score would have strong group cohesion, and there would be a large amount of loyalty and respect for members of the group. The group itself is also larger and people take more responsibility for each other's well being.
3. Masculinity (MAS) This refers to how much a society sticks with, and values, traditional male and female roles. High MAS scores are found in countries where men are expected to be tough, to be the provider, to be assertive and to be strong. If women work outside the home, they have separate professions from men. Low MAS scores do not reverse the gender roles. In a low MAS society, the roles are simply blurred. You see women and men working together equally across many professions. Men are allowed to be sensitive and women can work hard for professional success.
4. UNCERTAINTY AVOIDANCE INDEX (UAI) This relates to the degree of anxiety society members feel when in uncertain or unknown situations. High UAI-scoring nations try to avoid ambiguous situations whenever possible. They are governed by rules and order and they seek a collective "truth". Low UAI scores indicate the society enjoys novel events and values differences. There
5. LONG TERM ORIENTATION (LTO) This refers to how much society values long-standing – as opposed to short term – traditions and values. This is the fifth dimension that Hofstede added in the 1990s after finding that Asian countries with a strong link to Confucian philosophy acted differently from western cultures. In countries with a high LTO score, delivering on social obligations and avoiding "loss of face" are considered very important.
1. Power/Distance (PD) The acceptance of the unequal distribution of power-the degree to which: – Employees are independent – Structures are hierarchical – Bosses are accessible – People have rights or privileges – Progress is by evolution or revolution
Power distance Extent to which members of a society accept that status and power are distributed unequally in an organization Organizations in these cultures tend to be autocratic, possess clear status differences and have little employee participation
High Power Distance Lower status people recognize and accept that power is held unequally in society. Hierarchy & status are very important. Motto: "Respect for the leader or the elder."
Low Power Distance A belief that "all people are equal" Status comes from competence, not age Very limited rapport-building time
How would you negotiate with High Power Distance Cultures?
Negotiating with High Power Distance Cultures Understand & defer to their hierarchy Use titles (don't be informal) & respect authority Prepare by learning about the position of each person on their team Exchange business cards early Treat them with respect. Don’t be intimidated by their status Demonstrate your rank Privileges are expected by superiors Blame subordinates Remember that everyone has their place Better to be too respectful than to lack it Don't insist on everyone's input Expect highly centralized decision making. Authority may be limited
Tips for Low Power Distance Cultures Have a leader; discover their leader Respect their superiors, rank, and age Recognize differences in status Be extremely respectfully Summarize after your meeting to assure consensus Remember your "place" in their eyes Don't get too close to people with less power Be more formal Match their rank with your rank (Eagles with Eagles)
How would you negotiate with Low Power Distance Cultures?
Negotiating with Low Power Distance "Just call me John;” be less formal Titles won’t impress them Don’t expect the same respect you receive at home (if you are high status) Address questions to the whole group Treat them all as equals Use teamwork Acknowledge experience & expertise, not status Respect individuality Respect subordinates; ask for their opinions
Tips for High Power Distance Cultures Do not expect the respect you receive at home Leave your ego at the door Respect everyone, regardless of position Be egalitarian, humble and not condescending Delegate more Listen carefully to their subordinates & expect their ' opinions to count Do not judge the value of their opinions by their status Accept informality Learn who has the power to make decisions Solicit opinions of others, including subordinates Their lower level people may have more decision making authority than yours Agree to disagree with subordinates.
2. Individualism/Collectivism (IDV) The degree to which people: – Work in groups or alone – Relate to their tasks or their colleagues
Individualism and collectivism Individualism Reflects the extent to which the individual expects personal freedom and the liberty to act as an individual Collectivism means the acceptance of responsibility by groups and nationalities and the liberty to act as a collective member of a group
Individualism The individual is most important. Goals & interests are individual goals & interests Things are done for the benefit of the individual Negotiating teams usually have the power to make decisions on the spot It may be hard to determine who is "in charge" Identity
Collectivism The group is most important Goals are the group's goals Things are done for the benefit of the group Concessions & decisions are not make "at the table" but rather in private, after conferring with others Consensus style decision making may require the input of people who are not part of the negotiation team
Negotiating with Individualists Expect low context communication and extroverted behavior They will have personal goals distinct from group goals Stress personal gains & individual goals Use a "What's in it for me" approach Recognize their individuality; they value individual rights They will want some personal time and privacy Expect them to think and act individually Seek their personal opinions Talk of "Me" and "I" Individualists are the minority of the world
Tips for Collectivists Have a person TOP can view as a leader Be more an individual – dress, ideas, etc. Express an opinion Be self-reliant Realize the importance of the individual The interests of multiple people at stake. Be more direct Consider individual rights and privacy
Negotiating with Collectivists Expect your proposals to be received by a larger group Expect high context communication and introverted behavior Expect a team Don’t expect immediate action; they must consult others Everything will take longer Consider the collective goals and interests Individual rights are less important Insiders are treated differently than outsiders Expect them to think and act collectively Give them face Harmony may be more important than honesty Talk of "We" They are the majority of the world
Tips for Individualists Realize the importance of the group Consider yourself as part of a group Represent your group Conform to your group Consider the common good Consider "face" issues Work towards harmony Be less confrontational Appeal to collective interests of their group
3. Masculinity/Femininity (MAS) The degree to which people: – Believe in consensus – Put work at the center of their lives – Expect managers to use intuition
MASCULINITY So, Foster. That’s how you want it, huh? Then take THIS!
Masculinity versus femininity Masculine culture is COMPETITIVE with an emphasis is on earnings, recognition, advancement, achievement, wealth, performance and challenge Feminine culture is COOPERATIVE where the dominant values are caring, sharing and the quality of life
Masculinity (competitiveness or assertiveness) "Win at any cost." Display assertive behavior designed to get what they deserve and can take. Focus on money, power, control, competition, aggression, and an adversarial approach “The marketplace is a battlefield”
Femininity ( nurturance and relationships) Cooperation A concern for everyone's interests Win-win, peaceful approach Caring for others is most important
How would you negotiate with a Masculine Culture ?
Negotiating with a Masculine Culture Approach the negotiation competitively Be ready to argue Assume they are going for a “win,” not a win-win Money & power are key Be assertive; shake hands; avoid emotions Expect "power plays," power tactics, a rights based discussion and positional bargaining Challenging them may result in consequences. Expect them to be loud and verbal, with a tendency to criticize and argue They will be reluctant to make concessions. They want to win because it "feels good" and that's what they do
Tips for Feminine Culture Be ready to stand your ground Protect yourself; be competitive Relationship may be less important than the “deal” Women might need to defer to men Speak up; be willing to interrupt Be pro-active “Think” as well as “feel” They might just want to win for winning's sake.
How would you negotiate with a Feminine Culture?
Negotiating with a Feminine Culture Use interest-based bargaining Behave “win-win” Try to not be competitive; be caring They may support your goals (if possible) “Separate the people from the problem.“ Seek a long-term relationship Support the relationship Engage in small talk; active listen them They will be willing to offer concessions Be mindful of the emotions involved
Tips for Masculine Culture Tone down your behavior; be less competitive Its negotiation - not war Listen more Reduce your posturing Consider & allow some emotions Seek harmony and a solution, not conflict You don’t need to beat them to “win” Both side need to win – especially if you want a second contract
4. Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI) The degree to which people: – Take risks – Accept conflict and stress – Work without rules
Uncertainty avoidance The extent to which members of a society tolerate the unfamiliar and unpredictable Organizations in these cultures tend to value experts, prefer clear roles, avoid conflict and resist change
Uncertainty Avoidance should not be confused with risk avoidance says Geert Hofstede but almost everyone talks as if they are the same
High Uncertainty Avoidance Risk avoiders who resist change Feel threatened by unstructured or unknown situations Motivated by the fear of failure Has a need for structure and ritual in the negotiation Expect technical specialists on the negotiating team They will be wary of novel situations. Precision and punctuality are important to them They will seek precise instructions and detailed descriptions They will seek harmony and to avoid conflict Likely to be conservative & hesitant Makes few changes or concessions in their proposals Seen as rigid or paranoid Refusal to consider alternatives, seen as bargaining "in bad faith.“ Motto: "Respect the law"
Low Uncertainty Avoidance Risk takers who readily accept change Take more and greater risks. Motivated by the hope of success Willing to "go for it" Makes many proposals, especially at the negotiation table Always pushing for changes Seen as unprincipled, amoral, confusing, wild, untrustworthy and unreliable May not plan much
How would you negotiate with a High Uncertainty Avoiders?
Negotiating with High Uncertainty Avoiders Stick with the status quo Persuade them with history Establish ground rules, regulations, and controls Expect a lot of rules, regulations, and controls Use agendas, structure, and ritual in the negotiation Be clear on expectations Prepare for their technical specialists on the negotiating team Expect resistance to novel proposals Expect a long negotiation; they need to remove ambiguities Build & demonstrate a good “track record” so they are comfortable Present all the details Provide precise instructions and detailed descriptions Expect few concessions Seek harmony and avoid conflict
Tips for Low Uncertainty Avoiders Consider standard agreements & contracts Set up ground rules & agendas Avoid risky proposals Recognize that they might not share your willingness to take risks Seek out a 3 rd party they trust. TOP is not likely to trust your proposals
How would you negotiate with a Low Uncertainty Avoiders?
Negotiating with Low Uncertainty Avoiders Be more informal. Propose something novel; they’ll like it Brainstorm ideas Consider the alternatives Use generalists on your negotiating team Be willing to take limited risks Wait for them to propose the first concessions (good for both parties)
Tips for High Uncertainty Avoiders Loosen up. Just try it. Be flexible. Be willing to "invent options,“ A little controlled risk could be helpful Accept some risk Contingent agreements & performance Ks Recognize value & promise in novel ideas Think creatively
5. Long Term Orientation (LTO) The degree to which people: – Have a short- or long-term view of their work – Accept convention – Persevere with a job – Spend or invest
Long-Term v. Short-Term Orientation Long-term orientation cultures tend to respect thrift, high savings rates and perseverance, status and order in positions, sense of shame. Short-term orientation cultures tend to respect social and status obligations regardless of cost and low levels of savings.
Long Term Orientation Pragmatic, future-oriented perspective “Sacrifice for the future” Long term commitments Focuses on long-term interests (e.g., market share) Great respect for tradition Thrifty with high savings rate Current situation is less important to them Strong work ethic Long term rewards are expected from today’s hard work Build life-long personal relationships Respect: thrift, perseverance, status, order, sense of shame
Short Term Orientation Conventional, historic, short-term perspective Focus on present Change can occur more quickly Efforts should produce quick results Focuses on short-term interests (profits) Seem to be irresponsible and waste money A concern for saving face
How would you negotiate with Long Term Orientation Cultures ?
Negotiating with LTO Cultures Expect "slow going“ Expect strong perseverance Have a future focus Expect future negotiation opportunities Build long-term relationships Demonstrate your long-term focus Expect a strong work ethic. Have great respect for tradition Work with their extensive personal networks Help them understand the current situation
Tips for STO Cultures Be patient. It will take longer than you think Think about tomorrow Build long-term relationships Consider future contracts while you negotiate this one Think of your children
How would you negotiate with Short Term Orientation Cultures ?
Negotiating with STO Cultures Focus on today & the short term Incorporate their immediate needs Make it happen “right now” Expect quick changes Help them examine the "long run" and the consequences of a "quick win."
Tips for LTO Cultures Do not overlook present concerns Try to move at a faster pace Spend some money now to ensure a good future Spend less time in relationship building
Power Distance Hierarchy, Status “Respect your elders” v. “We are all equal.” “Just call me John.” Individualism- collectivism “What’s in it for me?” “How does my group look?” Long-Term Orientation However long it takes Short term profits
Hall’s Dimensions Edward T. Hall was an anthropologist who made early discoveries of key cultural factors. In particular he is known for his high and low context cultural factors.
CONTEXT HIGH VS LOW In a high-context culture, there are many contextual elements that help people to understand the rules. As a result, much is taken for granted. This can be very confusing for person who does not understand the 'unwritten rules' of the culture. Much nonverbal communication In a low-context culture, very little is taken for granted. Whilst this means that more explanation is needed, it also means there is less chance of misunderstanding particularly when visitors are present. Focus on verbal communication
Cultural Models A way of Understanding High Context Cultures Process focused Relationships built over time Group oriented Hierarchy Formality valued Indirect communication style Time polychronic Low Context Cultures Results (task) focused Fast built relationships Individually oriented Equality Informality valued Direct communication style Time monochronic
High Context Communication Communication is indirect Meaning is indirect, implied, and derived from the context Difficult to hear/infer interests Implied meanings arise from the setting/context Non-verbals are very important Lots of inferences need to be drawn Words promote harmony Conflict is avoided Says "No" without using the word "No" Linked to: Collectivism, Hierarchy, spiral logic
Low Context Communication Words communicate information directly Literal meanings independent of setting/context Meaning is in the words; its clear “Read my lips" Conflict is OK Says "No" easily Linked to: individualism, Equality, Linear logic
Explicit & implicit communication 114 Low Context Low Context High Context High Context Explicit Communication Explicit Communication Implicit Communication Implicit Communication Swiss North Americans Scandinavians French British Italians Germans Latin Americans Arabs Japanese
How would you negotiate with High Context Communicators?
Negotiating with High Context Communicators Read between the lines Don't take them literally; gather "clues" Pay close attention to context & non-verbals Ask for further clarification Draw out their full ideas with questions Ask them to be more direct Face is very important Don't challenge them; they may lose face Explain that you do not fully understand; Take time to build a good relationship
Tips for Low Context Communicators Read between the lines; be sensitive to the non- verbals; assess the context Don’t be too direct Don't overwhelm them; be less aggressive Soften your words when expressing disagreement Tone down emotions Engage in more "small talk" Build relationships early
How would you negotiate with Low Context Communicators?
Negotiating with Low Context Communicators Take their words at face value No need to read between the lines What you hear, is what you get Communicate clearly and explicitly. Be "upfront" Ask direct questions; share frank observations Say "no" if you mean "no" Avoid ambiguous expressions Reframe their directness as helpful information (not rudeness) Listen & active listen Be ready to negotiate at the first meeting Handle some business over the phone or internet
Tips for High Context Communicators Don't assume they understand the larger context Be more direct; don't be ambiguous Say "no" if you mean "no" Don't assume they can read your mind They won't understand the nuances Be ready to negotiate at the first meeting Handle some business over the phone or internet Use less relationship building time
Time Monochronic vs Polychronic Monochronic: doing one thing at a time. It assumes careful planning and scheduling and is a familiar Western approach that appears in disciplines such as 'time management'.Monochronic people tend also to be low context.Polychronic timeIn Polychroni: human interaction is valued over time and material things, leading to a lesser concern for 'getting things done' -- they do get done, but more in their own time. Aboriginal and Native Americans have typical polychronic cultures, where 'talking stick' meetings can go on for as long as somebody has something to say. Polychronic people tend also to be high context.
Monochronic vs. Polychronic behavior 122 Monochronic Polychronic Time is crucial Punctuality Get to the point A then B then C then D Time is an asset Time is crucial Punctuality Get to the point A then B then C then D Time is an asset Time is not ours to manage Events have their own time A & B or C, D or B Talk business, but also football, food, friendship Time is not ours to manage Events have their own time A & B or C, D or B Talk business, but also football, food, friendship Task, linear Task & Relational, circular
SPACE HIGH VS LOW TERRITORIALITY Some people are more territorial than others with greater concern for ownership. They seek to mark out the areas which are theirs and perhaps having boundary wars with neighbors. This happens right down to desk- level, where co-workers may do battle over a piece of paper which overlaps from one person's area to another. At national level, many wars have been fought over boundaries. Territoriality also extends to anything that is 'mine' and ownership concerns extend to material things. Security thus becomes a subject of great concern for people with a high need for ownership. People high territoriality tend also to be low context People with lower territoriality have less ownership of space and boundaries are less important to them. They will share territory and ownership with little thought. They also have less concern for material ownership and their sense of 'stealing' is less developed (this is more important for highly territorial people). People with low territoriality tend also to be high context.
Richard Lewis Quote "Cultural behavior is the end product of collected wisdom, filtered and passed down through hundreds of generations as shared core beliefs, values assumptions, notions and persistent action patterns. In other words, culture is a collective programming of the mind, which distinguishes the members of one human group from another."
Which styles are represented in these extracts? (1) I’m afraid I can’t fit a meeting in today. This morning is my weekly team meeting, Then I’ve planned two hours’ work on the budget. I could see you tomorrow at 11 o’clock, between a visitor who leaves at 10.45 and a scheduled lunch appointment
Which styles are represented in these extracts? (2) Do come to the point. I need to get back with a decision by four o’clock.
Which styles are represented in these extracts? (3) In the circumstances it would seem to be inappropriate to attribute more than a general description of those characteristics we will be seeking in our new employee.
Which styles are represented in these extracts? (4) Don’t worry about the timing, just come when you’re ready. I have a few things going on at the moment, but I’m sure we can always squeeze in a discussion of your problem.
Example of High vs low context collision When President George Bush went to Japan with Lee Iacocca and other American business magnates, and directly made explicit and direct demands on Japanese leaders, they violated Japanese etiquette. To the Japanese (who use high context language) it is considered rude and a sign of ignorance or desperation to lower oneself to make direct demands. Some analysts believe it severely damaged the negotiations and confirmed to the Japanese that Americans are barbarians.
Cross cultural blunders (1) Having a poor understanding of the influence of cross cultural differences in areas such as management, PR, advertising and negotiations can eventually lead to blunders that can have damaging consequences.
Cross cultural blunders (2) It is crucial for today's business personnel to understand the impact of cross cultural differences on business, trade and internal company organisation. The success or failure of a company, venture, merger or acquisition is essentially in the hands of people. If these people are not cross culturally aware then misunderstandings, offence and a break down in communication can occur.
Cross cultural blunders (3) The need for greater cross cultural awareness is heightened in our global economies. Cross cultural differences in matters such as language, etiquette, non- verbal communication, norms and values can, do and will lead to cross cultural blunders.
Examples of cultural blunders in business/marketing (1) Pepsodent tried to sell its toothpaste in Southeast Asia by emphasizing that it "whitens your teeth." They found out that the local natives chew betel nuts to blacken their teeth which they find attractive. A company advertised eyeglasses in Thailand by featuring a variety of cute animals wearing glasses. The ad was a poor choice since animals are considered to be a form of low life and no self respecting Thai would wear anything worn by animals.
Examples of cultural blunders in business/marketing (2) When Pepsico advertised Pepsi in Taiwan with the ad "Come Alive With Pepsi" they had no idea that it would be translated into Chinese as "Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the dead."
Examples of cultural blunders in business/marketing (3) The day before the huge marketing campaign, Panasonic realised its error and pulled the plug. Why? The ads for the new product featured the following slogan: "Touch Woody - The Internet Pecker." The company only realised its cross cultural blunder when an embarrassed American explained what "touch Woody's pecker" could be interpreted as!
In 2002, Umbro the UK sports manufacturer had to withdraw its new trainers (sneakers) called the Zyklon. The firm received complaints from many organisations and individuals as it was the name of the gas used by the Nazi regime to murder millions of Jews in concentration camps. Sharwoods, a UK food manufacturer, spent £6 million on a campaign to launch its new 'Bundh' sauces. It received calls from numerous Punjabi speakers telling them that "bundh" sounded just like the Punjabi word for "arse".
Honda introduced their new car "Fitta" into Nordic countries in 2001. If they had taken the time to undertake some cross cultural marketing research they may have discovered that "fitta" was an old word used in vulgar language to refer to a woman's genitals in Swedish, Norwegian and Danish. In the end they renamed it "Honda Jazz
Consequently, the implications of national culture on organizational structures and how “things are done” may influence… Meetings Decision making process Problem solving Delegating Team working Motivating Negotiating
One needs to remember… It’s important to keep an open mind in large multinational organizations To communicate effectively with others in the group To actively listen to others To be good at picking up differences and respecting them
The overall aim is to Develop intercultural awareness and skills to enable one to work effectively with people form different cultures
Conclusion With an understanding of various communication characteristics among cultures, we are better able to get along both personally and professionally with other cultures; we will be able to foresee how they are likely to react in various situations
Richard Lewis Quote "Cultural behavior is the end product of collected wisdom, filtered and passed down through hundreds of generations as shared core beliefs, values assumptions, notions and persistent action patterns. In other words, culture is a collective programming of the mind, which distinguishes the members of one human group from another."