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Differences in Culture Societies differ along cultural dimensions What is culture? How/why do social structure, religion, language influence cultural.

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Presentation on theme: "Differences in Culture Societies differ along cultural dimensions What is culture? How/why do social structure, religion, language influence cultural."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Differences in Culture

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4 Societies differ along cultural dimensions What is culture? How/why do social structure, religion, language influence cultural differences? What are differences between culture and values in the workplace (corporate culture)? Culture changes over time. What are some reasons behind this? Implications for business managers

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6 Cultural Appreciation Aspects of culture Values Customs Symbols Language

7 What is Culture? Culture: a societys (groups) system of shared, learned values and norms; these are the societys (groups) design for living – Values: abstract ideas about the good, the right, the desirable – Norms: social rules and guidelines; guide appropriate behavior for specific situations Folkways: norms of little moral significance dress code; table manners; timeliness Mores: norms central to functioning of social life –bring serious retribution: thievery, adultery, alcohol

8 Basic U.S. Business Values

9 Cultural Diversity Values represent personal or socially preferable modes of conduct or states of existence that are enduring. Why doesnt McDonalds sell hamburgers in India?

10 Cultural Diversity Customs are norms and expectations about the way people do things in a specific country. Why were 3M executives perplexed concerning lukewarm sales of Scotch- Brite floor cleaner in the Philippines?

11 What is Culture? the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one human group over another… Culture, in this sense, includes systems of values; and values are among the building blocks of culture Geert Hofstede

12 National Culture Nation is a useful: – Definition of society similarity among people a cause -- and effect -- of national boundaries – Way to bound and measure culture for conduct of business culture is a key characteristic of societ can differ significantly across national borders –also within national borders laws are established along national lines Culture is both a cause and an effect of economic and political factors that vary across national borders

13 Social Structure and Culture Unit of social organization: individual or group? Society may be stratified into classes or castes High-low stratification High-low mobility between strata The individual: building block of many Western societies Entrepreneurship Social, geographical and inter-organizational mobility The group: Two or more associated individuals with a shared identity Interact with each-other in specific ways on the basis of a common set of expectations.

14 Individual vs Group Societal Characteristics Individual – Managerial mobility between companies – Economic dynamism, innovation – Good general skills – Team work difficult, non-collaborative Exposure to different ways of doing business – e.g., U.S. companies Group – Loyalty and commitment to company – In-depth knowledge of company – Specialist skills – Easy to build teams, collaboration – Emotional identification with group or company – e.g., Japanese companies

15 Religion, Ethics and Culture Religion: system of shared beliefs about the sacred Ethical systems: moral principles or values that shape and guide behavior; often products of religion Major religious groups and some economic implications – Christianity protestant work ethic – Islam Islamic economic principles – Hinduismanti-materialistic, socially stratified – Buddhismanti-materialistic, social equality – Confucianismhierarchy, loyalty, honesty

16 Language: Culture Bound Language, spoken – private does not exist as a word in many languages – Eskimos: 24 words for snow – Words which describe moral concepts can be unique to countries or areas – Spoken language precision important in low- context cultures Language, unspoken – Context... more important than spoken word in high context cultures

17 Non-Verbal Gestures

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21 Cultural Diversity – Chevy Nova Award Dairy Associations huge success with the campaign Got Milk? prompted them to expand advertising to Mexico It was brought to their attention the Spanish translation read, Are you lactating?

22 Cultural Diversity – Chevy Nova Award Clairol introduced the Mist Stick, a curling iron into Germany Only to find out that mist is German slang for manure.

23 Cultural Diversity Chevy Nova Award When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used US packaging with the smiling baby on the label. In Africa, companies routinely put pictures on labels of whats inside, since many people cant read.

24 Cultural Diversity Chevy Nova Award Pepsis Come Alive With the Pepsi Generation in Chinese translated into Pepsi Brings Your Ancestors Back From the Grave

25 Cultural Diversity Chevy Nova Award Coca-Colas name in China was first read as Kekoukela, meaning Bite the wax tadpole or female horse stuffed with wax, depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 characters to find a phonetic equivalent kokou kole, translating into happiness in the mouth.

26 Cultural Stereotypes Cultural stereotypes: values and behaviors considered typical of a culture Are they valuable? Yes, if they reduce uncertainty about what expatriate can expect. No, if used to label an individual unlike the stereotype

27 High/Low Context Cultures

28 Education and Culture Education – Medium through which people are acculturated – Language, myths, values, norms taught – Teaches personal achievement and competition – Critical to national competitive advantage Education system may be a cultural outcome

29 Culture and the workplace (Hofstede) Finds national culture dimensions meaningful to business Basis: – Work related values not universal – National values may persist over MNC efforts to create corporate culture – Home country values often used to determine HQ policies – MNC may create morale problems with uniform moral norms Purpose: understanding of business situations across-cultures MUST understand own culture AND other culture(s)

30 Culture and the workplace Geert Hofstede – sampled 100,000 IBM employees Compared employee attitudes and values across 40 countries Isolated 4 dimensions summarizing culture: 1. Power distance 2. Individualism vs. collectivism 3. Uncertainty avoidance 4. Masculinity vs. feminity

31 Power Distance -- (Hofstede) Degree of social inequality considered normal by people Distance between individuals at different levels of a hierarchy Scale: from equal (small power distance) to extremely unequal (large power distance)

32 Individualism Vs. Collectivism (Hofstede) Degree to which people in a country prefer to act as individuals rather than in groups Describes the relations between the individual and his/her fellows

33 Uncertainty Avoidance (Hofstede) Degree of need to avoid uncertainty about the future Degree of preference for structured versus unstructured situations – Structured situations: have tight rules may or may not be written down High uncertainty avoidance: people with more nervous energy (vs easy-going), rigid society, "what is different is dangerous."

34 Masculinity Vs. Femininity (Hofstede) Division of roles and values in a society Masculine values prevail: – assertiveness, success, competition Feminine values prevail: – quality of life, maintenance of warm personal relationships, service, care for the weak, solidarity

35 Confucian Dynamism (Hofstede) Attitudes towards – Time – Persistence – Status in society – Face – Respect for tradition – Gifts and favors

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37 Cultural Change Over Time Change is slow and often painful Shifts away from traditional values towards secular values Changes with shift from survival values to self- expression values

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39 Cultural Distance Geographic and cultural (or pshychic) distance among countries may not be the same Key concept which can affect IB strategy and conduct

40 Managerial Implications Ethnocentrism vs Polycentrism Must a company adapt to local cultures or can corporate -- often home-country dominated -- culture prevail? Cross-cultural literacy essential Do some cultures offer a national competitive advantage over others?

41 Applying Cultural Analysis 1. Describe culture using Hofstedes Model 2. Estimate cultural impact on management Strategic planning: Futile? How much information needed? Employee motivation: Security or money reward? Immediate or long-term rewards? Employee monitoring and control: Rules or trust? Decision making: overcoming problems or seizing opportunities?


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