2“Culture” Something difficult to understand From ancient times, travelers have noticed that when you go from one place to the next, things you take for granted at home aren’t true any more
3Central to life in America is the desire to be a free individual who gets what he or she wants “I know my rights”In Japan, people took for granted they would do what their group (their company, their family, their school) wanted“The nail that sticks up gets hammered down”
4What is culture?“The collective programming of the mind which distinguishes one human group from another”- Geert HofstedeSystems of ideas that constitute a “design for living”- Zvi Namenwirth & Robert WeberReading has several definitions. And there are good reasons for being aware of several definitions, because there is no agreed on definition of culture.A 19th century anthropologist defined culture as “that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and other capabilities acquired by man as a member of society.”Wow! Everything!
5Why do cultures differ? Cultures are an ‘evolutionary product’ For thousands of years, human groups evolved with a good deal of isolationThey’ve struggled with different problemsPeople can do European-style farming individuallyRice farming calls for great cooperationThere are probably many, many other reasons for differences among cultures
6Components of Culture: One standard (incomplete!) approach Values – basic attitudes about what is importantNorms – social rulesA Society – a group of people who share common values & norms & ways of doing thingsthat is, a common cultureValues – core ideas – freedom in US;group harmony in JapanNorms – social rules that govern action – In the U.S. – smart people go to college, and by graduating they show that they’re smart that companies select them for good jobs.Mores – we’ve gotten so individualistic and there are so many cultures in San Jose that it’s hard to define a more.In Japan – big companies practice lifetime employment for their elite workers.In the US, a more is that whoever gets the most votes in an election gets to run the next government. There are countries – the number is declining, but it’s still high – where the person who gets the most votes may not get to rule.Folkways – Our attitude towards time. I’ll let you be a minute late. I’m struggling to prevent you from being more than that. Couldn’t do that in Peru, Italy.
7Values – assumptions about how things ought to be Values may form the bedrock of a cultureThey provide a context within which a society’s norms are established and justifiedThey include attitudes towardIndividual freedomDemocracyTruthJusticeHonestyLoyaltySocial obligationsValues are also reflected in the political and economic systemsCan anybody name a dog who is famous in the US or some other culture?Rin-Tin-Tin, Old Yeller, Lassie – live out in the country with a small group of people, they solve individuals’ individual problems.Scoo-Bee-Doo – a joker.Can anyone think of a dog who is famous in some other culture?Who is the most famous dog in Japan, and why is she famous? Ha-chi-ko
8NormsNorms are the social rules that govern people’s actions toward one anotherFolkways – little moral significanceAmericans expect you to come on time to appointmentsIn Italy, people weren’t usually on timeMoresNorms seen as central to functioning of societyMarriageHonestyA folkway – Italian concept of time
9Values – assumptions about how things ought to be Values may form the bedrock of a cultureThey provide a context within which a society’s norms are established and justifiedThey include attitudes towardIndividual freedomDemocracyTruthJusticeHonestyLoyaltySocial obligationsValues are also reflected in the political and economic systemsCan anybody name a dog who is famous in the US or some other culture?Rin-Tin-Tin, Old Yeller, Lassie – live out in the country with a small group of people, they solve individuals’ individual problems.Scoo-Bee-Doo – a joker.Can anyone think of a dog who is famous in some other culture?Who is the most famous dog in Japan, and why is she famous? Ha-chi-ko
10NormsNorms are the social rules that govern people’s actions toward one anotherFolkways – little moral significanceAmericans expect you to come on time to appointmentsIn Italy, people weren’t usually on timeMoresNorms seen as central to functioning of societyMarriageHonesty
11Examples of Mores – Norms felt as central to society U.S. – The winner in an election gets to ruleAfrican nations – an individual is loyal first to his/her tribeScandinavia – differences in wealth must not be too greatJapan – elite organizations try to give the people they hire a position for lifeStop and discuss difference between values, norms
12Culture vs. ‘a culture’If “culture” means the “collective programming that distinguishes a human group”…the phrase, “a culture” refers to a group that shares the same programmingSo you’ll hear me – and you’ll hear businesspeople – talking about the difficulties of dealing with culture – collective programming.Then you’ll hear me talking about ‘Japanese culture’ – the collective programming of Japanese.Then you’ll hear me talking about ‘the differences between one culture and the next,’ I mean the differences between one programmed group and the next.
13“A society” or “a culture” Definition: a group that shares the same values and norms (that is, shares same “collective programming”)We often assume that a society corresponds to a nationWe talk of ‘American society,’ ‘Russian society’But there is no strict one-to-one correspondenceNation State:Is a political creationMay contain a single culture or several culturesCanadaIndiaMulti-tribal African nations
14Societies contain subcultures ethnic culturesbusiness or professional culturesOften (usually?) a company will be known for a particular cultureAt Ford and Toyota, manufacturing is most importantAt General Motors, marketing is most importantyouth culturesHow do youth cultures vary in the South Bay?
16Social Structure‘Social structure’ is a society’s basic systems of social organizationTwo dimensions are particularly important:The extent to which society is group or individually oriented (‘collectivist’ vs. ‘individualist’)Degree of stratification into castes or classes‘stratification’ = the separation of the members of a society into hierarchical social categories (‘strata’) based on family background, occupation, or incomeGroup-oriented = Collectivism (Japan, China)Stratification – India, Englandnot the same as gap between rich and poor, though correlated with it.Peru, Mexico – tends to be a stratification between people associated with the old cultures from the rural areas and European-dominated elites.In England (traditionally) and also in Peru, if you make money you still have to build connections in the elite if you want to be elite.Changing with globalization?Is globalization creating its own castes?Are technology geeks a new global caste?
17How is social structure changing with globalization? Are technology geeks a new upper class?
18Religious and Ethical Systems Religion: a system of shared beliefs and rituals that are concerned with the realm of the sacred (i.e., things regarded with special respect)Ethical systems: a set of moral principles, or values, that are used to guide and shape behaviorMost of the world’s ethical systems are the product of religionsAmong the thousands of religions in the world today, four dominate in terms of numbers of adherents:Christianity with 1.7 billion adherentsIslam with 1 billion adherentsHinduism with 750 million adherentsBuddhism with 350 million adherentsReligions are hugely important, but they’re very hard to summarize.Just know that there are these different big religions.When you’re ready to study them, I can recommend some good books.
20Language Spoken Unspoken Language structures our perception of world English tries to be preciseJapanesedoesn’t discourage vaguenessallows more direct expression of emotionUnspokenBody languagePersonal spaceOne obvious way in which countries differ is language. By language, we mean both the spoken and the unspoken means of communication.In English, if we feel are overwhelmed with the beauty of something, we’ll say, “That’s beautiful” – it’s a statement about something.In Japanese, we could say ‘Utsukushiku wa nee…”
21Be alert for unexpected meanings of ‘silent language’ ColorsBlack symbolizes death in U.S.White indicates death in parts of AsiaPurple indicates death in (some situations in) Latin AmericaGesturesSideways head movement that means ‘yes’ in Greece and parts of India looks like negative ‘no’ head shake in U.S.
23Culture in the Workplace Geert Hofstede’s four dimensions of culturePower distance – the extent to which people are comfortable with inequalities of power and wealthUncertainty avoidance - the extent to which people accept ambiguous situations and tolerate uncertaintyIndividualism versus collectivism - this dimension focuses on the relationship between the individual and his/her fellows within a cultureMasculinity versus femininity - this dimension looks at the relationship between gender and work rolesProbably the most famous study of how culture relates to values in the workplace was undertaken by Geert Hofstede. As part of his job as a psychologist working for IBM, Hofstede collected data on employee attitudes and values for more than 100,000 individuals from 1967 to These data enabled him to compare dimensions of culture across 40 countries. Hofstede isolated four dimensions that he claimed summarized different cultures—power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism versus collectivism, and masculinity versus femininity.He later added long-term orientation vs. short-term orientation. But this has not been tested as well as the others.Learn and try to be able to use the first three of these
24Work-Related Values for 20 Selected Countries Table 3.1 – Work-Related Values for 20 Selected Countries, p. 113
25Problems with Hofstede’s ‘dimensions’ Assumes one-to-one relationship between culture and the nation stateResearch may have been ‘culturally bound’Survey was of IBM employees, conducted by Europeans and AmericansSurvey respondents were from a single industry (computer) and one company (IBM)Other scholars have proposed many other dimensions of culturebut none have been shown more significant than the first three Hofstede developed
27A few cultures have influenced global business enormously Technological and economic successes of northern Europe and North America from the 18th Century made international business possibleWhy? There are many theories, and no consensusBut while the free trade theory that you’ll read about is clearly important, it’s certainly more than thatSomething very important happened in northern Europe between the 16th and 18th centuriesIt clearly continues to affect global business today
29Limitations of the concept of ‘culture’ Clearly, societies differ a lot, and ‘culture’ tells whyBut how do we think about where cultures come from?Why don’t cultures change more?How do we predict when they will change?How can people change them deliberately?Because the concept of ‘culture’ is so massive and complicated (“collective programming of the mind”), it is difficult to use it to think about specific, perhaps small, changes.A friend of mine is a follower of an effort in Africa called ‘The Hunger Project,’ which tries to help women create businesses to feed their families.In most of these villages there are traditional ways of doing things that make this hard. If you ask, ‘why does the husband spend more money on tobacco than on educating the kids?’ It may be correct to say, ‘Those are the norms of this society.’ But you want to say more than that.
30Thinking about‘institutions’ can be more flexible Institutions are defined as the “rules of the game” in any human systemAnalogous to rules in a sportMost elements of culture can be thought of as “rules of the game” in the system of a societyExample: One of rule of the game in our class is that we speak EnglishIt’s easier to think about ‘changing the rules’ than about ‘changing the culture’
31Cultural Change/Institutional Change Culture evolves over timeSince 1960s American values toward the role of women have changedJapan has moved toward greater individualism in the workplaceGlobalization will continue to impact cultures around the worldAnd global business, especially, is always changing culturesLAST SLIDE
34Material below this slide is not part of the course
35Some Managerial Implications Cross-cultural literacyYou need to understand differences between culturesCulture and competitive advantageSome cultures make business easier than othersCulture and business ethicsAs we’ll see in a few weeks, cultural differences create big ethical issues
37What is Culture?“The collective programming of the mind which distinguishes one human group from another”- HofstedeText has several definitions. And there are good reasons for being aware of several definitions, because there is no agreed on definition of culture.A 19th century anthropologist defined culture as “that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and other capabilities acquired by man as a member of society.”Wow! Everything!“Culture” / values, norms vs. Institutions / rules of the game as different ways of capturing what’s going on in a society.If you want to understand politics and economics and political/economic differences, think in terms of institutions/rules of the game. It’s an economist or political scientist’s way to analyze what’s happening. It tries to make things simple.Culture / values, norms – a way used by some sociologists or anthropoligists. They want to acknowledge the full complexity of the human experience.
38You’ll always be shocked by new cultures But we want to learn how to think about them so we can work with diverse cultures“cross-cultural literacy” – understanding how cultural differences can affect the way business is practiced
40Religious and Ethical Systems Map 3.1 The Map of World Religions, p. 97
41Why did Europe start growing? 3 Theories to consider (of many) It was Protestantism working out its core principles. Protestant breakaway from the Catholic church starting created ways of life that promoted ‘progress’ (Troeltsch)More individualistic, decentralized view of religionTaught everyone to read, write to understand BiblePromoted universities and secular learningThis theory dominant before 1930
42It was also the fear Protestantism created It was also the fear Protestantism created. Some theology made believers fear going to hell so much they worked hard in the world while practicing asceticism (renunciation of worldly pleasures). (Weber)They started accumulating worldly goods.When people stopped believing so strongly in God, they kept an ascetic approach to lifeSecular knowledge and riches accumulatedThis theory dominant after 1930
43It was the success of the rich in throwing people off the land It was the success of the rich in throwing people off the land. Owners forced the poor to leave the land so they could use it more efficiently. The poor became available for exploitation in factories. (Grossman and others)This is a radical theory, but one with real empirical support
44Something big happened Whatever the truth, something about north European and North American culture has driven powerful economic growth since the 18th Century.It still plays a big role todayIt’s often hard to understand how people in other countries can deal with the challenge of the West
45A silly exampleWhen I was growing up, Mother said, “Don’t take your shoes off in the house, that’s uncivilized.”In Japan, it’s completely uncivilized to have your shoes on inside the house
46A dramatic example The English language is designed to be precise But Speaking English, you assume the world is real. You want to describe it preciselyIf you see a beautiful flower, you say, ‘That’s beautiful’But