3 The Meanings and Dimensions of Culture Chapter 4The Meanings and Dimensions of Culture
4 The Meanings and Dimensions of Culture The specific objectives of this chapter are toDEFINE the term culture, and discuss some of the comparative ways of differentiating cultures.DESCRIBE the concept of cultural values, and relate some of the international differences, similarities, and changes occurring in terms of both work and managerial values.IDENTIFY the major dimensions of culture relevant to work settings, and discuss their effects on behavior in an international environment.DISCUSS the value of country cluster analysis and relational orientations in developing effective international management practices.
5 The Nature of Culture Culture is Acquired knowledge that people use to interpret experience and generate social behavior. This knowledge forms values, creates attitudes, and influences behavior.
6 The Nature of Culture Characteristics of culture Learned Shared TransgenerationalSymbolicPatternedAdaptive
7 Priorities of Cultural Values United States, Japan, and Arab Countries
8 Cultural Diversity How Culture Affects Managerial Approaches Centralized vs. Decentralized Decision MakingCentralized: In some societies, top managers make all important organizational decisions.Decentralized: In others, these decisions are diffused throughout the enterprise, and middle- and lower-level managers actively participate in, and make, key decisions.
9 Cultural Diversity How Culture Affects Managerial Approaches Safety vs. RiskSafety: In some societies, organizational decision makers are risk-averse and have great difficulty with conditions of uncertainty.Risk: In others, risk taking is encouraged, and decision making under uncertainty is common.
10 Cultural Diversity How Culture Affects Managerial Approaches Individual vs. Group RewardsIndividual: In some countries, personnel who do outstanding work are given individual rewards in the form of bonuses and commissions.Group rewards: In others, cultural norms require group rewards, and individual rewards are frowned upon.
11 Cultural Diversity How Culture Affects Managerial Approaches Informal vs. Formal ProceduresInformal: In some societies, much is accomplished through informal means.Formal: In others, formal procedures are set forth and followed rigidly.
12 Cultural Diversity How Culture Affects Managerial Approaches High vs. Low Organizational LoyaltyHigh: In some societies, people identify very strongly with their organization or employer.Low: In others, people identify with their occupational group, such as engineer or mechanic.
13 Cultural Diversity How Culture Affects Managerial Approaches Cooperation vs. CompetitionCooperation: Some societies encourage cooperation between their people.Competition: Others encourage competition between their people.
14 Cultural Diversity How Culture Affects Managerial Approaches Short-term vs. Long-term HorizonsShort-term: Some cultures focus most heavily on short-term horizons, such as short-range goals of profit and efficiency.Long-term: Others are more interested in long-range goals, such as market share and technological developments.
15 Cultural Diversity How Culture Affects Managerial Approaches Stability vs. InnovationStability: The culture of some countries encourages stability and resistance to change.Innovation: The culture of others puts high value on innovation and change.
17 Business Customs in South Africa Arrange a meeting before discussing business over the phone.Make appointments as far in advance as possible.Maintain eye contact, shake hands, provide business cards for everyone.Be respectful of women, while aware that in their society they may be “tested.”Maintain a win-win situation.Be patient; don’t interrupt.Keep presentations short; avoid flashy visuals.
18 Values in Culture Values Basic convictions that people have about Right and wrongGood and badImportant and unimportantLearned from culture in which the individual is rearedDifferences in cultural values may result in varying management practices.
19 Comparing Cultures as Overlapping Normal Distributions
22 Value Similarities and Differences Across Cultures Strong relationship between level of managerial success and personal valuesValue patterns predict managerial success and can be used in selection/placement decisionsCountry differences in relationship between values and success; however, findings across U.S., Japan, Australia, India are similarValues of more successful managers favor pragmatic, dynamic, achievement-oriented, and active role in interaction with others Values of less successful managers tend toward static and passive values; relatively passive roles in interacting with others
23 Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Power DistanceUncertainty AvoidanceIndividualism―CollectivismMasculinity―FemininityTime OrientationIndulgence vs. Restraint
24 Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Power DistanceThe extent to which less powerful members accept that power is distributed unequallyHigh power distance countries: people blindly obey superiors; centralized, tall organizational structures (Mexico, South Korea, India)Low power distance countries: flatter, decentralized organizational structures, smaller ratio of supervisor to employee (Austria, Finland, Ireland)
25 Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Uncertainty AvoidanceThe extent to which people feel threatened by ambiguous situations; create beliefs/institutions to try to avoid such situationsHigh uncertainty avoidance countries: high need for security, strong belief in experts and their knowledge; structure organizational activities, more written rules, less managerial risk taking (Germany, Japan, Spain)Low uncertainty avoidance countries: people more willing to accept risks related to unknown, less structured organizational activities, fewer written rules, more managerial risk taking, higher labor turnover, more ambitious employees (Denmark and Great Britain)
26 Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions IndividualismThe extent to which people look after themselves and immediate family onlyCollectivismThe tendency of people to belong to groups and to look after each other in exchange for loyaltyHigh individualism countries: wealthier, Protestant work ethic, greater individual initiative, promotions based on market value (U.S., Canada, Sweden)High collectivism countries: poorer, less support of Protestant work ethic, less individual initiative, promotions based on seniority (Indonesia, Pakistan)
27 Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions MasculinityA cultural characteristic in which the dominant social values are success, money, and thingsFemininityA cultural characteristic in which the dominant social values are caring for others and quality of lifeHigh masculine countries: stress earnings, recognition, advancement, challenge, wealth; high job stress (Germanic countries)High feminine countries: cooperation, friendly atmosphere, employment security, group decision making; low job stress (Norway)
28 Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Time Orientation (1988)A cultural characteristic dealing with society’s search for virtueLong-term oriented societies: focus on the future, able to adapt traditions when conditions change, tend to save and invest, focus on achieving long-term results (Asian countries)Short-term oriented cultures: focus on quick results, do not tend to save, service to others, belief in absolutes, value stability and leisure (U.S., UK, Spain)
29 Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Indulgence vs. Restraint (2010)Indulgent: trait related to relative happiness based on instant gratificationRestraint: a cultural characteristic based on regulating and controlling behavior according to social normsIndulgent societies: perceived happiness, life in control, positive emotions, basic needs satisfied (U.S., UK, Australia, Chile)Restrained societies: less happiness, sense of helplessness, less likely to remember positive emotions, basic needs not always met (China, Egypt, Romania)
30 Trompenaars’s Cultural Dimensions Universalism vs. ParticularismUniversalism: belief that ideas/practices can be applied everywhereHigh universalism countries: formal rules, close adherence to business contracts (U.S., UK, Germany, Sweden, Australia)Particularism: belief that circumstances dictate how ideas/practices applyHigh particularism countries: legal contracts often modified, the way deals executed change as people get to know each other (China, Indonesia, Venezuela)
31 Trompenaars’s Cultural Dimensions Individualism vs. CommunitarianismIndividualism: people regard themselves as individualsCountries with high individualism: stress personal and individual matters; assume great personal responsibility (U.S., UK, Argentina, Mexico, Thailand)Communitarianism: people regard themselves as part of a groupValue group-related issues; committee decisions; joint responsibility (Malaysia, Korea)
32 Trompenaars’s Cultural Dimensions Neutral vs. EmotionalNeutral: culture in which emotions are held in checkHigh neutral countries: people act stoically and maintain composure (Japan and UK)Emotional: emotions are expressed openly and naturallyHigh emotion cultures: people smile a lot, talk loudly, greet each other with enthusiasm (Mexico, Netherlands, Switzerland)
33 Trompenaars’s Cultural Dimensions Specific vs. DiffuseSpecific: large public space shared with others and small private space guarded closelyHigh specific cultures: people open and extroverted, strong separation of work and personal life (Austria, UK, U.S., Switzerland)Diffuse: public and private spaces have similar size, public space guarded because shared with private spaceDiffuse cultures: people indirect and introverted, work/private life closely linked (Venezuela, China, Spain)
34 Trompenaars’s Cultural Dimensions Achievement vs. AscriptionAchievement culture: people accorded status based on how well they perform functionsHigh status to high achievers (Austria, Switzerland, U.S., UK)Ascription culture: status based on who or what a person isStatus based on age, gender, social connections (Venezuela, China, Indonesia)
35 Trompenaars’s Cultural Dimensions TimeSequential: only one activity at a time, appointments kept strictly, follow plans as laid out (U.S.)Synchronous: multitask, appointments are approximate and easily changed, schedules subordinate to relationships (France, Mexico)Past/Present vs. Future:Future more important (Italy, U.S., Germany)Past/Present more important (Venezuela, Indonesia, Spain)All 3 time periods equally important (France, Belgium)
36 Trompenaars’s Cultural Dimensions The EnvironmentInner-directed: people believe in controlling outcomesDominant (sometimes aggressive) attitude toward environment (U.S., Switzerland, Australia)Outer-directed: people believe in letting things take their course“Go with the flow,” flexible attitude, willingness to compromise and maintain harmony (China, many other Asian countries)
37 Integrating Culture and Management: The GLOBE Project GLOBE: Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior EffectivenessProject extends and integrates previous analyses of cultural attributes and variablesEvaluates nine different cultural attributes using middle managers from 951 organizations in 62 countriesFirst two phases: middle managementMulti-cultural team of 170 scholars from around the world worked together to survey 17,000 managers in 3 industries: financial services, food processing, and telecommunicationsCovered every major geographic region of the worldThird phase: upper-level managementTeam of 40 researchers from 24 countries surveyed 5,000 reports from 1,000 CEOs
38 The GLOBE Project The Nine Dimensions of the GLOBE Project Uncertainty avoidancePower distanceCollectivism I: Societal collectivismCollectivism II: In-group collectivismGender egalitarianismAssertivenessFuture orientationPerformance orientationHumane orientation
39 GLOBE Country Analysis The results of the GLOBE projectCorrespond generally with those of Hofstede and TrompenaarsDifferent from Hofstede in that many more researchers with varied perspectives were involved (vs. Hofstede working alone); studied many companies (vs. Hofstede studied one company)GLOBE provides a current comprehensive overview of general stereotypes that can be further analyzed for greater insight
41 GLOBE Analysis Managerial Perspectives in the United States and Brazil
42 Review and DiscussWhat is meant by the term culture? In what way can measuring attitudes about the following help differentiate between cultures: centralized or decentralized decision making, safety or risk, individual or group rewards, high or low organizational loyalty, cooperation or competition? Use these attitudes to compare the United States, Germany, and Japan. Based on your comparisons, what conclusions can you draw regarding the impact of culture on behavior?
43 Review and DiscussWhat is meant by the term value? Are cultural values the same worldwide, or are there marked differences? Are these values changing over time, or are they fairly constant? How does your answer relate to the role of values in a culture?
44 Review and DiscussWhat are the four major dimensions of culture studied by Geert Hofstede? Identify and describe each. What is the cultural profile of the United States? Of Asian countries? Of Latin American countries? Of Latin European countries? Based on your comparisons of these four profiles, what conclusions can you draw regarding cultural challenges facing individuals in one group when they interact with individuals in one of the other groups? Why do you think Hofstede added the fifth dimension of time orientation and the sixth dimension related to indulgence versus restraint?
45 Review and DiscussAs people engage in more international travel and become more familiar with other countries, will cultural differences decline as a roadblock to international understanding, or will they continue to be a major barrier? Defend your answer.What are the characteristics of each of the following pairs of cultural characteristics derived from Trompenaars’s research: universalism vs. particularism, neutral vs. emotional, specific vs. diffuse, achievement vs. ascription? Compare and contrast each pair.
46 Review and DiscussHow did project GLOBE build on and extend Hofstede’s analysis? What unique contributions are associated with project GLOBE?In what way is time a cultural factor? In what way is the need to control the environment a cultural factor? Give an example for each.