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Intercultural Communication

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1 Intercultural Communication

2 © 2012, SAGE Publications, Inc
Dimensions of Culture Hofstede’s value dimensions of culture are based on research conducted in 40 countries with more than 100,000 IBM employees Hofstede’s four dimensions: Individualism versus Collectivism Masculinity versus Femininity Power Distance Uncertainty Avoidance Hofstede and Bond identified a fifth value: Long-Term versus Short-Term Life Orientation © 2012, SAGE Publications, Inc

3 Individualism vs. Collectivism
How people define themselves and their relationships to others Individualist cultures are where the interests of the individual prevail over the group; people look after themselves and their immediate family; loosely integrated; direct style of communication (e.g., United States, Australia, Great Britain, Canada) Collectivist cultures are where group interests prevail; tightly integrated; indirect style of communication (e.g.,Guatemala, Ecuador, Panama) © 2012, SAGE Publications, Inc

4 Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions
Individualism: People look after selves and immediate family only High individualism countries: wealthier, protestant work ethic, greater individual initiative, promotions based on market value (e.g., U.S., Canada, Sweden) High collectivism countries: poorer, less support of Protestant work ethic, less individual initiative, promotions based on seniority (e.g., Indonesia, Pakistan)

5 Masculinity vs. Femininity
Hofstede found that women’s social role varied less from culture to culture than men’s. Masculine cultures strive for maximum distinction between what men and women are expected to do. Masculine cultures stress assertiveness, competition, and material success in men and women; e.g., Japan, Austria, Venezuela, Italy Feminine cultures stress quality of life, interpersonal relationships, and concern for the weak in men and women; e.g., Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark © 2012, SAGE Publications, Inc

6 Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions
Masculinity: dominant social values are success, money, and things High masculine countries: stress earnings, recognition, advancement, challenge, wealth; high job stress (e.g., Germanic countries) High feminine countries: emphasize caring for others and quality of life; cooperation, friendly atmosphere., employment security, group decision making; low job stress (e.g., Norway)

7 © 2012, SAGE Publications, Inc
Power Distance The way a culture deals with inequalities Hofstede believes this is learned in families High power distance countries are where children are expected to be obedient; people display respect to those of higher status; e.g., Malaysia, Guatemala, Panama, Philippines Two indicators of power distance are wealth and income with extreme concentrations of wealth in high power distance countries Low power distance examples: Austria, Israel, Denmark, New Zealand © 2012, SAGE Publications, Inc

8 Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions
Power distance: Less powerful members accept that power is distributed unequally High power distance countries: people blindly obey superiors; centralized, tall structures (e.g., Mexico, South Korea, India) Low power distance countries: flatter, decentralized structures, smaller ratio of supervisor to employee (e.g., Austria, Finland, Ireland)

9 Uncertainty Avoidance
The extent to which people in a culture feel threatened by uncertain or unknown situations Cultures strong in uncertainty avoidance are active, aggressive, emotional, compulsive, security seeking, and intolerant; teachers should have all the answers. Cultures weak in uncertainly avoidance are contemplative, less aggressive, unemotional, relaxed, accepting of personal risks, and relatively tolerant. Religion and history play a major role in this orientation © 2012, SAGE Publications, Inc

10 Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions
Uncertainty avoidance: people feel threatened by ambiguous situations; create beliefs/institutions to avoid such situations High uncertainty avoidance countries: high need for security, strong belief in experts and their knowledge; structure organizational activities, more written rules, less managerial risk taking (e.g., Germany, Japan, Spain) Low uncertainty avoidance countries: people more willing to accept risks of the unknown, less structured organizational activities, fewer written rules, more managerial risk taking, higher employee turnover, more ambitious employees (e.g., Denmark and Great Britain)

11 Long-Term vs. Short-Term Orientation
Extension of Hofstede’s work by Bond labeled a Confucian work dynamism; includes values such as thrift, persistence, having a sense of shame, and ordering relationships Long-term orientation encourages thrift, savings, perseverance toward results, and a willingness to subordinate oneself for a purpose; e.g., China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan Short-term orientation is consistent with spending to keep up with social pressure, less savings, preference for quick results, and a concern with face; e.g., Pakistan, Nigeria, Philippines, Canada © 2012, SAGE Publications, Inc


13 Environmental Sustainability
Husted compared Hofstede’s values with environmental sustainability and found countries with low levels of power distance, high levels of individualism, and low levels of masculinity have higher social and institutional capacity for sustainability Husted suggests that Hofstede’s cultural dimensions can play a role in how sustainability programs can be successfully implemented © 2012, SAGE Publications, Inc

14 Limitation of Hofstede’s Dimensions
Missing countries Estimates values Ignores differences within clusters

15 Trompenaars’s Alternative Dimensions
Focus on values and relationships Survey of 15,000 managers Over 10-year period From 28 countries Bipolar cultural dimensions

16 Trompenaars’s Alternative Dimensions (cont’d)
Outer-directed—Inner-directed Universalism—Particularism Neutral—Emotional Specific—Diffuse Achievement—Ascription Individualism—Communitarianism

17 Trompenaars’ Cultural Dimensions
Universalism vs. Particularism Universalism: ideas/practices can be applied everywhere High universalism countries: formal rules, close adhere to business contracts (e.g., Canada, U.S., Netherlands, Hong Kong) Particularism: circumstances dictate how ideas/practices apply; high particularism countries often modify contracts (e.g., China, South Korea)

18 Trompenaars’ Cultural Dimensions
Individualism vs. Communitarianism Individualism: people as individuals Countries with high individualism: stress personal and individual matters; assume great personal responsibility (e.g., Canada, Thailand, U.S., Japan) Communitarianism: people regard selves as part of group Value group-related issues; committee decisions; joint responsibility (e.g., Malaysia, Korea)

19 Trompenaars’ Cultural Dimensions
Neutral vs. Emotional Neutral: culture in which emotions not shown High neutral countries, people act stoically and maintain composure (e.g., Japan and U.K.) Emotional: Emotions are expressed openly and naturally High emotion cultures: people smile a lot, talk loudly, greet each other with enthusiasm (e.g., Mexico, Netherlands, Switzerland)

20 Trompenaars’ Cultural Dimensions
Specific vs. Diffuse Specific: large public space shared with others and small private space guarded closely High specific cultures: people open, extroverted; strong separation work and personal life (e.g., Austria, U.K., U.S.) Diffuse: public and private spaces similar size, public space guarded because shared with private space; people indirect and introverted, work/private life closely linked (e.g., Venezuela, China, Spain)

21 Trompenaars’ Cultural Dimensions
Achievement vs. Ascription Achievement culture: status based on how well perform functions (Austria, Switzerland, U.S.) Ascription culture: status based on who or what person is (e.g., Venezuela, China, Indonesia)

22 Trompenaars’ Cultural Dimensions
Time Sequential: only one activity at a time; appointments kept strictly, follow plans as laid out (U.S.) Synchronous: multi-task, appointments are approximate, schedules subordinate to relationships (e.g., France, Mexico) Present vs. Future: Future more important (Italy, U.S., Germany) Present more important (Venezuela, Indonesia All 3 time periods equally important (France, Belgium

23 Trompenaars’ Cultural Dimensions
The Environment Inner-directed: people believe in control of outcomes (U.S., Switzerland, Greece, Japan) Outer-directed: people believe in letting things take own course (China, many other Asian countries)

24 Examples
Lost in Translation Charlotte calls home – individualism/collectivism cultural dimensions: individualism/collectivism timing: 00:12:46 – 00:13:58 Japanese karaoke timing: 00:46:35 – 00:49:45

25 The talk show cultural dimensions: communication style: high/low context timing: 01:14:48 – 01:16:02

26 Cultural dimensions and Turkey
Power distance Turkey scores high on this dimension (score of 66) which means that the following characterizes the Turkish style: Dependent, hierarchical, superiors often inaccessible and the ideal boss is a father figure.

27 Individualism Turkey, with a score of 37 is a collectivistic society. This means that the “We” is important, people belong to in-groups (families, clans or organisations) who look after each other in exchange for loyalty.

28 Masculinity / Femininity
Turkey scores 45 and is in the “middle” of the scale but more on the feminine side. This means that the softer aspects of culture such as leveling with others, consensus, sympathy for the underdog are valued and encouraged.

29 Uncertainty avoidance
Turkey scores 85 on this dimension and thus there is a huge need for laws and rules. In order to minimize anxiety, people make use of a lot of rituals. For foreigners they might seem religious, with the many references to “Allah”, but often they are just traditional social patterns, used in specific situations to ease tension.

30 Example 2: coca cola ad
Power distance Feminity Collectivism Uncertainty avoidance

31 The influence of cultural values in advertising: Examples from China and the United States

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