Culture and Values Frameworks Used to Characterize Cultures
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1 Culture and Values Frameworks Used to Characterize Cultures
2 Class OutlineMini debate on the implications of cultural values in different economiesMini-lecture on Frameworks for assessing dimensions of cultureHofstedeBondTrompenaarsRonen & Shenkar
3 What is culture? Umbrella term often used for differences in: etiquette (e.g. greetings)individual customs (e.g. routines for sleeping, bathing)ways of thinkingDefinition: the way people understand theirworld and make sense of it, a shared system of meanings.Culture is learned and imprinted (it is a collective phenomenon). Cultural programming deals with both values and practices.There are different layers of cultural programming: national culture, professional culture, corporate culture.
4 ResolutionLet it be resolved that distinct Chinese values explain the extraordinary growth rates of China
5 Culture is Difficult to Study Ethnic, religious, class, age and other sources of heterogeneityIndividual variation within groupsDanger of ethnocentric stereotypesIntra-cultural vs. cross-cultural behaviourEvolution as circumstances change
6 “Measuring” CultureCultural differences can be inferred from data about a collectivity of people:Direct measurement through asking well designed questions about people’s values or beliefs.Data “clustering” methodsMatched samples can then be compared to discover similarities and differences.At the individual level we speak of cultural attitudes and orientations (but these may not be representative of one’s culture).
7 Cultural Classifications HofstedeBondTrompenaarsBy and large, these classifications show similar dimensions and classify countries in the same clusters.Ronen and Shenkar – “Country Clusters” based on multiple studies
8 HofstedeA study of IBM employees in 50 countries. Studying values (“the broad tendencies to prefer certain states over others”Four dimensionspower distanceuncertainty avoidanceindividualism/collectivismfemininity/masculinity
9 Power DistanceThe extent to which less powerful members of institutions and organizations accept that power is distributed unequally.A bottom-up view of power differencesLarge: Mexico, South Korea, IndiaSmall: U.S.“
10 Uncertainty Avoidance The extent to which members are intolerant of ambiguity and rely on formal rulesA proxy for risk propensity and toleranceHigh (i.e. risk averse): Japan, GreeceLow (i.e. risk taking): U.S., Hong-Kong
11 Individualism/Collectivism The tendency of people to look after themselves and their immediate family versus belonging to groups or collectives and looking after each other in exchange for loyaltyThere is an association between collectivism and wealth per capitaHigh individualism: U.S.High collectivism: China, Brazil, Venezuela
12 Applications of PD & UA Small PD, Weak UA Small PD, Strong UA Examples: USA, UKLess formal rules, less “unnecessary layers of hierarchy”. Control and coordination through mutual adjustment of people through informal coordinationSmall PD, Strong UAExamples: Israel, Austria, GermanyClearly defined rules and procedures without imposing strong hierarchyLarge PD, Strong UAExamples: Japan, Korea, Portugal, MexicoPyramids, clear authority linesLarge Power Distance, Weak UAExamples: Singapore, Hong KongFamily structure. Allocation of duties, strong patriarch
13 Masculinity/Feminity Values concerning work goals and assertiveness (masculinity) as opposed to personal goals (getting along, having friendly atmosphere) and nurturance (femininity).A proxy for assertivenessHigh: Brazil, Chile, SwedenLow: Japan, Mexico
14 Bond: The Chinese Connection Confucian DynamismImportant:persistenceordering relationship by status and observing this orderthrifthaving a sense of shame (sensitivity to social contacts)Less important:personal steadiness and stabilityprotecting your facerespect for traditionreciprocation of greetings, favors and gifts.
15 Trompenaars Individualism versus collectivism Universalism versus particularismNeutral versus affective relationshipsSpecific versus diffuse relationshipsAchievement versus ascription
16 Universalism/Particularism Universalism is the belief that ideas and practices can be applied everywhere without modification.Universalistic: Germany, U.K.Particularism is the belief that circumstances dictate how ideas and practices should be applied.Particularistic: China, Hong-Kong, Venezuela
17 Neutral vs. AffectiveA neutral culture is one where emotions are held in check (repressed)Neutral: Japan, U.K.An affective country is one in which emotions are openly and naturally expressedAffective: Mexico, Netherlands, Switzerland
18 Specific Vs. Diffuse Public versus private spaces In specific cultures people tend to have a larger public area and small private area. They prefer to keep private life separate.Highly mobile; Separate work and private lifeDirect, open“To the point” – may appear abrasiveIn diffuse cultures the private space is usually larger while the public area is smaller and more guarded. People come across as cool initially the private space is more accessible.Low mobility; Work and private life closely linkedIndirect, close and introvertFlexibility is very important
19 Achievement vs. Ascription Achievement: people are accorded status based on how well they perform their functions.Achievement: U.K., ArgentinaAn ascription culture in one in which status is attributed based on who or what a person is.Ascription: China
20 Questions for Discussion What are the similarities and differences between the dimensions of uncertainty avoidance and universalism/particularism?What are the similarities and differences between masculinity/feminity and neutral/affective?What are the similarities and differences between power distance and achievement/ascription?