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Culture and Values Frameworks Used to Characterize Cultures

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Presentation on theme: "Culture and Values Frameworks Used to Characterize Cultures"— Presentation transcript:

1 Culture and Values Frameworks Used to Characterize Cultures

2 Class Outline Mini debate on the implications of cultural values in different economies Mini-lecture on Frameworks for assessing dimensions of culture Hofstede Bond Trompenaars Ronen & 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 thinking Definition: the way people understand their world 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 Resolution Let 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 heterogeneity Individual variation within groups Danger of ethnocentric stereotypes Intra-cultural vs. cross-cultural behaviour Evolution as circumstances change

6 “Measuring” Culture Cultural 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” methods Matched 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
Hofstede Bond Trompenaars By and large, these classifications show similar dimensions and classify countries in the same clusters. Ronen and Shenkar – “Country Clusters” based on multiple studies

8 Hofstede A study of IBM employees in 50 countries. Studying values (“the broad tendencies to prefer certain states over others” Four dimensions power distance uncertainty avoidance individualism/collectivism femininity/masculinity

9 Power Distance The extent to which less powerful members of institutions and organizations accept that power is distributed unequally. A bottom-up view of power differences Large: Mexico, South Korea, India Small: U.S.

10 Uncertainty Avoidance
The extent to which members are intolerant of ambiguity and rely on formal rules A proxy for risk propensity and tolerance High (i.e. risk averse): Japan, Greece Low (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 loyalty There is an association between collectivism and wealth per capita High individualism: U.S. High collectivism: China, Brazil, Venezuela

12 Applications of PD & UA Small PD, Weak UA Small PD, Strong UA
Examples: USA, UK Less formal rules, less “unnecessary layers of hierarchy”. Control and coordination through mutual adjustment of people through informal coordination Small PD, Strong UA Examples: Israel, Austria, Germany Clearly defined rules and procedures without imposing strong hierarchy Large PD, Strong UA Examples: Japan, Korea, Portugal, Mexico Pyramids, clear authority lines Large Power Distance, Weak UA Examples: Singapore, Hong Kong Family 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 assertiveness High: Brazil, Chile, Sweden Low: Japan, Mexico

14 Bond: The Chinese Connection
Confucian Dynamism Important: persistence ordering relationship by status and observing this order thrift having a sense of shame (sensitivity to social contacts) Less important: personal steadiness and stability protecting your face respect for tradition reciprocation of greetings, favors and gifts.

15 Trompenaars Individualism versus collectivism
Universalism versus particularism Neutral versus affective relationships Specific versus diffuse relationships Achievement 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. Affective A 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 expressed Affective: 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 life Direct, open “To the point” – may appear abrasive In 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 linked Indirect, close and introvert Flexibility is very important

19 Achievement vs. Ascription
Achievement: people are accorded status based on how well they perform their functions. Achievement: U.K., Argentina An 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?

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