Human Issues in IT. National Culture What is Culture? “Culture is a system of collectively held values.” -- Geert Hofstede Think about how different you.
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Presentation on theme: "Human Issues in IT. National Culture What is Culture? “Culture is a system of collectively held values.” -- Geert Hofstede Think about how different you."— Presentation transcript:
National Culture What is Culture? “Culture is a system of collectively held values.” -- Geert Hofstede Think about how different you (US) are from somebody else from a different country (say, France) Can we measure culture? What could be the dimensions of culture?
Hofstede’s cultural dimensions 1.Power Distance (power is distributed unequally) 2.Individualism vs. Collectivism (everyone looks out for himself or herself) 3.Masculinity vs. Femininity (social gender roles are distinct) 4.Uncertainty Avoidance (feel threatened by uncertain or unknown situations) 5.Long Term Orientation (quick results, social pressure to keep up with others)
Does National culture effect work? 1.Power Distance (hierarchy, centralization) 2.Individualism vs. Collectivism (promotions, task vs relationship) 3.Masculinity vs. Femininity (equity vs equality) 4.Uncertainty Avoidance (punctuality, necessity of rules and procedures) 5.Long Term Orientation (quick results vs perseverance)
Organizational Culture? Innovation and risk taking – willing to experiment, take risks, encourage innovation Attention to detail – paying attention to being precise vs saying its “good enough for chopped salad” Outcome orientation – oriented to results vs oriented to process People orientation – degree of value and respect for people. Are people considered unique talents, or is an engineer an engineer an engineer. Individual vs Team orientation – are individuals most highly noted, or are collective efforts Aggressiveness -- taking action, dealing with conflict Stability – openness to change
Why talk about culture? Do you think culture has an effect? Why/why not? Do you think culture has an effect in IT context? Why/why not?
Communication In an organizational setting, we communicate via various media. Ex computer conference, email, phone, face to face etc. What is different about these media in terms of communication?
Media Richness Media richness is the value of a medium in a given communication situation. Richness is determined by a medium’s ability to convey a message via more than one informational cue, facilitate feedback, and establish personal focus. Face-to-face communication is the richest medium because it is personal, it provides both immediate verbal and nonverbal feedback, and it conveys the emotion behind the message. Unaddressed documents, such as fliers, are the leanest media. Which media to choose?
Media Richness Notes, Letters, Memos Fliers, Bulletins, Standard Reports TelephoneE-mail Face-to-Face LeanerRicher
Questions to ponder Are IT employees different from other types? Is there an IT type? Are they different from the engineering type? If IT employees are different, will the same techniques used to motivate other employees work on IT employees? What kind of leadership will be effective? Is there anything special about IT work that requires richer media? What is the effect of outsourcing on IT work, in terms of culture and communication?