What is culture?
Pervasive and shared beliefs, norms, and values that guide the everyday life of a group.
-Provides solutions to adaptation problems (tight vs loose)
-Tells us who we are and to what group we belong
-Provides mechanisms that enable continuation of a group
Prescribe and proscribe behaviors, telling us what we can and cannot do
Tell us what is good, admirable, beautiful, holy, legitimate life goals (i.e. when giving feedback)
Capture our understandings of what is true. It is pervasive and shared
Cultural Symbols, Stories, and Rituals
Communicate the norms, values, and beliefs of a society or group to its members
Dominant culture within political boundaries.
Formal education and business conducted in the language of dominant culture
Influences law of the land
Norms, values, and beliefs that pertain to all aspects of doing business in a culture
Business culture informs the acceptable way of conducting business in a society
i.e. expectations of women, relationship between superiors and subordinates
Levels of Culture
National Culture > Business Culture > Organizational & Occupational Culture >
Expected ways of behaving for people in the same occupational group regardless of their organizational employer (i.e. Lawyers, Physicians, Accountants)
Set of important understandings (often unstated) that members of a community share in common
Hofstede’s Model of National Culture
1. Power Distance
2. Uncertainty Avoidance
5. Long-term Orientation
Expectations about equality among people.
It is the norm that tells superiors how to “handle” subordinates, and maintains that they two groups are fundamentally different people.
Uncertainty Avoidance (UA)
Typical reactions to situations considered different & dangerous.
Relates to norms, values, and beliefs regarding a tolerance for ambiguity. High UA societies seek structure, order and predictability in social systems. They avoid conflict.
Relationship between the individual and the group in society.
Individualistic: People are unique and values in terms of their own achievements and status
Collective: People are viewed in terms of the group that they belong, social groups (family, class) take precedence over the individual
Expectations regarding gender roles
Tendency to emphasize on gender roles. Business cultures take on traditional male values, such as emphasis on advancement, earnings, work over family. Men are assertive, dominant, macho, and decisive.
Basic orientation toward time
LTO is an orientation toward time that values patience. LT oriented countries are a more sensitive to social relationships.
GLOBE National Culture Framework
Extension form Hofstede with two new dimensions:
degree to which a society encourages its members to innovate, improve their performance, and strive for excellence. Similar to Weber’s Protestant work ethic.
High: US, Singapore
Low: Russia, Greece
measure of the extent to which individuals are expected to be fair, altruistic, caring, and generous. The higher the it is, belonging and affiliation is emphasize more than needs such as material possessions
High: Malaysia, Egypt
Low: France, Germany
7d Model of Culture
Five dimensions deal with the challenges of how people relate to each other. One deals with perspective on time, and the last deals with relationship with the environment.
Universalism vs Particularism
Universal: RULES, contrasts difficult to break, deals are obligations (US, UK, Czech)
Particular: RELATIONSHIPS (South Korea, Mexico, Nigeria)
Universalism vs Particularism Management
Universal: Procedures apply to all, formalize biz practices, treat all cases similarly
Particular: Informal networks, make changes subtly & privately, treat each case individually, keep only insiders informed
Individualism vs Collectivism
Individual: INDIVIDUAL achievement, responsibility, decision making (Czech, UK)
Collective: GROUP (Japan, Egypt)
Individualism vs Collectivism Management
Individual: individual incentives, plan for turnover, provide for individual initiative
Collective: group morale & cohesiveness, expect low turnover, set group goals
Specific vs Diffuse
Specific: Direct, blunt, precise, principled moral reasoning (Sweden, Czech, UK)
Diffuse: Indirect, subtle, ambiguous, situation-based moral decision making (China, Mexico, Norway)
Specific vs Diffuse Management
Specific: use of objectives & standards, separate work & life, give clear & precise directions
Diffuse: continuous improvement, ambiguous directions to give employees latitude
Neutral vs Affective
Neutral: INWARD emotions, Do not reveal thoughts or feelings, control over emotions admired, avoid physical contact & expressive gestures (Sweden, Czech, UK)
Affective: OUTWARD emotions, Emotional expression uninhibited, animated, touching is common (China, Mexico, Norway)
Neutral vs Affective Management
Neutral: Act under control to show status, keep dialogue to the point
Affective: Avoid appearing detached, expect strong commitment to positions, tolerate emotional outburst
Achievement vs Ascription
Achievement: PERFORMANCE, Use titles only when relevant, earn respect through performance, mixture of age and gender in management (Norway, Ireland, Austria)
Ascription: HERITAGE, Use of titles expected, background and age main qualification for management (Argentina, Hong Kong, Japan)
Achievement vs Ascription Management
Achievement: Rewards/respect based on accomplishment
Ascription: emphasize seniority, emphasize chain of command, use personal power of superior for rewards
Past/Present vs Future
Past/Present: enjoy the moment, respect for past, little plan, immediate impact most important (Egypt, Israel)
Future: Potential, planning important (Hong Kong, Korea)
Past/Present vs Future Management
Past/Present: Emphasize and be sensitive to history & tradition, avoid strict deadlines, flexible
Future: motivate based on opportunities, set deadlines, be punctual & focus on one project
Internal vs External Control
Internal: CONTROL, Dominate the environment, show convictions, focus on self or own group (Poland, Brazil)
External: ACCOMMODATION, Compromise, harmony & adjustment, adaptation to cycles (China, Ethiopia)
Internal vs External Management
Internal: Emphasize authority, dominate subordinate
External: Emphasize patience, build & maintain relationships with all, win-win relationships
When individual situations seem to contradict cultural presciptions
When people from one culture believe that theirs are the only correct, norms, and beliefs
Philosophical position arguing that all cultures, no matter how different, are correct and moral for the people of those cultures
Ability to interact effectively in multiple cultures