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Understanding the Role of Culture

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Title: Understanding the Role of Culture


1
Understanding the Role of Culture
Chapter 3
2
Chapter 3 - Overview
  • Culture and its effects on organizations
  • Cultural variables
  • Cultural value dimensions
  • The Internet and culture
  • Developing cultural profiles
  • Culture and management styles around the world

3
Environmental Variables Affecting Management
Functions (Exhibit 3-1)
National Variables Economic system Physical
situation Legal system Technological Political
system know-how
Sociocultural Variables Religion Education Languag
e
Cultural Variables Values Norms Beliefs
Attitudes
Work Time Materialism
Individualism Change
Individual and Group Employee Job
Behavior Motivation Commitment Productivity Ethi
cs
4
Common Cultural Terms
  • Cultural savvy is a working knowledge of the
    cultural variables affecting management
    decisions.
  • Cultural sensitivity or cultural empathy is an
    awareness and an honest caring about another
    individuals culture.

5
What is Culture?
  • The culture of a society comprises the shared
    values, understandings, assumptions, and goals
    that are learned from earlier generations,
    imposed by present members of a society, and
    passed on to succeeding generations.

6
Definitions of Cultural Terms
  • Self-reference criterion refers to the
    unconscious reference point of ones own cultural
    values.
  • Parochialism occurs when a Frenchman, for
    example, expects those from or in another country
    to automatically fall into patterns of behavior
    common in France.
  • Ethnocentrism describes the attitude of those who
    operate from the assumption that their ways of
    doing things are best no matter where or under
    what conditions they are applied.

7
Subcultures
  • Many countries comprise diverse subcultures whose
    constituents conform only in varying degrees to
    the national character.
  • In Canada, for example, distinct subcultures
    include anglophones and francophones
    (English-speaking and French-speaking people) and
    indigenous Canadians.

8
Cultural Variables (Identified by Harris and
Moran)
  • Kinship A kinship system is the system adopted
    by a given society to guide family relationships.
  • Education The formal or informal education of
    workers in a foreign firm, received from whatever
    source, greatly affects the expectations placed
    on those workers in the workplace.
  • Economy Whatever the economic system, the means
    of production and distribution (and the resulting
    effects on individuals and groups) has a powerful
    influence on such organizational processes as
    sourcing, distribution, incentives, and
    repatriation of capital.
  • Politics The system of government in a society,
    whether democratic, Communist, or dictatorial,
    imposes varying constraints on an organization
    and its freedom to do business.

9
Cultural Variables (contd.)
  • Religion The spiritual beliefs of a society are
    often so powerful that they transcend other
    cultural aspects.
  • Associations many and various types of
    associations arise out of the formal and informal
    groups that make up a society.
  • Health The system of health care in a country
    affects employee productivity, expectations, and
    attitudes toward physical fitness and its role in
    the workplace.
  • Recreation Closely related with other cultural
    factors, recreation includes the way in which
    people use their leisure time, as well as their
    attitudes toward leisure and their choice of whom
    to socialize with.

10
What are Values?
  • Values are a societys ideas about what is good
    or bad, right or wrong such as the widespread
    belief that stealing is immoral and unfair.
    Values determine how individuals will probably
    respond in any given circumstance.

11
Project GLOBE Cultural Dimensions
  • Assertiveness refers to how much people in a
    society are expected to be tough, confrontational
    and competitive versus modest and tender.
  • Future Orientation refers to the level of
    importance a society attaches to future-oriented
    behaviors such as planning and investing in the
    future.
  • Performance Orientation measures how important
    performance improvement and excellence is in a
    society.
  • Humane Orientation refers to the extent to which
    a society encourages and rewards people for being
    fair, altruistic, generous, caring, and kind.

12
GLOBE Research Project Selected Findings (Example
of countries for each factor)
Factor Least Medium Most
Assertiveness Sweden Egypt Spain Performance Or
ientation Russia Sweden USA Future Orientation
Russia Slovenia Denmark Humane
Orientation Germany (West) Hong Kong Indonesia
13
Hofstedes Value Dimensions
  • Power distance is the level of acceptance by a
    society of the unequal distribution of power in
    institutions.
  • Uncertainty avoidance refers to the extent to
    which people in a society feel threatened by
    ambiguous situations.
  • Individualism refers to the tendency of people to
    look after themselves and their immediate family
    only and neglect the needs of society.
  • Masculinity refers to the degree of traditionally
    masculine values that prevail in a society.

14
Power Distance (Selected Countries)
Orientation Toward Authority
High
Low
US
MAL
FRA
JPN
AUT
15
Uncertainty Avoidance (Selected Countries)
Desire for Stability
High
Low
GER
GRE
FRA
US
SIN
16
Individualism (Selected Countries)
High
Low
Collectivism
Individualism
AUL
US
FRA
MEX
SIN
17
Masculinity (Selected Countries)
Low
High
Relational
Assertive/Materialistic
JPN
US
FRA
CHC
SWE
18
Country Clusters
  • Ronen and Shenkar (synthesizing Hofstedes
    research and other cluster studies) developed
    eight country clusters based on the following
    factors
  • the importance of work goals
  • need fulfillment and job satisfaction
  • managerial and organizational variables
  • work role and interpersonal orientation

19
Trompenaars Value Dimensions
  • The Universalistic approach applies rules and
    systems objectively, without consideration for
    individual circumstances whereas the
    Particularistic approach puts the obligation
    toward relationships first and is more
    subjective.
  • In the Neutral versus Affective dimension, the
    focus is on the emotional orientation of
    relationships.

20
Trompenaars Value Dimensions (contd.)
  • Managers in Specific-oriented cultures separate
    work and personal issues and relationships. In
    Diffuse-oriented cultures there is spill-over
    from the work into the personal relationship and
    vice-versa.
  • In an Achievement society the source of status
    and influence is based on individual achievement.
    In an Ascription-oriented society, people
    ascribe status on the basis of class, age,
    gender, etc.

21
Critical Operational Value Differences
  • Time differences in temporal values
  • the clock is always running vs. mañana which
  • means tomorrow in Latin America or bukra
    which
  • means tomorrow or some time in the future in
  • Arabic.
  • Change based largely on long-standing religious
    beliefs, values regarding the acceptance of
    change and the pace of change can vary immensely
    among cultures.

22
Critical Operational Value Differences (contd.)
  • Material factors Americans attitude toward
    nature that it is there to be used for their
    benefit differs from the attitudes of Indians
    or Koreans, for example, whose worship of nature
    is part of their religious belief.
  • Individualism Americans tend to value individual
    achievement over group goals for others,
    conformity and cooperation takes precedence over
    individual achievement.

23
The American-Japanese Cultural Divide (Exhibit
3-10)
Japanese American
Man within nature Man controlling
nature Caution Risk-taking Incremental
improvement Bold initiative Deliberation Sponta
neity Adherence to form Improvisation Silence
Outspokenness Memorization Critical
thinking Emotional sensitivity Logical
reasoning Indirectness Clarity and
frankness Assuaging Confronting Avoiding
Threatening Consensus building
Decisiveness
Patience
Action
24
The American-Japanese Cultural Divide (contd.)
Japanese American
Conformity Individuality Group convention
Personal principle Trusted relationships
Legal safeguards Collective strength Individual
independence Maintain the group Protect the
individual Modest resignation Righteous
indignation Saving face Being heard Oppressive
unanimity Chaotic anarchy Humble
cooperation Proving oneself
Harmony
Freedom
25
The American-Japanese Cultural Divide (contd.)
Japanese American
Rewarding seniority Rewarding performance Loyalty
Track record Generalists Specialists Obligati
ons Opportunities Untiring effort
Fair effort Shame Guilt Dependency Au
tonomy Dutiful relationships Level playing
field Industrial groups Industrial
competition Strict ranking
Ambiguous/informal ranking Racial
differentiation Racial equality Gender
differentiation Gender equality
Equality
Hierarchy
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