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Basics about Culture

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Basics about Culture Guest lecture in course Culture and Economic Behaviour Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen 22th November 2012 Geert Hofstede – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Basics about Culture


1
Basics about Culture
  • Guest lecture in course
  • Culture and Economic Behaviour
  • Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
  • 22th November 2012
  • Geert Hofstede

2
Three meanings of culture
  • Literally tilling the soil, cultivation
  • Training or refining of the mind civilization
  • Collective ways of acting, thinking, and feeling
    collective programming of the mind
    distinguishing the members of one group or
    category of people from another
  • ) nation, region, occupation, organization,
    gender

3
But Culture (3) does not exist
  • Culture (3) is a construct, that is a product
    of our imagination. We have defined it into
    existence
  • A construct is not directly accessible to
    observation but inferable from verbal statements
    and other behaviors and useful in predicting
    still other observable and measurable verbal and
    nonverbal behavior
  • T. Levitin, 1973

4
Levels of mental programming
symbols
heroes
rituals
practicesvisible
values invisible
5
practices
  • Symbols words, gestures and objects whose
    meaning has to be learned. They include language
    and jargon. The easiest to acquire and fastest
    changing level of culture
  • Heroes persons, alive or dead, real or
    imaginary, who serve as models for behavior. More
    difficult for an outsider to recognize
  • Rituals shared activities that are technically
    superfluous but socially essential. Can be
    learned given enough effort can be changed

6
values
  • Core of our mental programming. Mostly
    unconscious in our guts, not in our heads
  • Values are strong emotions with a - and a such
    as evil-good, abnormal-normal, ugly-beautiful,
    dangerous-safe, immoral-moral, indecent-decent,
    unnatural-natural, dirty-clean,
    paradoxical-logical, irrational-rational
  • What is rational is a matter of values

7
Unconscious values are acquiredearly in our lives
  • We humans are born incompletely programmed
  • During the first 10 years of our lives we have a
    physiologically determined ability for absorbing
    complex information additional programming
  • This programming is provided by our social
    environment and includes all our basic values
  • It also includes learning languages accent-free
  • After age 10, basic values dont change not
    even if we migrate to another country
  • And if we learn new languages, we keep an accent

8
Practices are learned and unlearned throughout
life, nearly always conscious
  • Similar practices (symbols, heroes and rituals)
    can be learned by persons with very different
    values
  • Practice learning is also provided by our social
    environment
  • Working together means sharing practices, not
    necessarily sharing values

9
Acquiring mental programming
age
place
0
family
unconscious, unchangeable values
pre-puberty
10
school
conscious, changeable practices
post-puberty
work
20
10
National versus organizational culturesa
definition
  • National cultures oppose otherwise similar
    individuals, institutions and organizations
    across countries. Example different national
    subsidiaries of same company
  • Organizational (or corporate) cultures oppose
    different organizations within the same
    countries. Example different companies within
    one country

11
National versus organizational cultures
  • National culture differences are rooted in
    values learned before age 10
  • They pass from parents to children
  • For management, they are given facts
  • For academics, they belong to anthropology
  • Organizational cultures are rooted in practices
    learned on the job
  • Given enough management effort, they can be
    monitored and changed
  • For academics, they belong to sociology
  • International organizations function through
    shared practices, rarely shared values

12
Which culture is transferred when
age
culture level
gender, national
0
values
social class, occupation
10
practices
business, organization
20
13
The dimension concept in studyingthe social world
  • Dimensions are a conceptual way of unpackaging
    complex realities into separate basic elements
  • Dimensions are found empirically and
    statistically
  • Dimensional models differ by level of analysis,
    e.g. society, organization, or individual
  • Like culture, dimensions do not exist. They
    are constructs. We have defined them into
    existence
  • Their usefulness can only be proven by
    validation their ability to predict measurable
    behaviour
  • Different applications may need different models

14
Dimensions of national cultures(Hofstede,
Hofstede Minkov 2010)6 dimensions of societal
values
  • Power Distance large vs. small
  • Uncertainty Avoidance strong vs. weak
  • Individualism vs. Collectivism
  • Masculinity vs. Femininity
  • Long vs. Short term orientation
  • Indulgence vs. Restraint

15
National culture dimensionPower Distance
  • Extent to which the less powerful members of
    institutions and organizations expect and accept
    that power is distributed unequally
  • Transferred to children by parents and other
    elders

16
National culture dimension Uncertainty Avoidance
  • Extent to which the members of a culture feel
    threatened by ambiguous and unknown situations
  • Not to be confused with risk avoidance risk is
    to uncertainty as fear is to anxiety. Uncertainty
    and anxiety are diffuse feelings anything may
    happen

17
Power Distance x Uncertainty Avoidance (first 4
dimension scores for 76 countries)
SMALLER PD, WEAKER UA
LARGER PD, WEAKER UA
NORDIC CTRS ANGLO CTRS, USA NETHERLANDS
CHINA INDIA
GERMAN SPEAKING CTRS BALTIC STATES HUNGARY
FRANCE, LATIN CTRS POLAND, SE EUROPE
JAPAN, KOREA
SMALLER PD, STRONGER UA
LARGER PD, STRONGER UA
18
National culture dimensionIndividualism vs.
Collectivism
  • Individualism A society in which the ties
    between individuals are loose everyone is
    expected to look after self and immediate family
    only
  • Collectivism A society in which individuals from
    birth onwards are part of strong in-groups that
    last a lifetime and oppose other in-groups

19
National culture dimensionMasculinity vs.
Femininity
  • Masculinity A society in which emotional gender
    roles are distinct men should be assertive,
    tough and focused on material success, women on
    the quality of life
  • Femininity A society in which emotional gender
    roles overlap both men and women are supposed to
    be modest, tender, and focused on the quality of
    life

20
Individualism/Collectivism x Masculinity/Femininit
y(first 4 dimension scores for 76 countries)
21
National culture dimension Long-Term vs.
Short-Term Orientation
  • Long Term Orientation seeks future rewards
    through perseverance, thrift and adaptation
  • Short Term Orientation respects tradition and
    social obligations and seeks immediate rewards
  • Originally based on Chinese Value Survey scores
    for 23 countries
  • New, revised scores based on 1995-2004 World
    Values Survey for 93 countries

22
National culture dimension Indulgence vs.
Restraint
  • Indulgence allows relatively free gratification
  • of basic human drives leading to enjoying life
  • Restraint curbs gratification and enjoying life
    and regulates it by strict social norms
  • Scores for 93 countries based on 1995-2004 World
    Values Survey

23
  • Indulgent societies
  • Restrained societies
  • Few restrictions on behavior
  • People value freedom of expression
  • People feel healthier and happier
  • People are fatter
  • Leisure ethic
  • Loose sexual mores
  • Higher crime rates
  • Smaller police force
  • Restrictive regulations on behavior
  • People value strong government
  • People feel less happy and less healthy
  • People are slimmer
  • Work ethic
  • Strict sexual mores
  • Lower crime rates
  • Larger police force

24
Long/Short Term Orientation x Indulgence/Restraint
(scores for 90 countries)
INDULGENT, SHORT-TERM
INDULGENT, LONG TERM
SWEDEN, NETHERLANDS AUSTRIA,
SWITZERLAND BELGIUM, FRANCE
NIGERIA, SOUTH AFRICA SOUTH AMERICA USA, CANADA,
AUSTRALIA
POLAND, PORTUGAL ZIMBABWE, BURKINA FASO ISLAMIC
COUNTRIES
ITALY, GERMANY BALTICS,
EASTERN EUROPE CHINA, JAPAN, INDIA

RESTRAINED, SHORT-TERM
RESTRAINED, LONG-TERM
25
Validations of national culture dimension scores
against data from other sources - examples
  • Power distance income inequality respect for
    elders polarization and violence in national
    politics
  • Uncertainty avoidance number of laws and rules
    belief in experts xenophobia terrorism faster
    driving
  • Individualism national wealth faster walking
    weaker family ties frequency of using the word
    I
  • Masculinity fewer women elected stress on
    growth Femininity care for the weak and the
    environment
  • Long Term Orientation economic growth savings
    rates fewer prisoners adapting to changed
    reality
  • Indulgence higher birthrates, fewer police, more
    active sports, more obesitas, more private
    internet

26
Dimensions of organizational cultures(Hofstede,
Neuijen, Ohayv Sanders 1990)6 dimensions of
organizational practices
  • Process vs. results oriented
  • Employee vs. job oriented
  • Parochial vs. professional
  • Open vs. closed system
  • Loose vs. tight control
  • Normative vs. pragmatic

Rooted in practices based on comparative survey
among members of different organizations in same
countries validated against characteristics of
these organizations
27
Dimensions of individual personality(McCrae
John, 1992 Hofstede, 2007)the Big Five with a
Chinese sixth
  • Openness to experience
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extraversion
  • Agreeableness
  • Neuroticism
  • Dependence on others

28
Switching levels differences in Big Five norms
explained by national culture (Hofstede
McCrae, 2004)
Personality dimension Culture dimension total explained
Neuroticism 1. Uncertainty Avoidance 2. Masculinity 31 55
Extraversion 1. Individualism 2. Femininity 39 46
Openness to experience 1. Masculinity 2. Small Power Distance 3. Uncertainty Avoidance 13 29 36
Agreeableness 1. Weak Uncertainty Avoidance 28
Conscientiousness 1. Power Distance 24
29
Summary National cultures, organizational
cultures and the role of management
  1. Culture does not exist, it is a product of our
    imagination and only useful as far as it helps us
    understand and predict phenomena in the world
  2. National cultures and organizational cultures are
    quite different things national cultures belong
    to anthropology, organizational cultures to
    sociology
  3. Management can never change a national culture It
    can only understand and use it. It can build and
    sometimes change an organizational culture
  4. The concept of culture does not apply at the
    level of individuals. Individuals have
    personalities, influenced by the culture in which
    they grew up.

30
General reader book 2010 (2005, 1991)
  • Co-authors 3rd ed.
  • Gert Jan Hofstede
  • Michael Minkov
  • So far available in 6
  • languages previous
  • editions in 19
  • Dutch version
  • Allemaal andersden-
  • kenden Omgaan met
  • cultuurverschillen
  • More on website www.geerthofstede.eu

Academic book, 1980 and 2001 (600 pages,
two columns)
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