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The Role of Culture

The Role of Culture

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The Role of Culture

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  1. The Role of Culture The Meanings and Dimensions of Culture Mark McKenna BUS 162 (6), International and Comparative Management San Jose State University Chapters 4, Hodgetts, Luthans and Doh, International Management: Culture, Strategy and Behavior , 6th edition (New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2006) Adapted from PowerPoint slides by R. Dennis Middlemist, Professor of Management, Colorado State University

  2. The Nature of Culture • Culture • Acquired knowledge that people use to interpret experience and generate social behavior • forms values • creates attitudes • influences behavior.

  3. Characteristics of Culture Learned Adaptive Shared Culture Patterned Transgenerational Symbolic

  4. Values in Culture • Values • Basic convictions that people have • right and wrong • good and bad • important and unimportant • Learned from the culture in which the individual is reared • Influence one’s behavior • Differences in cultural values may result in varying management practices

  5. What are your top 10 values? • Age/seniority • Authority • Belongingness • Collectiveness • Competition • Compromise • Cooperation • Devotion • Directness • Efficiency • Equality • Independence • Family harmony • Family security • Freedom • Go-between • Group consensus • Group harmony • Independence • Indirectness • Individualism • Hospitality • Openness • Parental guidance • Patience • Quality • Self-reliance • Time

  6. Priorities of Cultural Values Table 4-1 Priorities of Cultural Values: United States, Japan, and Arab Countries United States Japan Arab Countries • Freedom • Independence • Self-reliance • Equality • Individualism • Competition • Efficiency • Time • Directness • Openness • Belonging • Group harmony • Collectiveness • Age/seniority • Group consensus • Cooperation • Quality • Patience • Indirectness • Go-between • Family security • Family harmony • Parental guidance • Age • Authority • Compromise • Devotion • Patience • Indirectness • Hospitality Note: “1” represents the most important cultural value, “10” the least. Adapted from Table 4-1: Priorities of Cultural Values: United States, Japan, and Arab Countries

  7. Distribution of Values Across Cultures French culture U.S. culture Adapted from Figure 4–2: Comparing Cultures as Overlapping Normal Distributions

  8. Stereotyping U.S. culture French culture How the Americans see the French: How the French see the Americans: • arrogant • flamboyant • hierarchical • emotional • naïve • aggressive • unprincipled • workaholic Adapted from Figure 4–3: Stereotyping from the Cultural Extremes

  9. A Model of Culture The explicit artifacts and products of the society The norms and values that guide the society The implicit, basic assumptions that guide people’s behavior Adapted from Figure 4–1: A Model of Culture

  10. Values in Culture • There is a reasonably strong relationship between the level of success achieved by managers and their personal values. • Some differences, but similar findings for four countries (U.S., Japan, Australia, India) • Could be used in selection and placement decisions. • Values of more successful managers appear to favor • Pragmatic, dynamic, achievement-oriented • Active role in interaction with others • Values of less successful managers tend toward • Static and passive values • Relatively passive roles in interacting with others

  11. Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions • Extent to which less powerful members of institutions and organizations accept that power is distributed unequally • High power distance countries: people blindly obey the orders of their superiors, centralized and tall organization structures • Low power distance countries: flatter and decentralized organization structures, smaller ratio of supervisors Power Distance

  12. Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions • Extent to which people feel threatened by ambiguous situations and have created beliefs and institutions that try to avoid such situations • High uncertainty avoidance countries: people have high need for security, strong belief in experts and their knowledge, structured organizational activities, more written rules, less risk taking by managers • Low uncertainty avoidance countries: people are more willing to accept risks associated with the unknown, less structured organizational activities, fewer written rules, more risk taking by managers, higher employee turnover, more ambitious employees Power Distance Uncertainty Avoidance

  13. Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions • Individualism: Tendency of people to look after themselves and their immediate family only • Countries high in individualism: tend to be wealthier, support protestant work ethic, greater individual initiative, promotions based on market value • Collectivism: Tendency of people to belong to groups or collectives and to look after each other in exchange for loyalty • Countries high in collectivism: tend to be poorer, less support for protestant work ethic, less individual initiative, promotions based on seniority Power Distance Uncertainty Avoidance Individualism/Collectivism

  14. Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions • Masculinity: a culture in which the dominant social values are success, money and things • Countries high in masculinity: great importance on earnings, recognition, advancement, challenge, and wealth. High job stress. • Femininity: a culture in which the dominate social values are caring for others and the quality of life • Countries high in femininity: great importance on cooperation, friendly atmosphere, employment security, group decision making, and living environment. Low stress and more employee freedom. Power Distance Uncertainty Avoidance Individualism/Collectivism Masculinity/ Femininity

  15. Synthesis of Country Clusters Adapted from Figure 4–8: A Synthesis of Country Clusters

  16. World Civilizations (Huntington)

  17. Trompenaars’ Cultural Dimensions • Sequential approach • People do only one activity at a time, keep appointments strictly, prefer to follow plans as laid out (United States) • Synchronous approach • People tend to multi-task, view appointments as approximate, schedules are seen as subordinate to relationships (France, and Mexico) • Present oriented/future oriented • Future is more important (U.S., Italy, and Germany • Present is more important (Venezuela, Indonesia, and Spain • All three time periods equally important (France and Belgium) Time

  18. Trompenaars’ Cultural Dimensions • Inner-directed: people believe in controlling outcomes • Includes U.S., Switzerland, Australia, Belgium, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Greece, Singapore, and Japan • Outer-directed: people believe on letting things take their own course • Includes China and many other Asian countries The Environment

  19. Culture and Management • Centralized vs. decentralized decision making • Safety vs. risk • Individual vs. group rewards • Informal vs. formal procedures • High vs. low organizational loyalty • Cooperation vs. competition • Short-term vs. long-term horizons • Stability vs. innovation

  20. Assignment for Next Week • Review the exercise on page 123, “A Jumping-Off Place” • Put yourself in the position of an international consultant or manager • What differences would you anticipate between Spain and the US? • How might lessons learned in Spain need to be adapted for operations in Italy? • How would France differ from both, and from the U.S.?