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Nature of Culture - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Chapter 5 THE MEANINGS AND DIMENSIONS OF CULTURE. Nature of Culture. Learned Culture is acquired by learning and experience Shared People as a member of a group, organization ,or society share culture Transgenerational Culture is cumulative, passed down from generation to generation

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Chapter 5


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Nature of Culture


Culture is acquired by learning and experience


People as a member of a group, organization ,or society share culture


Culture is cumulative, passed down from generation to generation


Culture is based on the human capacity to symbolize


Culture has structure and is integrated


Culture is based on the human capacity to change or adapt

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Centralized Decision Making

Risk Averse

Individual Rewards

Informal Procedures

High Organizational Loyalty

Co-operation Encouraged

Decentralized Decision Making

Risk Seeking

Group Rewards

Low Organizational Loyalty

Competition Encouraged

How Cultures Affect Management Approaches

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Value Priorities

United States Japan Arab Countries

1. Freedom 1. Belonging 1. Family Security

2. Independence 2. Group Harmony 2. Family Harmony

3. Self-Reliance 3. Collectiveness 3. Parternalism

4. Equality 4. Age/Seniority 4. Age

5. Individualism 5. Group Consensus 5. Authority

6. Competition 6. Cooperation 6. Compromise

7. Efficiency 7. Quality 7. Devotion

8. Time 8. Patience 8. Patience

9. Directness 9. Indirectness 9. Indirectness

10. Openness 10. Go-between 10. Hospitality

Values-basic convictions that people have

regarding what is right and wrong, good

and bad, important or unimportant

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U.S. managers value tactful acquisition of influence

Japanese managers value deference to superiors

Korean managers value forcefulness and aggressiveness

Indian managers value nonaggressive pursuit of objectives

Australian managers value low-key approach with high concern for others


Strong relationship between managerial success and personal values

Value patterns predict managerial success

Successful managers favor pragmatic, achievement-oriented values while less successful managers

prefer static and

passive values

Value Differences and Similarities Across Cultures

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Hofstede’s Dimensions of Culture

Power Distance(Large or Small)

  • The extent to which less powerful members of institutions accept that power is distributed unequally

    • Large (Mexico, South Korea, India)

      • blindly obey order of superiors

      • hierarchical organizational structure

    • Small (U.S., Denmark, Canada)

      • decentralized decision making

      • flat organizational structures

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Uncertainty Avoidance(High or Low)

  • The extent to which people feel threatened by ambiguous situations

    • High( Germany, Japan, Spain)

      • high need for security

      • strong beliefs in experts

    • Low (Denmark, UK)

      • willing to accept risks

      • less structuring of activities

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  • Individualism (vs. Collectivism)

    • The tendency of people to look after themselves and their immediate family only

      • strong work ethic

      • promotions based on merit

        • U.S., Canada, Australia

  • Collectivism

    • The tendency of people to belong to groups and to look after each other in exchange for loyalty

      • weaker work ethic

      • promotions based on seniority

        • China, South American cultures

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  • Masculinity (Vs. Femininity)

    • the dominant values in society are success, money and things

      • emphasis on earning and recognition

      • high stress workplace

        • Japan

  • Femininity

    • the dominant values in society are caring for others and the quality of life

      • employment security

      • employee freedom

        • Scandinavian cultures

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Cultural Dimensions by Trompenaars

  • Universalism vs. Particularism

    • Universalism: the belief that ideas and practices can be applied everywhere without modification

      • U. S., Germany, and Sweden

    • Particularism: the belief that circumstances dictate how ideas and practices should be applied.

      • Spain and Japan

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  • Individualism Vs. Collectivism

    • Individualism: refers to people regarding themselves as individuals

      • U.S., UK, and Sweden

    • Collectivism: refers to people regarding themselves as part of a group

      • Japan and France

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  • Neutral Vs. Affective

    • Neutral: emotions are held in check

      • Japan and the U.S.

    • Affective: emotions are openly and naturally expressed

      • Mexico, Netherlands, and Switzerland

  • Specific Vs. Diffuse

    • Specific: individuals have a large public space and a small private space

      • UK, U. S., and Switzerland

    • Diffuse: both public and private space are similar in size

      • Venezuela, China, and Spain

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  • Achievement Vs. Ascription

    • Achievement: people are accorded status based on how well they perform their functions

      • U.S., Switzerland, and UK

    • Ascription: status is attributed based on who or what a person is

      • Venezuela and China

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Past or Present-Oriented Vs. Future-Oriented

  • Past or present-oriented : emphasize the history and tradition of the culture

    • Venezuela, Indonesia, and Spain

  • Future-oriented: emphasize the opportunities and limitless scope

    that any agreement can have

    • U. S., Italy, and Germany

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  • Sequential Vs. Synchronous Time

    • Sequential: time is prevalent, people tend to do only one activity at a time, keep appointments strictly, and prefer to follow plans

      • U.S.

    • Synchronous: time is prevalent, people tend to do more than one activity at a time, appointments are approximate, and schedules are not important

      • Mexico and France

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  • Inner Directed

    • Believe in controlling outcomes

      • U.S.

  • Outer Directed

    • Believe in letting things take their own course

      • Asian Cultures

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