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National Culture. Australia’s trading partners. Cross-cultural competencies. Switzerland Singapore Netherlands Hong Kong Malaysia Belgium/Luxembourg Denmark Sweden Chile Canada Based on a survey of 3292 executives on how well “intercultural

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National culture l.jpg

National Culture

Copyright 2003-2006, Chris Chan


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Australia’s trading partners

Copyright 2003-2006, Chris Chan


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Cross-cultural competencies

  • Switzerland

  • Singapore

  • Netherlands

  • Hong Kong

  • Malaysia

  • Belgium/Luxembourg

  • Denmark

  • Sweden

  • Chile

  • Canada

    Based on a survey of 3292 executives on how well “intercultural

    understanding” is prevalent in their business communities

Copyright 2003-2006, Chris Chan


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A look at culture

  • “Knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society” – Sir Edward Taylor, English anthropologist, 1832-1917

  • “A set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of society or a social group” & includes art and literature, lifestyles, ways of living together, value systems, traditions and beliefs – UNESCO 2002

  • Collective programming of the minds – Geert Hofstede

Copyright 2003-2006, Chris Chan


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Focusing on culture

  • Values, beliefs, way of life and customs

  • National vs Organizational

  • National vs Sub-Cultures

  • Cultural change through:

    • Diffusion

    • Acculturation

    • Independent invention

    • Convergent cultural revolution/Transculturation

  • E.g. gender equality and same-sex couples

  • Copyright 2003-2006, Chris Chan


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    Geert Hofstede and Michael Bond

    • Individualism vs Collectivism

    • Power distance

    • Masculinity (Quantity of Life) vs Femininity (Quality of Life)

    • Uncertainty avoidance

    • Confucian dynamism

    Copyright 2003-2006, Chris Chan


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    Fons Trompenaars & Charles Hampden-Turner

    • Universalism vs Particularism (What is important? Rules or relationships?)

    • Neutral vs Affective Relationships (How do we show our emotions?)

    • Individualism vs Communitarianism (Do we prefer to work individually or in a group?)

    • Specific vs Diffuse Relationships (How far do we get involved?)

    • Achieved status vs Ascribed status (Do we work to get where we are or is prestige/status given?)

    • Time orientation

    • Internal vs External orientation (Do we control the environment or leave it to fate/destiny?)

    Copyright 2003-2006, Chris Chan


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    Richard Gesteland

    • Deal focus vs Relationship focus cultures

    • Informal vs Formal cultures

    • Rigid-time (monochronic) vs Fluid-time (polychronic) cultures

    • Expressive vs Reserved cultures

      Gesteland, R. R. 1999. Cross-Cultural Business Behavior: Marketing, Negotiating and Managing across Cultures. Copenhagen: Copenhagen Business School Press.

    Copyright 2003-2006, Chris Chan


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    Where do different countries fit into Gesteland’s model?

    • Deal focused e.g. US, UK, Australia

    • Relationship focused e.g. Asia, Middle East

    • Informal e.g. Canada

    • Formal e.g. Asia, Middle East and Europe

    Copyright 2003-2006, Chris Chan


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    Where do different countries fit into Gesteland’s model?

    • Rigid-time e.g. US, South Korea,

    • Fluid-time e.g. Indonesia, Eastern Europe

    • Expressive e.g. Brazil,

    • Reserved e.g. Malaysia, Thailand & other Asian countries, Germany, Netherlands, Czech Rep.

    Copyright 2003-2006, Chris Chan


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    Culture and Knowledge Sharing

    • Cultural attributes: Confucian dynamism, face and ingroup/outgroup

    • Do you think that Chinese employees are more willing to bring up cost-estimation errors than their American counterparts?

    • ANSWER: YES! (effects of collectivism and Confucian dynamism)

    • Which group (Chinese or Americans) are less willing to share information to people not in the ingroup?

    • ANSWER: Chinese (group dynamics, uncertainty avoidance)

      Chow, C. W., F. J. Deng and J. L. Ho. (2000). The openness of knowledge sharing within organizations: A comparative study of the United States and The People's Republic of China. Journal of Management Accounting Research,12, 65-95.

    Copyright 2003-2006, Chris Chan


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    How national culture affect organizations

    • Individualistic  meet less frequently; No need for explicit mission statement on customer orientation – HK execs (Cheryl Nakata, University of Illinois, Chicago)

    • A Japanese sees mentoring (senpai kohai) as relationship building, an American sees mentoring as a strategy; informal, mutually beneficial, feeling of obligation to mentor and be mentored (Bright, M. I. 2005, Can Japanese mentoring enhance understanding of Western mentoring, Employee Relations, 27, 325-339)

    Copyright 2003-2006, Chris Chan


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    National culture: Making a difference between success/failure in mentoring strategy implementation

    • Continuity/long-term focus

    • Obligation and duty

    • Respect for elders/authority

    • Paternalistic behavior

    • Personal bond over contractual agreement

    • Racial and gender congruence

      (Bright, M. I. 2005, Can Japanese mentoring enhance understanding of Western mentoring, Employee

      Relations, 27, 325-339)

    Copyright 2003-2006, Chris Chan


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    Caveat success/failure in mentoring strategy implementation

    • Over generalization or over stereotype

    • Sub-cultures

    • Personality-Cultural debate

    Copyright 2003-2006, Chris Chan


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    Summary success/failure in mentoring strategy implementation

    • Why is it important to understand culture and the relevance of culture to IHRM?

    • Appreciate the different models of understanding cultures

    • How does national culture affect HR practices?

    Copyright 2003-2006, Chris Chan


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