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Chapter 3 Understanding the Role of Culture - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Chapter 3 Understanding the Role of Culture. Power Points by Kristopher Blanchard North Central University. Overview. Culture and its effects on organizations Cultural variables Cultural value dimensions The Internet and culture Developing cultural profiles

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Chapter 3 understanding the role of culture l.jpg

Chapter 3Understanding the Role of Culture

Power Points by

Kristopher Blanchard

North Central University

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  • 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

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Key Terms

  • Culture Savvy

  • Cultural Sensitivity or Cultural Empathy

  • Culture of a society

  • Self reference criterion

  • Parochialism

  • Ethnocentrism

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Culture and Its Effects on Organizations

  • Once upon a time there was a great flood, and involved in this flood were two creatures, a monkey and a fish. The monkey, being agile and experienced, was lucky enough to scramble up a tree and escape the raging waters. As he looked down from his safe perch, he saw the poor fish struggling against the swift current. With the best of intentions, he reached down and lifted the fish from the water. The result was inevitable.

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Cultural Variables

  • Never assume that a manager can transplant American, or Japanese, or any other country’s styles, practices, expectations, and processes

  • Managers need to develop a cultural profile that identifies the specific differences found in each country

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  • Residents of the country only conform to the national character to a certain degree

  • Could be from ethnic, geographic, or other variables

  • Good managers treat people as individuals and they avoid any form of stereotyping

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Influences on National Culture

  • Kinship – guides family relationships

  • Education – formal or informal education of workers affects workplace expectations

  • Economy – means of production and distribution in a society influences all aspects of the resource allocation

  • Politics – system of government imposes varying constraints on an organization

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Influences on National Culture

  • Religion – spiritual beliefs of a society are so powerful that they overpower all other cultural aspects

  • Associations – the formal and informal groups that make up a society

  • Health – system of health care affects employee productivity

  • Recreation – the use, attitude, and choice of how to use leisure time

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Cultural Value Dimensions

  • Values are a society’s 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

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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.

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Hofstede’s Value Dimensions

  • Early research that developed a framework for understanding how basic values underlie organizational behavior

    • Power Distance – Level of acceptance by a society of the unequal distribution of power

    • Uncertainty Avoidance – Extent to which people in a society feel threatened by ambiguous situations

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Hofstede’s Value Dimensions

  • Individualism– Tendency of people to look after themselves and their immediate families only and to neglect the needs of society

  • Masculinity – Degree of traditionally ‘masculine’ values of assertiveness, materialism, and a lack of concern for others

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Trompenaar’ 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.

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Trompenaar’ Value Dimensions

  • 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.

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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


  • Change: based largely on long-standing religious beliefs, values regarding the acceptance of change and the pace of change can vary immensely among cultures.

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Critical Operational Value Differences

  • 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

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Looking Ahead

  • Chapter 4 - Communicating Across Cultures

    • The Communication Process

    • The Culture – Communication Link

    • Information Technology