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Differences in Culture. Chapter 3 BA 555. What is Culture?. “Culture is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and other capabilities acquired by man as a member of society.” - Edward Tylor.

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differences in culture

Differences in Culture

Chapter 3

BA 555

what is culture
What is Culture?

“Culture is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and other capabilities acquired by man as a member of society.”

- Edward Tylor

what is culture1
“A system of values and norms that are shared among a group of people and that when taken together constitute a design for living.”

- Hofstede, Namenwirth, and Weber

What is Culture?
culture society and the nation state
Culture, Society, and the Nation State
  • A society is a group of people bound together by a common culture
  • There is not a strict one-to-one correspondence between a society and a nation state
  • Nation State:
    • Is a political creation
    • May contain a single culture or several cultures
  • Spoken
    • Verbal cues
    • Language structures perception of world
  • Unspoken
    • Body language
    • Personal space
formal education
Formal Education
  • Medium through which many of society’s language, conceptual, and mathematical skills are taught
  • Supplements the family’s role in socializing the young into the values and norms of a society
  • Schools teach social and political values and the fundamental obligations of citizenship
  • Cultural norms are also taught indirectly at school
    • respect for others
    • obedience to authority
    • honesty
    • neatness
    • being on time
    • competition and personal acheivement (grading system)
dimensions of culture in the workplace
Dimensions of Culture in the Workplace
  • Power distance – extent of power differential across societal groups
  • Individualism versus collectivism - the relationship between the individual and others within a culture
  • Uncertainty avoidance - extent to which individuals are comfortable with uncertain or ambiguous situations
  • Masculinity versus femininity - the relationship between gender and work roles
  • Time orientation – acceptable time for fruits of labor (drawn from Confucianism)
national cultural clustering
National Cultural Clustering

Ronen and Shenkar’s culture clustering

problems with hofstede
Problems with Hofstede
  • Assumes one-to-one relationship between culture and the nation state
  • Research may have been culturally bound
  • Survey respondents were from a single industry (computer) and a single company (IBM)
cultural change
Cultural Change
  • Culture is not a constant; it evolves over time
    • Since 1960s American values toward the role of women have changed
    • Japan moved toward greater individualism in the workplace
  • Globalization will continue to have impacts on cultures around the world
religious and ethical systems
Religious and Ethical Systems
  • Religion: a system of shared beliefs and rituals that are concerned with the realm of the sacred
  • Ethical systems: a set of moral principles, or values, that are used to guide and shape behavior
    • Most of the world’s ethical systems are the product of religions
  • Among the thousands of religions in the world today, four dominate in terms of numbers of adherents:
    • Christianity with 1.7 billion adherents
    • Islam with 1 billion adherents
    • Hinduism with 800 million adherents
    • Buddhism with 350 million adherents
  • Began in at least 4000 BC, possibly earlier
  • Believed to be polytheistic, but the central belief is that everything is one with God (Brahma)
  • Purpose of life is to realize that we are part of God, and this process of self-improvement is achieved by going through cycles of birth, life and death (reincarnation)
  • Moksha or oneness with God is the goal, cycle of rebirth stops
  • Multiple deities, however, these are reincarnations of Brahma. When mankind is in trouble, God comes down in the form of man (or sometimes beast) to help.
  • Holy Book: Gita
  • Place of Worship: Temple
  • Began in 537 BC by Gautam Buddha; third oldest religion of the world.
  • The Middle Path: extremes of behavior are not good. One must figure out for oneself what the appropriate approach is.
  • Thinking man’s religion: people are not told what to do. To gain knowledge is critical in this process, leading to enlightenment
  • Belief in reincarnation; goal is nirvana
  • No god in this religion, or need for a savior. Only teachers and spiritual leaders thought to be reincarnated from Buddha.
  • Confucius born in 551 BC.
  • Teachings and writings on morality and ethics, etiquette, relationships, honesty and trustworthiness, love, loyalty, and the proper exercise of political power.
  • Primarily an ethical system rather than a religion that revolves around a God.
  • Notions of Confucianism exist side by side with other religions.
orientation towards other cultures
Orientation Towards Other Cultures
  • Ethnocentrism
    • Belief that home country ideas and values are superior to those of other countries
  • Polycentrism
    • Belief that local customs and values should prevail over that of home country
  • Geocentrism
    • The best practices and ideas can be found in and adopted from any part of the world