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Cross-Cultural Management. 西安电子科技大学 杜 荣. C hapter 1 Meanings and Dimensions of Culture. Outline Chap1-1 Cross-cultural management Chap1-2 Globalization Chap1-3 Definitions of culture Chap1-4 Nature of culture Chap1-5 Cultural values Chap1-6 Dimensions of culture

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Cross-Cultural Management

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Cross cultural management l.jpg

Cross-Cultural Management


杜 荣

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Chapter 1 Meanings and Dimensions of Culture


  • Chap1-1 Cross-cultural management

  • Chap1-2 Globalization

  • Chap1-3 Definitions of culture

  • Chap1-4 Nature of culture

  • Chap1-5 Cultural values

  • Chap1-6 Dimensions of culture

  • Chap1-7 Attitudinal Dimensions of Culture

  • Chap1-8 Trompenaars’ s Cultural Dimensions

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Cross-cultural management

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What is Cross-Cultural Management?

CCM is a fairly new field that is based on theories and research from:

  • Cross Cultural Psychology

  • International Business

  • Organizational Behaviour

  • Human Resources

  • Anthropology

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Goals for Cross-Cultural Management

Cross Cultural Management seeks to

  • understand how national cultures affect management practices

  • identify the similarities and differences across cultures in various management practices and organizational contexts

  • increase effectiveness in global management

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Like it or not, globalization is here…to stay.

  • Most large companies have some kind of business relations with customers, companies, employees or various stake-holders in other countries…and cultures. (Global corporations)

  • Many employees and managers deal with people from other cultures on a constant basis

  • Most of us have a close experience with only one or two cultures…=>

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  • We do not understand people from other cultures as readily and intuitively as people from our own culture =>

  • Cross cultural management helps organization members to gain better understanding of other cultures, of their culture and of the consequences of people from different cultures working together

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Definitions of culture


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Definition: acquired knowledge that people use to interpret experience and generate social behavior.

Culture forms values, creates attitude, influences behavior.

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Nature of culture


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Characteristics of culture include:

  • Learned

  • Shared

  • Transgenerational

  • Symbolic

  • Patterned

  • Adaptive

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Cultural diversity

(P4: Culture and types of handshake)

  • Cultural values

    (P5: Priorities of cultural values: US, Japan)

    (P5: examples where culture can affect management approaches)

    Depict cultural diversity through concentric circles.

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Cultural values


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Priorities of Cultural Values

Arab Countries

1. Family security

2. Family harmony

3. Parental guidance

4. Age

5. Authority

6. Compromise

7. Devotion

8. Patience

9. Indirectness

10. Hospitality


1. Belonging

2. Group harmony

3. Collectiveness

4. Age/seniority

5. Group consensus

6. Cooperation

7. Quality

8. Patience

9. Indirectness

10. Go-between

United States

1. Freedom

2. Independence

3. Self-reliance

4. Equality

5. Individualism

6. Competition

7. Efficiency

8. Time

9. Directness

10. Openness

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Centralized vs.


decision making

Informal vs.

formal procedures

Safety vs. risk

High vs. low



Individual vs.

group rewards

Cooperation vs.


Sort-term vs.

long-term horizons

Stability vs.


Management Approaches Affected by Cultural Diversity



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Summary of what we learned last week

  • Introduction to the course of cross-cultural management and our international teaching team

  • Goals for Cross-cultural management

  • Nature of culture

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We will learn today

  • A model of culture: concentric circles

  • Comparing culture as a normal distribution

  • Values in culture

  • Hofstede’s cultural dimensions

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Explicit artifacts and

products of the society

Norms and values

that guide the society

Implicit, basic

assumptions that guide

people’s behavior

A model of culture: concentric circles

Outer layer: observable, e.g. language, food, buildings, art.

Middle layer: helps people understand how they should behave.

Inner layer: intangible, helpful for problem-solving and well interactions with other people.

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Comparing Cultures as Overlapping Normal Distribution

Chinese Culture

U.S. Culture



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Stereotyping from the Cultural Extremes: Brugha and Du’s research

How Americans see the Chinese

  • in community

  • avoid confrontation

    (keep in harmony)

  • respect for authorities

    and seniors

How Chinese see Americans

  • individualism

  • face confrontation

    (arguments and debates)

  • respect for achievements

Chinese Culture

U.S. Culture

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Values in Culture

Values: basic convictions that people have regarding what is right and wrong, good and bad, important and unimportant.

  • Value differences and similarities across cultures: P 10: “common personal values”

    U.S. Values and possible alternatives

  • Values in transition: work values change over time.

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Dominant Western Values in Workforce



Entered the



Current Age


Work Values

Hard working; loyal to

firm; conservative

Nonconforming; seeks

autonomy; loyal to self

Ambitious, hard worker;

loyal to career

Flexible, values leisure;

loyal to relationships

50 to 65

35 to 50

35 to 35

Under 25

1. Protestant

Work Ethic

2. Existential

3. Pragmatic

4. Generation X

Mid-1940s to

Late 1950s

1960s to


Mid-1970s to



through 1990s

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Dimensions of culture


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Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions

  • Dutch researcher Geert Hofstede found there are four dimensions of culture.

  • Hofstede’s initial data: questionnaire surveys with over 116000 respondents from over 70 different countries who worked in the local subsidiaries of IBM.

  • The fifth dimension was added later.

  • Criticized because of its focus on just one company.

  • Popular in the research field of cross-cultural management.

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  • Power Distance

  • Uncertainty Avoidance

  • Individualism

  • Masculinity

  • Long-Term Orientation


Five Cultural


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  • Power Distance:the extent to which less powerful members of organizations accept that power is distributed unequally.

    • Low: people treated as equals despite social status

    • High: people accept authority relations

  • Uncertainty avoidance:the extent to which people feel threatened by ambiguous situations and have created beliefs and institutions that try to avoid these.

    • Low: prefer few formal rules

    • High: want clear behavioral guides

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    • Individualism/collectivism:the tendency of people to look after themselves and their immediate family only (belong to groups or collectives and to look after each other in exchange for loyalty).

      • Low: group behavior important

      • High: individual behavior important

        A bipolar continuum






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    • Masculinity/femininity:a situation in which the dominant values in society aresuccess, money, and things (caring for others and the quality of life).

      • Low: cooperation; friendly atmosphere; employment security; low stress; warm interpersonal relationships.

      • High: competition; challenge; recognition; wealth; advancement; high stress; tight control.

        A continuum



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    • Long–term orientation:value placed on persistence, status, thrift

      • Low: respect for tradition, personal stability, focused on the past

      • High: perseverance, thrift, focused on the future

        This dimension was added to depict the influence of Confucianism in Asia.

        This dimension is similar to “Adjusting” proposed by Brugha and Du.

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    Examples of Cultural Dimensions

    * A low score is synonymous with collectivism

    ** A low score is synonymous with masculinity

    *** A low score is synonymous with a short-term orientation

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    Additional Frameworks

    Two additional perspectives, of social/cross-cultural psychologists merit attention:

    Markus & Kitayama: Independent & Interdependent Construals

    Triandis: Individualism-Collectivism

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    Vertical & Horizontal Individualism & Collectivism

    Harry Triandis: Combination of Individualism vs. collectivism and power & achievement vs. benevolence & universalism

    • VI: achievement + individualism (USA)

    • HI: universalism + individualism (Sweden)

    • VC: power + collectivism (India)

    • HC: benevolence + collectivism (Israel; rare)

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    Schwartz’s Values

    • Universalism

    • Benevolence

    • Conformity & tradition

    • Security

    • Power

    • Achievement

    • Hedonism

    • Stimulation

    • Self Direction

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    Schwartz’s Value Map

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    Empirical test of the Theory

    • 75,000 + respondents, varied samples in 68 countries

    • Instrument lists 57 abstract value items

    • “How important is each item as a guiding principle in your life?”

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    Tasks in the next session:

    • Students’ talks and presentations

    • Discussion in groups: how to learn Cross-cultural management?

      Assignment after class:

      Read a paper on Hofstede’s cultural dimensions.

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    • Integrating Hofstede’s cultural dimensions

    • Attitudinal dimensions of culture

    • Trompenaars’s cultural dimensions

    • Integrating culture and management

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    Chap1-7 Attitudinal Dimensions of Culture

    Work Value and Attitude Similarities

    • Research has revealed many similarities in both work values and attitudes

      • Ronen and Kraut

        • Smallest space analysis (SSA) - maps the relationship among countries by showing the distance between each on various cultural dimensions

        • Can identify country clusters

      • Ronen and Shenkar

        • Examined variables in four categories

          • Importance of work goals

          • Need deficiency, fulfillment, and job satisfaction

          • Managerial and organizational variables

          • Work role and interpersonal orientation

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    A Synthesis of Country Cultures

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    GLOBE Project

    • Multi-country study and evaluation of cultural attributes and leadership behavior

    • Are transformational characteristics of leadership universally endorsed?

    • 170 country co-investigators

    • 65 different cultures

    • 17,500 middle managers

      800 organisations

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    GLOBE Project

    • What traits are universally viewed as impediments to leadership effectiveness?

    • Based on beliefs that

      • Certain attributes that distinguish one culture from others can be used to predict the most suitable, effective and acceptable organizational and leader practices within that culture

      • Societal culture has direct impact on organizational culture

      • Leader acceptance stems from tying leader attributes and behaviors to subordinate norms

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    GLOBE Cultural Variable Results



    AssertivenessSpain, U.S.Egypt, IrelandSweden, New Zealand

    Future orientationDenmark, CanadaSlovenia, EgyptRussia, Argentina

    Gender differentiationSouth Korea, Italy, BrazilSweden Denmark


    Uncertainty avoidanceAustria, DenmarkIsrael, U.S.Russia, Hungary

    Power distanceRussia, SpainEngland, FranceDemark, Netherlands

    Collectivism/SocietalDenmark, Hong Kong, U.S.Greece, Hungary


    In-group collectivismEgypt, ChinaEngland, FranceDenmark, Netherlands

    Performance orientationU.S., TaiwanSweden, IsraelRussia, Argentina

    Humane orientationIndonesia, EgyptHong Kong, Germany, Spain


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    Chap1-8 Trompenaars’ Cultural Dimensions

    • Research produced five cultural dimensions that are based on relationship orientations and attitudes toward both time and the environment

    • Universalism vs. Particularism

      • Universalism - belief that ideas and practices can be applied everywhere in the world without modification

        • Focus on formal rules and rely on business contacts

      • Particularism - belief that circumstances dictate how ideas and practices should be applied and something cannot be done the same everywhere

        • Focus on relationships, working things out to suit the parties

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    Trompenaars’ Cultural Dimensions (cont.)

    • Individualism vs. Communitarianism

      • Individualism - people regard themselves as individuals

        • Rely on individuals to make decisions

      • Communitarianism - people regard themselves as part of a group

        • Seek consultation and mutual consent before making decisions

    • Neutral vs. Emotional

      • Neutral - culture in which emotions are held in check

        • People try not to show their feelings

      • Emotional - culture in which emotions are expressed openly and naturally

        • People smile, talk loudly, greet each other with enthusiasm

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    Trompenaars’ Cultural Dimensions (cont.)

    • Specific vs. Diffuse

      • Specific - culture in which individuals have a large public space they readily share with others and a small private space they guard closely and share with only close friends and associates

        • People often are open and extroverted

        • Work and private life are separate

      • Diffuse - culture in which both public and private space are similar in size and individuals guard their public space carefully, because entry into public space affords entry into private space as well

        • People often appear indirect and introverted, and work and private life often are closely linked

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    Trompenaars’ Cultural Dimensions (cont.)

    • Achievement vs. Ascription

      • Achievement - culture in which people are accorded status based on how well they perform their functions

      • Ascription - culture in which status is attributed based on who or what a person is

        • For example, status may be accorded on the basis of age, gender, or social connections

    • Time

      • Sequential approach to time - people do one thing at a time, keep appointments strictly, follow plans to the letter

      • Synchronous approach - people do more than one thing at a time, appointments are approximate

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    Trompenaars’ Cultural Dimensions (cont.)

    • Environment

      • Inner-directed

        • People believe in controlling environmental outcomes

      • Outer-directed

        • People believe in allowing things to take their natural course

    • Cultural Patterns or Clusters

      • Defined groups of countries that are similar to each other in terms of the five dimensions and the orientations toward time and the environment

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    Anglo cluster

    Relationship United States United Kingdom

    Trompenaars’ Cultural Groups

    Individualism x x


    Specific relationship x x

    Diffuse relationship

    Universalism x x


    Neutral relationship x

    Emotional relationship x

    Achievement x x


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    Asian cluster

    Relationship Japan China Indonesia Hong Kong Singapore

    Trompenaars’ Cultural Groups


    Communitarianism x x x x x

    Specific relationship

    Diffuse relationship x x x x x


    Particularism x x x x x

    Neutral relationship x x x x

    Emotional relationship x


    Ascription x x x x x

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    Latin American cluster

    Relationship Argentina Mexico Venezuela Brazil

    Trompenaars’ Cultural Groups

    Individualism x x x


    Specific relationship

    Diffuse relationship x x x x


    Particularism x x x x

    Neutral relationship x x x

    Emotional relationship x

    Achievement x x

    Ascription x x

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    Latin-European cluster

    Relationship France Belgium Spain Italy

    Trompenaars’ Cultural Groups

    Individualism x

    Communitarianism x x x

    Specific relationship x x

    Diffuse relationship x x

    Universalism x x x

    Particularism x

    Neutral relationship x

    Emotional relationship x x x

    Achievement x

    Ascription x x x

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    Germanic cluster

    Relationship Austria Germany Switzerland Czechoslovakia

    Trompenaars’ Cultural Groups

    Individualism x

    Communitarianism x x x

    Specific relationship x x x

    Diffuse relationship x

    Universalism x x x x


    Neutral relationship x x

    Emotional relationship x x

    Achievement x x x

    Ascription x

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    Culture Maps - Frameworks

    Edward T. Hall

    Geert Hofstede

    Kluckhohn & Strodbeck


    Value Patterns

    Variations in Value Orientations


    Value Patterns

    • universalism– particularism

    • collectivism– individualism

    • affective–neutral relationships

    • specificity–diffuseness

    • achievement– ascription

    • time orientation

    • Internal–external control


      Int’l. business practice

    • relation to nature

    • orientation to time

    • belief about human nature

    • mode of human activity

    • relationships

    • space


      Int’l. business practice

    • power

    • risk

    • individualism

    • masculinity

    • long term orientation



      theories - practice

    • time

    • space

    • things

    • friendships

    • agreements




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