HOFSTEDE’S HERMES STUDY • Dr. Geert Hofstede undertook a massive research project starting in 1966 involving a major multinational corporation identified only by the pseudonym HERMES. In the course of this project, some 116,000 questionnaires were completed by HERMES employees at all levels (unskilled workers to top managers) located in 50 developed and less developed nations.
CULTURE "Culture as the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one human group from another"
Four key elements, or "dimensions", of culture • Power distance • Uncertainty Avoidance • Individualism v. Collectivism • Masculinity v Femininity • Long or short term orientation
Power Distance Index (PDI) It focuses on the degree of equality, or inequality, between people in the country's society. A High Power Distance ranking indicates that inequalities of power and wealth have been allowed to grow within the society. A Low Power Distance ranking indicates the society de-emphasizes the differences between citizen's power and wealth.
Individualism (IDV) It focuses on the degree the society reinforces individual or collective, achievement and interpersonal relationships. A High Individualism ranking indicates that individuality and individual rights are paramount within the society. A Low Individualism ranking typifies societies of a more collectivist nature with close ties between individuals.
Masculinity (MAS) It focuses on the degree the society reinforces, or does not reinforce, the traditional masculine work role model of male achievement, control, and power. A High Masculinity ranking indicates the country experiences a high degree of gender differentiation. A Low Masculinity ranking indicates the country has a low level of differentiation and discrimination between genders.
Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI) It focuses on the level of tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity within the society - i.e. unstructured situations. A High Uncertainty Avoidance ranking indicates the country has a low tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity. A Low Uncertainty Avoidance ranking indicates the country has less concern about ambiguity and uncertainty and has more tolerance for a variety of opinions.
Long-Term Orientation (LTO) It focuses on the degree the society embraces, or does not embrace, long-term devotion to traditional, forward thinking values. A High Long-Term Orientation ranking indicates the country prescribes to the values of long-term commitments and respect for tradition. A Low Long-Term Orientation ranking indicates the country does not reinforce the concept of long-term, traditional orientation.
Achieving Communication Effectiveness • Improve Feedback System • Language Training • Cultural Training • Increasing Flexibility & Cooperation
Verbal Language Cultural Perceptual Selecting topic Silence Interruptions Humor Structure Non-Verbal Kinesics Oculesics Proxemics Chronemics Mono Poly Appearance & Posture Chromatics Communication Barriers
An Example of Body Language: North American Space Zones Public Intimate Personal Social 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
Australia • Australians generally prefer direct eye contact. • Australians tend to be enthusiastic conversationalists and debaters. • The best policy, however, is to wait for your Australian companions to bring up these two subjects; • Australians find arguments and opinionated conversation entertaining
Australia (Contd.) • Topics which are currently controversial in Australia include migration. • Sport is a common topic of conversation • Australians like to criticize themselves, but they are not receptive to criticism from others. • Don't boast about yourself or your company's accomplishments. • Australians try not to draw too much attention to their academic qualifications or personal achievements.
FRANCE • Give opinions only on subjects that you are knowledgeable about. • Studying French history, politics, and other aspects of the culture will be an advantage for you in conversation. • It is extremely bad manners to ask about his political leanings
FRANCE (Contd.) • Do not criticize Napoleon, • Refrain from using the standard U.S. conversation opener, 'What do you do?' • Avoid making personal inquiries in the course of a conversation, especially during first introductions.
RUSSIA • Visitors should try to speak in a calm, moderate, tone of voice at all times. • Russian will be delighted if you make the effort to speak even a few sentences of their language. • There is a great deal of reliance on nonverbal communication. • When a Russian touches another person during conversation, it is usually a sign of confidence.
RUSSIA (Contd.) • Russians are enthusiastic about discussing politics and the challenges of living in Russia. • Bringing up the subject of Russian culture and history can be an appreciated gesture. • Don't be surprised if they start to talk about the history of your country. • Approach compliments with caution, since they may cause Russians to feel a sense of misplaced obligation. • There is tremendous affection for children in this culture;
UNITED KINGDOM • Most Britons are reserved by nature • You should not be offended if people outside the 'Home Counties' of southeast England address you in apparently familiar or overly affectionate terms such as ‘dear’ or ‘love’ • For the most part, the British speak in low, moderate, measured tones without raising the voice or gesticulating wildly for emphasis.
UNITED KINGDOM (Contd.) • Make an effort to speak in complete sentences; • Should not interrupt someone; • Britons, however, are proud of their culture and heritage and this should be respected not mocked. • A major difficulty in effective communication can be the British liking for self-deprecation,
USA • Be aware that many Americans speak only English. • They may speak fast or very loudly • Many Americans adopt sports terms in their business speech • Americans often ask, “What do you do?” to start a conversation.
USA (Contd.) • Americans like being with people who have a sense of humour. Self-deprecating humour, however, usually goes over well. • Refrain from asking women if they are married. • Compliments are exchanged frequently and are popular “conversation starters.” • Golf is a popular sport, especially among businesspeople. It is often a venue for business discussions and deals.
Skills and Best Practices: Steps to Become a Global Manager • Global Perspective: Focus on global business • Cultural Responsiveness: Become familiar with many cultures • Appreciate & Understand Cultural Synergies: Learn multicultural dynamics (Objective, Comm. Style,) • Cultural Adaptability: Live and work effectively in different cultures • Cross-Cultural Communication: Daily cross-cultural interaction • Acquire Broad Foreign Experience: Series of foreign career assignments
CULTURAL FLUENCY (Dr. Linda Beamer) • Acknowledging cultural diversity • Organising information according to stereotype • Asking questions to challenge stereotype • Analyzing communication episodes • Generating fluent messages from other cultures