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Culture and Organizational Behavior. Chapter 2. 2-1. Learning Objectives. Define culture and levels of culture Explain how culture develops Describe the major frameworks for explaining the cultures of different societies Discuss the relation of culture to the study of OB

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learning objectives
Learning Objectives
  • Define culture and levels of culture
  • Explain how culture develops
  • Describe the major frameworks for explaining the cultures of different societies
  • Discuss the relation of culture to the study of OB
  • Debate the issue of cultural convergence Vs. divergence
what is culture
What is Culture?
  • A way of life of a group of people
  • That complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by people as members of society
  • Everything that people have, think, and do as members of society
sathe s levels of culture
Sathe’s Levels of Culture





Expressed values

Expressed values





Basic assumptions



how is culture learned
How is Culture Learned?
  • Enculturation
  • Primary Socialization
  • Cultures and Subcultures
  • Secondary Socialization
frameworks for examining cultures
Frameworks for Examining Cultures
  • Cultural Orientations
  • Work-related Values Dimensions
  • Communication Patterns
  • Chinese Value Survey
  • Cultural Metaphors
kluckhohn and strodtbeck s variations in values orientations
Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck’s Variations in Values Orientations
  • Framework to describe how different societies cope with various issues or problems
  • Includes six value orientations
  • A culture may prefer one or more variations of a value orientation
kluckhohn and strodtbeck s variations in values orientations8
Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck’s Variations in Values Orientations

Values OrientationVariations

Relation to Nature

Time Orientation

Basic Human Nature

Activity Orientation

Relationships among People

Space Orientation




















How we cook and eat quite differently

You cook

like that!

You cook

this way!

hofstede s four dimensions of cultural values
Hofstede’s Four Dimensions of Cultural Values
  • Individualism/Collectivism
  • Power Distance
  • Uncertainty Avoidance
  • Masculinity/Femininity
masculinity vs femininity
Masculinity culture countries strive for a performance society

In Boy Scouts movement, a book was called “Rovering to Success”

Femininity culture countries for a welfare society

When translated to Dutch, it is “Roving on the road to Happiness”

Masculinity vs. Femininity
to help the poor
To help the poor
  • Austria spent .24% of the GNP
  • Norway spent 1.12% of the GND
the chinese value survey
The Chinese Value Survey
  • Confucian Work Dynamism
    • Long Term Vs. Short Term Orientation
      • Future
      • Thrifty
      • Persistence
hofstede s and cvs cultural dimension scores for 10 countries
Hofstede’s and CVS Cultural Dimension Scores for 10 Countries


USA 40L 91H 62H 46L 29L

Germany 35L 67H 66H 65M 31M

Japan 54M 46M 95H 92H 80H

France 68H 71H 43M 86H 30L

Netherlands 38L 80H 14L 53M 44M

Hong Kong 68H 25L 57H 29L 96H

Indonesia 78H 14L 46M 48L 25L

West Africa 77H 20L 46M 54M 16L

Russia 95H 50M 40L 90H 10L

China 80H 20L 50M 60M 118H

schwartz s value survey
Schwartz's Value Survey
  • Focuses on universal aspects of individual value content and structure
  • Based on issues that confront all societies
  • Collected data over ten years from over 60,000 people in 63 countries
  • Identified three cultural dimensions
    • Embededness vs. autonomy
    • Hierarchy vs. egalitarianism
    • Mastery vs. Harmony
embeddedness versus autonomy
Embeddedness Versus Autonomy
  • Embeddedness: People view others as inherently part of collectives
    • Meaning in life comes from social relationships, identification with the group, and participation in shared way of life and goals.
    • Value social order, respect for tradition, security and wisdom.
  • Autonomy: Individuals are seen as autonomous, bounded entities who find meaning in their own uniqueness
    • Intellectual autonomy - people follow their own ideas and value curiosity, creativity, and open-mindedness
    • Affective autonomy - individuals independently pursue positive experiences that make them feel good
hierarchy versus egalitarianism
Hierarchy Versus Egalitarianism
  • Hierarchy
    • Use a social system with clearly defined roles to make sure people behave responsibly
  • Egalitarianism
    • Think of each other as moral equals sharing basic human interests
mastery versus harmony
Mastery Versus Harmony
  • Mastery
    • Encourages people to master, change, and exploit the natural and social environment for personal or group goals.
  • Harmony
    • Emphasizes understanding and fitting in with the environment, rather than trying to change it.
trompenaars dimensions of culture
Trompenaars’ Dimensions of Culture
  • Dimensions represent how societies develop approaches to managing problems and difficult situations
  • Over a 14 year period, data collected from over 46,000 managers representing more than 40 national cultures
  • Identified six cultural dimensions
trompenaars six dimensions of culture
Trompenaars’ Six Dimensions of Culture
  • Universalism Vs. Particularism
  • Individualism Vs. Communitarianism
  • Specificity Vs. Diffusion
  • Achieved Vs. Ascribed Status
  • Inner Direction Vs. Outer Direction
  • Sequential Vs. Synchronous Time
hall s high context and low context cultural framework
Hall’s High-Context and Low-Context Cultural Framework

High-Context Low-Context

China Austria

Egypt Canada

France Denmark

Italy England

Japan Finland

Lebanon Germany

Saudi Arabia Norway

Spain Switzerland

Syria United States

ronen and shenkar s country clusters
Ronen and Shenkar’s Country Clusters
  • Within each cluster, countries generally have similar work values, geographic location, language and religion;
  • Similarity of countries and clusters are associated with economic levels, with countries higher on GNP per capita located closer to the center;
  • There are independent countries not fit into any cluster, and not similar to each other, but they are likely more economically and technologically developed than their geographic neighbors.
ronen and shenkar s country clusters23
Ronen and Shenkar’s Country Clusters

Near Eastern













United Arab Emirates



Saudi Arabia

        • Austria
    • Germany
  • Switzerland


  • Malaysia
    • Singapore
    • Hong Kong
    • Philippines
  • South Vietnam
  • Indonesia
    • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • United State
  • Australia
    • Canada
      • New Zealand
    • United Kingdom
  • Ireland
  • South Africa

Far Eastern


  • Argentina
  • Venezuela
  • Chile
  • Mexico
    • Peru
    • Colombia
  • France
    • Belgium
  • Italy
    • Spain
  • Portugal

Latin European

Latin American






the world values survey
The World Values Survey
  • Study of sociocultural and political change
  • Collected data from more than 65 societies
  • Four waves of data collection: 1981, 1990-1991, 1995-1996, and 1999-2001
traditional vs secular rational orientations toward authority
Traditional Vs. Secular-Rational Orientations Toward Authority
  • Traditional values reflect pre-industrial society and the centrality of the family
    • Importance of God, obedience, religious faith over independence and determination
    • Absolute standards of good and evil
    • Support deference to authority
    • National pride and nationalistic outlook
  • Secular-rational values have opposite preferences
survival vs self expression values
Survival Vs. Self-Expression Values
  • Survival values
    • Priority on economic and physical security over self-expression and quality of life
  • Self-expression values
    • Priority on self-expression and quality of life
  • Generational differences in values
    • Higher in ex-communist societies and advanced industrial democracies
    • Lower in developing and low income societies
gannon s cultural metaphors
Gannon’s Cultural Metaphors
  • Identifies an important phenomenon, activity, or institution that members of a culture see as important as a metaphor for that culture
  • Helps outsiders to describe and understand the essential features of a society
cultural metaphors
Cultural Metaphors


England the traditional British house

Germany the symphony

Italy the opera

Japan the garden

Nigeria the marketplace

Russia the ballet

Turkey the coffeehouse

United States football

american football and the u s corporate culture
American Football and the U.S. Corporate Culture
  • Members of the team come together and decide what to do as a group
  • Individuals receive rewards based on individual performance and contribution to the team
  • A masculinity culture that emphasis “tough values” such as “Competition”

Trompenaars’ Seven Dimensions of Culture

  • Universalism Vs. Particularism
  • Individualism Vs. Collectivism
  • Achievement Vs. Ascription
  • Neutral Vs. Affective Relationships
  • Specific Vs. Diffuse Relationships
  • Relationship to Time
  • Relationship to Nature
brown s cultural universals
Brown’s Cultural Universals
  • Contends that significant elements of human behavior are the same throughout societies
  • A list of 375 cultural universals that compose the "Universal People”, e.g.
    • Conflict, cognition, decision making, play
    • Concepts about death, ethnocentrism, metaphor
    • Cooking, marriage, rituals
do the frameworks explain cultural differences
Do the Frameworks Explain Cultural Differences?
  • Represent average behavior within a culture
    • Subcultures and within cultural variations
    • Individual differences
  • Countries classified similarly may still be very different (e.g., U.S. vs. U.K. or Canada)
  • Reliability may vary
convergence or divergence
Closer communication and trade links

Worldwide marketing and product distributions

Globalization of businesses and business education

Cultural impact and penetration

Different cultural interpretations

Need to maintain cultural identity

Adaptation to different markets

Trade disputes

Convergence or Divergence?
implications for managers
Implications for Managers
  • Understanding culture is important even in one’s home country
  • Organization’s stakeholders could be from another culture
  • Need to look for underlying cultural meanings