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‘The Moshi Dialogue’ Preparatory workshop Thematic Forum in collaboration with PSO – The Netherlands. By: Søren Asboe Jørgensen Kristine Kaaber Pors Marcel H. van der Poel June 2009. Introduction. General introduction Personal introduction Workshop set-up Introductory assignment

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The moshi dialogue preparatory workshop thematic forum in collaboration with pso the netherlands l.jpg

‘The Moshi Dialogue’Preparatory workshopThematic Forumin collaboration with PSO – The Netherlands

By: Søren Asboe Jørgensen

Kristine Kaaber Pors

Marcel H. van der Poel

June 2009

Introduction l.jpg

  • General introduction

  • Personal introduction

  • Workshop set-up

  • Introductory assignment

  • Program day 1

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Workshop set-up

  • Day 1

    • Introduction

    • Theme 1: Relationships (Fowler, passport)

    • Theme 2: The Development Sector / System

    • Theme 3: Intercultural issues in relationships

    • Evening program (a cultural Trivial Pursuit)

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Workshop set-up

  • Day 2

    • brief ‘buzz’ about day 1

    • Theme 4: Roles & appropriate interventions

    • Theme 5: ideal relationships

    • Cases for Moshi – formulation of cases

    • Evaluation and closure

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What makes us unique ?


Internal dimensions


Ethnicity / Race


Sexual orientation

Physical condition / ability

Genetic predisposition

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How are we raised ?


External dimensions






Political orientation

Social class

Marital status


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  • Imbalances in capabilities & power

    • Reduced effectiveness

    • Increased transaction cost

    • Discredits principle of development

    • Undermines trust

  • Relational power shift

    • More effective

    • More equitable

    • More just

    • More credible

  • More in favor of the least able to negotiate

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  • Type of relationship – Breath

    • Partner

    • Institutional supporter

    • Programme supporter

    • Project funder

    • Development ally

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  • Power in relationships – Depth

    • A scale of influence

      • Information exchange

      • Consultation (input, seek opinion, involve)

      • Shared influence (co-define, co-determine, co-select, accept)

      • Joint control (co-manage, participate)

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  • Content of relationships – Rights & Obligations

    • Hidden or open mismatch; discuss:

      • Assumptions

      • Mutuality

      • (known & agreed) lack of reciprocity

      • Relative weight

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“ Why study the stars, they all look the same to me “

Apprentice to Galileo, 1564-1642

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  • . . . The collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one human group from another . . . Culture, in this sense, includes systems of values; and values are among the building blocks of culture (Hofstede, 1984).

    • Groups

    • Learned (not inherited)

    • (shared) Values

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  • . . .

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  • Assumptions that members of a group make about how they should behave, and do behave (interpretation)

  • Basic – and shared – beliefs (?) on what is good and what is bad

  • Preferences of certain states of affairs over others

    • Forbidden vs. permitted

    • Decent vs. indecent

    • Ugly vs. beautiful

    • . . .

  • “Assigning goodness to ways of being”

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  • The individual’s belief indicate how he or she thinks that things are, or ought to be.

  • The point is hat people often do not behave according to their beliefs, and so they are only weakly predictive of future behavior

  • The desirable (general, for all people) vs. the desired (what we want for ourselves)

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Objective and subjective culture

Objective culture

Cultural creations






Subjective culture

Cultural experiences


The social construction of reality; Berger & Luckmann (dialectical process)

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Images of culture - onion




basic values

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Iceberg Model

Explicit /Overt

What we observe

and perceive

Implicit / Covert


Observable behaviors:e.g. language, food,



Culture hides more than it reveals. Strangely enough, what it hides it hides most effectively from its own participants (Edward T. Hall)

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Culture Clash

Your Behavior

My Behavior

My Values

Your Values

Behavior: What you doValues: What is right / wrong in what to do

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specific to individual

inherited and learned

specific to group



Human Nature



Three levels of uniqueness in mental programming; Hofstede, 2005

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Generalization / Stereotype

  • Cultural generalization

    • The tendency of a majority of people in a cultural group to hold certain values and beliefs, and to engage in certain patterns of behavior

  • Cultural stereotype

    • The application of a generalization to every person in a cultural group; or, generalizing based on only a few people in a group

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Generalization distributions

Very much of A.

Very little of A.

Group = more homogeneous

Group = more heterogeneous

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  • . . . do what the anxiety-prone human race must do – reduce the threat of the unknown by making the world predictable

  • . . . Are over-generalized secondhand beliefs that provide conceptual basis from which we make sense out of what goes on around us, whether or not they are accurate or fit the circumstances.

    (LaRay Barna, 1994)

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Cultural Self Awareness

  • Constructing cultural boundaries:

    • The learned and shared patterns of beliefs, behaviors and values maintained by groups

    • Layers of mental programming

  • Layers of culture: (next slide)

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Cultural Self Awareness

  • National

  • Regional

  • Ethnic

  • Gender

  • Age

  • Physical ability

  • Sexual orientation

  • Religion

  • Politics

  • Class

  • Corporate and Functional

  • . . .

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Cultural Self Awareness

  • List 3 cultural groups with which you identify

  • . . .

  • . . .

  • . . .

  • Rank order the three cultures by importance

  • What stereotypes of the three cultures do not apply to you personally

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  • Multi-cultural

  • Cross-cultural

  • Intercultural

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Dimensions in Culture












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What is the nature

of people



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  • Nature of people

  • Relation to nature

  • Relation to other people

  • Human activity

  • Temporal focus

  • Conception of space

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Edward T. Hall

  • High context (members depend on shared experiences and interpretation of their cultural environment) – relying onshared & known codes

  • Low context (environment is less important and non-verbal communication is being ignored) - explicit coding

  • Polychrone – monochrone (in handout)

  • Physical distance dimensions

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Richard R. Gesteland

  • National & Regional cultural differences:

    • Deal vs. Relationship

    • Formal vs. Informal

    • Rigid time vs. Fluid time

    • Expressive vs. Reserved

    • Direct vs. Indirect

      (Richard R. Gesteland, Cross-cultural

      Business Behavior, Copenhagen

      Business School, 2002)

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  • Research: dilemma’s

  • Would you do A, or rather do B ??

  • Preferences » cultural dimensions

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  • Universalism vs. particularism (What is more important, rules or relationships?)

  • Individualism vs. collectivism (Do we function in a group or as individuals?)

  • Neutral vs. emotional (Do we display our emotions?)

  • Specific vs. diffuse (Is responsibility specifically assigned or diffusely accepted?)

  • Achievement vs. ascription (Do we have to prove ourselves to receive status or is it given to us?)

  • Sequential vs. synchronic (Do we do things one at a time or several things at once?)

  • Internal vs. external control (Do we control our environment or are we controlled by it?)

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Geert Hofstede

The original 4 cultural dimensions:

  • Degree of Individualism or Collectivism


  • Degree of Masculinity or Femininity


  • Degree of acceptance of Power Distance


  • Degree of Uncertainty Avoidance



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Cultural Dimensions - IND

  • IND: individualism; societies in which the ties between individuals are loose: everyone is expected to look after himself or herself and his or her immediate family

  • COL: collectivism; societies in which people from birth onwards are integrated into strong, cohesive in-groups, which throughout people’s lifetime continue to protect them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty.

    Hofstede, 2005, p.76

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Cultural Dimensions - IND

  • IND ranking:

    1. USA

    2. Australia

    3. UK

    4. Netherlands

    10 Denmark

    50 East-Africa

    72. Panama

    73. Ecuador

    74. Guatemala



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Cultural Dimensions - MAS

  • MAS: masculine; when emotional gender roles are clearly distinct, men are supposed to be assertive, tough and focused on material success / women are modest, tender and concerned with the quality of life

  • FEM: feminine; when emotional gender roles overlap, both men and women are modest, tender and concerned with the quality of life

    Hofstede, 2005, p.120

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Cultural Dimensions - MAS

  • MAS ranking:

    • Slovakia

    • Japan

    • Hungary

      54. East Africa

      71. Denmark

      72. Netherlands

      73. Norway

      74. Sweden



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Cultural maps



●East Africa








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Cultural Dimensions - PDI

  • PDI: power distance; the extent to which the less powerful members of institutions or organizations within a country expect and accept that power is distributed unequally.

    (institutions = basic elements of society like family, school, community; organizations = where people work)

    Hofstede, 2005, p.46

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Cultural Dimension - PDI

  • PDI ranking:

    • Malaysia

    • Slovakia

    • Guatemala

    • East Africa

      61. Netherlands

      72. Denmark

      73. Israel

      74. Austria



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Cultural Dimensions - UAI

  • UAI: uncertainty avoidance; the extent to which the members of a culture feel threatened by ambiguous or unknown situations

    Hofstede, 2005, p.167

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Cultural Dimensions - UAI

  • UAI ranking:

    • Greece

    • Portugal

    • Guatemala

    • Netherlands

    • East Africa

      72. Denmark

      73. Jamaica

      74. Singapore



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Hofstede and negotiation

  • PDI will affect the degree of freedom in decision-making by the negotiator

  • IND will affect the desire for maintaining a stable relationship

  • MAS: negotiators will focus on ego (MAS) or on compromise and consensus (FEM)

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Hofstede and negotiation

  • UAI high: negotiators will need more structured talks in order to know in which phase of negotiation they are

  • UAI low: no need for phasing, persuading the other can be done at any time.

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Hofstede and leadership

  • PDI high:

    • Subordinates expect to be told what to do; the boss knows what is best

    • Limited span of control (= relatively large % staff with monitoring tasks)

    • Centralized decision-making

  • PDI low:

    • subordinates expect to be consulted; the boss is a resourceful democrat

    • Less hierarchical levels (flatter organization); self-steering

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GLOBE studies

  • Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness (GLOBE; 1999 - 2007)

    • 170 researchers; data from 17,000 managers; in 62 societal cultures

    • Culture is / culture should be (practice vs. values)

  • 9 cultural attributes:

    • performance orientation

    • Assertiveness

    • future orientation

    • humane orientation

    • institutional collectivism

    • in-group collectivism

    • gender egalitarianism

    • power distance

    • uncertainty avoidance

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Cross-cultural competencies

  • Interpersonal relations

  • Local language / multiple languages (an attempt can already be sufficient)

  • Cultural curiosity (‘Wanderlust’)

  • Comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty

  • Flexibility (situational management)

  • Patience and respect (mindfulness)

  • Empathy

  • Strong ego (self-confidence)

  • Humor (emotional time-out)

    (Schneider & Barsoux, 2003)

? ? ? ?

Perry scheme

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Cultural and Ethical relativism

  • There are universal values, if only all people could see them


  • Being committed to values that you think should be universal

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Cultural and Ethical relativism

  • Perry scheme:

    • Dualism; right / wrong

    • Multiplicity: multiple truths

    • Relativism: something is not true, there are just different points of view

    • Commitment in relativism: a considered choice in relevant contexts

      (William G. Perry, 1970)

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Cultural and Ethical relativism

  • Contextual relativism: chosen position, in a deliberate, conscious way, based on close review of the situation – to adhere to a particular point of view or stand up for a particular value

  • as a consequence, one can adhere to a particular value over different cultures

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Cases for Moshi

  • Take a brief moment to reflect on what you heard / learnt yesterday and this morning

  • Check your notebook

  • You may even compare notes with others (from your organization)

  • Choose a topic (issue, dilemma, role, relationship issue, sector issue, etc.) that you feel free to share with others

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Cases for Moshi

  • Framework:

    • Who are involved (brief introduction)

    • Their positions / responsibilities

    • Describe the relationship (you may use Fowler)

    • Describe the case (the actual issue that serves as good example)

    • Describe the effects:

      • On the relationship

      • On the results

    • Describe the key question that arises from the case

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Cases for Moshi

  • Please make sure you leave from here with a basic set-up of your case / with a framework

  • Work out the case in more detail and have it ready / submitted by 26th of June 2009

  • You will receive 2 example cases for your reference