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Chapter 4: The Role of Culture. International Business, 4 th Edition Griffin & Pustay. Chapter Objectives_1. Discuss the primary characteristics of culture Describe the various elements of culture and provide examples of how they influence international business

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chapter 4 the role of culture

Chapter 4:The Role of Culture

International Business, 4th Edition

Griffin & Pustay

©2004 Prentice Hall

chapter objectives 1
Chapter Objectives_1
  • Discuss the primary characteristics of culture
  • Describe the various elements of culture and provide examples of how they influence international business
  • Identify the means by which members of a culture communicate with each other

©2004 Prentice Hall

chapter objectives 2
Chapter Objectives_2
  • Discuss how religious and other values affect the domestic environments in which international businesses operate
  • Describe the major cultural clusters and their usefulness for international managers
  • Explain Hofstede’s primary findings about differences in cultural values
  • Explain how ethical conflicts may arise

©2004 Prentice Hall








©2004 Prentice Hall

characteristics of culture
Characteristics of Culture
  • Learned behavior
  • Interrelated elements
  • Adaptive
  • Shared

©2004 Prentice Hall

figure 4 1 elements of culture
Figure 4.1 Elements of Culture



Social Structure


Values/ Attitudes


©2004 Prentice Hall

social structure
Social Structure
  • Individuals, families, and groups
    • Importance of family
    • Definition of family
    • Importance of individual relative to the group
  • Social stratification – categorization based on birth, occupation, educational achievements
  • Social mobility – ability to move from one stratum of society to another

©2004 Prentice Hall

  • 3000+ different languages worldwide
  • 10,000+ different dialects
  • Primary delineator of cultural groups
  • Lingua Franca
    • English is the common language of international business

©2004 Prentice Hall

map 4 1 world languages
Map 4.1 World Languages

©2004 Prentice Hall

translation disasters
Translation Disasters
  • KFC’s Finger Lickin’ Good
    • Eat your fingers off (China)
  • Pillsbury’s Jolly Green Giant
    • Intimidating green ogre (Saudia Arabia)

©2004 Prentice Hall

yes and no across cultures
Yes and No Across Cultures
  • Latin America
    • meaning of “manana”
  • Japan
    • meaning of “yes” versus “yes, I understand”

©2004 Prentice Hall

Caterpillar has developed its own simplified language instruction program –Caterpillar Fundamental English

©2004 Prentice Hall

table 4 1 forms of nonverbal communication 1
Hand gestures

Facial expression

Posture and stance

Clothing/ hair style

Walking behavior

Interpersonal distance


Eye contact

Architecture/ Interior design

Artifacts and non-verbal symbols

Graphic symbols

Table 4.1 Forms of Nonverbal Communication_1

©2004 Prentice Hall

table 4 1 forms of nonverbal communication 2
Art and rhetorical forms


Speech rate, pitch, inflection, volume

Color symbolism

Synchronization of speech and movement

Taste, symbolism of food, oral gratification


Sound signals

Time symbolism

Timing and pauses


Table 4.1 Forms of Nonverbal Communication_2

©2004 Prentice Hall

  • Christianity
    • Catholicism
    • Protestant
    • Eastern Orthodox
  • Islam
  • Hinduism
  • Buddhism

72% of the world

adheres to one of these four religions!

©2004 Prentice Hall

map 4 3 major world religions
Map 4.3 Major World Religions

©2004 Prentice Hall

two million muslims annually descend on the grand mosque in mecca saudia arabia as part of the haij
Two million Muslims annually descend on the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudia Arabia as part of the Haij

©2004 Prentice Hall

values and attitudes
Values and Attitudes
  • Values: accepted principles and standards
  • Attitudes: actions, feelings, and thoughts that result from values
    • Time
    • Age
    • Education
    • Status

©2004 Prentice Hall

theories of culture
Theories of Culture
  • Hall’s Low-Context, High-Context Approach
  • Cultural Cluster Approach
  • Hofstede’s Five Dimensions

©2004 Prentice Hall

hall s low context high context approach
Hall’s Low-Context, High-Context Approach
  • Low-context: words used by speaker explicitly convey speaker’s message
  • High-context: the context in which a conversation occurs is just as important as the words spoken; cultural clues are critical to communication

©2004 Prentice Hall

figure 4 2 high and low context cultures
Figure 4.2 High- and Low-Context Cultures








U.S./ Canadian










©2004 Prentice Hall

hofstede s five dimensions
Hofstede’s Five Dimensions
  • Social Orientation
  • Power Orientation
  • Uncertainty Orientation
  • Goal Orientation
  • Time Orientation

©2004 Prentice Hall

social orientation
Social Orientation

Individualism Collectivism

Relative importance of the

interests o the individual versus

interests of the group

©2004 Prentice Hall

power orientation
Power Orientation

Power Respect Power Tolerance

Appropriateness of

power/authority within


©2004 Prentice Hall

uncertainty orientation
Uncertainty Orientation

Uncertainty Acceptance Uncertainty Avoidance

An emotional response

to uncertainty and change

©2004 Prentice Hall

goal orientation
Goal Orientation

Aggressive Goal Behavior Passive Goal Behavior

What motivates people

to achieve different goals

©2004 Prentice Hall

time orientation
Time Orientation

Long-term Outlook Short-term Outlook

The extent to which

members of a culture

adopt a long-term or a short-term

outlook on work and life

©2004 Prentice Hall

understanding new cultures
Understanding New Cultures
  • Self-reference criterion
  • Cultural literacy
  • Acculturation

©2004 Prentice Hall