Attribution and Perception
Attitudes Toward Women
Attitudes Toward Ethics
Individualism and Collectivism
What are Values?
Social principles, goals,
or standards accepted by
persons in a culture.
They are learned by
contacts with the family,
teachers, and religious
The media also may
influence one‘s value
Hofstede‘s ―Cultural Onion‖ Diagram
Symbols - words, artifacts,
pictures that carry a special
meaning or significance
Heroes - persons admired by
the society as a whole
Rituals - festivals, ways of
paying respect, ‗hanging out‘
Values - good vs. bad, dirty vs.
clean, ugly vs. beautiful,
unnatural vs. natural, abnormal
vs. normal, paradoxical vs.
logical, irrational vs. rational
Cultural Contrasts in Values
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Americans Japanese Arabs
Freedom Belonging Family security
Independence Group harmony Family harmony
Self-reliance Collectivism Parental guidance
Equality Age/Seniority Age
Individualism Group consensus Authority
Semantics - the study of the
meaning of words; involves the way
behavior is influenced by words and
nonverbal means of communication.
Example: A U.S. American, while
traveling in Bolivia, observed that
drivers rarely stopped at the red
octagonal sign with the word ―alto,‖
the Spanish word for ―stop.‖ A local
Bolivian explained that in that
country, the stop sign is more a
recommendation than a traffic law.
Attribution and Perception
Attribution - the ability to look at social behavior
from another culture’s view
Attribution training - involves making people
aware of their own cultural context and how it
differs from that of the host country
Perception - the learned meaning of sensory
Uncertainty-reduction theory - “involves the
creation of proactive predictions and retroactive
explanations about our own and others’
behavior, beliefs, and attitudes” (Gudykunst &
Ting-Toomy, 1988, p. 22).
Uncertainty Avoidance - the extent to which the members of a culture feel
threatened by uncertain or unknown situations.
Extreme uncertainty creates anxiety. Like values, feelings of
uncertainty and how to deal with it are acquired and learned. Ways
of coping with uncertainty are part of our cultural heritage; they are
reinforced by the family, school and government.
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Countries whose anxiety level is low are said to have low
or weak uncertainty avoidance.
Low ranking countries are USA, India, Great Britain,
Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, and Singapore.
In weak countries people are controlled, easy-going,
quiet, and do not show emotions. Since stress cannot be
released, people die from coronary heart disease!
The more anxious cultures are said to have strong
Latin American, Latin European, and Mediterranean
countries plus Japan and South Korea had high rankings.
The more anxious cultures tend to be more expressive;
they talk with their hands and show their emotions (Japan
is an exception).
Differences Between Weak/Strong Uncertainty Avoidance Societies
Weak Uncertainty Avoidance Strong Uncertainty Avoidance
Citizen protest acceptable Citizen protest should be repressed
Civil servants positive toward
Civil servants negative toward
Positive attitudes toward young Negative attitudes toward your
One group‘s truth should not be There is only one truth – ours
imposed on others
Human rights: fundamentalism and
Religious, political, ideological
persecuted for their beliefs
Scientific opponents can be
Scientific opponents cannot be
GLOBE (Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior
Effectiveness) Uncertainty Avoidance
Defined as tendency toward
structure, and regulation
Related to societal, economic,
and organizational values
Higher values found with
higher team orientation,
humane orientation, and self-
Lower values found with lower
participative and charismatic
Attitudes Toward Women
Influenced by cultural roots--U.S. women are supposed to have the
same rights as men while in Kenya women are considered
subordinate to men.
Gender differences in the U.S. workplace are de-emphasized -
women are accepted at higher levels in government and in many
U.S. women have taken
two-thirds of new jobs
created; they are starting
new businesses at twice the
rate of men. In France, one-
fifth of small businesses are
owned by women; in
Canada, the rate is one-
The U.S. and Canada lead
the world in the number of
women in executive
positions; Northern and
Western Europe, Australia,
and New Zealand also have
high numbers of women
Percentage of Women in Top Management Positions
Japan 6 to 8.9%
United States 5.1%
United Kingdom 3.6%
Work ethic - hard work is applauded
and rewarded; failure to work is
U.S. persons value work; U.S. senior-
level executives work far more and
take fewer vacations than those in
many European countries.
2002 - Weekly Hours Worked
South Korea 46.2
New Zealand 44.9
United States 42.6
Cultural Attitudes Toward Work
Europeans have a relaxed attitude toward work; many businesses
close during the month of August when people go on vacation.
Most Europeans do not work on weekends or holidays.
The French take longer vacations than any other country.
Australians value free time; they have the shortest working hours
of any country in the world.
The Japanese work Monday through Friday, often 18 hours a day.
Ethical behaviour means acting with integrity, honesty,
competence, respect, fairness, trust, courage, and responsibility.
Ethical standards are guidelines
established to convey what is
perceived to be correct or
incorrect behavior by most people
in a society.
Ethics: The Four-Way Test
Is it the
Is it fair to
Will it build
Will it be
Personal vs. Societal Ethics
• may vary from person to
• often influenced by
religious beliefs, cultural
backgrounds, or personal
• rules of conduct shared
by most people in a
• agreed-upon standards of
Standards of Business Ethics are Culturally Relative
The Islamic standard of ethics is
based on participating in religious
ceremonies, adhering to codes of
sexual behavior, and honoring one‘s
South Africans and the Chinese use
―backdoor connections‖ for conducting
In Brazil and Spain, unorthodox
accounting and taxation practices are
The nonsanctity of legal contracts
causes problems when dealing with
the Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese.
In the U.S., Australia, and Europe, lifestyle and religion are separate.
In northern Africa and southern Asia, religion is a lifestyle and
directly affects work.
The separation of church and state is followed in the U.S.
In Islamic countries religion affects all aspects of life.
Muslims stop work five times a day to pray.
Religion is not a significant part of life in China; the ideology
of communism endorses atheism.
Religion affects what people eat in some countries.
beef is not eaten by Hindus
pork is consumed by neither Muslims nor Orthodox Jews
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Individualism and Collectivism
Individualism - attitude
of valuing ourselves as
with responsibility for
our own destinies and
Collectivism - emphasizes
The Hofstede and GLOBE studies
Hofstede’s uses a linear scale
GLOBE has multiple levels
Inequality within society
Power, wealth, status, and social position
Index measures the degree of acceptance of unequal distribution
Both Hofstede and GLOBE agree on this construct.
Gender Indices - Hofstede‘s Masculinity and Femininity Index
measures assertiveness versus modesty.
'masculine' cultures, people (whether
male or female) value competitiveness,
assertiveness, ambition, and the
accumulation of wealth and material
'feminine' cultures, people
(again whether male or female) value
relationships and quality of life
Quantity of Life vs. Quality of Life
Gender Indices- GLOBE (Global Leadership and Organizational
Behavior Effectiveness) study - gender egalitarianism (equality)
measures roles men and women are suited for.
Denmark and New Zealand most gender
egalitarian; Eastern Europe and Nordic
Iran and Qatar are the least gender
egalitarian; Middle East, Confucian Asia,
Long-term versus Short-term Goals—Future Orientation
Concerned with bottom
line, control systems,
respecting tradition, and
Concerned with future,
hard work, learning,
Family and work are not