Culture: The complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society. 1.The most isolated bits of behaviour have some systematic relation to each other. 2. Culture is a design for living An approved way of meeting certain situations, of sizing them up. 3. These solutions are regarded as the foundations of the universe. We integrate these values into our daily lives, no matter what the difficulties. 4. Some degree of consistency is necessary, otherwise the whole scheme falls apart. 5. To try to keep some part of our lives fenced off where we live by another set of values risks inefficiency and chaos .
Characteristics of culture: 1. It is learned behaviour. Formal training is part of it, but probably the most important part is informal, unconscious, almost unintended. 2. Culture is shared with others - it is the common property of a society. 3. Culture influences the ways in which needs are met.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Is it common to all cultures? How to integrate with the notion of cultural differences? Recall that motivation deals with both ends and means. It is not just a question of why we do certain things, but also why we do them in certain ways. This suggests that while Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is common to all peoples and cultures as ends or goals, cultures determine the particular ways in which those needs are met. Self Actualization Social Ego Physical
Examples: (i). Marriage and family arrangements - nowhere and at no time have they been merely random. But the variety of arrangements developed by human cultures span the whole range of possibilities: unlimited polygamy in Bantu Africa limited polygamy in Islam monogamy in Western society polyandry in some tribes in India, and in Tibet The same basic rule applies in Africa and Islam - a man must be able afford the extra wives, and he must treat them all equally. (ii) Food. Some prohibit pork, some prohibit beef, and in many African tribes one or another animal is sacred, a totem, and not hunted. Food items which not all might find attractive: puff adder stew, mopane worms, hákarl, svið.
(iii) Shelter and housing : igloos, tipis, rondavels, sod huts, log cabins - housing is a function of natural resources as well as life style Hunter gatherers and nomads cannot afford to have permanent homes or possessions. (iv) Proper dress: The national dress for Batswana is - nothing! Young children wear a string of beads around their waist. Inuit wear skin suits. Persian Shi’ites wear western dress. Arabs wear thaubs - but some have short thaubs and long beards, others have long thaubs and short beards. Note that cultural specifications often have an underlying basis in reality. - Pork transmits tapeworm. - Veiling of Arab women is based on protecting their complexions from shamals - the windstorms off the Iraqi desert. (v) Ways of earning a living : Traditional professions: law, religion, government, medicine preferred to modern ones - engineering, commerce, industry Finance is preferred to trade or manufacturing.
Influence of Culture on Perception, Relationships and Behaviour 1. The manners of scarcity and poverty (i) Tradition among the Bedouin of the desert is that you must give hospitality to the stranger, even if he is your enemy, for up to three days (ii) Among the Bantu, politeness requires that you serve to you visitor, to show you are not so poor you don’t have a surplus. Tradition also requires that you leave something on the plate - to show that you are not that famished. (iii) Even the poor indulge in conspicuous consumption. Batswana interplant watermelons among the sorghum, then use it for a party, eating only the sweetest centre. They told us Canadians we ate it like dogs, because we ate it down to the white rind. But for Canadians watermelon is an expensive delicacy!
2. Perception of the physical world - American site engineer told his bricklayer the wall was crooked, but the bricklayer insisted it was straight, and proved it with his level. But it turned out the level was out of plumb, and the wall was crooked. The engineer’s explanation was that there was nothing perpendicular in the workman’s world.He lived in a village with round houses on meandering roads and paths, none of which was straight and that never intersected at right angles.
3. Class structure seems to be a universal characteristic of all human cultures. Each is divided into layers of one sort or another. They may be very obvious as the caste system in India, or semi-obvious as with the titles aristocracy in the UK, or may be relatively hidden to all but insiders. e.g. when Kristjan Eldjarn was elected President of Iceland in the mid 60’s, Time magazine expressed surprise at the election of this unknown person. This in turn became an insider’s joke in Iceland, for everyone knew he came from one of the best families….In Iceland there are no family names, much less titles, to guide the outsider, but people know their genealogies. The old people’s first question to the young stranger is the same in Iceland, Bahrain and Botswana: “Whose child are you?” Societies can be stratified by age, by sex, by occupation, by education, by ethnic origins, by religion, by place of residence, or by almost anything that can serve as a distinguishing mark.
Culture affects behaviour through its impact on structure of personality: (i) Role theory: Personality consists of a set of learned roles, the correct behaviour in a particular situation: teacher/pupil interaction weddings, funerals, birthday parties boss/subordinate interaction boy/girl relationships There is a correct way to herd goats, build a dhow, drive a car, raise children. Role theory places a premium on standard responses to standard situations. Problems can arise when circumstances change and the standard behaviours no longer produce satisfactory outcomes.
(ii) Researchers such as Freud, Erikson, McClelland, Hagen argue that the way in which cultures raise their children, from infancy on, affects the fundamental structure of their personality and their motive structure. Hence particular patterns of child raising will generate particular patterns of motive structure or personality in a society or culture. Although Hofstede has not really argued the source of the differences, his researches have generated general acceptance of systematic personality differences among cultures, or clusters of cultures.
Culture and Management Differences in culture will affect the ways in which cultures structure their organizations, whether economic, political, military or other. At the same time differences in culture will generate and legitimate different patterns of interaction among members of a group or organization, and will legitimate particular patterns of authority relationships. I illustrate this using the four dimensions which Hofstede has identified.
1. Power Distance: This refers to the degree to which social inequalities are emphasized. High power distance places strong emphasis on formal authority, hierarchy and obedience. Low power distance means there is little difference in hierarchical status; relationships among members of the society and its organs are relatively egalitarian. High power distance would be typical of Theory X management, low power distance of Theory Y.
2.Individualism High individualism places emphasis on individual achievement and innovation. Low scores means culture places high emphasis on group harmony and conformity to group norms. High individualism would be associated with Theory Y.
3. Uncertainty Avoidance Reflects the extent to which ambiguity or uncertainty generate anxiety in the culture. Related to the concept of tolerance for ambiguity. High uncertainty avoidance means the culture has high regard for structure, rituals and formal procedures. Low uncertainty avoidance implies the culture place little importance on the formality of structures and arrangements, and are quite willing to adopt or create structures or relationships as required to deal with particular situations. High uncertainty avoidance would seem to be related to Theory X style.
4. Masculinity/ femininity High masculinity values assertiveness, decisiveness and competitiveness. Low masculinity/high femininity is more concerned with nurturing relationships and maintenance of group solidarity. This dimension seems to have less to do with Theory X-Theory Y and more to do with the fundamentals of group functioning - the distinction between task roles and maintenance roles within the group.
Hofstede has also identified a fifth cluster, which he calls Confucian dynamism, to help explain the phenomenon of widespread successful entrepreneurship in East Asian cultures. The implication is that the philosophical/religious value system of a culture is also an important determinant of members behaviour. (This is an idea that goes back to Max Weber’s “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism”.)
Development and Cultural Change It is conventional to define development in economic terms, but it can be manifested in any field of endeavour - religion, music, art, politics, etc. One cannot change one thing in a culture in isolation. Because of interdependence other elements of the culture will have to adjust as well. Successful development always involves conflict: (i) Role conflict between existing roles may be heightened. (ii) New roles may be defined, which will generate new types or dimensions of conflict. (iii) Successful development always involves a redistribution of power within the culture. Losers see themselves threatened and will oppose the change. Winners may try to use their larger power base as a source of further aggrandisement.
Introducing Change: Since everything is interconnected, one has a choice of entry points. Unsuccessful change initiatives may be attributable to incomplete or inadequate attention being paid to one or more of the fundamental factors. Task Structure Technology People
Examples 1. Rate of economic growth depends on the size of the labour force. Question: Is the labour force half as big or twice as big? i.e. Are women part of the labour force? 2. Very high levels of national income can be used to pay the costs of avoiding or minimizing change, e.g. Saudi Arabia and other oil countries which provide duplicate separate facilities for men and women - education, shopping, hospitals. 3. Bahrain and Botswana have become fundamentally monogamous societies over the course of the past generation, although polygamy is still legal in both. Young men feel they can not afford the cost of housing and education for two families (and indeed the average family size has gone down). Young women have been spoiled by education are are no longer willing to share themselves.
Dro Dropped Reinterpreted Cultural Values And Development Core