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  1. 1. Cross Cultural Pointers - India
  2. 2. Caveat lector <ul><li>India is a society of inherent contradictions - prefers Relative to Absolute. </li></ul><ul><li>Prefer harmony over confrontation; may mean balancing ‘family’ with ‘work’, ‘tradition’ with ‘modernity’, ‘ambition’ with ‘affiliation’ & ‘individualism’ with ‘society’. </li></ul><ul><li>Values of corporate India may vary from the values held by the society at large. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Values in corporate India will often closely mirror American/European values. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>However it is the ‘way’ in which these values are expressed, that makes the difference. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As always, the golden rule remains ‘do not assume’, communicate and clarify & always be sensitive to the underlying subtext and subtleties. </li></ul></ul>Confidential
  3. 3. A framework to understanding India Confidential India Average India Average India Average India Average Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions 77 43 56 40 34 68 70 58 45 61 59 74 55 43 50 64 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 Power Distance Index Individualism Score Masculinity Score Uncertainty Avoidance Scores India Average Swiss Average European Average World Average
  4. 4. <ul><li>Power Distance (PDI) measures extent to which the less powerful members of organizations accept & expect that power is distributed unequally. </li></ul><ul><li>High PDI Score Countries – People tend to accept centralized power and expect to be told what to do . Tend to be more submissive towards their superiors. </li></ul><ul><li>High PDI Score Countries – Tend to be less tolerant of centralized power, expect to be consulted , view superiors as similar to them and accessible. </li></ul>Understanding the dimensions Confidential <ul><li>Individualism (IDV) measures degree to which individuals are integrated into groups. </li></ul><ul><li>Highly Individualistic Societies - Everyone is expected to look after their own selves & immediate family. People pursue autonomy & view their identity as derived from the self rather than the organizations they work for. </li></ul><ul><li>Collectivist societies - Place an accent on family bonding & social ties . People are integrated into strong, cohesive groups which protect them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty. Strong preference for collective decisions & approaches. </li></ul><ul><li>Masculinity (MAS) - ‘Masculine’ cultures are assertive and competitive. They value Ambition and Achievement. ‘Feminine’ cultures exhibit sensitivity to values like modesty and caring. </li></ul><ul><li>Cultures with high score may have higher preference for ‘gender’ defined roles. Also may place more emphasis on results over relationships . </li></ul><ul><li>Cultures with low scores value interdependence of relationships and the need to nurture it. </li></ul><ul><li>Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI) - Indicates to what extent a culture programs its members to feel comfortable in unstructured situations. </li></ul><ul><li>High UAI Cultures - Try to minimize the possibility of such situations by strict laws and rules, safety and security measures. </li></ul><ul><li>Uncertainty Accepting Cultures - More tolerant of opinions different from what they are used to ; try to have as few rules as possible , and on the philosophical and religious level they are relativist and allow many currents to flow side by side. People are more phlegmatic and contemplative , and not expected by their environment to express emotions. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>High deference to authority/hierarchy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can be extremely hierarchy, level conscious. Easily accept position power. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May not be forthright in presence of an ‘superior’ or contradict even though don’t agree. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>May not come across as very assertive and may not to speak up at meetings. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Will place significant emphasis on consensus and listening to what others are saying. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Many Meanings of ‘Yes’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can be averse to declining requests. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remarks like 'I will try' become a polite way of saying 'It's not possible'. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Yes&quot; can mean &quot;I've heard you -- but it doesn't necessarily mean that I understand you . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tend not to be direct in their communications/ detailing of issues. May take time to come around the issue. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Relationship Oriented rather than Task Oriented </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Will not meet and &quot;get right down to business“ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Might put more emphasis on the interpersonal relationships upfront and address business as a secondary priority. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tend to be more group oriented than Individualistic. Will often talk in terms of ‘we’ rather than ‘I’. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can be very emotional/person oriented in approach rather than issue oriented. </li></ul></ul>Observations Confidential
  6. 6. <ul><li>Don’t accept Silence as Consent. Clarify understanding to ensure all are on the ‘same page’. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask open-ended questions that can't be answered by a &quot;yes&quot; or &quot;no&quot; response. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask explicitly what they feel about the feasibility of the task/deadlines and create an environment where they feel comfortable saying 'no‘ </li></ul><ul><li>Need to be sensitive to the subtext and subtleties. Always ‘peel’ the onion to understand what is being said and what is being inferred. </li></ul>Suggestions Confidential