Cultural dimensions


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  • What do you think?
  • With Adler and Campbell collected additional data in 1989 from China, Indonesia and Japan
  • So French and Italian managers carry their status to activities outside workplace whereas UK and Danish ones less likely to. May for example play in same football team with lower ranking staff member as captain.
  • So, A Swedish employee will bypass the hierarchy when s/he needs information and knows where to find it in organisation – quicker to go direct. An Italian may see this as a lack of respect and threatening. On the other had, an Italian may be seen as lacking motivation and initiative in Sweden by remaining within their authority.
  • In traditional Asian cultures superior should be able to provide specialist answers to technical questions. Because subordinates can’t easily challenge it (hierarchy) it is valued above suggestions from peers whatever the quality. Asian manager without answers loses status – not in interest of staff whose security may be threatened, may only ask where they think manage knows answer. A Swede may approach an outsider for advice – should be able to tap expert sources rather than answer herself – so in Indonesia my see Indonesians refusal to do same as ineffective.
  • Universalism as a belief that what is true and good can be discovered and applied universally Particularism -A belief that unique circumstances determine what is right or good Similar to Hofstede – the degree to which one plans actions with reference to individual benefits or those of the group In neutral cultures, emotion should be held in check and maintaining an appearnace of self-control is important In affective cultures it is natural to express emotions openly The degree to which individuals are willing to allow access to their inner selves to others. In specific cultures people separate private life from public, whereas in diffuse cultures they overlap This is about how power and status are determined in society In an ascription society status is based on who a person is, whereas in an achievement society it is what a person does Sequential :- Time seen as measurable and a sequence of events – ordered, rels > schedule, recent performance counts, initial plan preferred Synchronic :- Members juggle various activities in parallel at same time. Rels>Schedule, performance is judged over whole history, plans can change. Past vs future orientation – also how far time is linear as opposed to holistic and integrated past, present and future How far individuals see themselves as the primary influence on their lives vs environment as more powerful than they and they should seek harmony with it.
  • Cultural dimensions

    1. 1. CULTURE
    2. 2. National Culture• Hofstede: “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.”• Culture is particular to one group, learned, passed through generations, includes values, helps predict behaviour
    3. 3. • Are organisational values as powerful as national culture?• What do you think?• What are implications either way?
    4. 4. • Laurent (1986) – organisational culture unlikely to modify national cultural values• when national and organisational values are in conflict, the first is likely to override the second
    5. 5. Hofstede’s research (1980, 2001)• Hofstede surveyed 116,000 employees in 50 countries• All were employed by IBM
    6. 6. Hofstede• Power distance – the distance between individuals at different levels of the hierarchy• Uncertainty avoidance – more or less need to avoid uncertainty about the future• Individualism vs collectivism – relations between individuals• Masculinity (achievement in terms of recognition/wealth) vs femininity (human contacts)– division of roles/values
    7. 7. Hofstede• Used in intercultural management• PDI – Malaysia highest, Austria lowest; the degree of centralisation of authority and degree of autocratic leadership. Hi PD means hierarchical, lower PD more democratic• Uncertainty avoidance – threatened by ambiguous situations, willing to take risks ?
    8. 8. Hofstede continued• Individualism – high means interest in self respect & personal achievement; low means an interest in face saving and harmony• Hostede found high relationship between high PD and collectivism• Masculinity – values eg assertiveness, money, self; high in Japan, Austria; most Scandinavian countries ‘feminine’
    9. 9. France• Society based on pyramidal hierarchy held together by tight rules and unity of command Germany• Personal command largely unnecessary as rules settle everything
    10. 10. The Chinese Value Survey• Conducted by Bond (Canadian & Chinese colleagues)• Shared many Hofstede ideas but based questions on Confucius (traditional Chinese values• Translated and administered to students in 23 countries• 4 dimensions, 3 match Hofstede (PD, I/C, and M/F) plus Confucian Work Dynamism
    11. 11. Long-term/Short-term Orientation• High Confucian work dynamism/Long- term oriented Concern with future, value thrift and persistence• Low Confucian work dynamism/Short- term oriented Oriented toward past and present, respect for personal tradition, social obligations and saving face.
    12. 12. Hall: High / Low Context• High context – depend on external environment, situation, non-verbal. Clues & meanings indirect eg Arabic, Chinese• Low context – communicators have to be explicit, blunt style liked, ambiguity disliked, more open to change
    13. 13. High Context• Where family, friends, co-workers etc have close personal relationships and large information networks, so do not require extensive background information• People don’t rely on language alone – tone of voice, timing, facial expression are major means of communicating
    14. 14. Low context• Relationships are shorter in duration and deep personal involvement valued less• Messages must be made explicit – less dependence on non-verbal communication• Agreements written rather than spoken• People separate lives into different sectors like work and personal life, so need more detailed information in interacting• High dependence on words to convey meaning – complete and accurate meaning is important
    15. 15. High context Low context• China • Australia• Egypt • Canada• France • Denmark• Italy • England• Japan • Finland• Lebanon • Germany• Saudi Arabia • Norway• Spain • Switzerland• Syria • United States
    16. 16. André Laurent• Research (1983) – looks at managers and their values in nine European countries & USAHow people perceived organisations as:- political systems- authority systems- role forming systems- hierarchical relationship systems(Mead 2002)
    17. 17. Managerial status (Laurent) Through their Denmark 32% managerial activity UK 40% managers play an important role in Netherlands 45% society’ Germany 46% Sweden 54% USA 52% Switzerland 65%(Mead 2002) Italy 74% France 76%
    18. 18. Bypassing hierarchy (Laurent, Adler) Sweden 22%• ‘to have efficient work UK 31% relationships it is USA 32% often necessary to Denmark 37% bypass the Netherlands 39% hierarchical line’ Switzerland 41% Belgium 42% France 42% Germany 46%(Mead 2002) Italy 75% China 66%
    19. 19. expert vs facilitator (Laurent) Sweden 10%it is important for a manager to have at hand precise answers Netherlands 17% to most of the questions that USA 18% his subordinates may raise Denmark 23% about their work UK 27% Switzerland 38% Belgium 44% Germany 46% France 53% Italy 66%(Mead 2002) Indonesia 73% China 74% Japan 78%
    20. 20. Fons Trompenaars• general relationship between employees & organisation• vertical or hierarchical system of authority defining superiors/subordinates• general views of employees about organisation’s destiny, goals, purpose and their place in it
    21. 21. Trompenaars• Administered a values questionnaire to over 15,000 managers in 28 countries (1993)• Later extended to other countries including former Soviet-bloc countries not covered by Hofstede
    22. 22. Trompenaars’s dimensions• Universalism vs Particularism• Individualism vs Collectivism• Neutral vs affective• Specific vs diffuse• Achievement vs ascription• Time• Environment
    23. 23. Culture shock• Can lead to a sense of isolation, depression, uncertainty and reduce productivity• It is a natural response, cumulative too and can stem from ‘trivial’ incidents• Psychological disorientation. Cannot rely on familiar signals regarding relationships, behaviour, communication