Cultural Brief of Taiwan

Topics: Taiwan, Geert Hofstede, Cross-cultural communication Pages: 7 (2275 words) Published: April 17, 2010
Geert Hofstede is a Dutch researcher who identified five dimensions of culture to help understand how and why people from various cultures behave the way they do. The five Hofstede’s cultural dimensions are power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism, masculinity vs. femininity, and time orientation. Taiwan has a high power distance meaning that people blindly obey the orders of their superiors, and strict obedience is found. Taiwan ranked high in uncertainty avoidance meaning that the people do not like uncertainty and tend to have a high need for security and a strong belief in experts. In individualism Taiwan ranked as a low individualistic country meaning that people look after themselves and their immediate family members. In regards to masculinity Taiwan ranked as a high masculinity country meaning that they place great importance on earnings, recognition, advancement, and challenge. In this type of culture people are encourage to be decision makers, and have high performance levels. On the last dimension Taiwan ranked high in long term orientation meaning that they focus more on long range goals. TROMPENAAR’S DIMENSIONS

Although Hofstede’s dimensions are the most recognize cultural dimension a more recent research is gaining attention. This research was made over a period on ten years by another Dutch researcher Fons Trompenaar. Trompenaar’s dimensions are Universalism vs. Particularism, Individualism vs. Communitarianism, Neutral vs. Emotional, Specific vs. Diffuse, Achievement vs. Ascription, Sequential vs. Synchronous, and Internal vs. External. GLOBE DIMENSIONS

The GLOBE (Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness) research project is another study to measure cultural difference. This research is an extensive analysis that integrates previous analysis. Countries were selected very carefully so that every major geographic in the world was represented. This project or research is considered one of the most sophisticated studies because it was made by a multicultural team of researchers that had and broad knowledge and experience in those fields. The GLOBE project can be use to foresee the most appropriate, effective, and suitable organizational and leader practices within a culture. The GLOBE is a more extensive research and includes more dimensions than Hofstede’s and Trompenaars’s research. The GLOBE project identified nine cultural dimensions Uncertainty avoidance, Power distance, Collectivism I, Collectivism II, Gender egalitarianism, Assertiveness, Future orientation, Performance orientation, and Humane orientation. CULTURAL NORMS, VALUES, AND BELIEFS

Taiwan’s population is generally Han Chinese and is divided into three groups based on their language: Taiwanese, Hakka, and Mandarin. The official language of Taiwan is Mandarin Chinese, but Min-nan dialect is also widely spoken. English is the most popular foreign language which makes it part of their regular school curriculum. Most people in Taiwan have traditional values based on Confucian ethics, but industrialization is making them change their values. Some traditional values such as piety towards parents, ancestor worship, and emphasis on education and work remain strong. Taiwanese values are based on Confucianism which describes the position of the individual in society. This system of behaviors and ethics put emphasis on the obligation of people towards one another based on their relationship, and stresses duty, loyalty, honor, respect for age and sincerity. There are five classifications of relationship: ruler and subject, husband and wife, parents and children, brothers and sisters, and friend and friend. Taiwan’s culture is collective which means they are willing to suppress their own feelings for the good of the group. Taiwanese have a very important concept of the face called “Mien-Tzu”. They believe the face reflects a...
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