Cultural Differences and People Management

Topics: Geert Hofstede, Cross-cultural communication, Culture Pages: 6 (2370 words) Published: October 30, 2012
Name of studentAssignment TitleModule code/titleStaff nameDue date| : ::: DawnWilliams: 6 November 2012| Ha Luong HangCultural Differences and People ManagementBIBU602| -------------------------------------------------

What do you understand by the term ‘national culture’? And why do you think that French (2010:44) argues that ‘Culture remains a core concept both for students of business and managers in work organisations’?

Abstract: The aim of this essay explains my knowledge and understanding about the term ’national culture’ and introduces the differences mentioned by the theorists such as, Hofstede, Trompenaars in the study as well as analyses a content that both business students and organisational managers in work should consider culture as a main notion which was argued by French, R. (2010). Illustrating from the book, websites and my own experience.

Up to now, culture still plays a vital part in almost all countries. It is really important for people to have a deep understanding about their own culture so that they can maintain their invaluable national values. Before studying the term ‘national culture’, we need to know what culture actually means and how many factors contributing culture. In fact, social scientists defined culture as a set-up of features of descriptors that distinguish radicals in a meaningful way. According to Baldwin,. el al., ( 2006) a main concept of social science or humanity studies is culture and its importance also spreading to other subjects like art, geography, architecture, leisure studies, etc. In another case, a prominent organizational scholar Geert Hofstede in French (2010, p89) said that culture is considered as “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”. Yet another scholarly definition is offered by Alvesson (2002) who described culture as the action of the whole society and it has depended on the substances for those involved. Other common definitions indicated that culture involves shared knowledge systems, meaning and cognition among its members. The term ‘national culture’ in reality can be specified in several ways. Research shows that values, attitudes, beliefs and norms create a national culture which distributed by a plurality of drawers in a country (Jain, 2005), when Hofstede in Morden (2004, p29) wrote that national culture is as “the collective mental programming of a society”. Everyone in each society is taught during their childhood what they should notice and what should not; how they manage their obligation, responsibility, success or failure and how to behave with each other. In reality, most humans are unaware of the way their culture has affected their characteristic, belief, norms and values. In some Asia countries such as Vietnam, Japan, and Korea people tend to look down when they talk with their parents or their boss in order to show their respect, while Western people often look at other’s eyes directly to show respect and attention. Having read some theorist’s studies, I can improve my knowledge of national culture by comparing their different methods. The eminent Dutch psychologist, management researcher, and culture expert Geert Hofstede, in his career, had put forward four dimensions of national culture which is power distance (from small to large), individualism versus collectivism, masculinity versus femininity, and uncertainty avoidance (from weak to strong). Hofstede (1994) pointed out that each of these dimensions expresses the characterization of every nation and when being grouped together, they become a four-dimension differences among national cultures. Then he added a fifth dimension that is long and short term orientation in life. From Wikipedia, power distance means “the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions (like the...
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