Culture Different Between China and Us

Topics: Geert Hofstede, Culture, Organizational culture Pages: 5 (1385 words) Published: December 8, 2012
It is well-know fact that different people have different opinion and this saying can be also used in the culture. For that reason, different cultures would make people have different behaviours.Culture can be defines as “the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one human group from another” (Hofstede 1984, p: 21). Culture is consisting of language, political, values, belief, food, cloth, etc. And those elements make people have different behaviours. Therefore, there are significance differences between two cultures and so does two national cultures. It is well to accept that people have different behaviors at work between two national cultures. For this reason, the aim of this essay is to examine the difference of behaviour at work between China and United Kingdom which caused by the different culture. The easy is divided into three sections. Firstly, it will describe the differences in daily life between China and United Kingdom. Secondly, it will not only introduce Hofstede’s Framework for Assessing Cultures which used for analyzing differences among cultures, but also list the differences between China and United Kingdom. And finally, it will list some particular differences in workplace between China and United Kingdom.

Culture is consisting of many elements and different national culture has its own culture. There are varity cultures in the world. However it is hard to evaluate the culture, because culture behavior just different and it is can not regard right and wrong. United Kingdom’s culture is different from the China’s. The food is different. In China, people think the dinner is the most importance meal in a day because they consider it is a good way to have a rest after working and refill the energy for tomorrow. However, British think “full breakfast” is helpful because it helps people has energy to finish the job well. In this example, it indicates people have different attitude toward the work result of the different culture. Policies of China and the United Kingdom are different. China has one-child policy since 1980s, thus whole family would have wrong way to educate the child. In this reason, the young people in China have bad performance in daily and even at work. On the other hand, United Kingdom does not have the similar policy, therefore, the family education almost stay the same level.

According to Robbins and Judge (2008), it is helpful to understand values differ across cultures, because it can help people to explain and predict employees’ behaviour from different countries. There are five dimensions of culture of Hofstede’s study: power distance, individualism, masculinity versus femininity, uncertainty avoidance and long-term orientation versus short-term orientation.

Figure 1-Compare China culture with United Kingdom culture (source: Itim international, 2009) From the diagram above, it indicates that the power distance, individualism and long-term orientation have significant difference between China and United Kingdom. Besides, masculinity and uncertainty avoidance index almost stay at the same level. • Power distance

According to Hofstede(2001) the concept of power distance contract was firstly developed by Mulder(1977 cited Hofstede 2001), power distance is to measure the degree of the inequality in power between the less powerful people and more powerful people which in the same situation. Power distance is consisting of high power distance and low power distance. “High power distance means that people accept inequality in power among institutions, organizations and people. Low power distance means that people expect equality in power.” (Daft and Lane 2009, p: 106)

It is obvious that China has higher power distance than United Kingdom. However, it is difficult to identify which culture is better. In China, there are large inequalities of power...

References: • Hofstede, G., 1984. Culture’s consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values, California: SAGE Publications.
• Robbins, S. and Judge, t., 2008, Essentials of organizational behaviour, 9th ed., Prentice Hall.
• Itim International, 2009. Geert Hofstede™ Cultural Dimensions. Itim International. Available from: [Accessed 18 August 2010]
• Hofstede, G., 2001
• Daft, R. and Lane, P., 2009. Management. 9th ed. Mason: South-Western Cengage Learning.
• Brown, A., 1998, Organisational culture. 2nd ed. Great Britain: Pearson Education Limited.
• Brunel University, 2010. General Behaviour at work in the UK. West London: Brunel University. Available from: [Accessed 19 August 2010]
• Kwintessential, 2010
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