Features of Culture and Corporate Culture

Topics: Culture, Geert Hofstede, Sociology Pages: 12 (2873 words) Published: April 30, 2013
Culture is the characteristics of a particular group of people, distinguished by everything from language, religion, cuisine (food), social habits, music and arts. In other words, it is defined as the “ the collective programming of the mind of one category of people which is different from other category of people where mind refers to the way of thinking, feeling and behaving”. This gives people a sense of who they are, their belongings and social behavior. Different anthropologists have their own ways of defining about the culture. In the words of CLIFFORD GEERTZ, culture is “the means by which people communicate, perpetuate (carry on) and develop their knowledge about attitudes towards life”. “Culture is the fabric of meaning of meaning in terms of which human beings interpret their experience and guide their action”.

In this essay I am going to explain about various forms of culture. How is Culture formed? Its values,cultural diversity, understanding of culture in an organization and how is Corporate culture helpful in a workplace or in a management. I am going to discuss about Hofstede’s five cultural dimensions and Trompenaars cultural dimensions. Finally I will focus on significance and themes of cultural Intelligence.

1)LEARNED : Culture is not inborn. It is learnt. Culture is often called "learned ways of behaviour". Unlearned behaviour is not culture. But shaking hands, saying thanks' or 'namaskar', dressing etc. are cultural behaviour. Culture is acquired by sharing and learning through family, friends, religion, education and society.

2)SHARED: This is shared among the society. For example, customs, traditions, beliefs, ideas, values, morale etc. are all shared by people of a group or society. If it is something that an individual alone possess, then that is personality .

3) TRANSGENERATIONAL: Culture is transmitted from one generation to another. Language plays the vital role in collective culture or. Languages in different forms make it possible for the present generation to understand the achievement of earlier generations

4)SYMBOLIC:The communication process uses symbols to identify the given actions, attitudes and behaviors of the people. a.The use of language has various types of symbols depending on environment, exposure and education to groups or tribes and also depending on the social experience. b.As a whole social experiences are specific communicative symbols used along arts, music, literature, history and other forms of social action. c.The abstract knowledge behind a particular culture is reinforcing in the way they understand the feelings, ideas and behaviours of the certain group of people in the society.

5)PATTERNED: Culture has structure and is integrated which means a change in one part will bring changes in another. 6)ADAPTIVE: Culture is based on the human capacity to change or adapt as per period and environment.


Culture becomes evident in two layers:

1)Internally Transforming Values Into Behavior: The most basic value people strive in

the human existence is the survival. In the past and present, we have witnessed civilizations

fighting daily with nature. The Dutch with rising water; the Swiss with mountains and land

slide; The Central Americans and African with droughts; and the Siberians with bitter cold.

Each has managed themselves to find the ways to deal with their environments in most

effect ways. Such continuous problems are normally solved automatically. The solutions

disappear from our awareness, and become a part of our system which is absolutely assumed. E.g. Joining hands together :likely to pray i.e. “Namaskar” OR “Namaste” is a Hindustani

culture- from the land where Hindus originate typically from Indo- Nepal. The deeper

bowing of a Japanese show respect in front of...

References: • Trompenaars and Charles hampden turner, Riding the waves of culture: Understanding cultural diversity in business.2nd edition. Nicholas brealey publishing, London.
• Mc Graw, International management: Culture, Strategy, and Behavior. 7th edition.
• Schein(1992), Organizational culture and leadership. San Francisco, pp no.15-20.
• Peters and Waterman(1982), In Search of Excellence.
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