Hodgetts4 S08

Topics: Culture, Geert Hofstede, Cross-cultural communication Pages: 24 (1022 words) Published: February 24, 2015
Meaning and Dimensions of
Chapter 4

Chapter Outline

The nature of culture
 The nature of culture
 Values and folkways
 Comparing cultural values
 Sub-cultures and cultural change
 How culture affects management – see page
 How cultures view each other

Chapter Outline (2)

Cultural dimensions – how people look at life
 Hofstede's dimensions

Country clusters – countries with similar
cultural dimensions
 Trompenaar's dimensions

The Nature of Culture

Culture is the acquired knowledge that
people use to interpret experience and
generate social behavior
Cultural knowledge forms values,
creates attitudes, and influences
Not everyone in a culture has exactly
the same values.

The Nature of Culture (2)

Characteristics of culture include:


See page 94 for definitions.

Values and Folkways

Culture sets norms (expectations) for

Values are cultural beliefs about right and
wrong. Values have moral significance and
are often included in law.
Folkways are customary ways of behaving,
with little or no moral significance.
Examples: wedding customs, what to wear
to a funeral

Table 4-1: Cultural Values
1. Freedom
2. Independence
3. Self-reliance
4. Equality
5. Individualism
6. Competition
7. Efficiency
8. Time
9. Directness

1. Belonging
2. Group
3. Collectivenes
4. Age/seniority
5. Group
6. Cooperation
7. Quality
8. Patience
9. Indirectness
10. Go-between

2. Family
3. Parental
4. Age
5. Authority
6. Compromise
7. Devotion
8. Patience
9. Indirectness
10. Hospitality

Sub-cultures and Cultural

Groups within a culture may form a
sub-culture that varies in some ways
from the national culture.
Cultures can change gradually over
People who have worked outside their
own country or have friends from other
cultures may pick up some attitudes or
behaviors from the other culture.

How Cultures View Each Other

Stereotyping: assumes that all people
within one culture or group behave,
believe, feel, and act the same.
Ethnocentrism: occurs when people from
one culture believe that theirs are the
only correct norms, values, and beliefs.
Self-reference criterion: the assumption
that people in another culture will
behave like people in your culture

Hofstede’s Cultural
Power Distance

Power distance: The extent to which less powerful
members of institutions and organizations accept
that power is distributed unequally

High power distance countries: people may blindly obey
the orders of their superiors and are less likely to
question authority. Companies tend to use centralized
decision-making and tall organization structures (many
levels of management)
Low power distance countries: flatter and decentralized
organization structures, smaller ratio of supervisors.
Employees are more likely to question their bosses.
Participative management may be used.

Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions
Individualism and Collectivism

Individualism: Tendency of people to look after
themselves and their immediate family only
 Countries high in individualism: High individual
initiative. Promotions are based on achievement.
Salaries are based on market value.
Collectivism: Tendency of people to belong to groups
or collectives and to look after each other in
exchange for loyalty
 Countries high in collectivism: Low individual
initiative. Salaries and promotions may be based
on seniority

Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions
Uncertainty Avoidance

Uncertainty avoidance: Extent to which people feel
threatened by ambiguous situations and have
created beliefs and institutions that...
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