Section One: Questions # 2 and #3
a. Define and explain the term Culture
Ans.: Culture is a set of shared values, understandings, assumptions, and goals that are learned from earlier generations, imposed by present members of a society, and passed on to succeeding generations. Culture is basically the way of life of a people: what they eat, the music they listen, how they dress, their meal times, their language and art form, and so on. b. Give examples if operational conflicts that could occur in a cross- cultural context because of different attitudes towards:1) time, 2) change, 3) Individualism
. Give a country or region that would be different from the US for each of the three variables. Ans.: It is quite easy for conflict to occur because people in the same workplace are from different cultural backgrounds. * Time: they are differences in temporal value. In the United States everything is about time. The have a monochromic culture, which means that time is experienced in a linear way- meetings are begin on time and assignment are due on time. The United States concentrate on one thing at a time and sticks to commitments. In the Caribbean region, for example, Jamaica to be exact, plans change often and people usually run late to meetings, they believe that time will always be there. Jamaican have a polychromic culture, they tolerate many things happening simultaneously and may focus on several things at once. They value relationships and believe that these are important and lasting. They miss deadlines and they complete tasks at their own leisure * Change: control and the pace of control. Countries in the Western Atlantic like the United States believe that they have control over their future, they can control whether they are successful or not; or whether they make a lot of money or a little. In Non- Western regions though and in countries like Saudi Arabia, they believe that they can change nothing because their destiny is predetermined by God. So God decides if they will make a lot of money or not and if they will be rich or poor; God is the one who decides if they will be a success or a failure. * Individualism: “me” versus “we”. In the United States they value individual achievements, accomplishments and wealth over group goals. Individualistic people care for themselves and their immediate family members. In places like Latin America however, where family is close- knitted, they think of their communities, their families, and their country has being more important than personal achievements. Question #3
Explain Hofstede’s four culture dimensions (individualism, uncertainty avoidance, power distance, masculinity) and discuss the managerial implications of each. Give examples of countries that have each of the values. Ans:
* Power Distance- the level of acceptance by a society of the unequal distribution of power in institutions. In the workplace this would translate to meaning how associates see their boss and the amount of power that they have. High power distance suggest motivators in boss- subordinates relationship, low power distance suggests motivation by teamwork and peers. Countries like Mexico, India, and France believes and upholds the power distance, therefore associates respect and treat their managers as if they cannot have a relationship, so an associate wouldn’t criticize their boss in any of these countries, because they believe that their managers are responsible for telling them what to do. In countries like the United States and Germany there is less power distance. For example, I can criticize my manager if he does something wrong and show him how to fix a problem, likewise he can criticize me if I do something wrong. My manager and I have a relationship, in countries like Mexico this is frowned upon because they believe that managers show solely have authority. * Uncertainty Avoidance- The extent to which people in a society feel threatened by ambiguous...
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