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Answer the 1st part and then comment if you agree or disagree with other’s post.
Dr. Geert Hofstede is the distinguished and internationally acclaimed expert in the study of culture amongst nations. His pioneering work on the four (later five) dimensions of culture is the definitive guideline major corporations around the globe use in conducting international business.
Watch the videos below where Dr. Hofstede explains his theories on culture, and discusses “seven deadly sins” in a multicultural world.
Visit the website for the Geert Hofstede Center. Here you can compare the United States with another country on the 5 cultural dimensions established by Dr. Hofstede.
In the box labeled “Select a Country,” select the United States. A rating (blue bar lines) and description will appear for the U.S. on each of the 5 cultural dimensions.
In the box labled “Comparison Country,” select a country of your choice. A comparison rating (red bar lines) will appear for your selected country.
Analyze the results of your cultural comparison and explain how a U.S. business can commit one or more of Hofstede’s “seven deadly sins” in your comparison country.
COMMENT IF YOU AGREE OR DISAGREE WITH THIS POST. Each post no more than 200 words
1 post: Daven Willis
Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory is a framework for cross-cultural communication, developed by Geert Hofstede. It describes the effects of a society’s culture on the values of its members, and how these values relate to behavior, using a structure derived from factor analysis. Hofstede developed his original model as a result of using factor analysis to examine the results of a worldwide survey of employee values by IBM between 1967 and 1973. It has been refined since. The original theory proposed four dimensions along which cultural values could be analyzed: individualism-collectivism; uncertainty avoidance; power distance strength of social hierarchy and masculinity-femininity task orientation versus person-orientation. Independent research in Hong Kong led Hofstede to add a fifth dimension, long-term orientation, to cover aspects of values not discussed in the original paradigm. In 2010, Hofstede added a sixth dimension, indulgence versus self-restraint. Hofstede’s work established a major research tradition in cross-cultural psychology and has also been drawn upon by researchers and consultants in many fields relating to international business and communication. The theory has been widely used in several fields as a paradigm for research, particularly in cross-cultural psychology, international management, and cross-cultural communication. It continues to be a major resource in cross-cultural fields. It has inspired a number of other major cross-cultural studies of values, as well as research on other aspects of culture, such as social beliefsGeert Hofstede, pointed out pitfalls, or frequently made mistakes, in connection with culture and values. He calls them the seven deadly sins, we give you here a short version of them but you can hear him tell them himself in our link to his own presentation below.
not being aware of your own culture when dealing with others can make life difficult, for you and for others.
Being aware of your own culture, but putting your own culture first isn’t helpful either. There is a difference between the values you yourself hold dear, and about feeling that you are at the center of the world.
By this, he means ignorance of history. ‘Western civilization is superior’ – maybe, but since when? Knowing your history, and that of others makes you more appreciative of cultural differences.
4 Professional myopia
being concerned only about your own things, especially professionally, makes you nearsighted and less sensitive to cultural differences. Keep an open mind and dare to be challenged every now and then.
5 Conceptual mix-up
Geert Hofstede does everything to make his own approach relative. Values are the core of the dimensions he discovered, yet he never lets the chance pass by to say that values and dimensions do not exist – they are manmade.
6 Academic polemics
this is about the discussions that Hofstede’s approach has unleashed among researchers. Hofstede is an advocate for focusing on how colleague-researchers can enrich each other’s work by sharing additional information – not focusing on who is right or wrong.
7 Level confusion
a culture is a collective system of values. Values, as measured using Hofstede’s dimensions, are relative, that is, in relation to others – not absolute. Also, a person has a personality, not a culture. Acting as if a person is equal to a culture, or seeing a culture as a giant-sized individual, is stereotyping.
The country I selected was Jamaica to compare with the United States of America. This dimension deals with the fact that all individuals in societies are not equal – it expresses the attitude of the culture towards these inequalities amongst us. Power Distance is defined as the extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and organizations within a country expect and accept that power is distributed unequally.The Jamaican style: Being independent, the hierarchy for convenience only, equal rights, superiors accessible, coaching leader, management facilitates and empowers. Power is decentralized and managers count on the experience of their team members. Employees expect to be consulted. Control is disliked and attitude towards managers are informal and on first name basis. Communication is direct and participative. We can get a good overview of the deep driving factors of American culture relative to other cultures in our world. By supplying you with this information please realize that culture describes a central tendency in society. Everybody is unique, yet social control ensures that most people will not deviate too much from the norm. Moreover, within every country regional cultural differences exist, also in the States. Americans, however, don’t need to go to a cultural briefing before moving to another state successfully.
2nd Post: Austine Garcia
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The Hofstede theory of Cultural Dimensions focuses on the differences between cultures and how these differences influence the way we form relations with one another.
The 6 cultural dimensions are:
- Power Distance Index (high versus low).
- Individualism Versus Collectivism.
- Masculinity Versus Femininity.
- Uncertainty Avoidance Index (high versus low).
- Pragmatic Versus Normative.
- Indulgence Versus Restraint.
In the first dimension, Power Distance Index, is like a company that is hierarchical (manager, floor manager, division manager) in comparison to a company that is more “flat”. Such as in Malaysia, score of 100, where workers will look to the managers for guidance and won’t make their own decisions without the manager.
The second dimension is Individualism versus Collectivism. This refers to the strength that ties people in their community. So like in Guatemala, with a score of six, has marketing campaigns that emphasize the benefits to the community and are usually well received as long as the person being addressed feels part of the group.
The third dimension, Masculinity versus Femininity, refers to the distribution of roles between Men and Women. In Masculine cultures, there is no overlapping of roles between men and women, and men are expected to be assertive. So in more patriarchal societies, showing your success and being strong are positives. In Feminine cultures, there is a lot of overlap in roles between men and women. Showing that you are able to have good relations with coworkers, and your supervisors, as well as being a “team player” are positives.
The fourth, Uncertainty Avoidance Index, refers to how well people can cope with anxiety from the unexpected. So whether or not people stick to routine or not. This means in Singapore, with the lowest score of 6, business meetings are generally inclusive with the aim of being open to change or innovation, and are less urgent.
The fifth dimension is Pragmatic versus Normative,Long Term Orientation. This dimension is new when compared to the other four so there is not a lot of depth. In a country with High Long Term Orientation, this means people are willing to delay any short-term success or gratification in order to prepare for the future. The sixth and final dimension, Indulgence versus Restraint, is also new so it has less data. Hofstede and Michael Minkov discovered and described dimension. If a society is more indulgent they are optimistic and focus on personal happiness. On the other end of the dimension, cultures that are more restrained are pessimistic and have more rigid or controlled behavior.
In Hofstede’s speech, he outline “seven deadly sins” in the multicultural world. The sins are:
- Unawareness, not being aware of your own when interacting with others. E.g How people from Western cultures think it is odd to be eating chicken feet, a normal dish in Asia.
- Ethnocentrism, the idea that your culture is the best culture and any other that does it differently is wrong.
- Amnesia, the concept of being ignorant of history. This includes your own culture and that of others. E.g That event a few years back where British Government representative arrived in China with poppy flowers on their jacket lapels.
- Professional myopia, so you are concerned with your own things even when you are in a professional setting. This can make a person nearsighted, a.k.a small town minded, and insensitive to cultural differences.
- Conceptual mix-up, while values are the most important aspect of the dimensions, it is important to keep in mind that these values and dimensions are human made.
- Academic polemics, so working together in sharing information and not just focusing on proving the other person right or wrong.
- Level confusion, the dimensions that Hofstede used are relative and not absolute. So this means equating a trait to someone because of their culture isn’t right and you’re stereotyping.
With the information on the U.S’s cultural dimensions and the mistakes that can be made in the multicultural field, U.S business can accidentally commit a “seven deadly sin”. The United States has a high rank of Individualism with a score of 91. Arguably this means that a U.S business could commit Professional Myopia. For example, in a business venture, the U.S business may be tempted to think of themselves rather than their partner.
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3rd post: Antonio Ruiz
I have compared the US with France, the country I currently live in.
The characteristic that strikes me the most about the US is the lack of long-term orientation. This lack of long-term orientation disables you from gaining a higher perspective and it normally leads you to act egotistically. Therefore, one of the main sins the US can commit in France is ethnocentricity.
France, on the other hand, is quite feminine. This is not something I would have guessed first hand. But thinking it through it is true that the dimension of Masculinity-Femininity refers to the emphasis related to achievement, materialism, and competition or to affective sharing, quality of life and interpersonal harmony. Male cultures are focused on individual achievements and actions related to tasks. Female cultures, on the other hand, emphasize interpersonal harmony and communal relationships. Female cultures do not emphasize stereotypical gender behaviors, while masculine cultures reinforce differences between sexes. These cultures value performance and competitiveness, as well as a classic virile image, and for that reason, cultural masculinity could be associated to a greater “macho” culture, of manly honor, since men must show their excellence in acting (Gilmore, 1994).
The practice of cultural management, from my point of view, is fundamentally the mixture of three things: common sense, the tools we have been gathering to have at our disposal from our experience and trajectory, and a sum of attitudes. Now it’s time to talk about the latter, but, please, let no one understand it as the throwing of a first stone because no one is free from sin. But, what are, in my opinion, these seven capital sins of the cultural manager? My answer here: 1) Do not cooperate and compete insanely Why not consider the competitor as a partner? Why not see that we are all in a joint struggle, to get more space for culture, more public, more institutional and media attention? The good of the neighbor will be my good, and for that reason, it is convenient not to understand him as an enemy but rather It is smart to wish you good things happen to you. And for the most advanced, the next step will be to cooperate and build joint projects with those in front of us. 2) Ignore and lack curiosity Lack of curiosity kills the cultural manager. You learn every day, from everything that surrounds us. We should not despise what we ignore, assuming we do not ignore it because it is probably something “unimportant”. On the contrary, each new data, each new finding, can be taken as a stimulus and as an opportunity. 3) Self-centeredness and inbreeding I I and I. Do you know someone who always has a personal and concrete example of any general question? It’s hateful, right? Have you tried lately to ask others how they are doing? Try to increase the interest the more unknown the person is to you. Try to think that beyond you and yours there are interesting people. And try not to reduce the culture to your scope of action.