Analyzing and Understanding Cultural Differences

Topics: South Africa, Culture, White South African Pages: 22 (6791 words) Published: February 25, 2011


Analyzing and Understanding Cultural Differences of South Africa & China on business perspective.

Dilip Kumar Aerroju


1. Abstract
2. Introduction
3. What is culture?
4. Cross-cultural Communication Challenges
5. Six Fundamental Patterns Of Cultural Differences
6. Brief On Business Characteristic On Russia
7. Brief On Business Characteristic On Australia
8. Conclusion
9. Bibliography

Analyzing and Understanding Cultural Differences:

In the paper the need to understand cultural differences is discussed. This show how cultural differences can be analyzed. This project also gives a brief on business characteristic of South Africa & China. Introduction

The need to understand cultural differences is obvious today. Many societies are multicultural, and many people and organizations collaborate across geographic and cultural boundaries. Although it is typical for people to see themselves as unique and to be somewhat parochial, parochialism is not a good strategy for the future. According to Adler (1997, 10) "parochialism means viewing the world solely through one's own eyes and perspective. A person with a parochial perspective neither recognizes other people's different ways of living and working nor appreciates that such differences have serious consequences."

Today we live in a world that is somehow smaller than it is used to be. New communication technology (e.g. email and the WWW) has made it easier to a certain extent to cross previous boundaries and communicate across time and space. However, the new technology does not necessarily make it easier to collaborate and communicate intercultural. To effectively collaborate and communicate we have to share meanings. This often requires that we understand cultural differences and share cultural information. The purpose of the article is to discuss how culture and cultural differences can be analyzed and understood. What is culture?

Culture has been studied and defined in many ways by multiple scholars representing various disciplines. Adler (1997, 15) has synthesized many definitions of culture. She says that culture is: · Something that is shared by all or almost all members of some social group. · Something that the older members of the group try to pass on to the younger members. · Something (as in the case of morals, laws and customs) that shapes behavior, or... structures one's perception of the world. Culture is more than arts, it is a framework to our lives. It affects our values, attitudes and behavior. On the other hand we are actors in our culture and affect it. According to Levo-Henriksson (1994), culture covers the everyday way of life as well as myths and value systems of society. Roos (1986) sees culture as a system of lifestyles and as a common dominator for lifestyles. Lifestyle reveals culture that is large and stiff wholeness, uniform, regular and like-minded in our lives. Lifestyles is a possible way to outline one's life within the framework of culture. According to Adler (1997, 15-16), culture, values, attitudes and behaviors in a society influence each other. Values can be defined as factors that are explicitly or implicitly desirable and that affects our decisions. Values do not need to be conscious, they can be also unconsious. The values we have are based on our culture. Attitudes express values and get us to act or to react in a certain way toward something. Attitudes are always there when people act even if they do not see them. There is no action without attitudes. Behavior can be described to be any form of human action. The behavior of individuals and groups influence the society's culture. There is no culture in the society without people's behavior.

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Cross-cultural Communication Challenges

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