Cultural Profile

Topics: Egypt, Egyptians, Geert Hofstede Pages: 14 (4842 words) Published: July 17, 2009

Country Cultural Profile: Arab Republic of Egypt
The purpose of this study is to determine the cultural structures, variables and behaviors of the society in the Arab Republic of Egypt located in Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Libya and the Gaza Strip, and the Red Sea north of Sudan, and include the Asian Sinai Peninsula. The development of this analysis is based on the understanding of the characteristics and variables of the Egyptian culture.

Section 1 – People Relationships
1.1. Universalism versus Particularism
Universalism is the degree to which people believe that various ideas and practices can be effective in all circumstances. People who are high in universalism believe they can develop rules and standards that can be reasonably applied to everyone in every situation. They tend to use contracts, formal systems, and procedures to convey what they expect from others. People who are low in universalism (i.e., high in particularism) develop their expectations of others based on their personal relationships with them and their trust in them rather than on rules. When negotiating deals, people from highly particularistic cultures will want to develop a relationship with the other party before having substantive discussions toward making an agreement. People from highly universalistic cultures are prepared to proceed with substantive discussions much more quickly, but then expect to document their agreement with an enforceable contract. Because of their universalist approach, in a business situation Americans will want to rely on a contract to communicate the terms of an agreement and to define the relationship between the parties. Strong universalist cultures use the court to mediate conflicts. Therefore Americans have much more lawyers per citizen than any other country. The more universal a country is, the greater is the need to protect the truth. International operating businesses think more likely in an universalistic way. Egypt is a particularistic culture where people look at relationships and circumstances in a specific situation to decide what is right. For the Egyptian, the legal contract communicates a starting point for an agreement. As circumstances change so too should the terms of the agreement. For the Egyptian, the situation and the particular individuals involved are what define relationship. 1.2. Individualism versus Collectivism

Individualism focuses on the degree the society reinforces individual or collective, achievement and interpersonal relationships. A high individualism ranking indicates that individuality and individual rights are paramount within the society. Individuals in these societies may tend to form a larger number of looser relationships. A low individualism ranking typifies societies of a more collectivist nature with close ties between individuals. These cultures reinforce extended families and collectives where everyone takes responsibility for fellow members of their group. The lowest Hofstede dimension for the Arab World, including Egypt, is the individualism, compared to a world average ranking. This translates into a collectivist society as compared to individualist culture and is manifested in a close long-term commitment to the member 'group', that being a family, extended family, or extended relationships. Loyalty in a collectivist culture is paramount, and over-rides most other societal rules. 1.3. Neutral versus Emotional

In highly affective cultures, people tend to openly express their feelings. In highly neutral cultures, emotions are not expressed as openly and naturally. People from highly affective cultures are more likely to smile, talk loudly when excited, and greet each other enthusiastically. People from highly neutral cultures experience the same emotions, but are less inclined to express them, and they express them more subtly. Implications...
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