Cultural Issues in the Business World: An Anthropological Perspective
Michael P. Lillis and Robert Guang Tian Department of Business, Medaille College, New York
Abstract: The significance of cultural influence on business has been widely recognized in both academic and business circles. A number of authors suggest that an anthropological approach is the most appropriate way to study cultural factors and assess their impact on an organizational environment. This investigation draws attention to several important cultural issues in business utilizing an anthropological perspective. It probes the relationship between culture and human behavior, between organizational values and organizational behavior, and identifies several effective methods for managing cultural differences that often permeate an organization’s workforce. Key words: Anthropology, culture and behavior, manage culture difference, organizational behavior INTRODUCTION The core for anthropology as a social science is about culture and its relationship with human behavior. Although there are many different definitions of culture by scholars from different fields, such as political scientists, historians, psychologists, anthropologists, sociologists and so on, the common points by crossfield scholars are clear. The essential core of culture consists of traditional ideas that are historically derived and selected and especially their attached values. On the one hand culture systems may be considered as products of action or as conditioning elements of further action. It consists of patterns, explicit and implicit, of and for behavior acquired and transmitted by symbols, constituting the distinctive achievements of human groups, including their embodiments in artifacts (Kroeber and Kluckhohn, 1952). More specifically, culture consists of traditional values and beliefs, ideas, customs, skills, arts and language of a... [continues]
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