Hofstede's Four Value Dimensions

Topics: Cross-cultural communication, Geert Hofstede, Culture Pages: 3 (859 words) Published: October 15, 2010
How should you alter your management style based on Hofstede's four value dimensions? Illustrate and reinforce your answer with any value dimensions referred to and with practical examples. To understand the management in countries such as China, Korea, Japan, etc., one must have a clear understanding and knowledge of the country’s entire cultural group. Signs create meaning for each member of a cultural group therefore no culture can exist without signs. Whether in the form of language, symbols or rituals, signs signify a specific meaning within a specific context. Culture means different things to different people even within the same cultural grouping. In a multicultural society as South Africa, for instance, there is even less agreement between the members of certain cultural groupings. For instance, all mother tongue English speakers do not belong to the same cultural group. Some people chose English as their mother tongue, even though Afrikaans is more commonly spoken in most of the areas in South Africa.

It is important to understand that people from certain countries will think and act in a different way than someone who was born and raised in another country. For example, when a negotiation takes place in Western countries, shaking hands takes place at the end of a mutual agreement. On the other hand, in Middle Eastern countries before the negotiations start, people are expected to shake hands, which is the cultural sign that real negotiations are just about to start. Not knowing this can lead to serious issues and oppositions between the parties. Another example, on the topic of age, Chinese begin counting their age as "1 year old" at birth, unlike Americans where we start counting months before the first birthday. So for example, if someone is 21 in the US, they would be considered 22 in China.

In order to be a successful Asia Pacific Rim Director for BUMET International, it is important to look at the fundamentals of Professor...
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