Managing Across Cultures

Topics: Geert Hofstede, Culture, Cross-cultural communication Pages: 8 (3285 words) Published: July 20, 2014
Contents
1. Literature Review............................................................................................................................................ 2 2. Recommendations .......................................................................................................................................... 5 2.1 Cross-Cultural Skill Development .............................................................................................................. 5 2.2 Facilitation of Rapid Adjustment ............................................................................................................... 6 2.3 Provision of Necessary Support to Improve Productivity ......................................................................... 6 References........................................................................................................................................................... 7

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Differences in Cultural Values
1. Literature Review
Culture may be described as a collection of shared values that influence the perceptions within a given society, ethnicity or nation. These values influence the preferences that the said society holds as well as the way in which they respond to situations, ideas, and the attitudes they hold (Hofstede, 1980). In today’s globalised economy, all nations and societies interact with one another. As a result, the earlier mentioned cultural factors are readily observable in the marketplace and play a large role in the way it functions (Want, 2003). Language although vast in its diversity, is one of the most integral aspects of culture as it is crucial for communication (Hofstede, 2001).

Numerous methods have been developed over the years to aid in the quantification and comparison of various cultural parameters. It was important to reach an accepted and standard methodology to do so in order to assess how different cultures performed in relation to others so that an assessment could be made on the similarities as well as dissimilarities (Adler et al., 1986; Ronen & Shenkar, 1985). These could then be used to improve the interaction between cultures in management so as to minimise conflict and maximise efficiency. Hall (1976) for example, developed a model consisting of four factors which would base the assessment of cultures upon communication. This method was efficient at the time as there were not many tools managers could use to tackle this issue. A few years following the publication of the Hall method, Hofstede (1980) devised a model comprising of five main factors in order to assess cultural differences. These factors comprise of; power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism, masculinity, and short/long-term orientation. This method has been established based on vast surveys carried out using international subsidiaries which belonged to IBM. Hofstede’s model had further parameters such as grouping cultures based on aspects they had in common as well as depending on whether they shared similar historical circumstances. Trompenaars (1993) developed a model comprising of seven parameters, such as; relations with other people, attitudes to time and attitudes to environment making possible the exploration of more areas in cultures that affected individual behaviour which were not effectively assessable prior to the inception of said model. Schwartz (1984) established a further model encompassing seven factors within it which was similar to and influences by the model created by Hofstede. Following these developments, Khaslavsky (1998) formulated a model which included nine dimensions using the research and academic work published by the authors mentioned earlier. Despite the various models discussed here, the main evaluations on this report will be carried out using the five dimension model created by Hofstede. Therefore, for the purposes of this report, the differences of cultural values between Singapore and that of the United...
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