Masters of Collaboration

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1. ‘Individualism’ and ‘Uncertainty Avoidance’ are the two main dimensions proposed by Hofstede which are mentioned in the text as influential factors in international collaboration. The text gives scores of the UK USA and Germany and Japan on these dimensions to illustrate the differences.

a) Look up the scores of these same countries on the remaining cultural dimensions on www.geert-hofstede.com  | Power Distance | Individualism | Masculinity/Femininity | Uncertainity Avoidance | Long term orientation | US | 40 - Low which means equality and managers are accessible | 91 - Highly individualistic, look after themselves and close ones; are open and self-reliant | 62 - Masculine society, strive to be the best; talk freely about their achievements. Conflicts are resolved at individual level and the goal is to win | 46 - Uncertainty accepting, accept new ideas and initiatives; do not need rules and are less emotionally expressive | 29 - Low; short term oriented culture; focussed on traditions and fulfilling social obligations; businesses are measures on short term basis; need for quick results | UK | 35 - Low; Believes in removal of inequality between people | 89 - Highly individualistic and private people, Unique purpose and unique contribution, Personal fulfilment| 66 - Masculine society, Highly success oriented and driven; What is said is not always what is meant. | 35 - Happy with what would come along, Happy to change, not many rules, | 25 - Short term oriented society, drives respect from history and tradition, short term quarterly goals and quick results | Germany | 35 - Highly decentralized, supported by middle class; direct, Participitative communication; control is disliked; leadership is challenged to show expertise | 67 - Truly individualistic society, Small families, strong belief in the idea of self-actualization, Most direct form of communication. | 66 - Masculine society, Performance highly valued, people live in order to work, status is often shown off. | 65 - Highly uncertainty avoiding, systematic overview and planning, strong reliance on expertise. | 31 - Short term orientation, great respect for traditions, small propensity to save, impatient for quick results. | Japan | 54 - Mildly hierarchical, slow decision making processes, hard work is appreciated and seen as a tool to go ahead the hierarchy | 46 - Group harmony means more important that individual opinions, strong sense of shame for loosing face | 95 - Most masculine society, No assertive and competitive individual behaviours, but between groups| 92 - One of the most uncertainty avoiding countries in the world; Emergency plans and precautions are in place | 80 - One of the highly long term oriented societies, People live their lives guided by virtues and good behaviour |

b) How could score differences on these other dimensions also influence collaboration between the four cultures mentioned? Give concrete examples, if possible. * Power distance index (PDI): "Power distance is the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions (like the family) accept and expect that power is distributed unequally." Cultures that endorse low power distance expect and accept power relations that are more consultative or democratic. People relate to one another more as equals regardless of formal positions. Subordinates are more comfortable with and demand the right to contribute to and critique the decision making of those in power. In high power distance countries, less powerful accept power relations that are more autocratic and paternalistic. Subordinates acknowledge the power of others simply based on where they are situated in certain formal, hierarchical positions. As such, the power distance index Hofstede defines does not reflect an objective difference in power distribution, but rather the way people perceive power differences. * Individualism (IDV) vs. collectivism: "The degree...
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