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Culture

By shafeel Jul 12, 2013 1280 Words
INTRODUCTION

The globalizing wind has broadened the mind sets of executives, extended the geographical reach of firms, and nudged international business (IB) research into some new trajectories. One such new trajectory is the concern with national culture. Whereas traditional IB research has been concerned with economic/legal issues and organizational forms and structures, the importance of national culture – broadly defined as values, beliefs, norms, and behavioural patterns of a national group – has become increasingly important in the last two decades, largely as a result of the classic work of Hofstede (1980). National culture has been shown to impact on major business activities, from capital structure (Chui et al., 2002) to group performance (Gibson, 1999). CULTURE DEFINED

In everyday usage, the term culture refers to the finer things in life, such as the fine arts, literature, philosophy, and classical music. The term culture has a much broader meaning that goes far beyond mere personal refinements. The only requirement for being cultured is to be human. Thus, all people have culture. The term culture has been defined in a variety of ways. One of the earliest widely cited definitions, offered by Edward Tylor in the nineteenth century, defined culture as “that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society”. Culture is transmitted through the process of learning and interacting with one’s environment, rather than through the genetic process. Diversity in culture of different society

We can define society as a group of people that share a common culture. A nation or state can have different culture. While the French can be thought of as the political embodiments of French culture, the nation of Canada has at least three culture an Anglo culture, a French speaking culture [Quebecois] and Native American culture. India is also composed of many distinct cultural groups. Business success in variety of country requires cross cultural literacy. By cross cultural literacy we mean an understanding of how cultural differences across and within nations can affect the way business is practiced. Take China as an example, they embracing the material products of modern society. 20 October 2009 – Complying with cultural diversity, whether at the management, human resources or marketing level, can reap big dividends for businesses, according to a wide-ranging United Nations report on intercultural dialogue. “The business world is beginning to understand and respond to the challenges of cultural diversity as a key factor of economic success,” says the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Report Investing in Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue. “In an increasingly global marketplace, the capacity to create a universe with which consumers can identify adds significantly to a product’s value. Today, cultural diversity has a central role to play in the conception, brand image and marketing strategies of products that are successful in the global market,” it adds. Multinational corporations are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of diversifying and customizing their products to penetrate new markets and meet the expectations of local consumers, according to the report, which covers a raft of issues ranging from migration, to languages, education, sustainable development, and democratic governance. “As a result, cultural diversity today figures as prominently on private-sector agendas as it does on those of political decision-makers at the national or international level,” it says, citing major global brands, such as Nike and Coca-Cola, which spend millions of dollars advertising and promoting their products to align with the cultures, needs and aspirations of consumers. Cultural diversity, too often reduced to the protection of heritages in danger, is also the development of intercultural skills, the search for an antidote to expressions of cultural isolationism, the lever of the effective exercise of universally recognized human rights and a means to reduce imbalances in the world trade in creative products, it adds. On another plane, the report notes that media and cultural industries represent more than 7 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) – approximately $1.3 trillion, or twice the level of receipts from international tourism – but Africa’s share in the global trade in creative products remains marginal at less than 1 per cent of worldwide exports despite its abundance of creative talent. To improve this situation, it is urgent to invest in cultural diversity and dialogue, it stresses. “Through this World Report, UNESCO wishes to build on the advances of recent years and in particular to emphasize that Cultural diversity has as its corollary intercultural dialogue, which implies a need to move beyond a focus on differences that can only be a source of conflict, ignorance and misunderstanding,” UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura says in a foreword. “Cultural diversity is related to the dynamic process whereby cultures change while remaining themselves, in a state of permanent openness to one another. At the individual level, this is reflected in multiple and changing cultural identities, which are not easily reducible to definite categories and which represent opportunities for dialogue based on sharing what we have in common beyond those differences.” The Six Dimensions

Each cultural or social dimension is like a mathematical dimension in space (height, depth, width) in that they are analytical qualities, not empirical; the removal of any one dimension, by definition, removes all dimensions. * Note: The number two, for example, is an analytical concept, not an empirical one. If you see two apples, for example, the number two is in your head, not an intrinsic characteristic of the apples. See Epistemology.

There are six of them.
All of these are learned, composed of systems of symbols, are social (beliefs and behaviour, not human individuals) and not transmitted or stored by genes. Technology: We need to use the word "tools" and explain the (1) inventing, (2) using and (3) teaching of others to invent and use them, is the cultural dimension, not the physical tools themselves. In Economics, this is called "capital," wealth produced not for immediate consumption but to increase further production., Economy: We need to refer to the production and distribution of wealth, which did not need money in earlier societies and in some elements of our society today, eg home and with friends. Wealth is anything that has value and it has value to the extent it is useful and scarce. It could include goods and services, but goods only in terms of the services they provide. Money is not wealth, but is a measure and a means of storing and exchanging wealth.  The economic dimension of culture is not just business, buying, selling. These things are specific to modern complex industrial culture, but not universal among all cultures and societies. Political Dimension relates to power and influence.

It includes authority and types of authority (traditional, bureaucratic or charismatic). Politics is not the same as ideology (which belongs to the values dimension) or only party politics (which are institutions that are not universal). The Social, Interactional or Institutional dimension refers to patterns of interaction, social organisation, meanings we attach to each other, our presentations of selves, roles. Examples include family or class.

Values, Ideology, Aesthetic: The shared values that we apply to judgements such as good or bad, beautiful or ugly, right or wrong. Beliefs or Worldview, the ideas we have about how the universe operates. Religious beliefs –– and more. The dimensional approach to understanding culture is that, like physical dimensions in space and time, they permeate the whole of culture. From the largest group or country, down through communities, to simple dyads (relations between two people) all six dimensions are present. By definition, removal of a dimension, or a value of zero, means the whol culture is not there.

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