1.What is meant by the term culture? In what way can measuring attitudes about the following help diffrentiate between cultures: centralized or decentralized decision making, safety or risk, individual or group rewards, high or low organizational loyalty, coopera- tion or competition? Use these attitudes to compare the United States, Germany, and Japan. Based on your comparisons, what conclusions can you draw regarding the impact of culture on behavior?
a. The term culture refers to the customs, behaviors, and values a society holds. It is something that is learned by be people as they grow within a specific society. We are all integrated into our respective cultures. Also culture is ever changing and adapting with time. In some cultures the decision-making is in the sole responsibility of higher-level management while in others it’s dispersed throughout a company with different management levels. The former can cause problems because it can steer employees from “correcting” decision makers about problems, similar to what happened with Toyota. Safety vs. Risk is different from culture to culture as well. In some cultures risk is encouraged because it can set you apart in your industry, while in others it can be frowned upon because uncertainty is shied away from. Individual and group rewards also. I believe that the benefit of individual rewards develops strong workers who are goal oriented. While some believe group rewards cause teamwork and synergy to a workplace. High and low organizational loyalty also as some people identify with the actual company and brand name and reputation, while others identify with their specific trade. Cooperation and competition – some societies encourage competition to crate drive and hard work in their workers while others discourage compition and rather have them work together in unison. b. I compare Germany Japan and the US in some of these ways: Japan and US for example: In the US for example when a company makes a mistake the people demand not just ownership but also action, while in Japan they will accept ownership only. Also, like in the Toyota case Japanese people can be reluctant to even give ownership to mistakes because it can bring shame upon your company. Based on my own conclusions I believe that culture has an extremely high impact on a company.
2.What is meant by the term value? Are cultural values the same worldwide, or are there marked differences? Are these values changing over time, or are they fairly constant? How does your answer relate to the role of values in a culture?
Values are basic convictions that people have regarding what is right and wrong, good and bad, important and unimportant. Definitely differences though some are universal. For example the Koreans place high value on personal forcefulness and aggressiveness and low value on recognition of others. Indian leaders put high value on the nonaggressive pursuit of goals. Australians placed major importance on values reflecting a low-key approach to management and a high concern for people. I believe that values can change as culture changes but not all values. Some values are a constant throughout the ages.
5. What are the characteristics of each of the following pairs of cultural characteristics derived from Trompenaars’s research: universalism vs. particularism, neutral vs. emotional, specific vs. diffuse, achievement vs. ascription? Compare and contrast each pair.
Universalism is the get-down-to-business attitude while particularism is the get-to-know-you kind of business. A neutral culture is one in which emotions are held in check. An emotional culture is one which emotions are openly expressed. A specific culture is one in which people have a big public area they let others enter and share, and a smaller private space they guard closely and share with only close friends and associates. A diffuse culture is when public and private spaces are very similar in size. People tend to guard their public space carefully, because entry into public space also means entry into private space. An achievement culture is based on peoples performance within their specific functions. An ascription culture is one in which status is attributed based on who the person is to society. Achievement cultures give higher status to people who achieve more, such as a company’s top salesperson or the medical researcher who has found a cure for a desease. Ascription cultures accord status based on age, gender, or social connections. For example, in an ascription culture, a person who has been with the company for 40 years may be listened to carefully because of the respect that others have for the individual’s age and longevity with the firm.
6. How did project GLOBE build on and extend Hofstede’s analysis? What unique contributions are associated with project GLOBE? The GLOBE project extends and integrates previous analyses of cultural attributes and variables. At the heart of the project is the study and evaluation of nine different cultural attributes. Its unique because its contracted by different men in different cultures using different data from those different cultures.
4. Most MNCs need not enter foreign markets to face the challenge of dealing with multiculturalism. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Explain your answer. I disagree, you can have to deal with multiculturism not only in foreign markets but also domestic ones as well. In every culture there are different subcultures in each one. 5. What are some potential problems that must be overcome when using multicultural, diverse teams in today’s organizations? What are some recognized advantages? Identify and discuss two of each. Attitude is a key one as it can be difficult to trust someone who is very different from you. Also culteral stereotypes can cause issues. Other issues that arise may be language barriers, cultural expectations on business such as business relationships, ethics, ect. It can also have advantages. It enhances creativity, leads to better decisions, and more effective and productive performances. The biggest being ideas as different cultures breed different perspectives. More Ideas mean a greater chance at ingenuity. In addition it prevents groupthink which can be counterproductive and prevent innovation.