The East Is East And The West Is West

Topics: China, Culture, Overseas Chinese Pages: 24 (3586 words) Published: June 20, 2015


The East is East and the West is West!
China is the one of the largest countries in the world. As to population China is the first country in the world. China is a great country. China has a recorded history of nearly four thousand years.

Key Issues
What is “culture”?
Substantial differences among societies arise from cultural differences Culture differences are related to social structure, religion, language, education, economic and political philosophy “Culture” and workplace values are related

Culture changes over time …
… influenced by economic advancement, technological change, globalization Differences in national culture influence the conduct of business internationally

What is culture?
Culture is a society’s (or group’s) system of shared, learned values and norms; as a whole, these values and norms are the society’s (or group’s) design for living Values: abstract ideas about the good, the right, the desirable Norms: social rules and guidelines; determine appropriate behavior in specific situations Folkways: norms of little moral significance

dress code; table manners; timeliness
Mores: norms central to functioning of social life
bring serious retribution: thievery, adultery, alcohol

National culture
“Nation”: is a useful way to define the boundaries of a society similarity among people a cause -- and effect -- of national boundaries “Nation”: is a useful way to bound and measure culture for conduct of business culture is a key characteristic of society and can differ significantly across national borders Can also vary significantly within national borders

culture is both a cause and an effect of economic and political factors that vary across national borders laws are established along national lines

Social Structure and Culture
Societies vary based on whether the unit of social organization is the individual or the group Society is often stratified into classes or castes
High-low stratification
High-low mobility between strata
The individual is the building block of many Western societies Entrepreneurship
Social, geographical and inter-organizational mobility

Individual vs Group Societal Characteristics

Religion, Ethics and Culture

Religion: system of shared beliefs about the sacred
Ethical systems: moral principles or values that shape and guide behavior; often products of religion Major religious groups and some economic implications
Christianity protestant work ethic
Islam Islamic fundamentalism
Hinduismanti-materialistic, socially stratified
Buddhismanti-materialistic, social equality
Confucianismhierarchy, loyalty, honesty
Major religious groups have significant sub-sets with distinct beliefs and varying economic implications

Language and Culture

Language, spoken
“private” does not exist as a word in many languages
Eskimos: 24 words for snow
Words which describe moral concepts unique to countries or areas: “face” in Asian cultures, “filotimo” in Greece Spoken language precision important in low-context cultures
Language, unspoken
Context... more important than spoken word in low context cultures

Culture and the Workplace (Hofstede)

Hofstede groups national cultures along dimensions meaningful to business: Work related values not universal
National values may persist over MNC efforts to create culture Local values used to determine HQ policies
MNC may create unnecessary morale problems if it insists on uniform moral norms Starting point for understanding of business situations across-cultures Effective international managers MUST understand own culture AND other culture(s)

Culture is an essential part of people’s daily lives. It influences their views, their values, their humor, their hopes, their loyalties, and their worries and fears. If you hail from Montreal or Morocco, if you are Hindu, Jewish or Catholic, if you are...
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