Values Across Cultures

Topics: Cross-cultural communication, Culture, Individualism Pages: 8 (2688 words) Published: March 25, 2011
Kluckhohn et al., (1951, p.395) states a value may be defined as "a conception, explicit or implicit, distinctive of an individual or characteristic of a group, of the desirable which influences the selection from available modes, means, and ends of action”. According to Husted (1999, pp. 339-359) “cultural values are those conceptions of the desirable that are characteristic of a particular people”. Wines and Napier (1992) states that value influence dominant cultural practices. Thus it is seen that every country / nation has their own value system and cultural practices. In order to see different values across cultures two different countries are selected (that are U.S.A and India) and their different values were noted which include corruption level in organization, resistance to self management and cooperation with group members. These values are judged on the basis of the two of the hofstede dimension of national cultures (i.e. power distance and individualism). Hofstede have given index to the countries according to the cultural and economic data.

Table 1 for details on individual attributes measures nation| Power/Distance (PD)| Individualism (IDV)|  Masculinity (MAS)| Uncertainty/Avoidance Index (UAI)| India| 77| 48| 56| 40|

U.S.A| 40| 91| 62| 46|
Sources:1 Hofstede and Bond [1988]2 Hessels [1996]|

Rogow and Lasswell (1963) have studied the private lives of politicians and political bosses in the United States, and the psychological profile of the politician relates unfulfilled childhood needs to corrupt behavior. The clearest idea of the trend of corruption in the region can be obtained by reference to the CPI data provided by Transparency International found in Table 2. They define corruption as "the misuse of public power for private benefit."

Table 2 :Transparency corruption perception index 2010 Country| | 2010| India| | 3.3|
U.S.A| | 7.1|
Sources: Transparency international|

“India now is witnessing not mere corruption, but national plunder” --Brahma Challeny, the Hindu, Dec 6, 2010
The reasons given for India corruption can be summarized as follows: * Caste and nepotism have become the basic for distribution of patronage. * Indian culture of tolerance - society tolerates amassing of wealth * Amassing wealth in some communities is seen as a macho demonstration of competence. * Consumerism and want for a showy lifestyle attract many to make money by hook or crook. * Evil societal practices like dowry also encourage corruption POWER DISTANCE

In the US, low power distance thrives inside flattened organizational models. According to one college business text; “flat organizations emphasize a decentralized approach to management that encourages high employee involvement in decisions” (Allen, 1998). India’s culture prefers high power distance inside its hierarchical organizations. These structures are shaped by formal layers of management working up and down the organization to make decisions. Tasks are assigned based on status in the organization using complete and perfect instructions. (India Think, 2006) Wines and Napier (1992) state that values influence dominant cultural practices, among them corrupt practices, like bribery etc are included. Alam (1995) has a fairly broad theory of corruption, which explains differences in corruption across and within countries. Thus corruption differences are researched thoroughly. According to Hofstede (1997, p. 28), power distance refers to ‘the extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and organizations within a country expect and accept that power is distributed unequally.’ The corruption level is higher in those organizations in which the power distance is high. (Husted, 1999) Cohen, Pant and Sharp (1996, p. 58) also predicts the same thing about people from a high power-distance culture that they would be more...
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