Cross Culture

Module 2 – The Ideas of Geert Hofstede: Cultural Dimensions

Objectives

The aim of this assignment is to suggest the role played by management scholars in developing new ideas useful to individuals interested in cross cultural management. Specifically this assignment addresses the ideas and frameworks of Geert Hofstede.

Instructor Comments

Think about a country and its people. Now think about describing the culture or worldview of these people using five dimensions. This exercise explores the culture of a number of countries doing just that. This idea and its framework created through the years of research are controversial. While the ideas are powerful, many would suggest that they oversimplify the concept of culture. How can a culture, built up over hundreds or thousands of years be clarified or understood through such uncomplicated themes? The answer to this question is yours to create.

Concepts such as Hofstede’s five cultural dimensions serve an important role and that is to help managers, observers, travelers and others make sense of complex environments. Surprising and annoying to some is that these dimensions are also empirically derived. Statistical analysis of thousands of data points brought these dimensions to the fore. They represent the interaction of science with the abstract world of values. beliefs and worldviews.

Assignment

This assignment seeks to help you understand the answer to a broader concern and that is, “How do cultural dimensions differ across countries?” You should base your responses to the following questions on your analysis of the ideas of Geert Hofstede.

In order to complete this assignment, you will need to access the country profiles based on Hofstede’s cultural dimensions using the following website: http://www.geert-hofstede.com

Please complete the following exercises.

Please define Power Distance in one sentence and summarize the differences (if any) in Power Distance among Russia, Venezuala, Japan and Bhutan.

Please define Individualism in one sentence and summarize the differences (if any) in Individualism among Russia, Venezuala, Japan and Bhutan.

Please define Masculinity/Femininity in one sentence and summarize the differences (if any) in Masculinity/Femininity among Russia, Venezuala, Japan and Bhutan.

Please define Uncertainty Avoidance in one sentence and summarize the differences (if any) in Uncertainty Avoidance among Russia, Venezuala, Japan and Bhutan.

Please define Temporal Orientation in one sentence and summarize the differences (if any) in Temporal Orientation among Russia, Venezuala, Japan and Bhutan.

Hint: The country profiles described in terms of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions http://www.geert-hofstede.com may be of great value when completing this assignment.

Please limit your response to this assignment to three single spaced, typed pages. Please cite your sources in the text and please reference them at the end of your assignment. Please end your write-up with one paragraph that summarizes what you think is the importance of this assignment.

Module 3 – The Ideas of Geert Hofstede: Similar Countries

Objectives

The aim of this assignment is to suggest the role played by management scholars in developing new ideas useful to individuals interested in cross cultural management. Specifically this assignment addresses the ideas and frameworks of Geert Hofstede.

Instructor Comments

Hofstede’s dimensions play fascinating roles in helping us understand different societies. Take for instance countries or cultures where both scores associated with Uncertainty Avoidance and Power Distance are high. In these instances, the result is the creation of “societies that are highly rule-oriented with laws, rules, regulations, and controls in order to reduce the amount of uncertainty, while inequalities of power and wealth have been allowed to grow within the society. These cultures are more likely to follow a caste system that does not allow significant upward mobility of its citizens.

Further, “when these two dimensions are combined, it creates a situation where leaders have virtually ultimate power and authority, and the rules, laws and regulations developed by those in power, reinforce their own leadership and control. It is not unusual for new leadership to arise from armed insurrection – the ultimate power, rather than from diplomatic or democratic change. “Understanding the meanings associated with these dimensions helps to explain why Pakistan is why it is. It also helps to explain why Canada is not similar.

Assignment

This assignment seeks to help you understand the answer to a broader concern and that is, “How are some national cultures similar?” You should base your responses to the following questions on your analysis of the ideas of Geert Hofstede.

In order to complete this assignment, you will need to access the country profiles based on Hofstede’s cultural dimensions using the following website: http://www.geert-hofstede.com

Please complete the following exercises.

Please identify five countries that are similar in terms of Power Distance. Please summarize in your own words why they are similar.

Please identify five countries that are similar in terms of Individualism. Please summarize in your own words why they are similar.

Please identify five countries that are similar in terms of Masculinity/Femininity. Please summarize in your own words why they are similar.

Please identify five countries that are similar in terms of Uncertainty Avoidance. Please summarize in your own words why they are similar.

Please identify five countries that are similar in terms of Temporal Orientation. Please summarize in your own words why they are similar.

Hint: The country profiles described in terms of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions http://www.geert-hofstede.com may be of great value when completing this assignment.

Please limit your response to this assignment to three single spaced, typed pages. Please cite your sources in the text and please reference them at the end of your assignment. Please end your write-up with one paragraph that summarizes what you think is the importance of this assignment.

Module 4 – The Ideas of Geert Hofstede: Canada and the World

Objectives

The aim of this assignment is to suggest the role played by management scholars in developing new ideas useful to individuals interested in cross cultural management. Specifically this assignment addresses the ideas and frameworks of Geert Hofstede.

Instructor Comments

To understand the influence of Geert Hofstede, consider the comments of John Bing (2004: 2). “Hofstede is the most cited Dutch author and the ninth most cited European in the 2001 Social Science Citation Index. Over time Hofstede’s influence has become so persuasive, and his work has developed so many offshoots, that even those who don’t agree with his theory or conclusions must at least acknowledge his work. Debates within the field are an expected part of the process of theory building, testing, and questioning which characterizes modern science. What is clear is that Hofstede designed the architecture that has characterized much of contemporary cross-cultural quantitative research; and his is the standard to which others must make reference. It would be easier for caravans to cross the desert without touching sand than it would be for researchers and practitioners in this field to avoid Hofstede’s work.”

Despite his influence, his research is often misused or misunderstood. “A common error to which practitioners may be prone involves predicting individual cultural preferences by inference from Hofstede’s country scores. Merely because, for example, Chileans have a high uncertainty avoidance score does not mean that individual Chileans share that quality. they may or may not. Most populations are normal curves, and an individual may be found at one extreme or in the center. That individual’s cultural preference cannot be predicted from the country scores. However, as a whole population, the group tendency is in a specific direction, and that is how Hofstede’s scores are derived.” (Bing, 2004: 2). Consider these points as you complete this assignment.

Assignment

This assignment seeks to help you understand the answer to a broader concern and that is, “How similar or different is the culture of Canada to other countries?” You should base your responses to the following questions on your analysis of the ideas of Geert Hofstede.

In order to complete this assignment, you will need to access the country profiles based on Hofstede’s cultural dimensions using the following website: http://www.geert-hofstede.com

Please complete the following exercises.

· How is the national culture of English Canada similar or different from that of Australia?

· How is the national culture of English Canada similar or different from that of Burkina Faso?

· How is the national culture of English Canada similar or different from that of South Korea?

· How is the national culture of English Canada similar or different from that of the Brazil?

· How is the national culture of English Canada similar or different from that of Malaysia?

Hint: The country profiles described in terms of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions http://www.geert-hofstede.com may be of great value when completing this assignment.

Please limit your response to this assignment to three single spaced, typed pages. Please cite your sources in the text and please reference them at the end of your assignment. Please end your write-up with one paragraph that summarizes what you think is the importance of this assignment.

Module 5 – A Sample of Useful Online Information Sources for Cross Cultural Management

Objectives

The aim of this assignment is to suggest sources of online information useful for managing across cultures and why they are valuable.

Instructor Comments

The websites of Kwintessential and the Centre for Inter-Cultural Learning are gifts. Their scroll down features offer the curious a quick and fascinating means to summarize a nation’s culture. The latter source is written for Canadian’s from the perspective of the host culture with a comparison to that of Canada. Of interest is that this source is an important tool used to train Canadian diplomats and government representatives prior to heading off for extended stays overseas.

These descriptions are quite extensive but are also fairly new in this form. Surprisingly, free, easily accessible and well organized information of this nature is not that easy to find. Presented in this form, both of these information sources serve as excellent vehicles for making comparisons across cultures in a fairly user friendly fashion.

Assignment

This assignment seeks to help you understand the answer to a broader concern and that is, “How can some publicly available online information sources help me understand different national cultures?” You should base your responses to the following questions on your analysis of a series of websites noted below.

· Country Etiquette Guides found on the Kwintessential.com website. http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/country-profiles.html and http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/etiquette/doing-business-in.html

· Country Insights found on Centre for Inter-Cultural Learning website. http://www.intercultures.ca

For each of the questions below, compare and summarize in one-half page each, the responses for five countries.

Please answer the following questions.

· What is one important point associated with negotiations?

· What are some rules of thumb associated with meeting and greeting?

· How might a foreigner make a good first impression?

· What are some of the stereotypes associated with the culture of the country?

Hint: Please look closely at the questions and/or keywords used on the Kwintessential’s Country Etiquette Guides and the Centre for Inter-Cultural Learning’s Country Insights. You might find similarities with those of this assignment.

Please limit your response to this assignment to three single spaced, typed pages. Please cite your sources in the text and please reference them at the end of your assignment. Please end your write-up with one paragraph that summarizes what you think is the importance of this assignment.