DIMENSIONS OF CULTURAL DIFFERENCES
(Seminar leader’s name)
Culture can be defined as the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, organization or age group, whereas, cultural is that which relates to culture. Therefore cultural difference is the difference in the beliefs, behavior and attitude of two groups of people. However, these differences do not have to occur in different countries or across the great oceans; they can be just across the street or a bordering state.
Managers' perception of cultural differences does influence their decisions. In a study of marketing, Quester & Van Wendt-Eccles (2002) concludes that the Malaysian managers operating in Australia and Australian managers working in Malaysia “were equally aware of the distance power and ready to accommodate it in their distribution-related decision making”, however, only the Malaysian “reflected perceived differences in relation to the Uncertainty Avoidance and Masculinity” in their decision making.
The Knowledge of where a country or organization falls on Hofstede’s cultural dimensions is important in aiding the understanding of differences that can be present when interacting with foreign enterprises. Hofstede categorizes the five dimensions of cultural differences under the headings of individualism versus collectivism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity versus femininity, and time orientation. We can begin to understand the dynamics of a workplace when viewed through these dimensions.
Individualism in cultures means loose ties. Everyone is expected to look after one’s self or immediate family but no one else. Collectivism implies that people are integrated from birth into strong, cohesive groups that protect them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty. Individualistic cultures value personal time, freedom, challenge, and such extrinsic...