Cultural Variability Dimentions
- Individual vs Collective
- Power distance: Distributed Power vs Hierarchical Power
- Uncertainty avoidance: Low: risk talking vs High: Rules focused
- Femininity vs masculinity
- Other cultural norm considerations include: Ethnicity, Religion, Gender, Generation, Social Classes and Social Structure
Traits of Collectivism
- Each person is encouraged to be an active player in society, to do what is best for society as a whole rather than themselves.
- The rights of families, communities, and the collective supersede those of the individual.
- Rules promote unity, brotherhood, and selflessness.
- Working with others and cooperating is the norm; everyone supports each other.
- As a community, family or nation more than as an individual
- Russia, Poland*,Romania, Portugal, Bulgaria, Japan, China, Saudi Arabia
Traits of Individualism
- “I” identity.
- Promotes individual goals, initiative and achievement.
- Individual rights are seen as being the most important. Rules attempt to ensure self-importance and individualism.
- Independence is valued; there is much less of a drive to help other citizens or communities than in collectivism.
- Relying or being dependent on others is frequently seen as shameful.
- People are encouraged to do things on their own; to rely on themselves
- People strive for their own successes
- Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden, Italy, Poland*, France, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, United States
High Power Distance
In a high power distance culture:
- it’s acceptable for a supervisor to display his authority
- superiors rarely give their subordinates important work
- if something goes wrong, the subordinates are usually blamed for not doing their proper job/role
- managers rarely interact or socialize with workers
- teachers are treated respectfully
- local politics are prone to totalitarianism
- class distinctions are emphasized
- parents are more highly respected and corporal punishment is more common
- revolutions are, or were, common
- France, Russia, Poland, Turkey, Belgium, Portugal
Low Power Distance
In a low power distance culture:
- supervisors are expected to treat employees respectfully
- subordinates may do important work, thus having the opportunity to get promoted quickly
- if something goes wrong, the superior/authority figure is usually blamed for having unrealistic expectations or being too strict
- managers socialize and interact with workers more often
- teachers are simply employees and parents are merely people
- totalitarianism and revolutions are rare
- Ireland, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Austria
Uncertainty Avoidance – LOW
Some characteristics of a low uncertainty avoidance culture:
- Typically the country is newer or more recently settled
- The population tends to be ethnically diverse.
- Risk is valued in business
- Frequent innovations
- Citizens are proud of nation.
- Lower maximum speed limits and a lower rate of motor vehicle accidents.
- Foreigners or minorities are encouraged to assimilate.
- Ireland, Sweden, UK, Denmark, Switzerland, US, Singapore
Uncertainty Avoidance – HIGH
Some characteristics of a culture high in uncertainty avoidance:
- Generally older countries/cultures with a long history.
- The population is more ethnically homogeneous.
- Risk is avoided in business
- Low tolerance for innovation, prefer to stick to traditional routines
- Citizens are often critical of their own nation
- Higher maximum speed limits and a higher rate of motor vehicle accidents.
- Xenophobia is common and foreigners/minorities tend to be ostracized.
- France, Greece, Portugal, Poland, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Japan
Femininity vs masculinity
Masculinity and femininity, from a cultural point of view and not from a gender point of view, give an indication of the direction of motivation.
Whether this is goal oriented (=masculine) or whether this is process oriented (=feminine)”
To define masculine, using the word “Goal” makes more sense than using the word “Tough“.
Winning & decisiveness are important in society”.
Examples and characteristics:
- Winning is good, and gets you rewarded
- Status Competition
- Admiration for the winner
- Japan (highest scoring country in the world!), USA (not surprisingly maybe), UK, Italy
“Process orientation and consensus“.
Below examples and characteristics that define femininity:
- Sticking your head out is not appreciated
- Sympathy for the loser
- Netherlands, Nordic Countries, Iceland
Generations – your own research
Please make sure you make your own research on all the above topics before the exam.