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A look at culture which has been referred to as the cumulative deposit

Globalization and contemporary business culture Chapter 1. The specifics of cross-cultural management. Definitions of the key terms - culture, communication, management. The theory of cultural dimensions offered by Geert Hoftstede.

The Iceberg Analogy Model. Cross-cultural management is a relatively new field of study and is based on theories and research from the following disciplines: Let's start with culture. What is the best way to define culture? According to the concept which is being commonly used both by the experts and the representative of mass audience, culture refers to the cumulative deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and material objects and possessions acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group striving.

The word "culture" derives from a French term, which in turn derives from the Latin "colere," which means to tend to the earth and grow, or cultivation and nurture. Today culture is also regarded the following way: Culture is symbolic communication.

Some of its symbols include a group's skills, knowledge, attitudes, values, and motives. The meanings of the symbols are learned and deliberately perpetuated in a society through its institutions.

Southgate College in London, told Live Science 1. When we talk about higher or lower level of culture, we are talking about larger or smaller ability to create human things'. But in this case where can we draw a line between the culture and the civilization? A German philosopher Oswald Schpengler, one the founders of the contemporary culture philosophy, focuses on the collective soul as integral part of culture.

As for the civilization, it is being guided by the rational principal and intelligence. Culture is not something concrete or tangible, as it can't be seen or touched. But we know it exists because people from the same society have roughly the same customs or behavior, basic beliefs and values, and way of viewing the world.

  • Culture shock challenges firms looking abroad;
  • They are therefore carried out most of the times for their own sake ways of greetings, paying respect to others, religious and social ceremonies, etc.

Culture causes this to happen. We informally or tacitly acquire our primary culture well before adolescence during our formative years as our basic personality is taking shape. The concept of culture has always had a somewhat psychoanalytic meaning, with a heavy emphasis on the importance of its hidden or unconscious aspects 2.

The person can identify himself with a particular group of people only when he considers himself to be the bearer of their cultural values. That is what appears to be more significant referring to the national identity than the voice of blood.

For example, a leading Latin American literary figure Alejo Carpentier though born in Lausanne to a French father and a Russian mother, claimed throughout his life that he was Cuban-born 3.

There are many ways in which culture could be explored. For instance, each culture could be analyzed in terms of its components: Or we could also contrast and compare some hidden aspects of culture such as unspoken and implicit traditional or mainstream attitudes, values, beliefs, ways of perceiving reality, types of interaction. Some cultures may promote the ideas of individualism, while others might advocate collectivism and interdependence 4.

Management is normally understood as - a type of activity; - category of personnel; - executive office. The main task of management is to make information, skills, knowledge, and experience the driving force, which in turn will help company's or organization's growth in the global marketplace.

A look at culture which has been referred to as the cumulative deposit

As for communication, we believe it to be a process of exchanging messages and information among individuals or groups of individuals. Thus, cross-cultural communication is a process of communication between representative of different cultures and lingual and cultural communities; it is a totality of different forms, attitudes and communication between individuals and groups, that belong to different countries 5.

The theory of mass communication is considered to be a relatively new area of study, although cross-cultural contacts date back to the time immemorial. Trader were the first ones to introduce the term 'cross-cultural communication' by sharing their ideas in the book 'Culture and communication', where the authors claimed to perceive culture as communication and visa versa.

Even before the theoretical ground for future research had been shaped, the basic issues were discussed by Aristotle, G. One of the possible ways to understand and start analyzing culture and cultural traditions of different countries is applying models or algorithms that were suggested by numerous scholars.

One of the most common models to analyze the cross-cultural communication is called the Iceberg Analogy or model. It is true that when we meet somebody who comes from a different cultural background, we can very often identify that they are from another country by simply looking at some explicit behavioral characteristic. For example, whenever a foreign tourist appeared in the former Soviet Union, the locals usually had no problems identifying them as most of the foreign guests spoke another language, were wearing bright clothes, and smiled all the time — something the the Soviet people rarely did in public.

So, what could be placed on top of the iceberg is human behavior. When we enter another culture, we usually see the tips of the iceberg or external culture. People speak different language, use different gestures to express their ideas, eat different food and worship in different ways 6. When a person starts living in another culture, he is capable of adjusting to new customs and life style within a couple of months or even sooner.

He can learn the language, get used to local food and family rituals. This is the easiest part of the culture to learn, or the top of the iceberg.

In the middle of an iceberg we have beliefs. They can be related to politics, religion or economy, and could be sometimes considered contradictory as people can hold different beliefs.

If a foreigner interferes this section by for instance, mocking national political system, the locals' reaction might be unpredictable.

For example, some people would put it this way: The most important and totally hidden part of the culture is at the base.

It is almost entirely learned unconsciously and its basic components include basic values,ways of thinking, and worldviews. This part is the most difficult to understand, analyze and reflect upon. However, the common mistake made by the people is when we assume that if a person behaves as we do, he thinks as we do and shares the same set of values with us. I remember having an American boss, who was fluent in Russia, loved Russian food, dressed like an average Russian, but she grew up in the USA and therefore was a product of American culture.

So, what could be derived from here is the idea, that even when the person acquires some external elements from the local culture, it does not necessarily mean that he has changed from the inside 7. Another theory referring to the complexity of cultural analysis was introduced by Geert Hofstede. In particular, his cultural dimensions theory describes the effects of a society's culture on the values of its members, and how these values relate to behavior, using a structure derived from factor analysis 8.

Here are the dimensions of national cultures, initially offered by Hoftstede and specified by Michael Harris Bond and Michael Minkov: Societies with low power distance seek to have equal distribution of power.

Cultures that endorse low power distance expect and accept power relations that are more consultative or democratic. In individualistic societies, the stress is put on personal achievements and individual rights. People are expected to stand up for themselves and their immediate family, and to choose their own affiliations. In contrast, in collectivist societies, individuals act predominantly as members of a lifelong and cohesive group or organization note: People have large extended families, which are used as a protection in exchange for unquestioning loyalty.

Uncertainty avodiance index UAI: It reflects the extent to which members of a society attempt to cope with anxiety by minimizing uncertainty. People in cultures with high uncertainty avoidance tend to be more emotional. In contrast, low uncertainty avoidance cultures accept and feel comfortable in unstructured situations or changeable environments and try to have as few rules as possible.

People in these cultures tend to be more pragmatic, they are more tolerant of change. Masculinity MASvs. Masculine cultures' values are competitiveness, assertiveness, materialism, ambition and power, whereas feminine cultures place more value on relatinships and quality of life. In masculine cultures, the differences between gender roles are more dramatic and less fluid than in feminine cultures where men and women have the same values emphasizing modesty and caring. Long-term orientation LTOvs.

Long-term oriented societies attach more importance to the future. They highlight pragmatic values oriented towards rewards, including persistence, saving and capacity for adaptation. In short term oriented societies, values promoted are related to the past and the present. Indulgence versus restraint IVR: The extent to which members of a society try to control their desires and impulses.

Whereas indulgent societies have a tendency to allow relatively free gratification of basic and natural human desires related to enjoying life and having fun, restrained societies have a conviction that such gratification needs to be curbed and regulated by strict norms In order to ensure effective cross-cultural management organization one needs to look carefully and analyze both the explicit and the hidden part of the Iceberg — e.

Communication, identity, and conflict.