Cultural Differences

Read Complete Research Material


Cultural Differences and People Management

Cultural Differences and People Management


Cultural differences are very important in international business because of different countries may have many cultures that must be understood and treated in the best way by entrepreneurs seeking to venture into overseas business. In other words, having knowledge of other cultures means understanding the effect of cultural differences in countries' business practices. For this, it is necessary to know the social, religious and ethical systems, language, education and culture at work (Adler and Nosh 1997, p. 24).

Culture is a system of values and norms shared by a group which, when taken together constitute a framework for life. By values, we mean, abstract ideas about what a group considers good, proper and desirable. For rules are understood, social rules and guidelines that prescribe appropriate behaviour in different situations. Moreover, society means a group of people who share a set of values and norms. The values are the foundations of a culture provide the context in establishing and justifying the rules of a society. Values have also an emotional meaning gets expressed in political and economic systems of a society. Norms are social rules that govern the actions of people together (Hall and Hall 2007, p. 63). They have two categories: customs. Applications are arrangements for daily life with little meaning and customs are moral norms that get considered essential for the functioning of a society and social life. The society is a group of people united by a common culture, there is no strict correspondence between a state and society because the nations are political creations that may have one or more cultures. In addition, there are cultures that span several countries or states.


Trompenaar's Perspective of Cultural Difference

Trompenaar is a consulting firm. This firm offers its services to manage intercultural environment. One of the best things about Trompenaar's description of cultural differences is that it based on practical evidences rather than merely presenting and analyzing the difference of culture only theoretically (French 2010, 131). Trompenaar distinguish cultures on seven different bases, which are as follows:

1. Universalism versus particularism.

2. Individualism versus collectivism.

3. Neutral versus effective.

4. Specific versus diffusive.

5. Achieved the status versus ascribed status.

6. Sequential versus synchronous.

7. Internal control versus external control.

Universalism versus Particularism and Individualism versus Collectivism

Universalism versus particularism and individualism versus collectivism these two ways to differentiate cultures, already discussed earlier. These concepts match with the concepts of Hofstede description of collectivism versus individualism.

Neutral versus Effective

This dimension of difference means the extent to which an individual feels comfortable in expressing his or her emotions. A culture that shows neutrality members of that culture remain subtle when it comes to express their emotions. Whereas, a culture that shows effectiveness members of that culture prefers to show their emotions, and they express their feelings and opinions in an open way.

Specific versus Diffusive

Specific versus diffusive are other dimensions of difference mentioned by Trompenaar. It explains the extent of engagement in relationships (Dickson 2003, p. 731. In specific oriented cultures, managers seek to develop task ...
Related Ads