Different dimensions of culture
Cultural differences between countries can be difficult to work through for businesses. The actions and believes of others in different cultures can be shocking and sometimes viewed as unethical by other cultures. Imagine the problems these differences can create when in negotiations with a different culture. Working through those differences has become a necessity for business today in the fast growing global market. To successfully do business in the international market it has become critical to understand other cultures that you may be doing business with. To fully understand different cultures we need to explore the dimensions of different cultures.
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For example, Germany has a 35 on the cultural scale of Hofstede’s analysis. Compared to Arab countries where the power distance is very high (80); Germany is somewhat in the middle. Germany does not have a large gap between the wealthy and the poor, but have a strong belief in equality for each citizen. On the other hand, the power distance in the United States scores a 40 on the cultural scale. The United States exhibits a more unequal distribution of wealth compared to German society. As the years go by it seems that the distance between the ‘have’ and ‘have-nots’ grows larger and larger ("Making sense of," 2009).
The second dimension to focus on is Uncertainty and Avoidance. Uncertainty avoidance deals with a society’s tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity; it ultimately refers to man’s search for Truth ("Making sense of," 2009). This demonstrates the cultures comfort ability in unstructured situations. For example, in Germany there is reasonable high uncertainty avoidance (65). Germans are not too keen on uncertainty; by planning everything carefully they try to avoid the uncertainty. In Germany there is a society that relies on rules, laws and regulations. The United States scores a 46 compared to the 65 of the German culture. Uncertainty avoidance in the US is relatively low, which can clearly be viewed through the national cultures ("Making sense of," 2009). Countries that do not deal with uncertainty well typically have strict laws and policies in place to avoid it.
The third dimension to focus on is Institutional Collectivism. Institutional collectivism is the degree to which organizational and societal institutional practices encourage and reward collective distribution of resources and collective action ("Defining and identifying," 2009). This demonstrates the extent in which institutes and society reward loyalty.
The fourth dimension to focus on is In-Group Collectivism. In-Group Collectivism is the degree to which individuals express pride, loyalty, and cohesiveness in their organizations or families ("Defining and identifying," 2009). This demonstrates the extent individual’s value loyalty to their organizations. Individualist cultures, such as those of the United States and Western Europe, emphasize personal achievement at the expense of group goals, resulting in a strong sense of competition. Collectivist cultures, such as those of China, Korea, and Japan, emphasize family and work group goals.
The fifth dimension to focus on is Assertiveness. Assertiveness is the degree to which individuals are assertive, confrontational, and aggressive in their relationships with others. This demonstrates how aggressive and confrontational or passive a culture is ("Defining and identifying," 2009).
The sixth dimension to focus on is Gender Equality. Gender Equalitarianism is the degree to which a collective minimized gender inequality ("Defining and identifying," 2009). Gender identities and gender relations are critical aspects of...