Understanding different values across the cultures

Create a 10 slide Microsoft PowerPoint presentation (not including cover and reference slide) explaining how understanding differences in values across cultures can be used by managers when interacting with employees from different countries. After reading the section in Chapter 5 on international values, select one country, then research the Kaplan library or Internet to find additional information on that country. In your Microsoft PowerPoint presentation address the following :

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Chapter 5 on international values
One of the most widely referenced approaches for analyzing variations among cultures was done in the late 1970s by Geert Hofstede. 82 He surveyed more than116,000 IBM employees in 40 countries about their work-related values and found that managers and employees vary on five value dimensions of national culture:

● Power distance. Power distance describes the degree to which people in a country accept that power in institutions and organizations is distributed unequally. A high rating on power distance means that large inequalities of power and wealth exist and are tolerated in the culture, as in a class or caste system that discourages upward mobility. A low power distance rating characterizes societies that stress equality and opportunity.

● Individualism versus collectivism. Individualism is the degree to which people prefer to act as individuals rather than as members of groups and believe in individual rights above all else. Collectivism emphasizes a tight social framework in which people expect others in groups of which they are a part to look after them and protect them.

● Masculinity versus femininity. Hofstede’s construct of masculinity is the degree to which the culture favors traditional masculine roles such as achievement, power, and control, as opposed to viewing men and women as equals. A high masculinity rating indicates the culture has separate roles for men and women, with men dominating the society. A high femininity rating means the culture sees little differentiation between male and female roles and treats women as the equals of men in all respects.
● Uncertainty avoidance. The degree to which people in a country prefer structured over unstructured situations defines their uncertainty avoidance . In cultures that score high on uncertainty avoidance, people have an increased level of anxiety about uncertainty and ambiguity and use laws and controls to reduce uncertainty. People in cultures low on uncertainty avoidance are more accepting of ambiguity, are less rule oriented, take more risks, and more readily accept change.

● Long-term versus short-term orientation. This newest addition to Hofstede’s typology measures a society’s devotion to traditional values. People in a culture with long-term orientation look to the future and value thrift, persistence, and tradition. In a short-term orientation , people value the here and now; they accept change more readily and don’t see commitments as impediments to change.

How do different countries score on Hofstede’s dimensions? Exhibit 5-7 shows the ratings for the countries for which data are available. For example, power distance is higher in Malaysia than in any other country. The United States is very individualistic; in fact, it’s the most individualistic nation of all (closely followed by Australia and Great Britain). The United States also tends to be short term in orientation and low in power distance (people in the United States tend not to accept built-in class differences between people). It is also relatively low on uncertainty avoidance, meaning most adults are relatively tolerant of uncertainty and ambiguity. The United States scores relatively high on masculinity; most people emphasize traditional gender roles (at least relative to countries such as Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden). 

You’ll notice regional differences. Western and northern nations such as Canada and the Netherlands tend to be more individualistic. Poorer countries such as Mexico and the Philippines tend to be higher on power distance. South American nations tend to be higher than other countries on uncertainty avoidance, and Asian countries tend to have a long-term orientation. 

Hofstede’s culture dimensions have been enormously influential on OB researchers and managers. Nevertheless, his research has been criticized. First, although the data have since been updated, the original work is more than 30 years old and was based on a single company (IBM). A lot has happened on the world scene since then. Some of the most obvious changes include the fall of the Soviet Union, the transformation of central and Eastern Europe, the end of apartheid in South Africa, and the rise of China as a global power. Second, few researchers have read the details of Hofstede’s methodology closely and are therefore unaware of the many decisions and judgment calls he had to make (for example, reducing the number of cultural values to just five). Some results are unexpected. Japan, which is often considered a highly collectivist nation, is considered only average on collectivism under Hofstede’s dimensions. Despite these concerns, Hofstede has been one of the most widely cited social scientists ever, and his framework has left a lasting mark on OB.

Recent research across 598 studies with more than 200,000 respondents has investigated the relationship of cultural values and a variety of organizational criteria at both the individual and national level of analysis. Overall, the four original culture dimensions were equally strong predictors of relevant outcomes, meaning researchers and practicing managers need to think about culture holistically and not just focus on one or two dimensions. Cultural values were more strongly related to organizational commitment, citizenship behavior, and team related attitudes than were personality scores. On the other hand, personality was more strongly related to behavioral criteria like performance, absenteeism, and turnover. The researchers also found that individual scores were much better predictors of most outcomes than assigning all people in a country the same cultural values. In sum, this research suggests that Hofstede’s value framework may be a valuable way of thinking about differences among people, but we should be cautious about assuming all people from a country have the same values.

The GLOBE Framework for Assessing Cultures Begun in 1993, the Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness (GLOBE) research program is an ongoing cross-cultural investigation of leadership and national culture. Using data from 825 organizations in 62 countries, the GLOBE team identified nine dimensions on which national cultures differ. Some—such as power distance, individualism/collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, gender differentiation (similar to masculinity versus femininity), and future orientation (similar to long-term versus short-term orientation)—resemble the Hofstede dimensions. The main difference is that the GLOBE framework added dimensions, such as humane orientation (the degree to which a society rewards individuals for being altruistic, generous, and kind to others) and performance orientation (the degree to which a society encourages and rewards group members for performance improvement and excellence).

Which framework is better? That’s hard to say, and each has its adherents. We give more emphasis to Hofstede’s dimensions here because they have stood the test of time and the GLOBE study confirmed them. However, researchers continue to debate the differences between them, and future studies may favor the more

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