Workshop 2 – Managing People in the Global Economy
1. How would you define culture?
Culture is the coordination of knowledge shared by a relatively large group of people. Culture is the behaviours, philosophies, beliefs, morals, ethics and symbols that a group of people accept, generally without thinking about them. Culture is also passed along from generation to generation through communication and social learning.
2. Briefly explain the difference between high and low context cultures?
High Context Cultures:
In high context cultures the message is one in which most of the information is already in the person. Very little is in the coded, explicit, transmitted part of the message. The speaker and listener rely on a common understanding of the context.
Example: Twins communicating
Example of countries: China, India Japan, and Saudi Arabia
Low Context Cultures:
Low context message is the opposite – the majority of the information is expressed explicitly. Most of the information is contained explicitly in the words. It is written, recorded, said, etc. There is also a big importance of instructions, regulations, written contracts, meeting agendas and so on.
Examples: Lawyers representing angry clients
Example of countries: North America, UK, Australia
3. Outline and briefly discuss the five Hofstede dimensions. How might each of these dimensions impact on work practices?
Hofstede’s 5 culture dimensions:
Power distance expresses the degree to which the less powerful members of a society accept and expect that power is distributed unequally. The essential matter here is how a society handles inequalities between individuals. Individuals in societies showing a large degree of power distance accept a hierarchical order, and have top down decision making. In cultures with low power distance, individuals make every effort to equalise the spreading of power and demand justification for inequalities...
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