The Ideas of Geert Hofstede

The Ideas of Geert Hofstede

The Ideas of Geert Hofstede

Module 6 – The Ideas of Geert Hofstede: Similar Countries & Online Information Sources

Objectives

The aim of this assignment is to expose learners to the information offered by the Canadian Centre for Cross Cultural Effectiveness and apply this information to the ideas of Geert Hofstede.

Instructor Comments

When completing these exercises one might also want to think about the real life applications of Hofstede’s dimensions and national culture characteristics. In other words show how can they be used in practice. The Ideas of Geert Hofstede

Bing (2004) suggests a strong role in the area of training and company orientation initiatives.  For example, when orienting new employees, they can be offered an overview of cultural differences and how they may influence communications and other transactions between various parts of a company. In regards to multicultural workplaces, models can be provided and examples offered of the specific influence of culture on transactions within multicultural work environments. Employees who are relocating internationally can be offered an understanding of their own cultural preferences and those of the country of assignment. Finally, nuanced global business practices can be developed such as communication protocols for working across countries.

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Assignment

This assignment seeks to help you understand the answer to a broader concern and that is, “How might the ideas of Geert Hofstede be applied in real life?” You should base your responses to the following questions on the country cultural descriptions found on the Website of the Canadian Centre for Inter Cultural Learning.

In order to complete the assignment, please access the CCICL website http://www.intercultures.ca/. On the country Insights page, please use the Country List scroll bar and choose a country. For this assignment please choose four countries for comparative purposes. Once a specific country is chosen, please use the Country Insight scroll bar and choose ‘culture’. Please recall that the issues covered include making a good impression, dress, punctuality and formality, preferred managerial qualities, religion, class ethnicity and gender, relationship building, recommended books, films and foods, conflicts in the workplace, motivating local colleagues, in-country activities, national heroes, shared historical events, and stereotypes.

Please answer the following questions.

Which inter-cultural issues noted in the Country Insights database help to explain differences (if any) in Power Distance among the four countries? What are some of the differences?

Which inter-cultural issues noted in the Country Insights database help to explain differences (if any) in Individualism among the four countries? What are some of the differences?

Which inter-cultural issues noted in the Country Insights database help to explain differences (if any) in Masculinity/Femininity among the four countries? What are some of the differences?

Which inter-cultural issues noted in the Country Insights database help to explain differences (if any) in Uncertainty Avoidance among the four countries? What are some of the differences?

Which inter-cultural issues noted in the Country Insights database help to explain differences (if any) in Temporal Orientation among the four countries? What are some of the differences?

Hint: Please look carefully at the descriptions of the inter-cultural issues and the cultural dimensions. This should help the matching exercise.

Please limit your response to this assignment to three single spaced, typed pages. Please cite your sources in the text and please reference them at the end of your assignment. Please end your write-up with one paragraph that summarizes what you think is the importance of this assignment.

 

Module 7 – The Ideas of Fons Trompenaars: Country Profiles & Online Information Sources

Objectives

The aim of this assignment is to expose learners to the information offered by the Canadian Centre for Inter-Cultural Learning and apply this information to the ideas of Fons Trompenaars.

Instructor Comments

When completing these assignments do consider that Kwintessential.com and the Centre for Inter-Cultural Learning websites offer fairly comprehensive insight into national cultures. Based on these insights consider the similarities and difference between Holland and France and then think about Malaysia and Pakistan. The dominant religion in both of these latter two countries in Islam. Despite being separated geographically by thousands of miles, do the cultures of these two countries appear more similar then France and Holland, two countries that share a border?

Although the role of religion has not been the focus of this course, it is important. At this point, you will be completing your seventh assignment. Think back on the countries whose cultures you have studied. Aside from the ideas of Trompenaars and Hofstede, is there another important dimension at play? Could it be the role of the dominant religion of the country? In your mind is there a connection? Although not the subject of this or the following assignments, it is worth considering.

Assignment

This assignment seeks to help you understand the answer to a broader concern and that is, “How might the ideas of Fons Trompenaars be applied in real life?” You should base your responses to the following questions on the country cultural descriptions found on the website of the Canadian Centre for Inter Cultural Learning and the National Cultural Profiles found on the Telegraph.co.uk website.

In order to complete the assignment, please recall that Trompenaars defines a national culture in terms of seven dimensions: achievement vs. ascription, individualism vs. collectivism, internal vs. external, neutral vs. emotional, specific vs. diffuse, time orientation, and universalism vs. particularism.

Please base your responses to the following questions on your analysis of the article and the series of websites noted below.

· Fons Trompenaars Trade Culture Dimensions.
http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/seven-dimensions.htm

· Fons Trompenaars and Peter Wooliams: A new framework for managing change across cultures, Journal of Change Management 2003 3(4) 361 – 375

· Country Insights found on Centre for Inter-Cultural Learning website.
http://www.intercultures.ca/cil-cai/countryinsights-apercuspays-eng.asp

· Country Etiquette Guides found on Kwintessential’s website.
http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/resources/country-profiles.html and http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/etiquette/doing-business-in.html

Please complete the following exercises:

· To the best of your ability please briefly describe the national culture of Singapore using Trompenaars seven cultural dimensions.

· To the best of your ability please briefly describe the national culture of Sweden using Trompenaars seven cultural dimensions.

· To the best of your ability please briefly describe the national culture of Egypt using Trompenaars seven cultural dimensions.

· To the best of your ability please briefly describe the national culture of India using Trompenaars seven cultural dimensions.

Hint: Please look carefully at the descriptions of the inter-cultural issues and the thinking patterns. This should help the matching exercise.

Please limit your response to this assignment to three single spaced, typed pages. Please cite your sources in the text and please reference them at the end of your assignment. Please end your write-up with one paragraph that summarizes what you think is the importance of this assignment.

 

Module 8 – The Ideas of Fons Trompenaars: Cultural Dimensions & Online Information Sources

Objectives

The aim of this assignment is to expose learners to the information offered by the Canadian Centre for Inter-Cultural Effectiveness and apply this information to the ideas of Fons Trompenaars.

Instructor Comments

When working through these assignments do consider that Fons Trompenaars is considered the main intellectual competitor to Geert Hofstede. His ideas appear somewhat similar but on closer inspection are different. Unlike Hofstede, Trompenaars suggests seven cultural dimensions. An interesting critique of Trompenaars and Hofstede originates with anthropologists.

Commenting on the topic of training, Hassoun (2006) argues that most anthropologists today define culture as “all that is learned and passed from one generation to the next” and/or the framework through which we view the world that cannot easily be reduced into a group of simplistic parameters. While Trompenaars perspectives may be widely accepted in business circles, few anthropologists that have made a lifelong study using ethnographic methods can be entirely comfortable with five or seven simplistic dimensions to culture…. When we train students to understand culture in the classroom, we have a semester to expose them to other cultures and usually cover 16 to 20 major chapters in a book, outlining hundreds of dimensions to culture. The first and foremost issues we address are the issues of ethnocentrism and cultural relativity. It is very easy for these to be lost in the easily judgmental dimensions of Hofstede and Trompenaars.”

Assignment

This assignment seeks to help you understand the answer to a broader concern and that is, “How might the ideas of Fons Trompenaars be applied in real life?” You should base your responses to the following questions on the country cultural descriptions found on the website of the Canadian Centre for Inter Cultural Learning.

In order to complete the assignment, please access the CCICL website http://www.intercultures.ca/. On the country Insights page, please use the Country List scroll bar and choose a country. For this assignment please choose four countries for comparative purposes. Once a specific country is chosen, please use the Country Insight scroll bar and choose ‘culture’. Please recall that the issues covered include making a good impression, dress, punctuality and formality, preferred managerial qualities, religion, class ethnicity and gender, relationship building, recommended books, films and foods, conflicts in the workplace, motivating local colleagues, in-country activities, national heroes, shared historical events, and stereotypes.

Please also base your responses to the following questions on your analysis of the article and the series of websites noted below.

· Fons Trompenaars Trade Culture Dimensions.
http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/seven-dimensions.htm

· Fons Trompenaars and Peter Wooliams: A new framework for managing change across cultures, Journal of Change Management 2003 3(4) 361 – 375 

·

Please answer the following questions:

Which inter-cultural issues noted in the Country Insights database help to explain differences (if any) in the Internal vs. External dimension among the four countries? What are some of the differences?

Which inter-cultural issues noted in the Country Insights database help to explain differences (if any) in Specific vs. Diffuse dimension among the four countries? What are some of the differences?

Which inter-cultural issues noted in the Country Insights database help to explain differences (if any) in Achievement vs. Ascription dimension among the four countries? What are some of the differences?

Hint: Please look carefully at the descriptions of the inter-cultural issues and the thinking patterns. This should help the matching exercise.

Please limit your response to this assignment to three single spaced, typed pages. Please cite your sources in the text and please reference them at the end of your assignment. Please end your write-up with one paragraph that summarizes what you think is the importance of this assignment.

 

Module 9 – Managing in a Different Culture: The Experiences of Canadian Managers in Japan

Objectives

The aim of this assignment is to provide learners with a specific example of why it is important to understand the culture of a foreign country. A video interview database of Canadian managers in Japan is the forum for sharing this insight.

Instructor Comments

Aside from solid research and textual web based explanations, another means to understand the nuances of a nation’s culture is to listen to what people have to say about it. We travelled to Tokyo in the summer of 2006 and decided to ask a group of Canadian managers what they thought about working and living in a different culture. We were curious about their experiences, their struggles, their preparations, their prior misconceptions, the role of business networks and the advice that they might be able to offer others.

We also wanted to know about what made the culture of Japan unique from those of other countries. We asked these Canadians about the use of business cards, the role of silence, the set up of a business office, the etiquette surrounding dining, the role of seniority, the way to start a business relationship, the patterns of communication, the way to constructively criticize a Japanese colleague, the means to motivate a team and other important challenges such as maintaining the respect of colleagues. The collection of interviews is a fascinating look at a different culture from the perspective of outsiders. The interview responses were unscripted and respondents spoke from the heart.

Assignment

This assignment seeks to help you understand the answer to a broader concern and that is, “What are some of the cultural features specific to Japan that managers should pay attention to when operating in that country?” You should base your responses to the following questions on the answers offered by Canadian managers to questions posed in the video interview database.

In order to complete this assignment you will be using the AIEIS video interview database.

 

 

How to get access to AIEIS video database: (click to open/close)

Access the videos at

Busi 3913 Cross Cultural Management -> Business Culture of Japan -> Business Culture of Japan

 

For each of the first three questions below, please compare and summarize in one-half page each, the responses of five of the respondents.

· Can you please describe a typical work day for yourself in Japan including how you get to and from work? WORK DAY

· In your opinion, what factors would you suggest most likely contribute to the difficulties of expatriates who are unable to successfully adapt to working in Japan? FAILURE TO ADAPT

· What advice would you give other Canadians getting ready to work as an expatriate in Japan? ADVICE

·

For each of the two questions below, please compare and summarize in one-half page each, the responses of the respondents.

· What is the role of silence when ideas are being discussed with Japanese colleagues? SILENCE

· Can you describe the logic and etiquette surrounding the exchange of business cards in Japan? BUSINESS CARDS

Please limit your response to this assignment to three single spaced, typed pages. Please cite your sources in the text and please reference them at the end of your assignment. Please end your write-up with one paragraph that summarizes what you think is the importance of this assignment.

 

Module 10 – Gaps & Strengths in Our Knowledge of Cross Cultural Management

Objectives

The aim of this assignment is to provide learners with an opportunity to reflect, in their own words, on the insight of three ongoing extensive initiatives seeking to help us improve our understanding of managing across cultures.

Instructor Comments

This assignment completes this course. To conclude consider the insight that has been offered. Three established streams of research have been presented. Each of these streams and their findings are the result of years of work and analysis. Two sets of descriptions of national cultures were suggested, one from a commercial source and a second, the Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. These latter descriptions provide commentary on business etiquette, dining, greetings, the importance of family relationships and traditions along with other important characteristics. Finally, video interviews of Canadian managers featuring their thoughts on working in Japan provided a focused look at one specific culture.

With this in mind, what are your thoughts? What stood out to you as important? Theory and practice along with text and video. What was most rewarding in your mind? This final assignment is your opportunity to prioritize this insight and explain why, in your own terms, national culture matters!

Assignment

This assignment seeks to help you understand the answer to a broader concern and that is, “What do we know and do we not know about cross cultural management?”

You should base your responses to the following questions on the insight found in the following three readings:

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· Geert Hofstede: Cultural Constraints in Management Theories, Academy of Management Executive. 1993 7(1) 81 – 94.

· Mansour Javidan, Peter Dorfman, Mary Sully de Luque and Robert  House: In the eye of the beholder: Cross Cultural Lessons in Leadership from Project Globe, Academy of Management Perspectives. 2006 67 -89

· Fons Trompenaars and Peter Wooliams: A new framework for managing change across cultures, Journal of Change Management 2003 3(4) 361 – 375

In order to complete the assignment, please write an essay that offers your ideas about the strengths and weaknesses of existing cross cultural management frameworks as evident from the ideas found in the readings noted above and the websites that you have used throughout this course. In the essay you should answer the following three questions.

· In terms of cross cultural management, what is missing from all three broad perspectives (Hofstede, Trompenaars & Javidan) noted in the readings? In your opinion, what other issues associated with managing international cultures, need to be explored and explained?

· What do these three perspectives have in common?

· What differentiates these three perspectives?

Hint: This is an open ended essay. Please use your knowledge of the work of Geert Hofstede, Fons Trompenaars, Mansour Javidan and their colleagues along with the country insights and national culture information found on the websites of the Centre for Inter Cultural Learning and Telegraph.co.uk to formulate your response.

Please limit your response to this assignment to three single spaced, typed pages. Please cite your sources in the text and please reference them at the end of your assignment. Please end your write-up with one paragraph that summarizes what you think is the importance of this assignment.