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In general, culture is a system through which a group of people follow same tradition, knowledge, attitudes, experience, beliefs, religion, meanings, hierarchies, value, symbols and motives. There are many numbers of cultures followed by different set of people in different parts of the world. People in the world are divided by many geographical barriers and other natural barriers, so they are divided by these barriers and each of them follow their own culture. Cultures cannot be criticized, because it is followed by that specific set of people for over many centuries. But in the case of cross boundaries oriented business, knowing the culture of other countries will help the host company to establish their new company or product in to other countries.
(Hofstede, 1980)Defines that “Culture is the collective programming of the human mind that distinguishes the members of one human group from those of another. Culture in this sense is a system of collectively held values”. Many companies struggles a high failure rate when they enter in to a new market due to lack of knowledge about the cultural following in the new market (Hennart & Zeng, 2002). Cultural attitude by manager is effective towards both ethical business and other practices. Adding to this personal integration of the manager is questionable when it comes to environment and gender. Culture should be taken as a whole to serve the independent variable through unpacked interpretable component (Christie, Kwon, Stoeberl, & Baumhart, 2003). “Culture is a loaded and complex variable. It is too independent variable and associate differences or similarities in ethical attitudes with it” (Christie, Kwon, Stoeberl, & Baumhart, 2003). The growing interest towards the globalization plays a crucial role in the cross-cultural module. The problem of the company not only impacts the company it also draws the politician, government officials and stakeholders into it due to its cross nation business (Ahmed, Chung, & Eichenseher, 2003).
In this essay we are going to discuss, evaluate and criticize Hofstede and Trompenaars cultural frameworks. The aim of the essay is to evaluate the usefulness of these two cultural dimensions. In the first part we are going to compare and evaluate two frameworks. And in the second part we are going to critically evaluate the frameworks using target market and segmenting and predicting consumer behaviour in International Market.
EVALUATING THE FRAMEWORKS
Hofstede and Trompenaars frameworks are to be discussed in this following evaluation. Hofstede's frameworks consist of five dimensions. They are as follows Power Distance, individualism versus Collectivism, Uncertainty Avoidance, Masculinity versus Femininity and Long-term versus Short-term orientation. Power distance means when people think that the power and status are distributed unequally among them. While people are threatened towards a new unstructured, unknown and uncertain situation is known as Uncertainty avoidance. Individualism and collectivism are which when people extended to feel that they are supported to take care towards their families and friends to where they belong, it is society oriented concept. Masculinity and its opposite Femininity, in which emphasize the masculine superiority competitiveness, achievement and high earning where considered whereas feminine refers to family cause, helping others putting family before them, health and quality of life. Long-term versus Short-term orientation is which time plays a major role. The long-term is which people think towards future and in the short-term people tend to see past and present reputation (Drogendijk & Slangen, 2006).
The Trompenaars cultural dimensions of framework consist of seven dimensions. They are as follows Universalism versus Particularism, Individualism versus Communitarianism, Specific versus Diffuse cultures, Emotional versus Neutral cultures, Achievement versus Ascription, Sequential versus synchronic cultures and Internal versus External control. Universalism is which states that people said to have common rules and codes, and the rules apply to all. Particularism means giving more to relationships rather than having a strict code. Individualism is which individual's happiness, rights and duties are respected and said to considered as whole, whereas in Communitarianism whole community is considered to be whole and other individual things are said to be in neutral. Specific culture means people are accepted one at a time and in public but it is difficult to get into their private lives. Diffuse is a vice versa of specific, it is which relationship is more important in each part but it is difficult to get in to the private. Newcomers are not welcomed in both the cultures, but if they are entered in to it means they are entering in to all parts of life. In Emotional culture people don't hide their feelings, they'll show it in public whereas in neutral people think that it is not good to show their feelings in public and they will stay in control all the time. People are respected for their achievement and they are forced to achieve it time and again to maintain that status. But in the Ascription people are respected through the status in the community and society. Sequential and Synchronic are time oriented. In sequential people value each and every second, time is tangible for them. But in synchronic culture time is flexible but it is not strict to follow time second by second. The internal and external forms are thinking of environmental. In the internal culture people think they are the superior thing on the face of the earth and can win any environmental difficulties. In the external point of view everything must be environmental friendly and should not harm it because they think environment as their own (Bhagat & Streers, 2009).
Comparing The Frameworks
When it comes to comparison between Hofstede and Trompenaars there are four dimensions which have similarities in there context. First the Power Distance of Hofstede and Universalism versus Particularism of Trompenaars which share the same meaning in Hofstede it states the inequalities between people due to power sharing. In Trompenaars framework of Universalism versus Particularism, it is about giving importance to rules or relationship. In the second comparison it is individualism versus Collectivism of Hofstede and Individualism versus Communitarianism of Trompenaars. Either framework is very similar in every point of view because it shares the common meaning as whether people want to be individually dependent or group dependent in the cultural point of view. The third is Uncertainty Avoidance of Hofstede and Specific versus Diffuse cultures of Trompenaars has got a similarity like in both the topic they are sharing the same common interest to what extend people behave and how they describe the situations. And the last common similarity is Long-term versus Short-term orientation of Hofstede and Sequential and Synchronic of Trompenaars. In both the things dimensions is about values of time and how time plays a major role among the people.
Despite the similar dimensions from Hofstede and Trompenaars, there are other important dimensions to be noted. Hofstede's Masculinity versus Femininity is which the people are categorised by their gender. Feminine are considered to look emotionally and men are considered to be strong. It is said to make bold decisions and ability to acquire. Other important dimensions of Trompenaars are Neutral versus Emotional, Achievement versus Ascription and Internal versus External control. Neutral and Emotional is somewhat similar to with Hofstede's Masculinity versus Femininity because it has got to deal with people's emotions but it doesn't have the superiority index. And it is more of relationship oriented and it explains the importance of the relationship. In Achievement versus Ascription it explains about the achievements that people need to achieve and the sustainability to maintain the comforts and respect he has got from the society, but in the Ascription it is like getting popular among the local and being a role-player in it. This dimension will not be considered in the case of international because in the achievement point of view a person who is in international business need to win to obtain his reputation where as a particular person can win among is people may be popular within themselves, so there is no point to be international in this Ascription index. The last of the seven dimensions of Trompenaars is internal and external culture, which explains about the relationship between the humans and the nature, and how important is the relationship should be.
After discussing the Hofstede and Trompenaars framework we could have come to an over view that Hofstede's culture dimension is purely based on the organization. It only has got descriptions for the organisation people and who works inside the particular organization. But where as in Trompenaars brings out the relationship and environmental issues. When coming to Trompenaars Achievement versus Ascription it has got more contradictable meanings, it depends upon a culture but it cannot be in the international context but it can be in Inter-national point of view. Hofstede is designed towards the work value and it is in questioning form. Trompenaars has got a respondent way of questioning and it is for both work and leisure situation.
In the significant above debate we have discussed briefly about the Hofstede's five dimension framework and Trompenaars's seven dimension framework. By now we have more knowledge about both the frame work. In the following part of this coursework we a going to discuss and critically evaluate the two frameworks by taking two countries as example. One is a developed country which is United States of America and there is a developing country which is India.
In this part of the essay we are going to critically evaluate the two frameworks of Hofstede and Trompenaars with two countries as example and relating the consumer behaviour on segmenting and targeting in the international market. Indian economy is a mixed economy and US economy is a capitalist economy. It is going to be evaluated that how each of these countries will divide in these two frame work.
Segmenting and Targeting Market
Market segmenting means bringing the essential elements of marketing towards a industrialized country. Consumer's needs, wants and recognitions are needed to produce to goods accordingly. The main motive is to satisfy the consumer (Wedel & kamakura, 2000). When taking India into the market segmentation and its consumer behaviour. India is a developing country with population of over a billion. It has got a very good purchasing power. The managing style of this country will be top down. U.S is a developed country with population of over 300millions people and it is considered to be richest country in the world today.
When getting in to a market things to be noted are that particular countries economic and financial condition, purchasing power, GDP, resources, manpower, infrastructure and cheap labour. While entering into India, it consists of Consumer-oriented market. Anything and everything is determined by consumer. People's behavioural aspect is to be considered entering in to the market. U.S has got all types of market.
While comparing the Hofstede's framework, the first dimension is Power Distance. Both the countries have got high power distance way of managing. U.S has got more power than India in terms of politics, and it is economically wealthier than India. The next is the Individualism- Collectivism, India collectivism because it follows the group norms so it is difficult to have individualistic form. Company's interest should be put in front in case of Collectivism. U.S follows an Individualistic because it wants to be getting changing the rules as per their continents. And then comes the Masculinity and Femininity is dividing the work base in gender, India is mostly Masculine form of culture. When you appoint male employees means your work will get done easily. U.S has both the type of culture, where men and women are treated in the same way. Much business in India is informal and do not have a proper future vision and has got improper rules. So if a company is segmenting its market in India it has to improve and structure the rules and minimize the emotional responses. U.S has a planned set of business culture, they have prepared for all situations to avoid the uncertainty. Long-term versus Short-term orientation, U.S follows short-term oriented as they won't value tradition and India looks a head towards the long-term orientations because they value tradition and rewards for commitment and loyalty.
Comparing the Cultural Framework With Examples
Comparing Trompenaars with India and U.S. the first dimension of Trompenaars is Universalism versus Particularism. Both U.S and India share Universalism and they follow the general and common set of rules. But India has been in some time form a Particularism of being more sensitive towards the relationship. Individualism versus Collectivism is as of the discussed in the Hofstede's dimension, India follows the Collectivism and U.S follows Individualism. Neutral versus emotional are which the decisions are made in the neutral mind or with emotional minded. U.S will purely follows the Neutral way of handling situations and India follows with Emotions. Specific versus Diffuse are which about getting into relationship with the people. U.S people follows the Specific dimension because they tend to have a good friendly environment in the business, Indians follow Diffuse because they normally take an unknown person into their life but once they allow that person means there is no point of leaving that relationship. Achievements versus Ascription are through which makes the people more achievable and to make a person more respectable in terms of community and status. In U.S people are of Achievement oriented and India is of Ascription. Sequential and Synchronic is of time oriented, Time is money in both the countries. Where U.S follows Sequential and India follows Synchronic. Each of the market is practically following the time management. Internal versus External control is a very important in terms of both the countries to be environmental friendly. As U.S is going green in today's business world. They follow more Corporate Social Responsibility on the environmental issues.
The market of India can be segmented as rich and poor and the market of U.S can be segmented as customer oriented and based on quality of life. The dimensions such as long-term versus short-term orientation and power distance in the Hofstede dimensions are comparatively high when compared with U.S. whereas the other dimensions of Hofstede are high in the U.S. In the Trompenaars dimensions Universalism, Individualism, Neutral, Achievement, Specific, Sequential and Internal are high in the case of U.S. whereas the other dimensions of the culture are said to be with Indian culture. Likewise the consumer behaviours in these international markets are considerably likewise that of the culture's in the corporate. Indian consumer behaviour is they want the better quality product with affordable price or low price. Whereas in U.S consumers are willing to pay high price for a product to get full benefit from it.
I personally prefer Hofstede cultural dimension will be more suitable for India than U.S. whereas Trompenaars cultural dimension will be more suitable for U.S than India. To find a suitable market segment each country has to find a market to which it finds a culture like its own. But it is difficult to make up to the culture which is more different from its own. When comparing the consumer behaviour, the behaviours of the each consumer is different from other due to their cultural changes and they are