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Given China's centralized, tall organization structures with many supervisory levels, communication flows within Chinese companies are much less direct than in America. Orders from top-level Chinese leaders tend to be implicit in nature. Part of the ruling elite's cherished status comes from the expectation that lower supervisory levels will implement their decisions without formal written instructions.
In contrast, the U.S. is a low power distance country. Americans are used to flatter, decentralized organization structures in which lower-level managers do exercise decision-making responsibilities. As a result, downward communication in U.S. companies is much more direct.
Most Chinese consider direct orders as rude and are deeply suspicious of their intent. A more successful approach in China would be for Americans to act as capable and strong-minded mentors, leading by example and adapting their communications flows to the more implicit Chinese style.
High Masculinity Scores
Masculinity is a cultural dimension that measures the extent to which material possessions, money and success dominate a society's basic values. In high masculine countries, managers and supervisors exert stronger control to ensure that employees do their work
China's score as a masculine society is 12% higher than the world average, and 9% lower than America's masculinity grade. And although many Chinese come across as followers rather than leaders, American negotiators should still respect the fierce, competitive psyche that permeates Chinese businesses.
James McGregor writes that fairness, honesty, mutual respect and strong personal relationships can overcome inevitable differences in both the masculine American and Chinese cultural mindsets - even in money manners.
High Risk Tolerance
China's uncertainty avoidance score is 34% below the world average. This indicates that the Chinese culture takes more risks, has fewer written rules, offers less-structured activities and experiences higher labour turnover.
China's uncertainty avoidance grade is almost 10% lower than America's score and 12% lower than that for Canada. Chinese tolerate more uncertainty and are willing to take more risks than Americans or Canadians once they are comfortable in a stable and secure business relationship.
China's strong perseverance and long-term orientation may partly explain the ability of Chinese to adapt to uncertainty.
Low Individualism Culture in Public
China scores 54% lower than the world's average score for individualism. Propelled by the American Dream, the U.S. is by far the world's leading individualistic country with an individualism score 112% higher than the world's average.
It's important to remember that Hofstede developed his country-specific cultural scores based on data collected between 1967 and 1973. In recent years, China's economy has quickly transformed into a world-class competitor. The new focus on getting rich fast in China creates an atmosphere of individual wealth - and mistrust. Today, many Chinese businessmen go into negotiations expecting to be cheated.
According to James McGregor, Chinese are somewhat schizophrenic because they act collectively in public but are fiercely individualistic in their private lives.
Donald Trump should seriously consider launching Chinese apprenticeship programs that provide educational training to Chinese business leaders. This must include proven techniques and formulae for the Chinese to follow, reinforced with practical case studies and projects that encourage Chinese managers to make their own business decisions.
Read more at Suite101:Â American Apprentice Deals in China: U.S. Must Respect Chinese Status, Traditions & RelationshipsÂ http://www.suite101.com/content/american-apprentice-deals-in-china-a43049#ixzz1FePn0NE5
Trompenaar agrees that Germans place high priority on looking after themselves and their immediate family. At work, however, Germans jointly assume responsibilities and achieve goals in groups. Negotiating decisions is often referred to committees.
Trompenaar conducted a survey that asked managers from different cultures: "Do you prefer working in a group or working on your own?"
A majority of 88% of Germans favour working in a group over solo efforts.
In contrast, 58% of Americans wanted to work alone and make independent decisions.
Germany's High Masculinity Score
Germany scored 66 points on masculinity, a cultural characteristic in which success, money and material possessions form the dominant values in society. That score is 32% higher than the world average score for masculinity, and 6% higher than the U.S.
According to Hofstede's model, Germans place greater importance on earnings, recognition, advancement and challenge. The CIA World Fact Book points to Germany as theÂ European Union's largest economy, with an estimated trade surplus of US$240 billion in 2007.
Read more at Suite101:Â German Business Culture: Trade Intelligence from Geert Hofstede's Cultural Model on GermanyÂ http://www.suite101.com/content/german-business-culture-a45268#ixzz1FeMMInPo
In addition, Deutschland is theÂ world's number one exporterÂ and is also the world leader in mechanical engineering.
When combined with fringe benefits, German wages are the highest in the world.
Germany's Uncertainty Avoidance Index
Germany scored 65 points on Hofstede's uncertainty avoidance index. This index measures the extent to which people feel threatened by ambiguous situations and have created beliefs and institutions to avoid such risks. That score is only 2% above the world average score for uncertainty avoidance, but 41% higher than the U.S. where Americans are much more comfortable with risks associated with change.
Thanks to their need for security, Germans insist on written rules and detailed codes of conduct. Visiting Americans comment that Germany seems to have a rule for everything. For example, the civil service in Baden-W?rttemberg has a written rule that after staff members are on sick leave for six weeks, head office must send them a bouquet of flowers.
Germany's Low Power Distance Index
Germany's lowest score was 35 points on Hofstede's power distance index. This index measures the extent to which less powerful members accept that power is distributed unequally in German institutions and organizations. Germany's power distance index score is 36% below the world average score, and 14% lower than the U.S.
What this means is that Germany is a decentralized society, with relatively flatter organization structures and a comparatively smaller proportion of supervisors.
German workers are remarkably loyal to their companies. One question on Trompenaar's survey asked whether an employee would reveal confidential company information to a close friend who otherwise would face financial ruin. Over 75% of German employees said that they would comply with their legal duty to respect company confidentiality.
Read more at Suite101:Â German Business Culture: Trade Intelligence from Geert Hofstede's Cultural Model on GermanyÂ http://www.suite101.com/content/german-business-culture-a45268#ixzz1FeMXhS8N
France's UAI score is 86, 34% higher than the world UAI average. The French strongly resist changes to their traditional beliefs and institutions.
Read more at Suite101:Â US Cultural Trade in France: Hofstede Quantifies Differences Between American and French MindsetsÂ http://www.suite101.com/content/us-cultural-trade-in-france-a44032#ixzz1FeNJCT1qIn 1992, Disney opened Euro Disneyland park in Marne-la-Vallee 20 miles east of Paris on what was previously French farmland best known for producing sugar beets and Brie cheese. Euro Disneyland was designed to mirror the American Disney theme parks back in California and Florida with very few concessions to French culture. French people found this highly ambiguous, and only 29% of visitors to Euro Disneyland in its first year were from France. If the French want a U.S.-style Disneyland experience, they will go to Disney parks in America.
Read more at Suite101:Â US Cultural Trade in France: Hofstede Quantifies Differences Between American and French MindsetsÂ http://www.suite101.com/content/us-cultural-trade-in-france-a44032#ixzz1FeNVbx89
France's score of 71 is also high, 65% more than the world average.
Read more at Suite101:Â US Cultural Trade in France: Hofstede Quantifies Differences Between American and French MindsetsÂ http://www.suite101.com/content/us-cultural-trade-in-france-a44032#ixzz1FeNsaTou
France scores 68 points on the PDI, 24% higher than the world average. Higher power distance societies are more centralized with tall, hierarchal organization structure featuring a high proportion of supervisors who give orders at the lower levels. The French were confused when Disney appointed mostly American-born managers into the front-line supervisory positions at Euro Disneyland - many of whom were not fluent in the French language.
Read more at Suite101:Â US Cultural Trade in France: Hofstede Quantifies Differences Between American and French MindsetsÂ http://www.suite101.com/content/us-cultural-trade-in-france-a44032#ixzz1FeOMbL9R
A country with a lower masculinity score places more emphasis on caring for others and quality of life. France has a relative low masculinity score of 43 which is 14% below the world average.
Read more at Suite101:Â US Cultural Trade in France: Hofstede Quantifies Differences Between American and French MindsetsÂ http://www.suite101.com/content/us-cultural-trade-in-france-a44032#ixzz1FeOgdHsn
Specific vs defuse
Specific cultures have a small area of privacy which is clearly separated from public life (USA). They have many personalities/sectors where they are acting and just there like socializing in clubs and organizations. Diffuse cultures (Germany, France, China) are concerned with keeping people's face. Therefore why in diffuse cultures so much more time is take to get to the point. It is about to avoid private confrontations so the interlocutor or groups won't feel offended and won't take disagreements personally. Germans have a high degree of privacy and share just a low percentage with public. Americans have a small degree of privacy and share these public sectors (clubs e.g.) very easily and freely with members of these areas. It is one reason why the Americans seem to be so friendly and open in view of an Northern Europe but this commitment doesn't mean that much as in France or in Germany.
Chinese belong to the diffuse societies. If an European manager gets invited by his Chinese partner at home he would share nearly everything they have to be a good host. The guest becomes a close person because of the established close relationship. This is very important in diffuse cultures to built up close relationships in business life. This requires a lot of information which has to be exchanged in advance of a business deal. Some may look irrelevant but they are important. Chinese become via this procedure capable to get a more detailed picture about their business partner and their characters.
The conclusion which can be drawn out of that is "Don't do business with strangers, you can just trust friends". It is sometimes as important if not more important to built up a close relationship than the deal itself. People from diffusive cultures circle around the strange business partner to get to know him more deeply and they will discuss the specific facts only after a relationship of trust has been created.
Americans for instance would feel disturbed while their approach to close a deal. They get normally straight to the point and if the opponent shows still interest then they start circling around him to reach their goal - closing the deal. In a specific culture like in America employees get motivated by giving them a specific task and paying them according to their results. Microsoft e.g. give certain projects to potential employees with the task to present the results as soon as possible. The first who offers the final project will get hired the others get fired. Straight to the American motto "hire and fire". In diffusive cultures companies have a different business culture than in specific cultures. In case someone fails in his job at a certain task the superior would first try to motivate the employee and show him some ways out of his bad performance. He will probably do it in that way that he guides the conversation to points where the subordinate gets the new ideas himself and it won't look like the boss has given him instructions. In specific cultures turnover and employee mobility are important. Americans change their jobs usually in a 2-5 years circle. Although times are changing in Europe towards American business styles Germans, French and Finns tend to stay longer in their positions and work places.
(SEITE, specific vs diffuse culture)
Affective vs neutral
Affective or neutral context describes how cultures express their emotions. In affective cultures like in China people express their emotions more naturally. Reactions are shown immediately verbally and/or non-verbally by using mimic and gesture in form of body signals. They don't avoid physical contact, which is well known especially from Italians and Spanish when meeting each other very enthusiastic and with raised voices. In contrast neutral cultures like Japanese tend to hide their emotions and don't show them in public. Neutral cultures don't express precisely and directly what they are really thinking which can lead to misunderstandings and certain emotions are considered to be improper to exhibit in certain situations. It is also considered as important not to let emotion influence objectivity and reason in decision making. In general they feel discomfort with physical contact in public and communicate in a more subtle way which makes it difficult for members of other cultures to read between the lines and get the message.
The Chinese may also use more intuition or feeling in making a business decision. The Americans are in the middle of this dimension. They express their emotions but try to avoid that they won't influence the rational decision making, especially in business situations. Germany, France and Finland are also more centered within the scale of this context neutral versus affective. These cultures respond from a non-emotional level in business life. They often expect gratification for their work achievements - not immediately but later on.
"When doing business with neutral cultures it is recommended to ask for time-outs from meetings and negotiations and put as much as you can on paper beforehand. "Neutrals" tend to be reserved which doesn't mean that they are disinterested or bored. It is just a lack of emotional tone. You may experience that the entire negotiation is very focused on the object or proposition being discussed and less on you as a person.
In comparison to "Neutrals", members of affective cultures may have a tendency to overact, creating scenes or getting histrionic, but it is suggested not to get confused but to take time-outs for a clear, sober reflection and hard assessment. They don't have made up their minds when showing their enthusiasm, readiness to agree or vehement disagree. You can respond warmly their expressed goodwill. In contrast to neutral cultures, affective cultures are focused on you as a person and not so much on the object or position." *6
Achievement vs ascription
Status describes the positioning of individuals/groups in their society. The fundamental/base can be what someone DOES, or what someone IS. There are big differences how societies respect or focus on someone's status. In the USA, Germany and Finland people are measured by how successful they are in their jobs and what an individual has done. Most of these culture members interact with people relating to their functions someone's profession/role is, like to a marketer or controller and less to the individual as a whole person. Those "powerful positions" are taken by people because of their skills, knowledge and talents.
In comparison to ascriptive cultures like China, measure other's behaviour on the groups into which they were born or attributed by birth right, gender, caste or age but also to your interpersonal relationships and your ranking in society. They relate status to highly qualified, older more experienced persons. Senior employees of a company are highly respected because of who they are and their length of service but the trend towards shows slightly towards an achievement development. The individual is something special and hardly to compare with others, independent from a specific position or task. The main differences in this dimension has affection to who is expected to speak in a particular situation and how much weight might be put on their words.
High context vs low context
In order to communicate successfully you have to consider the cultural differences and the predominating communication process in individualistic and collectivistic cultures. It is best to explain theses differences in terms of low- and high-context communication. Context has to do with how much you have to know before you can communicate effectively.
When workers from high-context and low-context cultures have to work together often problems occur by the exchange of information. These problems can be categorized as differences in "direction", "quantity" and "quality". At differences in direction employees from high-context cultures like China and France adapt to their good friends, families and also to close colleagues (in-group members). They communicate with them intensively (quantity difference) and exchange specific/detailed information about many different topics.The result is that every in-group member is constantly up-to-date with the facts around the business.
In comparison to high-context cultures low-context cultures like USA and Germany orientate on many people of their daily life because they don't differentiate as much as high-context cultures between in- and out-groups. So their direction of communication is orientated on personal personal characters and referred to situations (direction difference). They mostly communicate within their out-groups in a broad and diffuse way (quantity difference). Within communication they exchange information just to the necessary extent so that work can be done and they don't discuss or exchange information constantly in their work environment and colleagues (quality difference).
In China communication tends to be very efficient because of their information-flow at work and in privacy. They discuss everything in advance and consider meetings as an official "ceremony" where the already commonly agreed decision will be announced. This is important in the way of "giving and keeping face". The Americans and Germans in contrast inform the participating attendants in a meeting about the hard and necessary facts. The decission-making process takes place within the meeting. To French it is similar with their Asian counterparts. They are also well informed before they meet each other. Much explicit and detailed discussions would probably seen as an insult because everything is already clear.
High-context means that "most of the information is either in the physical context or initialized in the person, while very little is in the coded, explicit, transmitted part of the message." (Hall, 1976, p 79). In comparison to the meaning of low-context communication is "the mass of information is vested in the explicit code" (p 70). *2
To understand what someone really meant in a conversation and to avoid misunderstandings it is important to realize "how" it was said. In high-context systems people expect from their interlocutor that he or she knows what the message of the communication was. This can be done without that it was specifically told Chinese and French use a high-context communication. They place great importance on ambience, decorum, the relative status of the participants in a communication and the manner of massage's delivery. In France it might be hard to feel fully accepted for outsiders within their culture because of their big diffuse connections. In comparison members of individualistic cultures using low-context communication like Germans, Americans and Finns sometimes ignore those differences from high-context countries cultures. In case of a meeting where those countries from low- and high-context cultures would have to work and discuss the French and especially the Chinese would not interact and express their disagreement or reservations. For Chinese issues, circumstances and relationships are as important as work so they would comment only in a more private or appropriate occasion.
Chinese people tend to be reserved which is considered as active behaviour in collectivistic cultures. They first need to build up an interpersonal relationship - a foundation where it is possible to find the right level of context. In contrast low-context cultures they argue about each other's opinion within the decission-making process and take discussions in their own hands to come to an agreement. Within this process members of low-context tend to be precise and provide just the required information and in case of silence it has to be filled. but this is just a generic statement. In contrast the Finns regarding to silence have a different cultural behaviour. Silence is seen as polite and doesn't have to be replaced with communication. In this point they differ immensely from the Americans who are seen as the characteristic low-context country. They need to know what is going on and have to be provided with detailed background information. Information is freely available in an American company.
In contrast the Germans try to hide information which is sacrificed even within a company or department. French are a high-context culture. They assume that the listener knows everything. It can happen that the "French will think the Americans think they are stupid because they start explaining everything, and vice versa." *3
When dealing with different people from high- and low-context cultures you always have to be aware of your interlocutor's cultural origin. This helps to avoid misunderstandings and creates a better basis for further discussions.
Every human being has his/her own demand for space to protect his/her cover from external influences of the environment. To create, find and define this boundary between oneself and the outside is essential. Especially important is it to know or at least to estimate someone's boundary/skin correctly. It can have big influence in daily and business life when dealing with strangers and members of other cultures whose definition of and treating with space might be unknown. There are different points when characterizing space. One point is that people trace out their own territories which they will protect and defend if necessary. This pont which is influenced by someone's cultural origin is well developed in Germany and USA.
Americans have distinctive places which they call "mine" and don't want them to be "disturbed". Germans may have an even stronger feeling about their territories. Personal things especially like their cars should rather be avoided to be "touched" without permission or treated differently from that like the owner would treat it. The same counts for houses, grounds and offices. They shouldn't be accessed without a detailed/explicit allowance. The size and location of offices are also both considered as very important because they express some kind of status and power. Like a corner office or one without walls. But the power symbol has a higher value in Germany than in USA. Whereas in France the top management of a company is commonly placed in the middle of the building - corresponding to their way of doing something - "everything" has to be centralized. The central position is a key position in France because all information and decisions can be controlled from the central point. Like already mentioned there are different categories of space. The other one is personal space which is another from of territory. First of all personal space is depending on the relationship people have, their emotions and cultural background. Every culture and more precisely every individual has its own demand of personal space. This can be described as a bubble which defines the personal boundary is needed to feel comfortable in interacting with people. This bubble can be penetrated from others but just when fulfilling eh "invisible" requirements like already mentioned - a good relationship. In France this bubble is rather small comparing to Germany, USA and Finland. It is not seen as penetration when French people kissing each other when greeting someone. The bubble in Germany, USA and Finland is rather big and it is an attack to a person's space/personal territory when kissing or touching someone without "agreement". The distance between people should be kept and will be dissolved by shaking hands only. It is perceived as impolite and very rude when not keeping the distance between you and your interlocutor. In China an even greater demand of space is the norm. Nowadays of course about the strong western cultural influences shaking hands is nothing unusual. But old and very traditional people in business may appreciate a bigger physical distance when greeting each other by bowing the head. It has to be figured out very carefully how space is handled and perceived as correct behaviour. Not paying attention to that can cause an immediate loss of your business relation because of attacking and not respecting someone's demand of space.
The importance of time is dependent on the different view points of people's origin respectively culture. "Time is one of the fundamental bases on which all cultures rest and around all activities revolve" (Hall, 1990, p. 179). The are differences how cultures handle time. In earlier times time was measured in seasons, darkness and daylight. Nowadays time is more important and complex than in the past. Kluckholm and Strodtbeck identified three types of culture: (1) present orientated, with little attention to what has happened in past and what the future will bring. Past is considered as unimportant while future is seen as vague and unpredictable; (2)past-orientated cultures have a high sense on traditions like to their ancestors, family, traditionalism and aristocracy. The present is tried to be maintained; (3) future-orientated cultures with a high value in changes have a more desirable development in economic and social scales.
For companies time is considered as an endless challenge they have to compete with and find solutions to the time managing problem.There is also a cultural difference in how they deal with time. In some cultures appointments it is not necessary to be precisely on time at appointments. Sometimes delays in appointments are expected, tolerated or at least taken into account. But in Germany, Finland, USA and China time has a high value and has to be precisely organized to keep business running. Any delay or disturbance in time-(managing) will influence the whole schedule of a manager. It might be helpful for the waiting person to get informed about any delay.
In France it is similar but punctuality depends on the importance of the person. If the delay is not more than 15 minutes, it is acceptable to wait. The cultural differences relating to time can be easily described with the "Circle Test" from Tom Cottle who asked questions about how people from different countries value and see past-present- future. *4
The Americans see a very small overlap between present and past but an increasing importance from past to highest the future. Americans are used to work if necessary 70 hours a week just to reach their targets as fast as possible to increase the chances in the competition about jobs and hierarchies. But they forget sometimes to care about their health like other cultures which value time to a very high degree. Time pressure can cause stress and if it becomes "negative stress" - that's stress which is overwhelming and can't be managed - people get sick and unproductive.
A similar behaviour is reflected in German culture. Germans most important attitude seems to be always punctual. Everything else than being right in time is an insult for the waiting person and a shame for the person who keeps waiting. Time is considered as very rare and expensive. That's why time has to be well/perfectly organized. Finns and Germans consider time nearly in the same way. They have a big emphasize on present which is clearly linked with the past and future in similar proportions. France instead emphasizes the past and their long history most. Present is also well related with past and future but with less value/importance on future. In China present, past and future are seen as independent not overlapping periods with the same amount of importance.
To describe planning and who business is done in different cultures, Cottle's "Time horizon" is helpful. France, China and Finland are close behind each other on the Time horizon scale. This means that they are more long-time orientated than in contrast the Germans who are planning in shorter periods and least the Americans who manage their planning in very short terms. They often plan just quarterly because of the fast moving market conditions in the States. If we look at Hong-Kong specifically than the future planning has the biggest extend. In business it is often the case that plans are made for decades in advance. This means the are willing to wait for 10-20 years until their investments will return into profit, but these are then "super profits". At a very short term orientation the future progress of a company may lack.
It needs a great level of flexibility and readiness to change quickly and adapt to new market conditions. It is absolutely necessary/recommended to consider future planning in a wider prospect because of future strategies development and planning. The present shouldn't be neglected either should you emphasize it to much in consideration of future planning. To find the right extend/proportion is the companies challenge starting into the new millennium.
"Power distance is the extent to which less powerful members of institutions and organizations within a country expect and accept that power is distributed unequally." (Hofstede page 262). Power distance describes also the extent to which employees accept that superiors have more power than they have. Furthermore that opinions and decisions are right because of the higher position some has. In countries with high power distance employees are too afraid to express their doubts and disagreements with their autocratic and paternalistic bosses. The index for power distance describes the dependence of relationships in a country.
It is small in countries where bosses and subordinates work close together and consult each other. Subordinates and superiors consider each other as or less equal even there is a difference in education level. The hierarchical system can always change depending on the circumstances. The hierarchies are flat with a decentralized organization and a small number of supervisors who are expected to be accessible for their subordinates. Within a company the degree for unequal treatment is reduced to a low level. There is a interdependence between employer and employee. The salary range is narrow between the top and bottom in companies. Subordinates expect to be consulted within the decision-making process.
In contrast in large power distance countries the relation between boss and subordinate is strictly ruled and dependent on the decisions of the boss. In companies with larger power distance which have a very centralized organization, subordinates expect to be told what to do from their superiors because they consider each other as unequal. Inequalities are normally expected and privileges are seen as desirable by superiors. There is a large extend to centralization and the salary range is wide. People in high power distance cultures positive emotions are expressed to superiors and negative emotions to subordinates.
Indivisualism vs collectivism
Individualistic cultures like USA (highest score = 1st rank) and France (10th rank) are more self-centred and emphasize mostly on their individual goals. People from individualistic cultures tend to think only of themselves as individuals and as "I" distinctive from other people.They make just a little different between ingroup and outgroup communication (USA). They prefer clarity in their conversations to communicate more effectively and come in general directly to the point like the Finns (17th rank) and Americans are doing. An exception here are Germans (15th rank) who indeed are an individualistic culture but their communication style is different. First details will be named and discussed and after that they will come to the point. Americans and Finns might feel annoyed because they say first what it is about and explain afterwards.
People in individualistic cultures emphasize their success/achievements in job or private wealth and aiming up to reach more and/or a better job position. Especially in the USA the fight about jobs and trying to climb up in the hierarchy ladder is something very common there. It just counts to get there less caring who will left behind one. In business they try to improve their connections and to gain more value out of them, not for establishing a good relationship but just to be involved in a calculative way. Employees are expected to defend their interests and to promote themselves when ever possible.
Asian - collectivist cultures like China (Hong Kong 37th rank), view other companies with less collectivistic philosophy as cold and not supportive. Collectivistic cultures have a great emphasize on groups and think more in terms of "we". Harmony and loyalty within a company is very important and should always be maintained and confrontation should be avoided. In China it is out of question to disagree with someone's opinion in public. You will do that in a more private and personal atmosphere to protect a person from the "loss of face". In collectivistic cultures a direct confrontation will be always avoided. Expressions or phrases are used which describe a disagreement or negative statement instead of saying no. Saying no would mean to destroy the harmony in the group. The relationship between employer and employee or business partners is based on trust and harmony and a deep understanding of moral values. The wealth of the company and the groups inside are more important than the individual one's. David Yaou-Fai Ho, a Hong Kong social scientist defines "Loosing face as follows: "Face is lost when the individual, either through his action or that people closely related to him, fails to meet essential requirements placed upon him by virtue of the social position he occupies." (Hofstede, 1976, page 867) This can be compared with "self-respect" in individualistic cultures. There is understanding and help for employees who have poor performance. *12
"Christopher Earley, an American management researcher, gave 48 management trainees from southern China and a matched group of 48 management trainees from the USA an 'in-basket-task' consisting of 40 separate items requiring between two and five minutes each (Earley, 1989). The task involved such activities as writing memos evaluating plans and rating job candidates' application forms. Half of the participants from each country were given an individual goal of 20 items; the other half were given a group goal of 200 items to be completed in one hour by 10 people. In addition, half of the participants from either country, both from the group and from the individual goal subsets, were asked to mark each item with their name; the other half turned them in anonymously. The Chinese, collectivist, participants performed best when operating with a group goal and anonymously. They performed worst when operating with individually and with their name marked on their work. The individualist American participants performed best when operating individually and with their work attributed to them personally, and performed very poorly when operating as a group and anonymously." *13
*10 "Cultures and Organizations - Intercultural Cooperation and its importance for survival" Hofstede, Geert (1994), page 261
*11 "Cultures and Organizations - Intercultural Cooperation and its importance for survival" Hofstede, Geert (1994) , page 260
*12 "Cultures and Organizations - Intercultural Cooperation and its importance for survival" Hofstede, Geert (1994), page 61
*13 Box 2.3 Difference in work ethos between an individualist and a collectivist society, "Managing Cultural Differences: Strategies for Competitive Advantage" by Lisa Hoecklin 1995, page 37
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8 Responses to "XIII. Individualism versus collectivism"
cj, onÂ Januar 26th, 2010 at 6:04 amÂ Said:
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vkm, onÂ Februar 17th, 2010 at 8:38 amÂ Said:
Content is good and informative. Helped me in giving a talk on individualistic and collectivistic cultures.