To understand how Cross-Cultural Analysis

Cross-cultural analysis could understand a very confusing field with many different viewpoints, goals and concepts. The origins of cross-cultural analysis in the 19 Century world of colonialism, was firmly in the concept of cultural evolution, which claims that all societies progress, founded by an identical number of different stages of development.

The origin of the word culture comes from the Latin verb colere = "tend to protect, maintain, up." This concept is a human rightconstructed as a product of nature. The use of the English word meaning "culture through education" is first recorded in 1510th Understanding the use of the word, "the intellectual side of civilization" is from 1805, is that of "collective customs and achievements of a people" of 1867. The term culture shock was first used in 1940.

How does one define culture?

There are literally hundreds of different definitions as writers have tried to provideall-encompassing definition.

Culture consists of language, ideas, beliefs, customs, taboos, codes, institutions, instruments, techniques, art, rituals, ceremonies and symbols. It plays a crucial role in human evolution plays, so that people, the environment for their own purposes and to adapt not only to natural selection to adaptive success depends. Every human society has its own culture, or socio-cultural system. (Adapted from the source: EncyclopaediaBritannica)

In general, culture is seen as consisting of three elements:

Values – Values are ideas about what is important in life than to say.
Standards – standards consist of expectations of how people should behave in different situations.
Artifacts – things, or material culture – culture reflects the values and norms, but are tangible and manufactured by humans.

Origin and evolution ofCross-cultural analysis
The first cross-cultural analysis was done in the West have been identified by anthropologists such as Edward Tylor and Lewis H Morgan in the 19th Century. Anthropology has come a long way after since the belief in a gradual rise from lower levels of savagery to civilization, of Victorian England for nothing. Today, the concept of "culture" is to argue in part a reaction against such former Western concepts and anthropologists that culture is "humanNature, "and that all people have the capacity to classify experiences, encode classifications symbolically, and communicate more such abstractions to others.

In general, anthropologists and social scientists tend to human beings and human behavior among exotic peoples and cultures in distant places and not field research study with a white collar educated adults in modern cities. Advances in communications and technology and socio-political changes that began the transformation of the modern workplace, yetThere were no guidelines for the research to help people to interact with other people from other cultures. To close this gap was the discipline of cross-cultural analysis and intercultural communication. To consider the major theories of intercultural communication in the fields of anthropology, sociology, psychology and communication and the value differences between cultures. Edward T. Hall, Geert Hofstede, Fons Trompenaars, Shalom Schwartz and Clifford Geertz, some of the most importantParticipants in this field.

How to study the social sciences and to analyze Culture

Cultural anthropologists focus on symbolic culture whereas archaeologists focus on material and intangible culture. Sociobiologists study to explain instinctive behavior in the experiment, the similarities and the differences between the cultures. They believe that human behavior can not be satisfactorily explained exclusively by "cultural", "environment" or "ethnic" factors. Some sociobiologiststrying to understand the many aspects of culture in relation to the concept of the meme, first introduced in 1976 by Richard Dawkins in his book The Selfish Gene. Dawkins points to the existence of units of culture – meme – somewhat analogous to genes in evolutionary biology. Although this view has gained some popular currency, other anthropologists generally reject it.

Different types of Cross-Cultural Comparison Methods

Today there are many types of cross-culturalComparisons. One method is the comparison of case studies. Controlled comparison between the variants of a common derivation is another form of comparison. In general, anthropologists and other social scientists in favor of the third kind called Cross-cultural studies, used the field data from many societies to examine the extent of human behavior and to test hypotheses about human behavior and culture.

Controlled comparison study, the similar characteristics of a few companies, while cross-cultural studiesused a sufficiently large sample, the statistical analysis can be made to show relationships or the lack of relationships between certain properties in question. The anthropological method of analysis holocultural or worldwide cross-cultural analysis is to test or develop a set, with the statistical analysis of data read on a sample of ten or more and not societies from three or more regions of the world. In this procedure, the cultural characteristics of the context are takenthe whole culture and with cultural characteristics across different cultures in relation to patterns of regularities and differences within the broad basis of the study determined.

Objectives of the intercultural analysis

Intercultural Communication and Intercultural Communication examines how people are trying out different cultural backgrounds to communicate. He also tried to help some guidelines that people from different cultures to produce better communicate with each otherother.

Culture has an explanatory function for the members of a group that shares in this particular culture. Although all members of a group or society, their culture, expressions of culture may share resulting from the conduct of the individual personality, upbringing and life experience, significantly amended. Cross-cultural analysis aims at harnessing this useful function of culture as a tool to enhance human adaptation and improvement ofCommunication.

Cross-cultural management is seen as a discipline of international management focusing on cultural encounters, the handling of tools, is seen to explore cultural differences as a source of conflict or misunderstanding.

As lay people see culture

It is a tremendous challenge, the results of the studies and works to mediate and discuss cross-cultural issues in different contexts such as corporate culture, workplace and culture amongcultural competence, rather than lay people, the word "culture" should be used for something refined, artistic, and refer only to a certain group of "artists" who in a separate area than ordinary people in the workplace function. Some typical references to culture:

Culture is the section in the newspaper, where they review theater, dance or write book reviews, etc.

Culture is what parents and grandparents to teach their children to teach their grandchildren.

"You do not have anyCulture is what people say if you put your feet on the table at lunch or on a spit in front of guests.

"They just have a different culture," people say about those whose behavior they do not understand, but to endure.

Various models of intercultural analysis

There are many models of cross-cultural analysis is currently valid. The "iceberg" and the "onion" models are widely known. The popular 'iceberg model' of culture developed by Selfridgeand Sokolik, 1975, WL French, CH Bell in 1979, identifies a visible area, consisting of behavior or dress or symbols and artifacts in any form and scale of values or an invisible level.

The attempt to define a phenomenon as complex as the culture with only two layers proved a great challenge and the "onion" model has emerged. Geert Hofstede (1991) has a series of four layers, each of which also the lower level, or is the result of the lower level. According to this view, "culture" isLike an onion, which are deducted, you can layer to layer to reveal the contents. Hofstede sees culture as "the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of a group or category of people from one another."

Cross-cultural dimensions of analysis are often sites' such as orientation to time, space, communication, competitiveness, energy, etc., free pairs of attributes and different cultures are positioned in a continuum between them.

Hofstede dimensionsdistinguish between cultures

The five dimensions of Hofstede used to be a distinction between the national cultures:

Power distance that the extent to which members of society to accept, how power is distributed unequally, that the company measures.
Individualism tells how people make themselves and their immediate family members only, in contrast to collectivism, where people are in groups (families, clans orOrganizations) who are looking after them in exchange for their loyalty.
The dominant values of masculinity, are focusing on power and material success to those of femininity, which contrasted with focusing on the care of other life.
U ncertainty avoidance measures are the extent to which people feel threatened by uncertainty and ambiguity and try to avoid these situations.
Confucian dynamism. ThisLong-term orientation versus short-term measure to promote the virtues associated with the past, ie, respect for tradition, the importance of face and thrift.

Trompenaars dimensions to distinguish between cultures
Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner (1997) adopt a similar onion-like model of culture. However, their model is building the central level, the very simple two-layer model instead of the outer layer. In their view,Culture is of fundamental assumptions exist in the core level. These "basic assumptions" are somewhat similar to "values" in the Hofstede model.

Trompenaars and Charles Hampden-Turner are using seven dimensions for their model of culture:

(Universalism vs. particularism, which is more important – rules or relationships?)
Individualism vs. Communitarianism (we function in a group or as individuals?)
Neutral vs. Emotional (weDisplay our emotions or keep them at bay?)
(Specific vs. Diffuse how far we are involved?)
(Achievement vs. ascription, we have to prove ourselves in order to gain the status, or it is given to us just because we are a part of a structure?)
Relationship to time

Past / present / future orientatedness

Sequential vs. Synchronic time period (we do things one at a time or several things at once?)

Internal vs. external orientation (we want to control our environment or to cooperate with him?)

Criticism of current models
One of the weaknesses of cross-cultural analysis is the inability to have a tendency to crop with the concept of the nation to overcome balance. A nation state is a political unit, consisting of an autonomous state mainly by a people with a common culture, history, and inhabitsLanguage or languages. To do in real life, cultures are not strictly physical boundaries and borders as nation-states. Her expression and even core beliefs can be many permutations and combinations of these, as we do move across distances.

There is some criticism in the field that this approach is out of phase with global companies today, with transnational corporations meet the challenges of the management of global knowledge networks and multicultural project teams, interact andCross-border cooperation with new communication technologies.

Some authors like Nigel Holden (2001) suggest an alternative approach to think of the growing complexity of inter-and intra-organizational connections and recognize identities, and offers theoretical concepts and organizations of different cultures in a globalized economy.

Despite all the shortcomings and complaints encountered by Hofstede, it is very much favored by trainers andResearchers. There are two reasons for this. First, it is a wonderful and easy to use tool to quantify cultural differences, so that they can be discussed. Discussing and debating differences is indeed the most important method of training and learning. Second, Hofstede, IBM Research was conducted at work, Hofstede Tools brings cross-cultural analysis closer to the business side of the workplace, away from anthropology, which is a matter for universities.

Bibliographyand suggested reading:

Dawkins, Richard (1976). The Selfish Gene. Oxford University Press
French, WL and CH Bell (1979). Organizational development. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Hofstede, Geert, "Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind", 1997
Holden, Nigel 2001, Cross-Cultural Management: A Knowledge Management Perspective, Financial Times Management


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: