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Deep cultural under-currents

structure life in subtle but highly


consistent ways that are not
consciously formulated. Like the
invisible jet streams in the skies that
determine the course of a storm,
these currents shape our lives; yet
their influence is only beginning to
be identified.
Edward T. Hall

Intl. 3:1
WHAT IS CULTURE?

Culture is a learned, shared, compelling,


interrelated set of symbols whose meanings
provide a set of orientations for members of a
society. These orientations, taken together,
provide solutions to problems that all
societies must solve if they are to remain
viable.
– Terpstra and David (1985)

Culture is the collective mental programming


of individuals in a society as a result of
common background, education, and life
experiences.
– Hofstede (1980)

Culture is the man-made part of the


environment.
– Herkovits (1948)
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IMPACT OF CULTURE ON
MARKETING DECISIONS
Customer
Culture

Lifestyle Behavior Patterns

Actions in Marketplace

Impact on Firm’s
Marketing Decisions
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ELEMENTS OF CULTURE
• Material Culture:
– Technology & Economics
• Social Organization:
– Institutions
– Education
– Politics
• Belief Systems
• Language
• Aesthetics

Intl. 3:4
FUNCTIONS OF CULTURE

• Acquisition of food, clothing, and shelter.


• Protection from human enemies and natural
disasters
• Regulation of sexuality.
• Child raising and instruction in socially approved
and useful behavior.
• Division of labor among humans.
• Sharing and exchanging the product of human
work.

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FUNCTIONS OF CULTURE (Contd.)

• Providing social controls against deviant


behavior.
• Providing incentives to motivate persons to want
to do what they have to do.
• Distributing power and legitimizing the wielding
of power to allow setting of priorities, making
decisions, and coordinating actions that obtain
social goals.
• Providing a sense of priorities (values) and an
overall sense of worth (religion) to social life.

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MAJOR CULTURAL FRAMEWORKS

• Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck (1961)


• Hall and Hall (1990)
• Hofstede (1980)
• Trompenaars (1993)

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KLUCKHOHN AND STRODTBECK (1961)

• Nature of People: Good, Bad, or a


Combination.
• Relationship Between People:
Individualism or Groupism.
• Primary Mode of Activity: Being or Doing?
• Conception of Space: Private or Public?
• Dominant Temporal Orientation: Past,
Present, or Future?

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HALL AND HALL (1990)

• Context, or the amount of explicit information in


communication.
• Space, or the ways of communicating through
specific handling of personal space.
• Time, which is either monochronic (scheduling
and completing one activity at a time) or
polychronic (not distinguishing between the
activities and completing them simultaneously).
• Information flow, which is the structure and speed
of messages between individuals and
organizations.

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HIGH AND LOW CONTEXT CULTURES
FACTOR HIGH LOW
Lawyers Less Important More
Person’s Word Is his/her bond Get it in writing

Resp. for Error Highest Level Pushed to lowest level

Space Breathe on each Bubble of private


other. space.
Time Polychronic Monochronic and
linear.
Negotiations Lengthy Proceed quickly.
Competitive Bid Infrequent Common
Examples Japan, Mid-East U.S., N. Europe
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HALL’S SILENT LANGUAGES

• Language of Time
• Language of Space
• Language of Things
• Language of Friendship
• Language of Agreements

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CONTEXTUAL BACKGROUND OF VARIOUS
COUNTRIES

Japanese
High Context
IMPLICIT Arabian
Latin American
Spanish
Italian
English (UK)
French
North America (US)
Scandinavian
German
Swiss
Low Context
EXPLICIT
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HIGH/LOW CONTEXT CULTURES
High-Context Low-Context
Crucial to Communications:
external environment, situation, non- explicit information, blunt
verbal behavior communicative style
Relationships:
long lasting, deep personal mutual short duration, heterogeneous
involvement populations
Communication:
economical, fast because of shared "code" explicit messages, low reliance on non
verbal
Authority person:
responsible for actions of subordinates, diffused through bureaucratic system,
personal responsibility tough to pin
loyalty at a premium
down
Agreements:
written, final and binding, litigious,
spoken, flexible and changeable more lawyers
Insiders vs. outsiders: very distinguishable difficult to identify, foreigners can adjust

Cultural pattern change: slow faster Intl. 3:13


CONTRASTING COMMUNICATION STYLES
Traditional Asian High Australian Low
Context Cultures Context Culture
• Indirect • Direct
• Implicit, Nonverbal • Explicit, verbal
• Formal • Informal
• Goal Oriented • Spontaneous
• Emotionally • Emotionally
controlled expressive
• Self-effacing, modest • Self-promoting,
egocentric

Intl. 3:14
Adapted from Chan (1992)
HOFSTEDE'S DIMENSIONS OF CULTURE

• Individualism/Collectivism: Individualism implies


a loosely knit social framework in which people
are supposed to take care of themselves and their
immediate families only whereas collectivism is
characterized by a tight social framework in which
people distinguish between in-groups and out-
groups; they expect their in-group (relatives,
clans, organizations) to look after them, and in
return they owe absolute loyalty to the in-group.

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INDIVIDUALISM/COLLECTIVISM

COLLECTIVIST INDIVIDUALIST
People born into extended families Everyone grows up to look after
or other in-groups which him/herself and his/her
continue to protect them in nuclear family.
exchange for loyalty.
Low-context communication.
High-context communication.
Relationship between employer-
Employer-employee relationship
employee perceived as
perceived in moral terms, like a
family link. contract based on mutual
advantage.
Management is management of
groups. Management of individuals.
Relationship prevails over task. Task prevails over relationship.

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HOFSTEDE'S DIMENSIONS OF CULTURE

• Power Distance: is the extent to which a society


accepts the fact that power in institutions and
organizations is distributed unequally. It is
reflected in the values of the less powerful
members of a society as well as those of the more
powerful members.

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EXAMPLE OF SMALL PDI

Stockholm, December 23, 1988. The Swedish King Carl


Gustav this week experienced considerable delay while
shopping for Christmas presents for his children, when
he wanted to pay by cheque but could not show his
cheque card. The salesperson refused to accept the
cheque without legitimation. Only when helpful
bystanders dug in their pockets for one-crown pieces
showing the face of the king, the salesperson decided to
accept this legitimation, not however, without testing the
check for authenticity and noting the name and address
of the holder.

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POWER DISTANCE

Small PDI Large PDI


Inequalities among people should Inequalities both expected and
be minimized. desired.
Parents treat children as equals, Parents teach children obedience.
and vice versa.
Centralization is popular.
Decentralization is popular.
Ideal boss: benevolent autocrat or
Ideal boss: resourceful democrat. good father.
Privileges and status symbols are Privileges and status symbols are
frowned upon. both expected and popular.

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HOFSTEDE'S DIMENSIONS OF CULTURE

• Uncertainty Avoidance: indicates the extent


to which a society feels threatened by
uncertain and ambiguous situations and tries
to avoid these situations by providing greater
career stability, establishing formal rules, not
tolerating deviant ideas and behaviors, and
believing in absolute truths and the
attainment of expertise. Strong uncertainty
avoidance societies tend to be characterized
by a higher level of anxiety and
aggressiveness.

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UNCERTAINTY AVOIDANCE
Weak UAI Strong UAI
Uncertainty considered normal feature and
each day is accepted as it comes. Uncertainty in life felt as a continuous
Low stress and anxiety. threat to be fought.
Comfortable in ambiguous situations and with High stress and anxiety.
unfamiliar risks.
Fear of ambiguous situations and
What is different, is curious.
unfamiliar risks.
No more rules than is strictly necessary.
Precision and punctuality have to be learned.
What is different, is dangerous.
Tolerance of deviant and innovative ideas. Emotional need for rules, even if
unworkable.
Precision and punctuality come
naturally.
Suppression of deviant ideas and
resistance to innovation.
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HOFSTEDE'S DIMENSIONS OF CULTURE

• Masculinity/Femininity: In a masculine
society, the dominant values are
assertiveness, the acquisition of money and
things, and not caring for others. In a
feminine society, the values of quality of life,
caring for the underdog, and nurturing take
precedence over purely materialistic pursuits.

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MASCULINITY/FEMININITY

Feminine Masculine
Caring for others and preservation as
dominant values. Material success and progress as
Both men and women allowed to be
dominant values.
tender and concerned with Men supposed to be assertive,
relationships. ambitious, and tough.
Sympathy for the weak. Sympathy for the strong.
Managers use intuition and strive for
Managers expected to be decisive
consensus.
and aggressive.
Stress on equality, solidarity, and
quality of life. Stress on equity, competition
Conflicts resolved by compromise and among colleagues, and
negotiation. performance.
Conflicts resolved by fighting
them out.
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LONG VS. SHORT-TERM
ORIENTATION

Short-Term Long-Term
Respect for traditions, social and Adaptation of traditions to a
status obligations regardless of modern context.
costs. Respect for social and status
Social pressure to "keep up with obligations within limits.
the Joneses" even if over- Thrift, being sparing with
spending. resources.
Little money for investment. Large savings, funds available for
Quick results expected. investment.
Concern with possessing the truth. Perseverance towards slow
results.
Concern with respecting the
demands of virtue. Intl. 3:24
Masculinity/Femininity and Uncertainty Avoidance
Example
0 Weak Uncertainty Weak Uncertainty Countries*:
Avoidance Feminine Avoidance Masculine
Uncertainty Avoidance Index

1. Norway
2. Malaysia
2 3
3. Jamaica
4. U.S.A.
1 5. Taiwan
4 6. Costa Rica
7. Australia
8. Mexico
5 7 9. Japan
10. Greece
*For complete
8 9 list, see text
6 Source: Geert
Hofstede, Cultures and
Organizations,
Strong Uncertainty
112 Avoidance Feminine 10 Strong Uncertainty
Avoidance Masculine
10 100
Masculinity Index
Intl. 3:25
Power Distance and Individualism-Collectivism
Small Power Large Power Example
0
Distance Distance Collectivist Countries*:
1 1. Costa Rica
Collectivist
2 2. Korea and
Individualism Index

Mexico
3. Brazil & India
3 4. Israel and
Ireland
5. Australia and
U.S.A.
4 6 6. France and
Italy
*For complete
list, see text.
Small 5 Source: Geert
Power Large Power Hofstede, Cultures and
Distance Organizations,
Distance McGraw-Hill: London:
112 Individualist
Individualist 1991, pp. 23, 51, 83 &
111.
10 110
Power Distance Index Intl. 3:26
FONS TROMPENAAR’S VALUE
ORIENTATIONS
• Universalism vs. Particularism: one rule for all occasions
or flexibility and adjustment to circumstances.
• Communitarianism vs. Individualism
• Neutral vs. Emotional: are emotions acceptable in
business? Encourage vs. avoid open display of feelings.
• Specific vs. Diffuse: can relationships be strictly “business-
specific?”
• Achievement vs. Ascription: achieved status is based on
achievement and track-record whereas ascriptive status
based on hierarchy, age, etc.

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MANIFESTATIONS OF CULTURE AT DIFFERENT
LEVELS OF DEPTH

Practices
Values
Rituals
Heroes
Symbols

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MANIFESTATIONS OF CULTURE

• Symbols: Words, gestures, pictures, or


objects that carry a particular meaning
which is only recognized by those who
share that culture. New symbols are
easily developed and old ones disappear.

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• Heroes are persons alive or dead, real or
imaginary, who possess characteristics
which are highly prized in a culture, and
who thus serve as models of behavior.

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• Rituals are collective activities, which within a
culture are considered as socially essential.
Examples are ways of greeting and paying
respect to others, social and religious
ceremonies, etc.
• Symbols, heroes, and rituals can be subsumed
under "practices," they are visible to an
outsider but their cultural meaning is invisible.

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VALUES

The core of culture is formed by values, i.e.,


broad tendencies to prefer certain state of
affairs over others. Values are among the
first things children implicitly learn. By
age ten, most children have their value
system firmly in place. Because values are
acquired so early in our life, most of us
remain unconscious of their existence.

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CULTURAL VARIABLES AND MARKETING

Cultural Variable Product Promotion Price Distribution Research

Material Culture
Language
Education
Aesthetics
Values/Attitudes
Social Organization
Political/Legal

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LIFE GOALS

France 7.1 16.4 62.2 10.9 3.4


Japan 35.4 5.8 41.2 6.8 10.8
Source:Prime
US 6.2 5.1 77.3 9.5 1.8
Minister’s Office,
UK 11.2 13.9 63.4 8.6 2.9 “How Youth See
Germany 9.0 17.8 60.6 5.5 7.5 Life,”Focus Japan,
Switzerland 3.7 9.2 Dec. 1978.
72.3 10.9 3.4
Sweden 2.5 1.7 84.8 7.5 3.4
Australia 6.7 5.1 76.0 10.5 1.6
India 22.3 33.3 16.2 26.3 1.8
Philippines 21.7 9.6 46.2 22.0 0.5
Brazil 7.7 16.7 63.2 11.9 0.5 No Answer

To get Work on behalf of Society


Live As I Choose
Rich Acquire Social Position Intl. 3:34
IN CONCLUSION…

Most of culture lies hidden and is


outside voluntary control, making
up the warp and weft of human
existence. It penetrates to the roots
of [an individual’s] nervous system
and determines how he perceives
the world. Even when small
fragments of culture are elevated to
awareness, they are difficult to
change.

Edward T. Hall Intl. 3:35