IB 150 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Stereotype, Cultural Relativism, American Motors

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IB 150 – Lecture 8
Understanding Cultural Differences
Why Learn About Culture and Cultural Differences?
Cross cultural literacy is critical to success in a foreign country
The culture of a country can directly and indirectly affect the costs of doing business in that
Ex: Walmart couldn't understand south korean and German culture, that's why it didn't work
The greater the culture distance the more you have to pay attention
Self-Reference Criterion (SRC) and Ethnocentrism: Major Obstacles
SRC is an unconscious referece to one’s own cultural values, experiences, and knowledge, as a
basis for judgment and decisions
Ethnocentrism refers to the belief that one’s own culture or company is the best
Both SRC and ethnocentrism impede the ability to assess a foreign market in its true light
Reactions to meanings, values, symbols, and behavior relevant to our own culture are
different from those of foreign cultures
Relying on one’s SRC could produce unsuccessful business programs
Caveats and Cautions
Stereotyping – assuming all people in a culture behave, believe, feel, and act the same
Ethnocentrism – the only correct norms, values, and beliefs come from one’s own culture
Cultural relativism – the belief that all cultures, however different, are correct and moral for
the people of those cultures
What is Culture?
The complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and other
capabilities acquired by man as a member of society
Definition of culture
“culture is a system of values and norms that are shared among a group of people, and that,
when taken together constitute a design for living”
“Collective programming of the mind” – Hofstede
Manners and Customs
Potential problem areas arise from an insufficient understanding of:
Different ways of thinking
The necessity of saving face
The decision-making process and personal relations
The allocation of time for negotiations
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