COMMERCE 3S03 Chapter Notes - Chapter 14: Assertiveness, Individualism, Ethnocentrism
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Chapter 14 – Managing Cross-Culturally
• Culture – consists of values, assumptions, norms and patterns of thought that are
shared by all or most members of a social group and shape that groups behaviours and
• Critical Areas of Value Differences
▪ A strong American value, also Canada, Great Britain, and Australia.
▪ Personal characteristics and individual success is most important.
▪ Japan is the opposite (collectivism), also China, Thailand and Costa Rica
o Power Distance
▪ People accept inequality in power among people, organizations.
▪ Malaysia, Mexico and India support inequality, whereas Denmark, Austria
and Israel expects equality in power.
o Uncertainty Avoidance
▪ People feel uncomfortable with ambiguity and thus support beliefs that
ensure certainty and conformity.
▪ High uncertainty avoidance = Greece, France, Uruguay
▪ Countries with low uncertainty avoidance, people have a high tolerance
for the unstructured, the unclear and the unpredictable (Sweden,
▪ People encourage toughness and competitiveness (Spain, Germany,
▪ Low assertiveness is where people value relationships, tenderness, and
concern over being tough and competitive (Swiss, Denmark, Norway)
o Time Orientation
▪ This is whether a country is most strongly oriented towards the past,
present or future.
▪ European countries are past oriented, believing in ideas, plans, and goals
that should be evaluated in terms of how they fit in the society’s
▪ Present orientation means people want quick gratification, don’t like to
follow strict schedules, and don’t depend on tradition to dictate
▪ Future oriented societies encourage and reward planning for the long
term over quick gratification and short-term results (USA is present-
o Doing and Being
▪ Doing = People take action, emphasize achieving measurable outcomes,
and believe in the idea of working as much as possible to make more
money or accomplish more results (USA, Canada, Sweden)
▪ Being = more interested in extra time with family and friends than in
earning overtime pay or accomplishing more business goals. They stress
living and working for the money, letting ideas and events flow
spontaneously (Malaysia and Mexico)
o Performance Orientation
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