COMMERCE 4SA3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Social Stratification, Nepotism, Acculturation

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Published on 17 Jul 2012
School
McMaster University
Department
Commerce
Course
COMMERCE 4SA3
Professor
IB Chapter 4
Characteristics of Culture
Culture is the collection of values, beliefs, behaviours, customs, and attitudes that distinguish one
society from another
Culture determines rules that govern how firms operate
Characteristics of culture:
- Reflects learned behaviour transmitted from one member to another
- Elements are interrelated
- Adaptive, changes in response to external forces
- Shared by members of society and defines membership in that culture
Elements of Culture
Basic elements
- Social structure
- Language
- Communication
- Religion
- Values and attitudes
Interaction of these elements affects the local environment in which IBs operate
Social Structure
Individuals, Families, and Groups
Involve individuals living in family units and working with each other in groups
Differences in definition of family and individual roles within groups
Reflected in importance of family to business (nepotism)
Social stratification
Societies categorize people to some extent on the basis of their birth, occupation, educational
achievement etc.
Importance of these categories, and their interactions b/w one another varies across countries
MNCs operating in highly stratified societies often must adjust their hiring and promotion procedures to
take into class or clan differences among supervisors and workers
In less stratified societies firms are freer to seek out the most qualified employee
Highly stratified societies, advertisers must tailor messages more carefully to ensure they only reach
their target audience (no so in less stratified societies)
Social Mobility: Ability of individuals the move from one stratum of society to another
Higher in less stratified societies
Language
Primary delineator of cultural groups because it is an important means by which society’s members
communicate with each other
Organizes the way members of a society think about the world
Provides important clues about the culture values of the society and aids acculturation
Presence of more than one language group is an important signal about the diversity of a country’s
population
One language = homogenous
More than one language = heterogeneous
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Document Summary

Culture is the collection of values, beliefs, behaviours, customs, and attitudes that distinguish one society from another. Culture determines rules that govern how firms operate. Reflects learned behaviour transmitted from one member to another. Adaptive, changes in response to external forces. Shared by members of society and defines membership in that culture. Interaction of these elements affects the local environment in which ibs operate. Involve individuals living in family units and working with each other in groups. Differences in definition of family and individual roles within groups. Reflected in importance of family to business (nepotism) Societies categorize people to some extent on the basis of their birth, occupation, educational achievement etc. Importance of these categories, and their interactions b/w one another varies across countries. Mncs operating in highly stratified societies often must adjust their hiring and promotion procedures to take into class or clan differences among supervisors and workers.

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