ch.4 for MGTB23

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19 Jul 2010
Values is a broad tendency to prefer certain states of affairs over others
o They are motivational
o They are general
o Classify values into several categories
! Intellectual
! Economic
! Aesthetic
! Social
! Political
! Religious
Occupational Differences in Values
Members of different groups support different values
Differences can cause conflict between organizations and within organizations when
members of different occupations are required to interact with each other
A good fit of values between supervisor and employees promotes employee satisfaction
and commitment
People choose occupations that correspond to their values
Values across Cultures
A lengthy history of failed business negotiations is attributable to a lack of understanding
of cross-cultural differences
o At the root is a lack of appreciation of basic differences in work-related values
across cultures
Work Centrality
o Work itself is valued differently across cultures
o Those with more central interest in work were more likely to report that they
would continue working despite winning the lottery
o People whom work was a central life interest tended to work more hours
o Japan topped the list, with very high work centrality
Hofstede’s Study
o Discovered four basic dimensions along which work-related values differed
across cultures: power distance, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity/femininity,
and individual/collectivism
! Power Distance refers to the extent to which society members accept an
unequal distribution of power, including those who hold more power and
those who hold less
Small power distance societies include Denmark, Israel, and
o Inequality is minimized, superiors are accessible, and
power distances are downplayed
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Large power distance societies include Mexico, Philippines and
o Inequality is accepted as natural, superiors are inaccessible,
and power differences are highlighted
Canada and United States fall on the low power distance side of
the average
! Uncertainty avoidance refers to the extent to which people are
uncomfortable with uncertain and ambiguous situations
Strong uncertainty avoidance cultures include Japan, Greece and
o Stress rules and regulations, hard work, conformity and
Weak uncertainty avoidance cultures include Singapore, Denmark,
and Sweden
o Less concerned with rules and regulations, conformity and
security, and hard work is not seen as a virtue
! Masculinity/Femininity
Masculine societies include Japan, Austria, Mexico and Venezuela
o They clearly differentiate gender roles, support male
dominance and stress economic performance
Feminine societies include the Scandinavian countries
o They accept fluid gender roles, stress sexual equality, and
stress quality of life
! Individualism/Collectivism
Individualistic societies tend to stress independence, individual
initiative, and privacy
o United States, Australia, Canada, and Great Britain
Collective societies favour interdependence, and loyalty to one’s
family or clan
o Venezuela, Columbia, and Pakistan
! Long-term/short term orientation
Culture with long-term orientation tend to stress persistence,
perseverance, thrift, and close attention to status differences
o China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea
Cultures with short-term orientation tend to stress personal
steadiness and stability, face saving, and society niceties
o United States, Canada, Great Britain, Zimbabwe, and
Implications of Culture Variation
Exporting OB Theories
o Organizational behaviour theories, research and practices from North America
might not translate well to other societies
o A good fit between company practices and the host culture is important
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o The basic questions to how to manage remains the same, but the answers differ,
depending on the type of different society you are going in
Importing OB Theories
o Not all theories and practices that concern organizational behaviour are designed
in North America or even in the West
o Many problems stem from basic values differences between two cultures
o Understanding cultural value differences can enable organizations to successfully
import management practices by tailoring the practice to the home culture’s
Appreciating Global Customers
o An appreciation of cross-cultural differences in values is essential to
understanding the needs and tastes of customers or clients around the world
o Appreciating the values of global customers is also important when the customers
enter your own culture
Developing Global Employees
o Success in translating management practices to other cultures, importing practices
developed elsewhere, and appreciating global customers are not things that
happen by accident
o Companies need to select, train, and develop employees that have a much better
appreciation of differences in cultural values and the implications of these
differences for behaviour in organizations
Attitude is a fairly stable evaluative tendency to respond consistently to some specific
object, situation, person, or category of people
Attitude " Behaviour
o Dislike German Food " Don’t eat German Food
o Like Boss " Praise Boss
Attitudes are not always consistent with behaviour, and attitudes provide useful
information over and above the actions that we can observe
BELIEF + VALUE => Attitude " Behaviour
o Belief: My job is interfering with my family life
o Value: I dislike anything that hurts my family
o Attitude: I dislike my job
o Behaviour: I’ll search for another job
Most attempts to change employee attitudes by organizations are initiated by a
communicator who tries to use persuasion of some form to modify the beliefs or values
of an audience that supports a currently held attitude
o Persuasion that is designed to modify or emphasize values is usually emotionally
o Persuasion that is slanted toward modifying certain beliefs is usually rationally
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