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Chapter 4

IRE260H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Small Power, Collectivism, High Culture

Employment Relations, Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources
Course Code
Hua Wang

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Oct 3rd, 2016
Week 4 Reading Chapter 4
- Chapter 4: Values, Attitudes and Behaviour; Pages 129-135
Cultural Differences in Values
Work centrality
- Work is valued differently across cultures
o Japan is highest in work centrality, British one of the lowest
- High work centrality more likely to continue working despite new-found wealth
Hofstede’s Study
Four basic dimensions along which work-related values differed across cultures:
1. Power Distance
a. Power Distance: The extent to which an unequal distribution of power is accepted by society
b. Small power distance inequality minimized, accessible superiors, downplayed power
i. i.e. Denmark, New Zealand
2. Uncertainty Avoidance
a. Uncertainty Avoidance: The extent to which people are uncomfortable with uncertain and
ambiguous situations
b. Strong Uncertainty cultures stress rules and regulations, hard work, conformity and
security (weak is the opposite with the addition of risk taking)
i. i.e. Japan
3. Masculinity/Femininity
a. More masculine cultures differentiate gender roles, support the dominance of men, stress
economic performance
i. i.e. Slovakia, Japan
4. Individualism/Collectivism
a. Individualistic versus Collectivism: Individualistic societies stress independence, individual
initiative, and privacy. Collective cultures favour interdependence and loyalty to family or
5. Long-term/Short-term Orientation
a. Long-term stress perseverance, persistence, thrift and close attention to status differences
i. i.e. China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan
Cultural Distance: The extent to which cultures differ in values
Implications of Culture Variation
Exporting OB Theories
- culture might not translate well to other societies
- Questions are the same: How should I lead? How should we make this decision?
o The answers are different
- i.e. Participation in work decisions by employees translated into a high degree of power distance
culture might not work so well
Important OB Theories
- Problems with translating practices from other places would be just from basic value differences
o i.e. Individuality vs collectivity
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