DIMENSIONS OF CULTURE

Module 2 – Home

DIMENSIONS OF CULTURE

Modular Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, the student will be able to satisfy the following outcomes:

Case

Select a setting for your intercultural experience and evaluate its potential for providing a meaningful encounter with the target culture.

SLP

Measure your personal cultural values and compare your outcome to Hofstede’s dimensions of culture.

Discussion

Collectively create a multicultural tool kit for leading and motivating a global workforce.

Module Overview

In Module 1, we considered the role of culture in influencing how people think, feel, act, and believe. Together, these constitute a “worldview” which can vary drastically from culture to culture. Yet leaders are called upon to solve problems and address challenges that span cultural boundaries, and they need to harness the resources of peoples who may view the problems very differently from each other. How to navigate these differences and discover a structure of culture that can help leaders come to mutual understanding is the topic of this module.

Drawing on the work of Geert Hofstede and others (2010), we distinguish between personality (individual characteristics that make one person uniquely different from another), human nature (shared characteristics that are common to all members of the species), and culture (learned behaviors that are shared by members of a group or category). The frameworks that are the primary focus of this module concern values, attitudes, and beliefs at the cultural level. That is, we recognize that individuals will differ, but they will also share a system of overarching learned behaviors that are common to all members of that society.

The dimensions of culture that are discussed … represent the ways that groups of people within a culture interpret and manage the universal questions faced by all societies as members of the human race. These questions involve such topics as what is the nature of power and authority? What is the responsibility of the individual to the group? Is short term gain more important than long term stability? How do we manage the unexpected and unpredictable? While there may be individual differences in the responses to these questions, there are also larger, broader, shared patterns of response that are shaped by the norms and values of a given society. These are referred to a “cultural dimensions,” and knowledge of these broad patterns can help leaders to anticipate, interpret, and react to practices that may at first seem very odd and illogical. When viewed through the lens of cultural dimensions, strange customs and practices can make perfect sense and can lead to greater cultural intelligence (and effectiveness) on the part of the leader.

Reference: Hofstede, G., Hofstede, G. J., & Minkow, M. (2010). Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind (Third Edition), US McGraw-Hill. (Not required)

Module 2 – Case

DIMENSIONS OF CULTURE

Assignment Overview

In this module you will propose a plan for your intercultural experience and have it approved by your professor. A “pre-experience outline” is provided to assist you in your planning. This is what your professor will use in assuring that your proposal meets the training parameters for this Case.

Case Assignment

Submit a 2- to 3-page proposal describing your cultural experience. Your proposal should address the following questions:

– Intended contact culture group

– What is the identified culture group with which you are planning to have contact? Be specific.

– Provide a brief description of any contact you have previously had with this group.

– Briefly explain why this target group qualifies as a culture group.

– Intended new cultural activity

-Briefly describe your new cultural activity.

– Does your intended activity meet all requirements of the assignment (see expectations below)? —

– Provide some details to justify your answer.

– Will this activity allow you to have meaningful contact with members of the intended target culture group? Briefly explain.

– What is the planned date, time and approximate duration of the activity?

General

· Have you selected a secondary contact group and cultural activity as a backup? Please describe briefly.

· Do you have any questions about the project? Please describe.

Assignment Expectations

Here are the requirements—or parameters—of the exercise:

· Provides information concerning the date(s) and place where this experience will take place.

· The selected experience should be novel. The intent of this case is to provide a kind of “lab” where you can apply your learning in a new setting.

· The experience must be with a group or culture that is largely unfamiliar to you.

· You should not be in a position of authority or dominance vis-à-vis the target group. For example, you should not be a customer in a restaurant, or interacting with individuals who have lower rank than you in an organizational setting. Power can influence behavior, and we want to keep power relationships in check to provide the most meaningful type of interaction.

· The experience should allow for meaningful one-on-one contact with members of the target group. Thus it is recommended that you do not choose an impersonal spectator event such as a large festival, parade, or sporting event.

· The experience must be a minimum of 2 hours in length to provide you with enough material for analysis.

· The experience must not be illegal or place you at unreasonable physical or psychological risk.

· You need to be able to provide evidence of the experience (such as photographs or a video).

· Have a second choice experience in mind in case your first choice does not meet the above parameters and is not approved.

· _________________________________________________________________________

Module 2 – SLP Assignment

DIMENSIONS OF CULTURE

· In this module, you will be measuring your personal cultural values and comparing it to Hofstede’s dimensions of culture for the culture in which you live. Please start by filling out the following instrument: CVSCALE: The Five-Dimensional Measure of Personal Cultural Values. Then in your weekly journal, reflect on the following questions:

· What did the CVSCALE reveal about your cultural values?

· How does this compare to your own country’s values according to Hofstede’s research?

· What other insights about cultural values have you gained from this questionnaire, the readings, and other aspects of the course so far that will be valuable to you in leading across different cultures?

· The following article may be helpful to you in interpreting your results and reflecting on the insights from this assessment on leadership:

Yoo, B., Naveen D., & Lenartowicz, T. (2011). “Measuring Hofstede’s Five Dimensions of Cultural Values at the Individual Level: Development and Validation of CVSCALE,” Journal of International Consumer Marketing, 23 (3/4), 193–210.

SLP Assignment Expectations

· The journal is a cumulative document—you turn in all previous entries with each module, Include the results from the assessment in your journal.

· Each module should add 2–3 pages.

· The journal should be thoughtful and insightful, integrating learnings from the assessment with other activities in the module and course.

· The format for the journal is less formal than an academic papers (e.g. you can use the 1st person), but you should use headings to organize your thoughts and guide the reader and cite any sources where you are using information, data, or text from an outside source.

· Any references should be prepared in APA format in a combined reference list at the end of the journal.

· Your journal should be edited and error-free.

· Submit your finished paper to TLC by the assignment due date.

Module 2 – Outcomes

DIMENSIONS OF CULTURE

Module

Utilize cultural frameworks to interpret and understand different worldviews.

Case

Select a setting for your intercultural experience and evaluate its potential for providing a meaningful encounter with the target culture.

SLP

Measure your personal cultural values and compare your outcome to Hofstede’s dimensions of culture.

Discussion

Collectively create a multicultural tool kit for leading and motivating a global workforce.