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CULTURE AND ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR
True or False
- “A way of life of a group of people” is what the authors would call a narrow definition of culture.
False (page 18, easy)
- Researchers first attempted to define culture during the early 1960s, when the process of globalization first became evident.
False (page 18, easy)
- A culture’s expressed values refer to how a culture explains itself.
True (page 19, moderate)
- A subculture is a social group within a country whose ethnic background, language or religion differs from that of the majority.
True (page 20, easy)
- The Chinese practice of using Feng Shui principles is an example of what Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck would say is concern over achieving harmony with nature.
True (page 21, easy)
- In a society that Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck would say has a mixed or neutral orientation toward basic human nature, people are thought to be good, but may act in an evil manner in certain situations.
True (page 22, moderate)
- A culture’s emphasis on enjoying life and working for the moment is typical of the “being” cultural value orientation in Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck’s model.
True (page 22, moderate)
- In order to isolate the aspects of behavior that were truly due to culture, Hofstede surveyed employees in 40 countries that all worked for the same international company.
True (page 23, difficult)
- Hofstede’s model of cultural dimensions suggests that the more feminine a society is, the more its people will tend to have sharply differentiated sex roles.
False (page 26, moderate)
- In collectivist cultures, people feel justified in treating outgroup members differently than ingroup members.
True (page 24, moderate)
- Although it was not among Hofstede’s original four dimensions, the Chinese Values Survey added “Confucian Work Dynamism”, or long-term versus short-term orientation, to the model.
True (page 26, moderate)
- A major weakness of Schwartz’s Value Theory is that it was derived from the study of only 57 schoolteachers.
False (page 29, easy)
- In Schwartz’s Value Theory, autonomy may be either of two types: intellectual or affective.
True (page 30, difficult)
- The “specific versus diffuse” dimension of Trompenaars’ cultural model relates to the question of how and how much people should express emotions in the presence of others.
False (page 31, difficult)
- Trompenaars developed a model of cultural diversity that was built upon the work of Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck and, like theirs, his model cannot easily be used to construct absolute categories.
True (pages 30-31, difficult)
- In Trompenaars’ model, people in ascriptive cultures who hold positions of power and respect do so because they are born with personal characteristics that give them the right to be there.
True (page 32, moderate)
- The primary focus of Hall’s “high versus low context” cultural framework is leadership styles.
False (pages 32-33, easy)
- Ronen and Shenkar’s Country Clusters Model was cited as an example of an approach which may be intellectually interesting, but has no practical value to managers.
False (pages 33-34, moderate)
- The so-called “World Values Survey” is actually a misnomer, in that it actually surveyed only the more developed countries of North America and Europe.
False (page 34, easy)
- The World Values Survey has revealed that value differences between older and younger generations are greatest in societies where life expectancies are the longest.
True (page 35, moderate)
- The metaphor approach to studying cultures uses some salient phenomenon or activity in a nation as a focus for understanding characteristics typical of that culture.
True (page 36, easy)
- Gannon believes that the sport of US football is a fitting and useful metaphor for understanding American society in general.
True (page 37, easy)
- One indication that cultural research done in the US has widespread international applicability is the well-documented ease with which US businesses have been able to employ American techniques and theories to their operations in other countries.
False (page 40, moderate)
- Brown’s research concept of the “Universal People” differs from virtually all of the other models in this chapter in that he emphasizes the ways in which all people are similar, not the ways in which they differ.
True (page 38, moderate)
- Despite the differences that may be explained by national culture, the authors feel that it is still possible that someone from a country with a strong uncertainty avoidance score could have a lower score than someone else from a weak uncertain avoidance country.
True (page 39, moderate)
- In discussing a definition of culture, the authors say that _____.
- no one has, as yet, really attempted to define it
- it is so complex that no single definition is adequate (page 18, easy)
- no attempt to define culture was made until the past decade, when the impacts of globalization became more apparent
- management was the first field of study in which scholars saw the need to understand cultures
- The authors offer an onion and an iceberg as analogies for culture, to convey the concept that culture _____.
- has some unpleasant and cold aspects
- has several levels of meaning (pages 18-19, easy)
- is straightforward and easy to understand
- is of little importance
- The several levels of meaning of culture, in order from the most obvious and superficial to the most central and deep, are _____.
- expressed values; basic assumptions; manifest culture
- manifest culture; expressed values; basic assumptions (page 19, moderate)
- basic assumptions; manifest culture; expressed values
- basic assumptions; expressed culture; manifest culture
- Elements of a culture, such as language, music, food, and technology, illustrate what Sathe would call the _____ level of values.
- manifest (pages 18-19, easy)
- basic assumptions
- Sathe’s _____ level of culture refers to a culture=s shared beliefs about the world and society, such as what it is in life that brings true happiness.
- basic assumptions (page 19, easy)
- primary socialization
- manifest culture
- expressed values
- The prolonged, complex, and non-explicit process by which we learn a culture as we grow up is known as _____.
- primary socialization
- secondary socialization
- tertiary socialization
- enculturation (page 19, moderate)
- _____ is the process by which we learn appropriate age, gender, ethnic, and social class behaviors, and _____ usually equips us with the occupational knowledge, skills, and behaviors we need as adults.
- Values orientation; activity orientation
- Secondary socialization; primary socialization
- Basic leveling; manifest leveling
- Primary socialization; secondary socialization (page 19, easy)
- Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck’s model of culture identifies six different orientations that relate to how different societies _____.
- view the respective roles of men and women
- cope with fundamental problems or issues in life (page 20, moderate)
- achieve and maintain status
- choose metaphors to explain themselves to others
- Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck’s Values Orientations Model of culture does not include _____.
- uncertainty avoidance (pages 21-23, moderate)
- space orientation
- relationships among people
- time orientation
- activity orientation
- The “basic human nature” orientation in Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck’s model does not include _____.
- being (page 22, moderate)
- Which of the following is not among the alternatives for relationships among people in Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck’s model?
- mixed (pages 22-23, moderate)
- Which of the following is not a dimension in Hofstede’s model of cultures?
- high versus low power distance
- task versus relationship orientation (page 23, moderate)
- individualism versus collectivism
- high versus low uncertainty avoidance
- masculinity versus femininity
- Hofstede says that people in a low “power distance” culture tend to _____.
- have virtually no differences in status, power, or influence
- have only “feminine” values
- be uncomfortable with differences in power and status, and, at times, ignore them (page 24, moderate)
- prefer having more structure, explicit rules, and a high concern for doing things correctly
- People in what Hall calls “high context” cultures tend to communicate _____.
- by relying more heavily on non verbal communication (page 33, easy)
- by using explicit, carefully chosen words
- rarely, if at all
- compulsively, often, and to as many people as possible
- Although the issues are somewhat different, Schwartz’s Value Theory of culture has similarities to _____’s model, in that both focus on what are believed to be basic issues or problems that people of all societies face.
- Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck (pages 27, 29, difficult)
- The value dimensions in Schwartz’s theory do not include _____.
- embeddedness versus autonomy
- hierarchy versus egalitarianism
- mastery versus harmony
- high context versus low context (page 30, moderate)
- Which of the following is not true of Ronen and Shenkar’s Country Clusters model of cultures?
- Clusters are based on similarities of work values or goals.
- Countries with higher GNP are closer to the center of their cluster.
- They were able to place virtually every country into one of their clusters.
(page 33, moderate)
- Countries in a cluster also tended to have similarities in geographic location, language, and religion.
- The two most important dimensions of societal value according to the World Values Survey are traditional versus secular-rational orientations towards authority and _____.
- individualism versus communalism
- uncertainty avoidance versus risk-taking
- optimism versus pessimism
- survival versus self-expression (page 35, difficult)
- According to the World Values Survey, people who are trusting and tolerant of others, politically active, happy, and place priority on quality of life, would be said to have _____ values.
- self-expression (page 35, moderate)
- In reviewing the variety of cultural models presented in Chapter Two, the authors conclude that _____.
- the conceptual framework of Hofstede’s model is clearly superior to that of the others, but it has not yet been used to try to measure actual cultures
- the extensive statistical data generated by Trompenaars’ model makes it clearly superior to the others
- they are all remarkably consistent in how they evaluate and categorize each of the
national cultures that were studied, despite differences in variables and concepts
- the more often that different models include a given variable, and the more similar are the findings, the more confidence we can place in those findings (page 39, moderate)
- In support of Brown’s approach that emphasizes cultural universals, Project GLOBE found that, although the form may differ, every human society has the _____ behavior.
- money accumulation
- customary greeting (page 38, moderate)
- rejection of outsiders
- democratic political
- The need for _____ among those engaged in international business is rapidly causing it to emerge as a transcultural variable, as well as an important value for understanding and managing behavior in organizations.
- trust (page 41, moderate)
- Explain what is meant when we say that a culture has several levels.
Cultures are complex systems of interrelated artifacts (things), ideas, and patterns of interaction, some of which are more obvious than others. Like an iceberg, those parts of culture that are less obvious may be the largest or most important aspects, and, like an onion, cultures have many layers. The outer layers of culture are called the manifest level. The food, music, dress, language, technology and interactions of a culture are relatively easy to observe and tend to be our first impressions of it. Deeper is the expressed level of a culture, or the way in which the culture explains the manifest elements. The core of the culture, its innermost part, is its basic assumptions. These layers form the foundations of culture, the shared ideas and beliefs about the world and society that guide people’s thoughts and actions. (pages 18-19, moderate)
- Explain the process by which the average person learns a culture.
Usually, the general process of enculturation, or learning a culture, occurs gradually as we grow up. It is largely unplanned (non-intentional) and results from all parts of one’s environment. More intentional is what is called primary socialization. These are things that our families, friends, and community institutions (schools, church, media) teach us, which are appropriate for our age, gender, ethnic group and social class. Afterwards, secondary socialization provides us with the knowledge, skills, and behaviors needed for our adult roles (family and occupational). This process is on-going. (pages 19-20, easy)
- In what ways is the process of learning a culture different for immigrants and their children than for the average person in the culture?
Immigrants live in a culture different from that in which they were originally enculturated. Their children experience the parents’ culture at home (and sometimes in a local community subculture) and the national culture from the community institutions and media. As a result, they may likely grow up with distinctive elements of both cultures. (page 20, easy)
- Identify and briefly explain the similarities you recognize in the cultural models or frameworks developed by Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck, Hofstede, Schwartz, and Trompenaars.
Except for Hofstede, the other three frameworks assume that there are basic questions or issues that face all cultures, and they try to classify cultures based upon how a given culture answers or deals with those questions. Although all four frameworks use somewhat different terminology, there are similarities, and the meanings overlap, for example, Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck’s relationships among people vary from Individualistic to Group to Hierarchical; Hofstede’s individualism versus collectivism; Schwartz’s embeddedness (collective orientation) versus autonomy (individual uniqueness); and Trompenaars’ individualistic versus communitarian. (pages 20-32, difficult)
- Two of the frameworks or models of culture discussed in this chapter surveyed special samples in each country: IBM employees for Hofstede, and mostly school teachers and university students for Schwartz. Discuss the potential insights and potential distortions this approach to sampling might bring to such models of culture.
Hofstede wanted to know what portion of differences between people was due to cultures. We know that a variety of factors in addition to culture (such as industrialization, formal education, social class, etc.) may shape individual attitudes. By surveying only employees of the same corporation in 40 countries, he believed that he was controlling for much of the differences that might be related to factors other than culture (occupation, education, income, class). Schwartz’s sample was composed predominantly of school teachers and university students, and this sample may have had a similar control effect. As a result, for both models, the differences that remain among otherwise similar respondents could logically be assumed to be cultural. A potential distortion of this method, however, is that the samples may not be typical of the entire range of occupations is in the country. (pages 23, 29, 39, difficult)
- Explain the advantages and disadvantages of a model such as Hofstede’s, that quantifies cultural differences, with one such as Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck=s, which does not.
A quantitative model, such as Hofstede’s, assigns specific numbers to the cultural dimensions, allowing one to compare the relative degree of differences or similarities of cultures. Thus, we cannot only say that the US is individualistic as is the UK, but we can say which one is more so, and by how much. Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck’s model creates only broad categories of beliefs or values, and we are left to deduce the placement of countries into each. Hofstede’s model lends itself easily to quantitative research methods; Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck’s model to qualitative techniques. A potential problem with Hofstede’s model is the possibility of misplaced confidence in the apparent precision of a number. (pages 27-28, Figure
- Explain Gannon’s metaphor approach to understanding cultures. How well would a foreigner understand the US culture if s/he studied the game of football?
Gannon believes that a well-chosen metaphor is a useful way to help us understand and more easily remember important elements of a country’s culture. For a variety of countries, he has selected a major phenomenon, activity, or institution that members of a culture recognize as important. As an example, he chose (American) football as a metaphor for US society. A foreigner would learn to recognize the way Americans may huddle together to develop a plan and to assign responsibilities, but then proceed to carry out assignments individually, and to expect rewards based upon their individual achievements. As with any metaphor, a certain amount of oversimplification is to be expected, but a good metaphor should reflect most major aspects of the society. One might question, for instance, if the marginalized role of women in football accurately reflects the role of women role in the US as a whole. (page 37, moderate)
- Discuss how Brown’s framework for cultures is relatively unique, and whether or not and why you think international managers would find it more useful or less so, compared to the other models presented in this chapter.
Unlike virtually all the other models that rely upon contrasting cultural differences, Brown’s approach was to identify apparent universals. Assuming that the same biological and cognitive processes operate in all human beings, he compiled a list of 375 cultural universals for his “Universal People” concept. The implication is that culture is not a very convincing explanation for organizational behavior. If this were so, there would seem to be little point to having managers learn about other cultures. In fact, however, manifestations of behavior still seem culturally distinct and worth understanding, even if we were to accept that the motivations for them are the same. (pages 37-38, moderate)
- If you understand the various cultural frameworks, will you be able to understand
a specific country’s culture? Will you be able to predict the behavior of a particular person from that country? Explain.
Cultural frameworks may help us to understand the general patterns of culturebased behavior in many, and perhaps, most countries, but no model can be totally accurate or comprehensive. Further, even if a model is reasonably accurate for the average person in a culture, there is no guarantee that any specific person we may encounter will be average. Even within a country, differences between individuals may be as great or greater than the difference between the average for one country and that of a different country. (pages 38-39, moderate)
- Based upon the frameworks presented in this chapter, are you more persuaded by the argument for convergence or the one for divergence?
As in the previous chapter, the contents of this chapter suggest that the question of either/or is oversimplified. There are indications of convergence of some aspects of culture, in particular, those aspects that we call the manifest level. Clothing, technology, consumer products, etc., are becoming more similar in many countries. At the same time, those core aspects of culture that we call basic assumptions show little signs of convergence. Indeed, political and social divisions remain significant even within long-established countries, and in some cases, appear to be worsening. Cultures may not literally be getting farther apart, but they seem unlikely to meld into one in the foreseeable future. (pages 40-41, moderate)