Global Business Assignment 1 Essay

Submitted By kfrustil
Words: 1297
Pages: 6

Cultural differences can be very challenging in the business world- especially when the company you work for operates on a global scale, with firms in several different countries, on a few different continents. In the following paper, I will compare the cultural dimensions of five different countries with the United States, including Turkey, Poland, Costa Rica, South Africa, and Indonesia. For each country, the cultural dimensions that will be compared are power distance, individualism, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance, pragmatism, and indulgence. According to the Hofstede Center, power distance is defined as “the extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and organizations within a country expect and accept that power is distributed unequally.” Individualism is described as “the degree of interdependence a society maintains among its members.” Masculinity is “what motivates people, wanting to be the best (masculine) or liking what you do (feminine). Uncertainty Avoidance is “the extent to which the members of a culture feel threatened by ambiguous or unknown situations and have created beliefs and institutions that try to avoid these.” Pragmatism describes “how every society has to maintain some links with its own past while dealing with the challenges of the present and future.” Finally, Indulgence- the last cultural dimension, is defined as “extent to which people try to control their desires and impulses.” In comparing the United States with Turkey, it seems that they are not that different when it comes to the various cultural dimension scores. The difference in scores between the two nations is not that high. For power distance, Turkey scored a 66, while the US is at 40. This basically means that superiors in the workplace are highly inaccessible in Turkey, while superiors in the workplace in the US are kind of in the middle when it comes to direct communication. In the area of individualism, Turkey score significantly lower than the US. With a score of 91 to 37, people in the US are much more comfortable working alone than people in Turkey, who live in a collectivist society. The US and Turkey are pretty close in score for masculinity, with scores of 62 to 45, respectively. This shows that both countries are driven by competition and achievement- but Turkey is a little more feminine, with the lower score. The lower score indicates that society in Turkey doesn’t value competition as much, and is a little more caring and nurturing. When it comes to uncertainty avoidance, Turkey’s score was almost double that of the US. This means that it is very important for people in Turkey to have rules and plans in order to avoid the anxiety that comes with an uncertain future. In the area of pragmatism, Turkey scored 46 while the US scored 26. This means that the US likes to keep traditions, while Turkey, in the middle, doesn’t really have a preference of traditions over new ideas. Finally, Americans seem to be more indulgent than people in Turkey. The US scored a 68 and Turkey scored a 49. This means that society in Turkey holds a pretty even balance between work and play, while people in the US would tend to want to hold off work and play instead. In comparing the US with Poland, I found that some of the cultural dimension scores were really close, while others were really far apart. In the areas of masculinity and pragmatism, the scores for the US and Poland were almost the same, which means that both countries value competition and achievement (masculinity), as well as traditions (pragmatism). In the other four areas- power distance, individualism, uncertainty avoidance, and indulgence, Poland and the US are very different. Poland had a higher score in power distance, which means that it would be harder for employees in Poland to communicate with an executive than it would be for employees in the US. For individualism, the United States had a much higher score than Poland- this shows