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15.1 AFRICA  The most important unit of African society is the...

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15.1 AFRICA  The most important unit of African society is the...


 The most important unit of African society is the family, which in most cases includes the extended family or tribe. African family life centers in villages, where food is gathered. The village elders are leaders; they judge and dictate the rules. The family tribe provides the rules for acceptable behavior, individual rights, duties, marriage, 349 inheritance, and succession. Africans believe that people and social relationships come first. Friendships based on trust and sincerity are highly valued. People accept that everyone is a friend unless otherwise proved. Showing respect is the key element for social harmony. Elders are given the most respect; young people are not expected to express opinions. Africans are warm, friendly, relaxed, and informal. They are never in a hurry; they view time as flexible. They like to sit and talk to get know each other better before they discuss business. Time is unlimited; what cannot be done today can be accomplished tomorrow. The concept of time is, however, changing in big cities. In Africa, corruption is common; it is related to poverty, inadequate pay, and bad working conditions (Harris et al., 2004). 

15.2 ASIA 

Common Asian values A number of values are common to most Asian cultures. These are social hierarchy; respect for elders, parents, ancestors, and traditions; importance of the family and family ties as a source of personal self-worth; differentiation between in-groups and out-groups; social harmony; a sense of obligation and shame; face-saving, group consensus, loyalty, cooperation, indirectness, ambiguity, silence, and emotional restraint (Dodd, 1995), patience, avoidance of strong emotions, having connections, self-respect, and reputation (Tung cited in Joynt & Warner, 1996). Group orientation, discipline, importance of education, protocol, avoidance of conflict and moral responsibility are also important. China The People's Republic of China has a population of 1.3 billion. The name of the country means ''center of the world''. As a result, Chinese people think of their culture as the center of human civilization and hold themselves in high esteem. The Chinese culture has been influenced by the teachings of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. China is a hierarchical society, people believe in authority and subordination. They follow the formal rules of social etiquette; social status is important. The important personal characteristics are determination, calmness, honor, persistence and patience. Chinese culture is group-oriented; group activity, consensus, cooperation, support and loyalty are vital for social harmony. Chinese culture is high-context culture. Chinese understand non-verbal signals and use them frequently to send the true meanings in conversation. Chinese are long-term oriented; they are interested in long-term benefits. They are bound by their tradition and proud of ancestors. They negotiate and talk through an intermediary or a third party. They do not believe that the signing of a contract is a completed agreement; circumstances may change. They reciprocate invitations and gifts (Harris et al., 2004). Chinese are punctual, dress formally, and address others by their second names or titles. They use business cards in introductions and follow a proper etiquette. They are reserved, respectful and sensitive. The concept of privacy does not exist; they often ask 350 CHAPTER 15 Cultural differences among international societies questions about salaries or incomes, personal information is frequently discussed. They avoid displaying affections, keep a distance when speaking, do not touch, and do not appreciate loud behavior (Harris et al., 2004). The four most important terminal values of Chinese are true friendship, wisdom, freedom, and mature love, whereas the four least important terminal values are family security, a comfortable life, an exciting life, and salvation. The four most important instrumental values are being ambitious, broadminded, intellectual, and courageous, whereas the four least important instrumental values are being forgiving, helpful, clean, and obedient (Feather, 1976, 1980a). Table 15.1 lists the major cultural differences between Chinese Mandarin-speaking and Australian societies. Indonesia Indonesia has a population of about 232 million. The major ethnic groups are Javanese and Sundanese. Indonesia is the largest Islamic country in the world; nearly 90% of the population is represented by Muslims. Generally, people adhere to the village law Table 15.1 Cultural Differences Between Mandarin-Speaking Tourists and Australian Hosts Mandarin-speaking tourists Australian hosts Orientation toward group Orientation toward individual Focus on being together Focus on being independent Hierarchy Egalitarianism Importance of age and position Importance of accomplishment Importance of group activities and obedience Importance of hard work and capabilities Non-materialistic values first Materialistic and hedonistic values first Focus on being dependent Focus on being self-reliant Privacy does not exist Focus on privacy Focus on punctuality Focus on flexibility Formal dress Informal dress Seek relationships Seek agreement Focus on social harmony Focus on getting the best deal quickly Focus on formal etiquette Focus on informal behavior Tradition of gift-giving No tradition of gift-giving Emotions are suppressed Emotions are displayed Implicitness Explicitness Risk-avoiding Risk-taking Focus on obligation Focus on standing out Source: Reisinger, Y., & Turner, L. (1998). Cultural differences between Mandarin-speaking tourists and Australian hosts and their impact on cross-cultural tourist-host interaction. The Journal of Business Research, 42(2), 175-187. 15.2 Asia 351 (Adat) rather than the rules of the Koran. The society is hierarchical. Indonesians follow the rules of social hierarchy in all personal relationships; they show respect to superiors. The family is the basic unit of life. Indonesians are group-oriented; they conform and abide. They avoid confrontation, making someone ashamed, insulted, or embarrassed. Criticizing or contradicting a person in front of others is avoided because it causes one to lose face. People talk indirectly. Asking personal questions and touching in public are forbidden. People greet by nodding the head; they avoid using the left hand. They do not like to be pressured; they believe in ''rubber time'' that is flexible and unlimited (Harris et al., 2004). Table 15.2 lists the major cultural differences between Indonesian and Australian societies. Japan Japan has a population of about 130 million. More than 99% of it is represented by Japanese. Traditionally, Japan is a very noble country which values honor, pride, and perseverance. However, the Japanese culture is slowly changing; it is following values of the contemporary world. The major religions are Shintoism and Buddhism. Japanese put a great emphasis on the group, the family, and belonging and loyalty. They show respect for social classes, authority, and elders. They try not to harm anyone; rather, they save their own face as well as others' in order to preserve social harmony. They avoid praising, complementing and criticizing. They do not stand out from a group. Japanese use indirect, vague communicating style; they focus on the context rather than content of a verbal message. Non-verbal language is more important to them than verbal expressions. They leave sentences unfinished so others can make a conclusion. The Japanese language is full of nuances; it has various degrees of courtesy and respect for different social classes. Third party is used in introductions and deals to create trust between individuals. Japanese follow the custom of using business cards (meishi) that identify their owner's professional titles. Cards are usually translated into English. Formality prevails. Bowing is a traditional form of greeting. Japanese are time conscious and punctual. They also follow a tradition of obligatory gift-giving; gifts are given at any social event and must be reciprocated. Japanese like order, cleanliness, and discipline. They are sensitive to what others think or expect of them. They avoid risk; they require physical and psychological security. They have difficulties dealing with strangers and foreigners. Many experience a difficulty to adapt and feel alienated (Frager, 1970). They laugh when they are happy and sad. They are insular. They value education, new technological developments; they have pride in their work. They work hard. The Japanese give consideration to the effect of their behavior on others. When on vacation, Japanese tourists are activity-oriented unlike the Western tourists who travel to do nothing. Shopping is very important to them. The Japanese attach importance to obligatory gift-giving and polite inexplicitness; they avoid humiliation, try not to offend, or disturb the harmony of a group. Trust and relationship building are vital to their existence (Ziff-Levine, 1990). A high standard of service is critical to Japanese satisfaction (Reisinger, 1990). 352 CHAPTER 15 Cultural differences among international societies Numerous studies have been done on Japanese culture. It was noted that Japanese are courteous, moral, loyal to others (gimur), have a sense of obligation and duty (giri), try to save face (kao), avoid others' hame and humility, follow correct protocol of presentation, do not display emotions, participate in rituals, and use non-verbal Table 15.2 Cultural Differences Between Indonesian Tourists and Australian Hosts Indonesian tourists Australian hosts Family orientation Self-orientation Group orientation Individual orientation Emphasis on community, togetherness, sociability Emphasis on individualism and privacy Focus on dependence, obedience, welfare of others Focus on independence, challenge, selfinterest Emphasis on physical and emotional closeness Emphasis on privacy No exclusive friendships Strong exclusive friendships Focus on consensus Individual decision-making Focus on duty and obeying the will of the group Focus on individual autonomy and initiative Group responsibility for actions Moral responsibility for own actions Social hierarchy Egalitarianism Age grading No age grading Respect for elders and their advice No respect for elders and their advice Correct form of behavior Direct and open manner of behavior Indirect expression of opinions Direct expression of opinions Control of emotions, avoidance of disagreement Open disagreement Smooth interpersonal relations Efficiency and promptness Risk avoidance Risk-taking Greetings followed by unhurried conversation Brief greeting without conversation Social rituals involve meals Meals are not part of socializing Time is stretchable Time is money Avoidance of hurry, frequent lateness Hurried use of time, punctuality Absence of stress More stress and anxiety Importance of formal dress Informal dress Frequent smiling in social encounters Smiling used to express genuine pleasure Eye contact avoided in formal encounters More frequent eye contact Frequent body contact Body contact avoided Smaller physical distance Larger physical distance Restrained gesticulation Unrestrained gesticulation Use of left hand avoided Free use of either hand Restrained feet and leg movement Free leg movement Source: Reisinger, Y., & Turner, L. (1997). Cross-cultural differences in tourism: Indonesian tourists in Australia. Tourism Management, 18(30), 139-147. 15.2 Asia 353 communication. The Japanese value peacefulness, passivity, reciprocal obligation, and hierarchical structure (Isomura et al., 1987). They are expected to subordinate individual interests to the group, cooperate with one another, and remain loyal to the group (Moeran, 1984). Their behavior is formal to reduce conflict and embarrassment and maintain harmony. Seishin spirit teaches them self-discipline, order, sacrifice, dedication, hierarchy, loyalty, responsibility, goodwill, and group activity; they must be beautiful for themselves and others, and disregard material disadvantages (Moeran, 1984). The spirit stresses the importance of duty (giri), indebtedness (on) and obligation (Lebra, 1976). Buddhism teaches the Japanese to live in harmony with nature. A stranger is not an enemy but a friend, and the aim is to reach consensus and compromise (Schinzinger, 1983). Confucianism and Buddhism prescribe collectivism, a hierarchical structure of authority, status and obedience of superiors (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and IndoChinese). The importance of the social hierarchy in Japanese culture can be explained in terms of high scores on power distance and masculinity, and low scores on individualism. Differences in status dictate different non-verbal behavior (Matsumo & Kudoh, 1987). Japanese culture is characterized by a high degree of collectivism; it emphasizes conformity, belongingness, empathy, and dependence (Benedict, 1946; Lebra, 1976; Nakane, 1973). The Japanese value courage, a sense of justice, love, companionship, trust, and friendship; they are concerned with war and peace (Triandis, 1972). The Japanese do not value comfort; they value self-adjustment, advancement, and serenity. The Japanese are group-oriented; they emphasize harmony in interpersonal relations, solidarity, loyalty, and belongingness to society. That society is closed to outsiders (Mourer & Sugimoto, 1979). They differentiate between what they say and actually do, between tatemae (outside behavior) and honne (real intentions), between formal and informal behavior. They avoid giving negative answers to not to hurt others. They have several ways of saying ''no''. They depend on each other, cooperate, suppress open conflict and competition, and strive for group welfare (Kracht & Morsbach, 1981). They perceive Westerners as''odd'' people due to their focus on individualism. They remove shoes before entering house. Table 15.3 presents some of the insights on the cultural differences between Japanese and Australian cultural characteristics. Malaysia The country has a population of about 23 million. The major ethnic groups are Malay, Chinese, and Indian. Islam is the predominant religion. The Koran dictates the rules of behavior and business activities. People are expected to pray five times a day, fast during the Ramadan, and make a trip to Mecca. People do not eat pork or drink alcohol. People believe they should live in harmony with nature or subjugate themselves of it. They are concerned with the present: the future is vague and unpredictable; the past has happened. They have a strong sense of fatalism. They are not motivated by careers and professional success; rather, long-lasting relationships with friends and families. The needs of families and friends are more important than self-centered needs, such as the accumulation of money and material possessions. People are not materialistic; 354 CHAPTER 15 Cultural differences among international societies however, they work hard. The social status is important to them and the basic rules of behavior are obeyed. The most important rules of behavior are respect, courtesy, affection and love for one's parents; also harmony in the family, the neighborhood, and society. Bowing is a traditional form of greeting. Certain gestures are not permitted. For example, patting a child on the head or calling for a taxi by using the fingers of the right hand (Harris et al., 2004) are not acceptable. Pakistan More than 95% of the Pakistani are Sunni Muslim. Islam is the state religion. There are minority groups, such as Christians, Hindu, Afghans, and Parsi. Pakistanis are warm and hospitable. Family and friends are important to them. Personal honor is critical. They Table 15.3 Cultural Differences Between Japanese and Australian Characteristics Japanese cultural traits Australian cultural traits Social hierarchy, submission to elders and superiors Social hierarchy, inequality is minimized Respect for age, wisdom, higher social position Little respect for age, wisdom, seniority Social harmony Individual opinions, beliefs, positions Avoidance of conflict and competition Tolerance for ambiguity, new ideas, different behaviors Avoidance of risk Taking risk Strong group bonds, long-term relationships Weak social bonds, temporary social relationships Group needs and goals Individual needs and goals Group consensus Individual opinions, importance of arguments and facts Process oriented Results oriented Long-time oriented Short-time oriented Importance of who Importance of what Family and social groups Materialism, possession, financial status Dependency on others; co-existence with others Democracy, equality, advancement, achievements Non-verbal communication Verbal communication Difference between what is said and how it is said Importance of what is said Behavior according to strict social rules Little attention paid to formal rules of social behavior Hold back emotions in public Display emotions in public Silence as a symbol of power and strength Silence as a symbol of weakness Obligatory gift-giving No obligatory gift-giving 15.2 Asia 355 have a flexible approach to time. They do not eat pork or drink alcohol. They do not touch food with the left hand. They remove shoes before entering someone else's house and bring gifts. They follow the rules of formal introduction, and expect handshakes and business cards. Women wear the burqah, which covers their bodies from head to foot (Harris et al., 2004). The Philippines There are more than 85 million people in the Philippines, mostly Christian Malaysians. The languages spoken are Philippino, English, and Chinese. Philippinos are friendly, hospitable, and warm. They focus on large, extended families. They do not criticize another person in public because shame is the greatest insult. In order to avoid shame, the Philippinos also avoid competition, change, and innovation. They try to save face at any cost. They are sensitive. They believe in fate and destiny rather than merit. They demand loyalty and are flexible about time. They value the concept of individualism; they want to be treated as individuals. Honor, good reputation and respect are important values. They follow tradition and believe in reciprocal obligation. Even thought they may not mean what they say, they say it in order to maintain appearances. Personal relationships are established before the business deal is made. People use a handshake (for men) or a kiss (for women) to greet each other (Harris et al., 2004). South Korea Korea's population is less than 50 million. In terms of ethnic groups, the country is pretty homogenous. Half of the population is represented by Christians and half by Buddhists. Koreans believe in inequality among people based on virtue, loyalty to authority, and filial piety to parents and sincerity to friends. They are committed to personal relations (Kim, 1988). There is little evidence of individualism (Bellah, 1970). The society and relationships are hierarchical. Proper interpersonal relationships are the most important; each person has either a lower or higher position. Spending time with people is more important than spending time making money. Koreans are humble, and honor others. Confucianism teaches them to put public needs above private. The concept of privacy hardly exists. Respect is given to elders and their every wish is catered to. Sending elderly to elder-care facilities (as happens in the United States) is considered barbaric. Protocol is extremely important; rules of social etiquette are strongly observed. Slapping someone on the back or putting an arm around a person is considered unacceptable. Korean greets each other by bowing or shaking hands. Second names, professional titles, and positions are used when addressing others. People do not worry about keeping up with time. Koreans give gifts on many occasions. Koreans are indirect in communication; they avoid saying ''no''. ''Yes'' may not mean an agreement or intention to comply. People avoid saying ''no'' to avoid hurting someone else's feelings. Written contracts are important as in the West; oral contracts are accepted (Harris et al., 2004). 356 CHAPTER 15 Cultural differences among international societies Thailand Thailand means ''the land of the free''. About three quarters of the population is represented by Thai; Chinese is a minority group. Buddhism is an official religion. Thailand is a hierarchical society; people give respect to elders, teachers, and those in higher positions. Rules of social etiquette are followed. Family is the most important unit of society. Relationships between people are based on interdependence, trust, and cooperation. Social harmony is a virtue. People do not criticize and complain; they are humble, polite, and understanding (Harris et al., 2004). The nine major Thai values are smooth interpersonal relationships, grateful relationships, interdependence, the ego, flexibility and adjustment, religion orientation, education and competence, fun and pleasure, and achievement-task orientation (Komin, 1990). Table 15.4 lists the major cultural differences between Thai and Australian societies. Vietnam Vietnam has a population of more than 80 million, of which about 90% are Vietnamese. The largest minority is Chinese. Vietnamese people maintain strong family relationships which provide financial and emotional support. They place a great deal of importance on relationships and visiting people. They follow formal rules of addressing others by either shaking hands or bowing; official titles and positions are used to address others. They do not show affection in public, and do not touch the heads of young children (Harris et al., 2004). 


Australia is the sixth largest country in the world, with a population of nearly 20 million. More than 90% of all Australians are represented by Caucasian ethnic groups who descend from European ancestry (Dutch, Estonian, French, German, Greek, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, and former Yugoslavian). The Asian ethic groups represent less than 10% of the population and include Chinese, Indonesian, Korean, Malaysian, Polynesian, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, and Cambodian. The remaining percentage of Australians is the Aborigines, the original inhabitants of Australia. Although Australians speak English, their English is different from American, British, or Canadian English. Australians frequently use slang and shorten words. They speak openly and directly, which often makes strangers feel that they are being attacked (Harris et al., 2004). They try to be politically correct to avoid hurting anyone's feelings. They dislike social classes and differences, and value close friendships. Mateship is valued. Mateship is a form of true friendship related to loneliness, hardship of outback life, need for companionship, joint activities, support, equality, and conformity to group norms (Encel, 1970). Australians like sport and respect good sportsmanship. Australians praise those successful in sport, and are critical and less respectful of successful intellectuals (''tall 15.3 Australia 357 poppies''), whose accomplishments they tend to play down and devalue (Encel, 1970; Sharp, 1992). Australians admire the ''Aussie battler'' and those who stand out against authority (Feather, 1986b). Australians are less concerned about safety and security at the personal and national levels due to the country's affluence and stability. Rather they Table 15.4 Cultural Differences Between Thai and Australian Characteristics Thai cultural traits Australian cultural traits Smooth interpersonal relationships Exclusive interpersonal relationships Smile as an expression of politeness Verbal expression of politeness Concern about others' feelings No concern about others' feelings Respect for elders No respect for elders Focus on religious and spiritual beliefs Focus on logic and science Truth is relative Truth is absolute Focus on fun and pleasure Focus on hard work Focus on social relationships Focus on assertion and task Success perceived in social and religious terms Success perceived in terms of achievement and money Family orientation Independent, self-sufficient Group orientation, interdependence Individual orientation Importance of status, seniority, hierarchy Egalitarianism Risk avoidance Risk-taking Self-control and self-restraint Unreserved behavior Criticism avoidance Acceptance of constructive criticism Avoidance of questions Frequent critical questioning Face-saving No face-saving Strong sense of self-ego Weak sense of self-ego Eye contact not frequent Frequent eye contact Restrained use of left hand Free use of either hand Formal introduction conforming to status No formal introduction protocol Greetings with a smile Greetings with ''hello'' Frequent smiling as a social function Smiling used to express genuine pleasure Addressing by title and first name Addressing by first name Enquiries about age and earnings accepted Enquiries about age and earnings impolite Inclusive personal relations Exclusive personal relations Superficiality Need for a deep meaning Humility Self-confidence Gratefulness and reciprocation Selfishness Situation orientation System and principles orientation Importance of self-presentation Self-presentation less important Importance of external presentation External presentation less important Source: Reisinger, Y., & Turner, L. (1998). Cultural differences in tourism: A Lisrel analysis of Thai tourism to Australia. Paper presented at the International Tourism and Hotel Industry in Indo-China and Southeast Asia Conference, Phuket, Thailand, June 4-6, 1998. 358 CHAPTER 15 Cultural differences among international societies are more concerned with love, affiliation, self-definition, and self-fulfillment (Feather, 1975, 1980a, 1986a; Feather & Hutton, 1973). Australians enjoy life. They ''work to live,'' not ''live to work''. Although they feel close to their British ancestors, they are not reserved; they are outgoing, relaxed, and informal. They greet each other by shaking hands, waving, or saying a simple ''Hello, how are you?'' They usually use first names to address someone. They are relatively open in expressing their feelings (Harris et al., 2004). The four most important terminal values for Australians are happiness, inner harmony, freedom, and true friendship, whereas the four least important terminal values are pleasure, social recognition, national security, and salvation. The four most important instrumental values for Australians are being honest, loving, being broadminded, and being cheerful; the four least important instrumental values are being logical, polite, clean, and obedient (Feather, 1976, 1980a). Australian contemporary values are those of achievement, success, activity, work, humanitarianism, democracy, equality, aggressiveness and independence, all deriving from a value of self-reliance (Elashmawi, 1991). Lipset (1963) found that Australians are more egalitarian but less achievement oriented, universalistic and specific than Americans. Australians place importance on friendships and equality more than Americans and Israelis. Feather (1975) noted that Australians are more achievement oriented than Canadians and Israelis. Family, security, happiness and intellectual values are less important to Australians than to the other groups. Leading an exciting life; appreciating the world of beauty, inner harmony, mature love, and friendships; and being cheerful are all more important to them than to Americans. Having a comfortable life, salvation and ambition are less important than to Americans (Feather, 1975). 

15.4 EUROPE 

15.4.1 Important European values 

Currently, the European Union encompasses more than 400 million people. The majority of the population is Caucasian. Europeans speak German, Romance, and Slavic languages. According to Harris et al. (2004), Europeans have an inherent interest in the quality of life. Historically they had to fight their neighbors, and they think in the context of the past. They have suffered and survived many wars, plagues, and government changes; they have a sense of survival. Long-term survival is more important to them than money. They have a sense of social responsibility. They desire education and security, and mistrust authority. They observe formal rules and titles in oral and written communication. They like new ideas and new ventures that lead to the enhancement of their quality of life. The four most significant European values that dominate the European culture are pragmatism, rationalism, holism, and humanism (Lessem & Neubauer, 1994). However, European countries are quite different from each other in terms of their value orientations. Table 15.5 shows the evaluation scores, which 15.4 Europe 359 represent the relative positions of the selected European countries on Hofstede and Hofstede's (2005) cultural dimensions. A high score on a dimension indicates a high position in that dimension. The most individualistic European countries are the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Hungary, Belgium, and Denmark; the most Table 15.5 Evaluation of the European Countries on the Hofstede and Hofstede's (2005) Cultural Dimensions Country Power Distance Uncertainty Avoidance Individualism Masculinity Long-Term Orientation Austria 11 70 55 79 31 Belgium total 38 Belgium Flemish 61 97 78 43 Belgium Walloon 67 93 72 60 Bulgaria 70 85 30 40 Croatia 73 80 33 40 Czech Republic 57 74 58 57 13 Denmark 18 23 74 16 46 Estonia 40 60 60 30 Finland 33 59 63 26 41 France 68 86 71 43 39 Germany 35 65 67 66 31 Great Britain 35 35 89 66 25 Greece 60 112 35 57 Hungary 46 82 80 88 50 Ireland 28 35 70 68 43 Italy 50 75 76 70 34 Luxembourg 40 70 60 50 Malta 56 96 59 47 Netherlands 38 53 80 14 44 Norway 31 50 69 8 44 Poland 68 93 60 64 32 Portugal 63 104 27 31 30 Romania 90 90 30 42 Russia 93 95 39 36 Serbia 86 92 25 43 Slovakia 104 51 52 110 38 Slovenia 71 88 27 19 Spain 57 86 51 42 19 Sweden 31 29 71 5 33 Switzerland 40 French 70 70 64 58 German 26 56 69 72 Turkey 66 85 37 45 *A high score on a dimension indicates a high ranking on that dimension, e.g., scores high in ranking represent the most individualistic countries, whereas scores low in ranking represent the most collectivistic ones. Source: Hofstede, G., & Hofstede, G. J. (2005). Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind (Revised and expanded 2nd ed.). New York, USA: McGraw-Hill. 360 CHAPTER 15 Cultural differences among international societies collectivistic are Portugal, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, and Turkey. High on power distance are Slovakia, Russia, and Romania. Low on power distance are the former Austria and Denmark. The highest on uncertainty avoidance and the most threatened are Greece, Portugal, Malta, Russia, and Belgium; the lowest on uncertainty are Denmark, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. The most masculine are Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Italy, and Switzerland; the most feminine are Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, and Portugal. The highest on longterm orientation are Hungary, the Netherlands, and Slovakia, followed by Sweden and Germany; the lowest are the Czech Republic and Norway. Greece is one of the countries that scored highly on collectivism and very highly on uncertainty avoidance. Sweden is the most feminine country. The Germanic countries are characterized by smaller power distance and weak-to-medium uncertainty avoidance. In the Germanic group the extreme country is Denmark, characterized by very small power distance and very weak uncertainty avoidance. Belgium, on the other hand, is characterized by a quite high uncertainty avoidance. The United Kingdom and Ireland are close to Germany but they are low on both power distance and uncertainty avoidance dimensions. Germany is more collectivistic than the United Kingdom. It was noted that Germans value cooperation, mutual support, team spirit, avoidance of conflict, and punctuality. However, the degree of formality in Germany is extreme. Germans address others and conduct themselves in a very formal manner; they use titles and identify people by their positions in social structures (Samovar et al., 1988). In terms of the Confucian Work Dynamism dimension, Sweden, Poland, and Germany are in the middle rank on the Confucius long-term orientation (Chinese Culture Connection, 1987). Their value orientations are in between the long-term orientation (persistence, ordering relationships by status, thrift, having a sense of shame) and short-term orientation (personal stability, protecting ''face,'' respect for tradition, reciprocation). The most universalistic cultures can be found in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Sweden; and the most particularistic in France (Hampden-Turner & Trompenaars, 1993). Countries in which people are inner directed are the United Kingdom and Germany; countries with outer-orientation are Sweden, the Netherlands, and France. The most analytical are the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Sweden; the most integrative are France and Germany. Countries in which status is gained by achievement are the United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands; the country in which status is ascribed is France. Countries that view time as sequential are Sweden, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Germany; that country that views time as synchronized is France. France France's population is about 60 million. The French are mostly Roman Catholic. They are concerned with such values as honor, integrity, liberty, equality, and fraternity. They are religion tolerant and appreciate diversity. They are individualistic in nature. 15.4 Europe 361 They want to be and seen different, unique, and special. They are very status conscious. Although they like power, they dislike competition. The French are proud of their cultural heritage and language. They focus on the quality of life; they work to live rather than live to work. They love life. They attach great importance to vacations and free time. They are casual and flexible in terms of time; they enjoy leisure and socialization, good food and wine. They are inner-oriented and base their decisions on feelings and emotions. They are often indirect in conversations, which are meant to entertain. They talk more freely about sex; however, they avoid talking about money, jobs, and salaries, which are perceived to be not the business of others. French people are friendly, humorous, and often cynical; they want to be liked and they want to impress. They attach importance to appearance and good taste. They judge others on the basis of personality (Harris et al., 2004). Germany Germany has a population of more than 82 million. Most Germans are Roman Catholics. They are known for being hard working, reserved, disciplined and cold in behavior. They are meticulous, methodical, precise (linear thinking), well organized, and efficient. They have one of the highest standards of living in the world and can afford buying luxuries. They are very punctual and formal, and use an official form of address when addressing others in public. They are title conscious. They maintain large distance between themselves. They are restrained in their body movements and follow rules of polite behavior. For example, talking to someone with your hands in your pockets, or sitting with the bottom of the shoes facing another person is unacceptable (Harris et al., 2004). Italy Italy has a population of about 60 million. The major ethnic groups are Italians, with small groups of Germans, French, Slovenes, Albanians and Greeks. They are primarily Roman Catholic. They are family and relationships oriented. Having a big family and network of friends is most important. Italians are more being-oriented rather than doing-oriented. Individuals are valued by not what they do for living but how they do and who they are. Although they like to be individualistic they do depend on each other. Although initially they are formal in relationships, they are warm, and like to hug, embrace, and kiss each other. The rules of social hierarchy must be followed; status and titles are important. Image is the key element in all areas of life, including dress and behavior. Good appearance is of great importance. Italians compete in appearance and lifestyle. Italian culture is high-context culture; language is elaborate and musical. People talk a lot and engage in heated discussions. Italians are emotional, expressive, and affectionate. They discuss secrets in public. They have a very well developed system of non-verbal gestures. They are very creative and can find solutions to any problem; they are very good at getting around and beating the system. Since they do not like to take risks, they have to follow thousands of laws 362 CHAPTER 15 Cultural differences among international societies and regulations. Italians are fatalistic and believe in destiny. They always do several things simultaneously. In the more industrial North, they are more punctual; in the South they are more flexible about time, relaxed about the appointments and schedules (Harris et al., 2004). Poland Poland, the biggest country in Central Europe, has a population of about 40 million. The majority are Roman Catholics. Polish people are very religious. They are proud of their history and cultural heritage and being the home country of their beloved Pope John Paul II. Polish people enjoy freedom of speech, press, and assembly. They are tolerant of different cultures and religions. Poland has survived many wars and communism. They mistrust authority. Polish people have a strong sense of survival and justice. They desire peace and security. They follow the accepted rules of behavior; social etiquette is important to them. They are individualistic. Everyone has his or her own opinion. They like to debate, fight for good causes and individual rights. They are hospitable and open, especially towards foreigners. In the past, Poland experienced a large migration to the United States and currently to EU countries. Russia Russia has about 145 million people. In the past, Russian individualism, personal gains and self-interest were traditionally discouraged. People had to sacrifice and subjugate to the state that had a control over their life. Young Russians were taught discipline and subordination. Russians suffered from a sense of inferiority. The society was very hierarchical. They were passive and believed in the governing class. They needed authority to establish order. They distrusted outsiders and anyone outside the circle, particularly foreigners. In business, Russians were noted for patience and stalling; they did not accept compromise. They constantly sought concessions and used connections and influences, and exchanged favors. Currently, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Russian people are trying to rebuild rich Russian tradition and culture. Although the Russian economy is booming, it is also experiencing chaos, which is generating a fear of the unexpected among those who are at the bottom of a social class. After heavy casualties during the wars, Russian people avoid risk and danger, and search for stability, certainty, and order (Jandt, 1998). Russian values reflect more feminine than masculine values; people attach importance to friends, family life, social relations, and cultural life rather than money. Love, ethics, morality, and feelings are taught as being important values in life. Although in public people are reserved and use formal ways of address, privately they are expressive and emotional. They dislike the Western attitude toward materialism, time, and pace of life. The younger generations strive to be more educated and cosmopolitan. Russians are very hospitable people. 15.4 Europe 363 In general, Russian values reflect both Asian and European values. Russian people attach great importance to social harmony and relationships with others. They worship the past and present more than the future. They are pessimistic due to experiencing hardship for long decades. They believe people are bad or a mixture of good and evil. They believe they cannot control the environment (Jandt, 1998). At the same time, they seek the Western values of personal rights, individualism, and freedom. Today Russians have become more individualistic, risk-taking, and masculine. They seek identity, want to be unique, and enjoy all the pleasures of the Western world. Spain Spain has more than 40 million people. The major religious group is Roman Catholic, and minority is Muslim. The Spanish enjoy their life; they focus on life quality; they work to live rather than live to work. They are proud of their own heritage, and enjoy companionship, music, and good food. People do not follow the rules of the clock; they have time for families and friends. Gender roles are differentiated, and children are pampered. Spanish people are very friendly, hospitable, and warm; it is easy to establish relationships with them. They are also emotional, affectionate and lively - often chaotic in discussions (Harris et al., 2004). United Kingdom The United Kingdom has more than 60 million people. The major ethnic groups are English, Welsh and Scottish. They are traditional, conventional, reserved, and distant; they avoid direct conflicts and do not complain. They tend to downplay situations that may cause conflict. Respect and deference is shown to superiors and appropriate distance is used in communication and social interactions. Family names and titles are used. Manners and good etiquette are followed on all occasions (Harris et al., 2004). 

15.5 INDIA 

India has a population of 1 billion. Hinduism is the major religion that dominates the culture and all personal and business relationships. India has a huge variety of languages, customs and cultural beliefs. There are 15 official languages, including English, with more than 1400 dialects. Family and friends are of great importance. People are expected to sense others' needs and help to meet these needs. India is a hierarchical society; people respect those of higher social positions and use titles to address others. The rules of social etiquette are followed. People do not ask personal questions and do not display affection in public. Hindu people are mostly vegetarian; they do not eat beef and do not drink alcohol. Drinking alcohol is considered 364 CHAPTER 15 Cultural differences among international societies degrading. People eat with their hands. The left hand is considered unclean; the right hand is used for eating. The American style of backslapping is not acceptable. Women should not be touched in public. Hindus like to bargain for goods and services (Harris et al., 2004). 15.6 LATIN AMERICA Common Latin American values Latin America has a population of nearly 400 million. Major cultural groups are represented by Native Indians (Mayan, Incas, Aztecs), Europeans (mostly Spanish), Africans, and Asians, especially Polynesians and Japanese. Many countries in Latin America differ widely in terms of their socio-economic status, education, history, governance, and the behavior and values of the people. The major cultural similarities among the Latin American countries are the influence of the Catholic Church, the value of the family, and the differentiation between male and female roles (Harris et al., 2004). Mexico Mexico is one-fourth the size of the United States and has a population of more than 103 million. Major ethnic groups are of indigenous, Mestizo and European descent. About 90% of the Mexican people are Roman Catholic. Mexicans are warm and hospitable. Their culture is people-oriented, and less task-oriented. Mexicans value strong family and strong social relationships. They like to socialize and take time for conversation. Although they are relaxed and leisure-oriented, many are hard working. They are proud of their own heritage and culture. They believe individual achievements are not as important as a person's soul or spirit. Although they value equality and democracy, they are also status-, age-, and gender-conscious. They are concerned with protocol; they address others by using official titles, such as senor or don, as a sign of respect. They are traditional and have high moral values. They believe money is not the only determinant of social status; honesty and decency are more important. They respect the past and enjoy the present. They believe nature has been created by God, and only God can influence or change it. The future is determined by God's will (Harris et al., 2004). Mexican culture is a high-context culture; messages are sent through non-verbal language, such as hand movements, and emotional expressions. People like closeness; they stand close to each other and often touch each other. Mexicans have a polychronic attitude toward time; they do many things simultaneously. They are relaxed about time; they do not allow time schedules to interfere with their friends and families. Although they believe it is important to be on time for meetings, they also agree that one should always expect to wait. They avoid risk and believe in a written document (Harris et al., 2004). 

15.6 Latin America 


Brazil has a population of about 176 million. About 55% of the people are white descendants of the Portuguese, German, Italian, Spanish and Polish; 40% are mixed; and 6% black. More than 50% of the population is young - under 20 years of age. People are warm, hospitable, emotional, affective, sensitive, generous, and receptive to foreigners. Brazilians are not prejudiced against any skin color or nationality. For them social relationships are more important than individual achievements. Extended family, usually male-dominated, is the single most important social institution. They believe in social hierarchy and appropriate forms of greetings. They are concerned about their appearance. They treat business relationships as personal relationships. They think time is flexible. They like to talk about their families. They avoid controversial subjects. They are not always direct. Their communication style is expressive and focused on details. They are high-contact communicators; they use a lot of non-verbal communication, such as eye contact. They like to interrupt in discussions. They do not follow formal rules and procedures; those who do are perceived as unimaginative and lacking intelligence. They are often late; time is not important to them. Their speaking distance is close (Harris et al., 2004). 


Common Arab values The most important values of Arab people are dignity, honor, and reputation. Losing face or being ashamed is avoided. Arabs are loyal to family, courteous, and good communicators. They put people and country needs first. They seek close personal relationships. They emphasize the importance of good listening skills. It is customary for men to kiss each other on both cheeks. Islamic teachings forbid eating pork, drinking alcohol, gambling, and prostitution. Men are allowed to marry more than one woman, whereas a woman may marry only one man. The Koran teaches to be modest in appearance; people have to cover arms and shoulders. The feminist movement is quickly emerging within the Arab cultures, alongside Islamic fundamentalism (Harris et al., 2004). Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia is the heartland of Islamic culture. Approximately 90% of the Saudi people are Arabs; the rest are Afro-Asian. The Kingdom's population is 24 million. Islam permeates Saudi life. The royal family controls the top government positions and the nations' wealth. Arab society places great emphasis on honor, and shame that must be avoided. Shame means a loss of power and influence. Families depend upon each other. Arabs are concerned about their families, clan, tribe, and 366 CHAPTER 15 Cultural differences among international societies country. They seek connections and networking. Arab women are not part of the socialization process and networking. Bargaining is a norm. Arabs dislike imposing Western time frames and work schedules. Communication with Arabs is complex; Arab language is high-context and uses lots of non-verbal cues such as gestures, facial expressions, eye browsing, eye contact, standing close, etc. ''Yes'' may mean ''no'' or ''maybe''. Swearing is unacceptable. It is unacceptable to engage in conversation about religion, politics, and Israel. Drinking alcohol is prohibited. Pointing fingers at someone or showing the soles of the feet when seated are considered rude (Harris et al., 2004). United Arab Emirates The UAE is a Middle Eastern federation of seven states situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Southwest Asia on the Persian Gulf. The UAE, rich in oil and natural gas, has become highly prosperous after gaining foreign direct investment funding in the 1970s. UAE has the most diverse populations in the Middle East; 19% of the population is represented by Emirati, 23% by other Arabs and Iranians, 50% by South Asians and 8% by expatriates (includes Westerners and East Asians). Islam dominates all aspects of life. According to official ministry documents, 76% of the total population is Muslim, 10% is Hindu, 9% is Christian, and 5% is Buddhist. The official language is Arabic. The society is divided into two social categories: the nationals and the foreign immigrants. Citizens are subdivided into classes; the ruling sheikhly families hold the political power and wealth. The UAE has the highest gender imbalance among any nation in the world; there are more than twice the number of males than females. Although officially men and women have equal rights and opportunities, patriarchy is still visible in social life. Women do not play a significant role in political and religious life; men receive employment preferences. Arranged marriages are the preferred patterns however this tradition is changing. The largest city Dubai is the one of the 'hottest' tourist destinations of the present and future. It is the only emirate of the UAE with both a Hindu Temple and a Sikh Gurdwara. Christian churches are also present in the country. Emiratis are tolerant toward other religions. Emiratis are known for their hospitality; they feel honored when receiving guests and socializing with friends and relatives. Guests are welcomed with coffee and fresh dates and incense is passed around. Muslims greet each other with ''Assalamo Alaikum,'' which means ''May peace be upon you and may God's blessings be with you''. This greeting makes Muslims aware that they have to spread love and peace wherever they go. If someone calling himself a Muslim and a follower of the Holy Prophet does not promote peace and love in his actions and does not follow this teaching, he cannot be a true follower of the Holy Prophet ( Muslims pray five times a day, asking God for his love. 15.7 Middle East 367 Visitors are expected to abide by local standards of modest dress code however do not adapt native clothing. Most of the body must remain covered. Shoes are removed before entering a mosque or any other building. Alcohol and pork are not consumed. When greeting, men touch nose-to-nose while shaking hands, and women kiss each other on each cheek. First names are not used. Respect and courtesy are shown to elders. Gender segregation is evident; men are entertained in large living rooms, while women entertain friends in the home. The left hand is considered unclean and reserved for hygiene. People do not point at another person, do not cross legs when sitting, and do not show the bottom of the shoe or foot. The ''thumbs up'' gesture is considered offensive. Gifts are appreciated and open in private. It is impolite to refuse a gift. Gifts should not include alcohol, perfume containing alcohol, pork, personal items, knives, and images of nude women. The subject of women and Israel are avoided in conversations. Communication is slow with periods of silence. ''Yes'' usually means ''possibly''. Meetings are commonly interrupted. Those who ask most questions are likely to be the least important. Decisions are made by silent observers (http://www.cyborlink. com/besite/uae.htm). 



Canada has a population of about 32 million. It is a bilingual and multicultural society. It consists of two dominant cultural groups: the English Canadian and French Canadian. The English Canadian culture dominates in most of the provinces where the official language is English, whereas the French Canadian culture dominates in Quebec, where the official language is French. There are strong minority ethnic groups of German, Scandinavian, Asian, Dutch, Ukrainian, Polish, and Italian in Canada. Other ethnic groups are represented by those of British Isles and French origin, other Europeans, Amerindian, Asians, Africans, Arabs and those with mixed background. Canada has also a large percentage of the refugees from India and Pakistan. The biggest influx of refugees is from Hong Kong. Canadians are proud of their country; they do not like to be compared to the other ''Americans''. Canadians are friendly and more reserved than the US Americans. They respect authority and formalities, do not support individualism, and prefer cooperation over competition. They are patriotic, law-abiding, and proud of their heritage. They like peace and order. They are bound by time schedules and deadlines, and they appreciate promptness. They welcome foreign businesses and immigrants. The family is the center of society. They tend to confront conflict. English Canadians tend to focus on theoretical issues. They are more cooperative and less concerned with protocol and ceremony, whereas French Canadians are more focused on practical issues, more individualistic and competitive. They focus on 368 CHAPTER 15 Cultural differences among international societies relationship building, and observe formalities and rules of social etiquette. 

English Canadians are low-context communicators; they send message by the words spoken and they are less concerned with protocol. French Canadians are high-context communicators; they use non-verbal means in addition to spoken words to communicate (Harris et al., 2004). The United States The United States is the fourth largest nation in the world, with a population of nearly 300 million. More than 70% of all the populations is represented by White ethnic groups, followed by African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Alaskan natives, Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. The United States is a multicultural society; it contains many ethnic groups whose cultures mixed together and melted into the culture of the United States. Two words - ''salad bowl'' and ''mosaic'' - are used to describe the nation in which different cultures combine together to form a diverse country. The country is experiencing latinization. Its character and communication are affected by the influx of those from Latin America. Although English is the official language, 

Spanish is emerging as a second language, especially in the Southwest, California, Florida, and Puerto Rico. The country consists of two societies: white people and people of color. There are huge regional differences in lifestyles and attitudes. For example, the eastern part of the United States is more established, conservative, organized and deteriorating; the western part of the nation is more casual, innovative and flexible. Table 15.6 presents the major values of people in the United States, as identified in the literature. SUMMARY Although there are similarities within the cultural groups, cultural value patterns and behavior in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, India, Latin and North America (Canada and the United States), and the Middle East differ among these groups. 


  • Are there any similarities in cultural value patterns among Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe, and the United States? 
  • Compare similarities and differences in the ways different cultural groups, societies and cultures meet human needs and concerns. 


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  • sectetur adipiscing elit. Nam lacinia pulvinar tortor nec facilisis. Pellentesque dapibus efficitur laoreet. Nam risus ante, dapibus a molestie consequat, ultrices ac magna. Fusce dui lectus, congue vel laoreet ac, dictum vitae odio. Donec aliquet. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nam lacinia pulvinar tortor nec facilisis. Pellentesque dapibus efficitur laoreet. Nam
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  • sectetur adipiscing elit. Nam lacinia pulvinar tortor nec facilisis. Pellentesque dapibus efficitur laoreet. Nam risus ante, dapibus a molestie consequat, ultrices ac magna. Fusce dui lectus, congue vel laoreet ac, dictum vitae odio. Donec aliquet. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nam lacinia pulvinar tortor nec facilisis. Pellentesque dapibus efficitur laoreet. Nam risus ante, dapibus a mol

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