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Chapter 03 - Differences in Culture

Chapter 03
Differences in Culture

True / False Questions

1. (p. 88) In today's world of global communications, rapid transportation and global markets,
cultural differences have ceased to exist.
FALSE

Difficulty: Medium

2. (p. 88) Culture is static.


FALSE

Difficulty: Medium

3. (p. 89) Values are abstract ideas about what a group believes to be right, good and desirable.
TRUE

Difficulty: Easy

4. (p. 89) A society is another name for a country.


FALSE

Difficulty: Easy

5. (p. 89) A country is defined as a system of values and norms that are shared among a group of
people and that when taken together constitute a design for living.
FALSE

Difficulty: Easy

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6. (p. 89) People who violate folkways are considered to be evil or bad.
FALSE

Difficulty: Medium

7. (p. 90) Folkways include rituals and symbolic behavior.


TRUE

Difficulty: Medium

8. (p. 90) The bow that is given by a Japanese business executive to another business executive
is an example of symbolic behavior.
TRUE

Difficulty: Medium

9. (p. 90) Mores have much greater significance than folkways.


TRUE

Difficulty: Medium

10. (p. 91) If a country is characterized as having a single homogenous culture, then its national
culture also is homogenous and not a mosaic of subcultures.
FALSE

Difficulty: Medium

11. (p. 91) The values and norms of a culture are evolutionary.
TRUE

Difficulty: Medium

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12. (p. 92) A society's social structure refers to its basic social organization.
TRUE

Difficulty: Easy

13. (p. 92) Individualism has led to a high degree of managerial mobility between companies
resulting in managers who have good general skills but lack company-specific experience.
TRUE

Difficulty: Medium

14. (p. 93) The emphasis on individualism in the U.S. may raise the costs of doing business due
to its adverse impact on managerial stability and cooperation.
TRUE

Difficulty: Medium

15. (p. 93) The group is the primary unit of organization in Western societies.
FALSE

Difficulty: Medium

16. (p. 93) As demonstrated by Japan, the primacy of the group is always beneficial.
FALSE

Difficulty: Medium

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17. (p. 94) The term social strata refers to the extent to which individuals can move out of the
strata into which they were born.
FALSE

Difficulty: Easy

18. (p. 94) The most rigid system of stratification is a class system.
FALSE

Difficulty: Easy

19. (p. 94) A caste system is a closed system of stratification in which social position is
determined by the family into which the person is born.
TRUE

Difficulty: Easy

20. (p. 94) A class system is a rigid form of social stratification in which the position a person
has by birth cannot be changed through his or her own achievements or luck.
FALSE

Difficulty: Easy

21. (p. 95) Historically, upward mobility could be achieved in a single generation in Britain.
FALSE

Difficulty: Medium

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22. (p. 95) China's communist rule strengthened class divisions.


TRUE

Difficulty: Medium

23. (p. 96) An antagonistic relationship between management and labor classes may result in
higher costs of production.
TRUE

Difficulty: Medium

24. (p. 96) Confucianism can be accurately characterized as a religion.


FALSE

Difficulty: Hard

25. (p. 96) Christianity is nonexistent in Africa.


FALSE

Difficulty: Medium

26. (p. 98) Several sociologists have argued that of the three main branches of Christianity—
Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant—the latter has the most important economic implications.
TRUE

Difficulty: Medium

27. (p. 98) Islam is the largest of the world's major religions.
FALSE

Difficulty: Medium

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28. (p. 99) Islam has roots in both Judaism and Christianity.
TRUE

Difficulty: Medium

29. (p. 100) Muslim countries are likely to be receptive to international business as long as those
businesses behave in a manner that is consistent with Islamic ethics.
TRUE

Difficulty: Medium

30. (p. 100) The protection of the right to private property is also embedded within Islam.
TRUE

Difficulty: Medium

31. (p. 102) A mudarabah contract banking method of Islamic banks is similar to a profit-sharing
scheme.
TRUE

Difficulty: Medium

32. (p. 102) Like Christianity and Islam, Hinduism's founding is also linked to a particular
person and it has an officially sanctioned sacred book.
FALSE

Difficulty: Medium

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33. (p. 104) Hindus perceive the pursuit of material well-being as making the attainment of
nirvana easier.
FALSE

Difficulty: Medium

34. (p. 104) Unlike Hinduism, Buddhism does not support the caste system.
TRUE

Difficulty: Easy

35. (p. 105) Guanxi is an important mechanism for building long-term business relationships and
getting business done in China.
TRUE

Difficulty: Medium

36. (p. 106-107) Since English is often thought of as the global language of business, it is not
important for an American business executive to learn foreign languages.
FALSE

Difficulty: Easy

37. (p. 107) Unspoken language refers to nonverbal communication.


TRUE

Difficulty: Easy

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38. (p. 108) Hofstede's power distance dimension focused on how a society deals with the fact
that people are unequal in physical and intellectual capabilities.
TRUE

Difficulty: Easy

39. (p. 110) Culture is a constant; it does not evolve over time.
FALSE

Difficulty: Medium

40. (p. 112) Cultural change is unidirectional, with national cultures converging toward some
homogenous global entity.
FALSE

Difficulty: Medium

Multiple Choice Questions

41. (p. 88) During the 1960s and 1970s, class divisions in _____ raised the cost of doing
business there, relative to other European countries.
A. Great Britain
B. Switzerland
C. Norway
D. Germany

Difficulty: Hard

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42. (p. 88) Which of the following is not true regarding culture?
A. Culture is static
B. Culture is evolving
C. It is a system of values and norms that are shared among a group of people
D. It involves the knowledge and beliefs of people

Difficulty: Easy

43. (p. 89) _____ is/are best defined as shared assumptions about how things ought to be.
A. Norms
B. Values
C. Society
D. Culture

Difficulty: Easy

44. (p. 89) The system of values and norms that are shared among a group of people and that
when taken together constitute a design for living best defines
A. Society
B. Value systems
C. Principles
D. Culture

Difficulty: Easy

45. (p. 89) Social rules and guidelines that prescribe appropriate behavior in particular situations
are best described as
A. Norms
B. Values
C. Culture
D. Society

Difficulty: Easy

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46. (p. 89) A group of people who share a common set of values and norms form a
A. Culture
B. Society
C. Country
D. Caste

Difficulty: Easy

47. (p. 89) _____ are the routine conventions of everyday life.
A. Folkways
B. Mores
C. Rites
D. Beliefs

Difficulty: Easy

48. (p. 89) _____ are social conventions concerning things such as the appropriate dress code in
a particular situation, good social manners, eating with the correct utensils, neighborly
behavior and the like.
A. Values
B. Beliefs
C. Mores
D. Folkways

Difficulty: Medium

49. (p. 90) An act, as simple as shaking hands when meeting new people is an example of
A. Values
B. Symbolic behavior
C. Mores
D. Social stratification

Difficulty: Medium

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50. (p. 90) A Japanese executive's ritual of presenting a business card to a foreign business
executive is an example of
A. Mores
B. Values
C. Attitudes
D. Folkways

Difficulty: Medium

51. (p. 90) Mores are


A. The norms that are seen as central to the functioning of a society and its social life
B. The routine conventions of every day life
C. Abstract ideas about what a group believes to be right, good and desirable
D. The social rules and guidelines that prescribe appropriate behavior in particular situations

Difficulty: Easy

52. (p. 91) Which of the following statement about values and norms of a culture is not true?
A. The values and norms of a society do not emerge fully formed
B. They are the evolutionary product of a number of factors
C. They are influenced by social structure and religion
D. They do not influence social structure and religion

Difficulty: Hard

53. (p. 92) The social organization of Western society tends to emphasize on
A. A group orientation
B. The family
C. Individual achievement
D. Work groups

Difficulty: Medium

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54. (p. 92) The emphasis on individualism in the U.S. results in all of the following
disadvantages except
A. Managers tend to develop good general skills but lack the company-specific experience
B. Difficulty in building teams within an organization to perform collective tasks
C. Executives are not exposed to different ways of doing business
D. Difficulty to achieve cooperation both within a company and between companies

Difficulty: Medium

55. (p. 93) A central value of Japanese culture is the importance attached to
A. The individual
B. Group membership
C. Individual achievement
D. Personal accomplishments

Difficulty: Easy

56. (p. 93) It has been argued that the success of Japanese enterprises in the global economy has
been based partly all of the following except
A. The diffusion of self-managing work teams
B. The close cooperation among different functions within Japanese companies
C. The high degree of managerial mobility between companies
D. The cooperation between a company and its suppliers on issues such as design, quality
control and inventory reduction

Difficulty: Hard

57. (p. 94) Which of the following refers to the extent to which individuals can move out of the
strata into which they are born?
A. Caste stratification
B. Class system
C. Social mobility
D. Individual potential

Difficulty: Easy

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58. (p. 94) A _____ is a closed system of stratification in which social position is determined by
the family into which a person is born and change in that position is usually not possible
during an individual's lifetime.
A. Caste system
B. Class system
C. Social system
D. Culture system

Difficulty: Easy

59. (p. 94) This is a less rigid form of social stratification in which social mobility is possible.
A. Social system
B. Caste system
C. Cultural system
D. Class system

Difficulty: Easy

60. (p. 94) These strata are typically defined on the basis of characteristics such as family
background, occupation and income.
A. Demographic strata
B. Economic strata
C. Social strata
D. Cultural strata

Difficulty: Medium

61. (p. 94) A class system


A. Is the same as a caste system
B. Is a rigid form of social stratification that does not permit social mobility
C. Allows an individual to change his or her position via personal achievements
D. Is more rigid than the caste system

Difficulty: Medium

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62. (p. 95) A condition where people tend to perceive themselves in terms of their class
background and this shapes their relationships with members of other classes is known as
A. Economic classification
B. Social mobility
C. Class mobility
D. Class consciousness

Difficulty: Medium

63. (p. 95) _____ has been played out in British society in the traditional hostility between-
upper-middle class managers and their working class employees.
A. Class consciousness
B. Cultural unity
C. Social awareness
D. Category mindfulness

Difficulty: Medium

64. (p. 95) In china, class divisions


A. Have historically been of no importance
B. Were strengthened during the high point of communist rule
C. Increased even during reforms of the late 1970s and early 1980s
D. Were weakened because of a rigid system of household registration

Difficulty: Hard

65. (p. 95) The emergence of class-consciousness in Great Britain can be attributed to
A. The relative lack of class mobility
B. A high degree of social mobility
C. An extreme emphasis on individualism
D. Most of the population perceiving itself to be middle class

Difficulty: Medium

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66. (p. 95) Class consciousness


A. Refers to a set of moral principles or values, that are used to guide and shape behavior
B. Is a condition where people tend to perceive themselves in terms of their class background
C. Is the extent to which individuals can move out of the strata into which they are born
D. Is a closed system of stratification in which social position is determined by the family into
which a person is born

Difficulty: Hard

67. (p. 96) Which of the following cannot be characterized as a religion?


A. Islam
B. Hinduism
C. Confucianism
D. Buddhism

Difficulty: Easy

68. (p. 96) Ethical systems are


A. A set of moral principles or values, that are used to guide and shape behavior
B. Shared beliefs and rituals that are concerned with the realm of the sacred
C. Routine conventions of everyday life
D. Social rules that govern peoples' actions toward each other

Difficulty: Easy

69. (p. 96) Religion may be defined as


A. Routine conventions of everyday life
B. Social rules that govern peoples' actions toward each other
C. Shared beliefs and rituals that are concerned with the realm of the sacred
D. A set of moral principles or values, that are used to guide and shape behavior

Difficulty: Easy

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70. (p. 96) _____ is the most widely practiced religion in the world.
A. Christianity
B. Islam
C. Hinduism
D. Buddhism

Difficulty: Medium

71. (p. 98) The second largest of the world's religions is


A. Christianity
B. Buddhism
C. Hinduism
D. Islam

Difficulty: Medium

72. (p. 98) According to sociologists which of the following branches of Christianity has the
most important economic implications?
A. Catholic
B. Orthodox
C. Protestant
D. Mormon

Difficulty: Hard

73. (p. 98) Identify the sociologist who made a connection between Protestant ethics and "the
spirit of capitalism" that has since become famous.
A. Paul Massing
B. Max Weber
C. Franz Oppenheimer
D. Francis Galton

Difficulty: Easy

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74. (p. 100) Which of the following observations is correct?


A. None of the economic principles established in the Koran are pro–free enterprise
B. The Koran speaks approvingly of free enterprise
C. The Koran speaks disapprovingly of earning legitimate profit through trade and commerce
D. Protection of the right to private property is not embedded within Islam

Difficulty: Medium

75. (p. 100) According to Islam, those who hold property are regarded as
A. Trustees
B. Owners
C. Tenants
D. Speculators

Difficulty: Medium

76. (p. 102) This is an Islamic banking method where banks lend money to a business and rather
than charging that business interest on the loan, they take a share in the profits that are derived
from the investment.
A. Mudarabah
B. Murabaha
C. Maysir
D. Mudarib

Difficulty: Hard

77. (p. 102) Which Islamic banking method is the most widely used among the world's Islamic
banks, primarily because it is the easiest to implement?
A. Mudarib
B. Murabaha
C. Maysir
D. Mudarabah

Difficulty: Hard

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78. (p. 102) According to _____ the way to achieve nirvana is to lead a severe ascetic lifestyle of
material and physical self-denial, devoting life to a spiritual rather than material quest.
A. Buddhism
B. Hinduism
C. Confucianism
D. Islam

Difficulty: Medium

79. (p. 104) According to Max Weber,


A. Principles embedded in Hinduism encourage high levels of entrepreneurial activity
B. Hindu values emphasize that individuals should be judged by their material achievements
C. Pursuit of material well-being makes the attainment of nirvana easier
D. Devout Hindus would be less likely to engage in entrepreneurial activity than devout
Protestants

Difficulty: Medium

80. (p. 104) Identify the incorrect statement pertaining to the caste system in India.
A. It was supported by Hinduism
B. Traditionally mobility between castes within an individual's lifetime was not possible
C. It has been completely uprooted from the country's social life
D. It has been abolished in India

Difficulty: Hard

81. (p. 104) Buddhism


A. Stresses the afterlife and spiritual achievement
B. Advocates extreme ascetic behavior
C. Supports the caste system
D. Stresses maximum involvement in this world

Difficulty: Medium

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82. (p. 105) Confucianism


A. Is best characterized as a religion
B. Is highly concerned with the supernatural and afterlife
C. Teaches the importance of attaining personal salvation through right action
D. Is built around a comprehensive legal system

Difficulty: Medium

83. (p. 105) Three values central to the Confucian system of ethics have very important
economic implications. Which of these is not one among them?
A. Loyalty
B. Rule-based law
C. Reciprocal obligations
D. Honesty in dealings with others

Difficulty: Medium

84. (p. 106) While _____ is the mother tongue of the largest number of people in the world, the
most widely spoken language is
A. Spanish; Chinese
B. English; Hindi
C. Hindi; Spanish
D. Chinese; English

Difficulty: Medium

85. (p. 108) The _____ dimension of Hofstede's study explores how a society deals with the fact
that people are unequal in physical and intellectual capabilities.
A. Power distance
B. Individualism vs. collectivism
C. Uncertainty avoidance
D. Masculinity vs. femininity

Difficulty: Easy

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86. (p. 108) The individualism vs. collectivism dimension of Hofstede's study explored
A. The extent to which different cultures socialized their members into accepting ambiguous
situations and tolerating uncertainty
B. The relationship between gender and work roles
C. How a society deals with the fact that people are unequal in physical and intellectual
capabilities
D. The relationship between the individual and his or her fellows

Difficulty: Easy

87. (p. 108) Hofstede's uncertainty avoidance dimension considered


A. The extent to which different cultures socialized their members into accepting ambiguous
situations and tolerating uncertainty
B. The relationship between gender and work roles
C. How a society deals with the fact that people are unequal in physical and intellectual
capabilities
D. The relationship between the individual and his or her fellows

Difficulty: Easy

88. (p. 109) Hofstede's masculinity vs. femininity dimension examined


A. The extent to which different cultures socialized their members into accepting ambiguous
situations and tolerating uncertainty
B. The relationship between gender and work roles
C. How a society deals with the fact that people are unequal in physical and intellectual
capabilities
D. The relationship between the individual and his or her fellows

Difficulty: Easy

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89. (p. 110) Hofstede's dimension of Confucian dynamism


A. Captures attitudes toward time, persistence, ordering by status, protection of face, respect
for tradition and reciprocation of gifts and favors
B. Focuses on how a society deals with the fact that people are unequal in physical and
intellectual capabilities
C. Explores the relationship between the individual and his or her fellows
D. Looks at the relationship between gender and the ability to accept ambiguous situations

Difficulty: Easy

90. (p. 113) The belief in the superiority of one's own culture is known as
A. Ethnocentrism
B. Egocentrism
C. Polycentrism
D. Theocentricism

Difficulty: Easy

Essay Questions

91. (p. 89) Explain the role of values and norms in culture.

Values or abstract ideas about what a group believes to be good, right and desirable, form the
bedrock of culture. Norms are the social rules and guidelines that prescribe appropriate
behavior in a particular situation. Culture can be defined as a system of values and norms that
are shared among a group of people and that when taken together constitute a design for
living.

Difficulty: Easy

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92. (p. 89-90) Compare and contrast folkways and mores.

Folkways are the routine conventions of everyday life. Generally, folkways are actions of
little moral significance. Folkways include rituals and symbolic behavior. In contrasts, mores
are norms that are seen as central to the functioning of a society and to its social life. Mores
have much greater significance than folkways. Accordingly, violating mores can bring serious
retribution.

Difficulty: Medium

93. (p. 90) Discuss the relationship between society and the nation-state.

There is not a strict one-to-one correspondence between a society and a nation-state. Nation-
states are political creations that may contain a single culture or several cultures. While it is
possible to talk about cultures at different levels, for example, an "American society" and
"American culture," it is important to recognize there are several societies within America,
each with its own culture. The relationship between culture and country is often ambiguous.
One cannot always characterize a country as having a single homogenous culture and that the
national culture is typically a mosaic of subcultures.

Difficulty: Medium

94. (p. 91) What are the determinants of culture?

The values and norms of a culture do not emerge fully formed. They are the evolutionary
product of political philosophy, economic philosophy, education, language, social structure
and religion.

Difficulty: Easy

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95. (p. 92-93) Discuss the effect of the emphasis on individual performance that exists in many
Western societies.

The emphasis on individual performance in many Western societies has both beneficial and
harmful aspects. For example, America's emphasis on individual performance has resulted in
a high level of entrepreneurial activity and the development of new products and new ways of
doing things. However, because individualism finds expression in a high degree of managerial
mobility between companies, the U.S. has many managers who have good general skills but
lack the knowledge, experience and network contacts that come with years of working in the
same company. In addition, because individuals are always competing with each other, it may
be difficult to build teams within an organization to perform collective tasks. In general, the
emphasis on individualism in the U.S., while helping to create a dynamic entrepreneurial
economy, may raise the costs of doing business due to its adverse impact on managerial
stability and cooperation.

Difficulty: Hard

96. (p. 94) Explain the concept of social stratification.

All societies are stratified on a hierarchical basis into social categories or social strata. Social
strata are typically defined on the basis of characteristics such as family background,
occupation and income. Individuals born into the top of a social hierarchy tend to have better
life chances than individuals born into a lower stratum. While all societies are stratified to
some degree they differ from each other with regard to the degree of mobility between social
strata and with regard to the significance attached to social strata in business contexts.

Difficulty: Medium

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97. (p. 94) What is the difference between a caste system and a class system?

A caste system is a closed system of stratification in which social position is determined by


the family into which a person is born and change in that position is usually not possible
during an individual's lifetime. The caste system is the most rigid form of social stratification.
A caste frequently involves a specific occupation. In contrast, a class system is a less rigid
form of social stratification in which social mobility is possible through an individual's
personal achievements and/or luck.

Difficulty: Medium

98. (p. 95-96) Discuss why the stratification of a society is important to business.

The stratification of a society is significant if it affects the operation of business organizations.


In a country like Great Britain for example, the relative lack of class mobility and the
differences between the classes has resulted in hostility between middle-class managers and
their working-class employees. This hostility and the resulting lack of cooperation can make it
more difficult for firms to establish a competitive advantage in the global economy. While the
last two decades has seen a reduction in the number of industrial disputes in Britain, there are
signs that class consciousness may be reemerging in China.

Difficulty: Hard

99. (p. 96) What is the connection between religion and ethical systems?

Ethical systems are a set of moral principles or values, that are used to guide and shape
behavior. Most of the world's ethical systems are the product of religions. Therefore, there are
Christian ethics and Islamic ethics. There are four dominant religions in the world,
Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. The relationship among religion, ethics and
society is subtle and complex.
The authors make the point that while it is important to use caution when making
generalizations about the relationship between religion, ethics and business, there is recent
research that suggests that strong religious beliefs have a positive impact on economic growth
rates.

Difficulty: Medium

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100. (p. 98) Discuss the ideas of Max Weber. What is the Protestant work ethic? Why is it
important to the world economy?

Max Weber was a German sociologist who, in 1904, made the connection between Protestant
ethics and "the spirit of capitalism." According to Weber, there was a relationship between
Protestantism and the emergence of modern capitalism. Weber suggested that the Protestant
value system that emphasized the importance of hard work, wealth creation and frugality was
needed to facilitate the development of capitalism.
Thus, Weber coined the term "Protestant work ethic" to denote the tendency on the part of
Protestants to work hard and accumulate wealth, which are the underpinnings of capitalism.

Difficulty: Medium

101. (p. 100) Explain how the Koran views business.

The Koran establishes some explicit economic principles, many of which are pro-free
enterprise. The Koran supports free enterprise and earning a legitimate profit through trade
and commerce, as well as the protection of the right to private property. However, Islam is
critical of those who earn profit through the exploitation of others. Islam stresses the
importance of living up to contractual obligations, of keeping one's word and of abstaining
from deception.

Difficulty: Medium

102. (p. 104) What are the economic implications of Hinduism?

According to Max Weber, Hindus do not encourage the kind of entrepreneurial activity in
pursuit of wealth creation that can be found in Protestantism. Weber notes that traditional
Hindu values emphasize that individuals should not be judged by their material achievements,
but by their spiritual achievements. But one must be careful not to read too much into Weber's
arguments. Modern India is a very dynamic entrepreneurial society and millions of hard-
working entrepreneurs form the economic backbone of the country's rapidly growing
economy.

Difficulty: Medium

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103. (p. 105-106) Consider the influence of Confucian ethics on the economies of China, Japan,
South Korea and Taiwan.

It has been suggested that the economic success of China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan,
may be due, in part, to the influence of Confucian ethics on the culture in those countries.
Three values that are central to the Confucian system of ethics are of particular note: loyalty,
reciprocal obligations and honesty in dealing with others. In fact, the notion of guanxi or
business relationships, which permeates business dealings in the region, revolves around the
three values. For example, it has been suggested that the close ties between the auto
companies and their suppliers in Japan are facilitated by a combination of trust and reciprocal
obligations.

Difficulty: Medium

104. (p. 106-107) Discuss the spoken language. Which is the most spoken language in the world?
What language is used in business? Is it important to learn a foreign language?

Language does far more than just enable people to communicate with each other. The nature
of a language also structures the way we perceive the world. Chinese is the mother tongue of
the largest number of people in the world, followed by English and Hindi. However, the most
widely spoken language in the world is English, followed by French, Spanish and Chinese.
English is increasingly known as the language of business. Therefore, even when a business
meeting does not involve native English speakers, English is likely to be spoken. Learning a
foreign language is still very important for native English speakers because doing so can build
rapport and help a company avoid costly translation blunders.

Difficulty: Medium

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105. (p. 107) Consider the importance of unspoken language. Why is it important to be familiar
with the unspoken language of another culture?

Unspoken language refers to nonverbal communication. We all communicate with each other
by a host of nonverbal cues. The raising of eyebrows, for example, is a sign of recognition in
most cultures, while a smile is a sign of joy. Many nonverbal cues, however, are culturally
bound. A failure to understand the nonverbal cues of another culture can lead to a failure to
communicate. For example, making a circle with the thumb and forefinger is a friendly
gesture in the United States, but it is a vulgar gesture in Greece and Turkey.
Personal space is another part of unspoken language.

Difficulty: Medium

106. (p. 107-108) Why is the role of education in a culture important to international companies?

A key aspect of education in a culture is its role as a determinant of national competitive


advantage. The availability of a pool of skilled and educated workers seems to be a major
determinant of the likely economic success of a country. Porter for example, has argued that
Japan's excellent education system is an important factor explaining the country's postwar
economic success. In addition, a good education system is an important factor guiding the
location choices of international business. The general education level of a country is also a
good index of the kind of products that might sell in a country and of the type of promotional
material that should be used.

Difficulty: Medium

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107. (p. 108-109) Describe the four dimensions of culture as identified by Geert Hofstede.

Geert Hofstede identified four dimensions that he claimed summarized the differences
between different cultures. According to Hofstede, the power distance dimension focused on
how a society deals with the fact that people are unequal in physical and intellectual
capabilities. The second dimension identified by Hofstede, individualism vs. collectivism,
focused on the relationship between the individual and his or her fellows. Hofstede's third
dimension, uncertainty avoidance, measured the extent to which different cultures socialize
their members into accepting ambiguous situations and tolerating uncertainty. Finally,
Hofstede's fourth dimension, masculinity vs. femininity, examined the relationship between
gender and work roles.

Difficulty: Medium

108. (p. 110) Discuss the limitations of Hofstede's research.

Hofstede's research has been criticized on a number of points. First, Hofstede assumes there is
a one-to-one correspondence between culture and the nation state. Second, the research may
have been culturally bound. Third, Hofstede's informants worked not only within a single
industry, but within one company. Finally, because cultures evolve, Hofstede's research,
which was conducted in the 1960s and 1970s, may not be as relevant today.

Difficulty: Medium

109. (p. 110) Discuss Confucian dynamism. Explore the debate over whether Confucian
dynamism is good for an economy.

The notion of Confucian dynamism or long –term orientation, was added to Hofstede's model
of culture to capture attitudes toward s time, persistence, ordering by status, protection of
face, respect for tradition and reciprocation of gifts and favors. East Asian countries such as
Japan, Hong Kong and Thailand scored high on Confucian dynamism, while countries such as
the U.S. and Canada scored low. Hofstede hypothesized that being Confucian was good for
economic growth, however other experts have questioned this hypothesis, noting that
countries that score low of Confucian dynamism have also achieved high growth rates.

Difficulty: Hard

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Chapter 03 - Differences in Culture

110. (p. 111-112) Economic advancement and globalization are prompting societal change.
Discuss this statement.

Several studies have shown that economic advancement and globalization are important
factors in societal change. There is evidence that economic progress is accompanied by a shift
away from collectivism toward individualism. In Japan for example, the model Japanese
"salaryman" is disappearing as a new generation of office workers act more like Westerners.
Similarly, advancements in transportation and communications technologies combined with a
dramatic increase in trade and global corporations are creating conditions for the merging of
cultures.
The culture of societies may also change as they become richer because economic progress
affects a number of other factors, which in turn influence culture.

Difficulty: Hard

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