Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind - Intercultural Cooperation and Its Importance for Survival

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9780070293076: Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind - Intercultural Cooperation and Its Importance for Survival

Intercultural cooperation and its importance for survival. People of other countries, of another generation, social class, job or organization, often think and act in ways that puzzle us. To these people, of course, we are the ones who behave in a surprising manner. What separates them from us is the culture in which we grew up. 'Culture' in this sense is not the same as 'civilization'; it encompasses much more. Deeply-rooted and, therefore, often unconscious values lead us to consider as normal what others think abnormal, as polite what to others is rude, and as rational what others find irrational. Organizational cultures are a different phenomenon; they do not follow the same dimensions, are more manageable, and in fact offer an opportunity to bridge national cultures. Following twenty-five years of research into multinational companies, Geert Hofstede and Bob Garrett reveal the circumstances in which organizational cultures can be managed effectively, and outline ways of learning intercultural communication which are essential more essential than ever.

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An understanding of other cultures is essential if we are to develop a more stable world and at the same time create national wealth (Brian Burrows Futures Information Associates)

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People of other countries, of another generation, social class, job or organisation, often think and act in ways that puzzle us. To these people, of course, we are the ones who behave in a surprising manner. What separates them from us is the culture in which either of us grew up. 'Culture' in this sense is not the same as 'civilisation'; it encompasses much more. Deeply-rooted and, therefore, often unconscious values lead us to consider as normal what others think abnormal, as polite what to others is rude, and as rational what others find irrational.

Geert Hofstede shows that national cultures differ along five dimensions:


The degree of integration of individuals within groups

Differences in the social roles of women versus men

Ways of dealing with inequality

The degree of tolerance for the unknown

The trade-off between long-term and short-term gratification of needs

Organisational cultures, however, are a different phenomenon; they do not follow the same dimensions, are more manageable, and in fact offer an opportunity to bridge national cultures. Following twenty-five years of research into multinational companies, Geert Hofstede reveals the circumstances in which organisational cultures can be managed effectively, and outlines ways of learning intercultural communication which are essential to success in the 1990s and beyond.

"An understanding of other cultures is essential if we are to develop a more stable world and at the same time create national wealth"
BRIAN BURROWS,
'Futures Information Associates'

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