Page 43 - Crossing Cultural Boundaries - Cees den Teuling
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relevant to individual behaviour. Those dimensions were (i) Individualism versus Collectivism, (ii) Uncertainty Avoidance, (iii) Power Distance, and (iv) Masculinity versus Femininity. Later, the fifth (Long- versus Short-term orientation,) and sixth dimensions (Indulgence versus Restraints, which is more or less complementary with the dimension of Long versus Short-term orientation) were added to the scheme (Hofstede, 2011).
The first dimension relates to the level at which people with different cultural backgrounds are concentrated on themselves (individualistic) or on groups and as a society in general (collectivistic). Individualistic cultures also prefer the explicit verbal communication style (Hall & Hall, 1976; Hall 1990). In contrast, collectivistic cultures prefer indirect style of communication. Here, people are group-conscious and it is important to follow group norms and values and avoid “loss of face”. As a result, consumers from collectivistic cultures are more likely to follow the norms and values obliged by the society, to give priority to the goals of the collective and to try to show their connectedness and tolerance to the latter. According to Mooij and Hofstede (2010), people from individualistic cultures are more likely to be motivated by their own goals, needs, and wishes and to highlight their uniqueness and independence from others. Here, in a commercial environment, both buyers and sellers prefer to reach their personal goals fast, whereas in more collectivistic-oriented cultures, e.g. Russia, it is important to build a relationship and trust between the two parties first. This difference is important from the point of view of information provision and it is necessary to get acquainted with it prior to the KT. Moreover, the dimension of individualism and collectivism is likely to have an influence on the importance of others’, especially important others’ opinion on a recipient’s attitude. It is more likely that recipients from collectivistic cultures will value information and opinion about a business service received from colleagues and their business network more than information provided by the transmitter or transmitter’s organisation. In case of people from individualistic cultures, such opinion may be less important, since in general, they rely increasingly on self-acquired sources and information from their network.
The second dimension proposed by Hofstede is Uncertainty Avoidance, which identifies the extent to which people feel frightened by uncertainty and ambiguity and try to avoid such situations (Hofstede et al., 2010). Uncertainty Avoidance, however, is not the same as risk avoidance. It deals with a society's tolerance for ambiguity and shows to what extent people from a certain culture feel comfortable or uncomfortable in unstructured situations (Hofstede, 2011). Unstructured situations are those, which are

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