Page 44 - Crossing Cultural Boundaries - Cees den Teuling
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new, unknown or different from usual and forcing to leave the personal “Comfort Zone”. In contrast, people from uncertainty accepting cultures are more tolerant to different opinions, have fewer rules and behavioural norms. People within these cultures do not expect from their environment to express emotions. Thus, people of high uncertainty avoidance are less open to changes and innovations than people of low uncertainty avoidance cultures. This means that in societies with high level of uncertainty avoidance content of information provided by the knowledge transmitter as well as the format of its provision should correspond with the people’s belief system, previous knowledge, experience and expectancies based on that. In contrast, in the societies with low uncertainty avoidance people are more open to new, innovative information as well as ways of providing that information. In Hofstede et al. (2010) Uncertainty Avoidance Index scores are higher in East and Central European countries, in Latin countries, in Japan and in German speaking countries, lower in English speaking and Nordic countries.
The third dimension, proposed by Hofstede (2011) is power distance, which is described as the extent to which less powerful members of the society, organisations and institutions accept the existing hierarchy and the fact that power is distributed unequally. Power and inequality are extremely fundamental facts of any society. All societies are unequal, but some are more unequal than others. According to Hofstede et al. (2010). Power Distance Index tend to be higher for East European, Latin, Asian and African countries and lower for Germanic and English-speaking Western countries such as the Netherlands.
Masculinity versus Femininity refers to the distribution of values between the genders, as the fourth dimension. According to Hofstede (2011) female’s values differ less among societies than male’s values. Male’s values from one country to another contain a dimension from very assertive and competitive on the one side, to modest and caring values, on the other. The assertive pole is called “masculine” and the modest, caring pole “feminine” (Hofstede, 2011). In feminine oriented countries men have the same modest, caring values as women, whereas in the masculine dominated countries women are somewhat assertive and competitive, but not as much as men. The dominant values in a masculine society are achievement and success, whereas the dominant values in a feminine society are concern for others and the quality of life. Thus, in masculine oriented cultures people value status, brands and possession of expensive products more as means to show their success to others. In feminine cultures, this is less important. Masculinity is high in Japan, in German speaking countries, and in some

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