Page 53 - Crossing Cultural Boundaries - Cees den Teuling
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insight in cultural diversity, especially in MNC’s and provide explanations to avoid misunderstandings based on cultural values and attitudes. The dichotomies described in their “Seven Dimensions of Culture” model enlighten distinctions between NC’s.
Universalism vs. Particularism dimension divides NC’s based on the (relative) position of rules and laws as opposed to individual relationships. Particularistic, or pluralistic societies focus on human friendships more than on laws and formal rules. Examples of strict universalistic countries are the US and Germany, while China and Russia are proponents of the more particularistic (pluralistic) societies.
Individualism vs. Collectivism (communitarianism) (discussed also by Hofstede) divides societies by their tendency to give relative weight to individual or group interests. Personal welfare, fulfilment and happiness are important in individualist societies, where members are directed initially to take care of themselves, first. To the opposite, in more collectivistic oriented societies the interest of the community is regarded as more important as the individual. An example of a strict individualistic society is the US while Japan is a strong collectivistic oriented country.
Achievement versus Ascription is based on the distinction of how societies distribute authority and status. Accomplishments of the personal status is the tendency in achievement-oriented societies, while in ascription-oriented societies the status ascribed based on social position, wealth, gender, age and similar conditions, the extensive valorisation of titles to clarify status in society and organisation, is important. In these societies, hierarchy-driven respect for superiors and seniority is present. Achievement orientation, to the extreme, is found in the US. While in contrast, the Russian and Chinese societies show a strong ascription orientation.
Neutral versus Affective dimension is based on the view how societies validate the expression of emotions (in public). Societies with a tendency to neutrality in showing emotions by their citizens are characterized as not revealing the personal thinking and feeling. Hiding emotions and a self-possessed control over gesturing, feelings and/or facial expressions and lack of physical contact are valued. In dichotomy, societies with an affective orientation are characterized by transparency and verbal and non-verbal expressions of feelings and thoughts and an easy flow of the admiration of emotions and the delivery of dramatic statements. Japan is an example of a strong neutral oriented country. In contrast, Mexico can be labelled as a society with a strong affective orientation. With respect to the Russian attitudes towards this dimension, generally a split in behaviour can be noted. In the public sphere, Russians act neutral,

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