Cultural Differences in Business Discussion and Responses

DescriptionEnter a comparison between multiple countries (at least 3) to see the 6 dimensions of
the culture studied by Hofstede.
A comparison between Armenia, Japan, and the United States on six dimensions of culture,
as studied by Hofstede, shows the following scores. Hofstede’s analysis of power distance shows
that Armenia scores 85, Japan 54, and the USA scores 40. The scores show that Armenia is made
of a society where power holders are distant and a people that accept a hierarchical order (Hofstede
Insights, 2020). A moderate power distance in Japan is comprised of a borderline hierarchical
society. A moderate power distance in the US is made of a society where individuals accept
inequality. However, individuals at the lower ranks can access superiors at the upper ranks.
Individualism
According to the Hofstede analysis of individualism, Armenia scores 22, Japan 46, and the
USA scores 91. The scores show that Armenia and Japan are made of collectivistic societies that
value strong relations, loyalty, group harmony, and leadership more than individual opinions. In
contrast, the US society comprises people who care for themselves and their families. Employees
are self-reliant in the business world.
Masculinity
The Hofstede analysis of masculinity in the three countries shows a score of 50 in Armenia,
95 in Japan, and 65 in the US. The scores portray moderate masculinity in Armenia and USA and
high masculinity in Japan. Moderate masculinity in Armenia comprises a moderately masculine
and feminine society where people want to be the best and love what they do (Hofstede Insights,
2020). Moderate masculinity in the US implies that American society is made of a high masculinity
drive. In contrast, a high masculinity score shows that Japanese society is competitive and values
assertiveness and materialism.
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Uncertainty Avoidance
Hofstede analysis of uncertainty avoidance scores 88 in Armenia, 92 in Japan, and 46 in
the US. The scores show high uncertainty avoidance in Armenia and Japan, which implies they
have a society that relies on a well-established structure and rules to avoid risks (Hofstede Insights,
2021). In contrast, a low score on uncertainty avoidance in the US shows Americans accept a fair
degree of acceptance of new ideas and a willingness to change and try something new.
Long-Term Orientation
Additionally, Hofstede’s analysis of long-term orientation scores 61 in Armenia, 88 in
Japan, and 26 in the US. A score of 61 in Armenia is relatively high, where the society exhibits a
more pragmatic culture. Armenians have a high ability to adapt traditions to changed conditions.
Japan scores high on long-term orientation, which means it has a society that takes a pragmatic
approach and values efforts in training and education (Hofstede Insights, 2021). In contrast, the
USA scores low in long-term orientation. Society in the US values tradition and views societal
change with suspicion.
Indulgence
Hofstede analysis of indulgence shows a low score of 25 in Armenia, a low score of 42 in
Japan, and an indulgent score of 68 in the USA. Low scores of indulgence in Armenia and Japan
show that the countries have a culture of restraint, with societies tending towards pessimism and
cynicism.
Choose one dimension
Individualism
Individualism might affect the interaction of remote teams consisting of Japanese and
Americans. It might result in misunderstandings between collectivist team members and
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individualistic Americans because Americans prefer direct communication to indirect
communication. Direct communication is characterized by meaning, direct declaration, logical
viewpoints, and expressiveness (Hofstede Insights, 2017). In contrast, Japanese collectivists prefer
indirect communication, which contains less information.
Challenge and Strategy
The main challenge teams comprising individualistic and collectivist members might face
poor communication. The individualistic team members are less likely to understand what is
expected of them because the collectivists provide little information (Hofstede Insights, 2017).
The communication challenge can be mitigated by dividing the team and assigning team leadership
to specific individuals. For example, all collectivist members should operate under a collectivist
team leader, and collectivists should operate under a collectivist team leader.
References
Hofstede Insights. (2017, December 11). United States. Hofstede Insights. https://www.hofstedeinsights.com/country/the-usa/
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Hofstede Insights. (2017, December 11). United States. https://www.hofstedeinsights.com/country/the-usa/
Hofstede Insights. (2020, May 25). Armenia. Hofstede Insights. https://www.hofstedeinsights.com/country/armenia/
Hofstede Insights. (2021, June 21). Country comparison. Hofstede
Insights. https://www.hofstede-insights.com/country-comparison/japan/
Week 4 Topic: Cultural Considerations of Managing Diverse Teams – Giving Negative
Feedback
The Culture Map Erin Meyer Chapter 2 Polite.pdf
As a follow up to last week’s discussion board and
exploring Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions, please read the attached and
consider an approach to providing negative feedback to a colleague in each of
the countries you analyzed last week. How would you approach a
conversation with a team member who is not performing up to expectation?
Please provide you own comments and respond to your classmates proposed
tactics in your secondary posts.
1st Peer Post:
As I stated last week, the countries I chose to compare were Poland, South Korea, and
the United States as those are the countries my mother, father, and I were born in
respectively. These countries happen to be in three distinct placements on the
Evaluating Scale (Meyer, 2016). Poland is technically not on the scale, but it can be
assumed it is very similar to Russia, which is far left in the “Direct” end. Korea is nearly
on the total opposite end in “Indirect,” and the US sits right in the middle. This essentially
means that the Polish culture is optimized for blunt and swift negative feedback in their
routines, while Korea, on the other end of the spectrum, is used to its feedback being
subtle and implicit (Meyer, 2016).
I think by virtue of having a Polish mother that I lean towards the Polish methods of
feedback far more than the middling American methods. My father, on the other hand,
came to America when he was young and definitely follows the American standard more
than the Korean one. Due to this, I feel I would give negative feedback to a Polish person
in the way that comes most naturally to me, directly without being cruel. For Americans,
I would approach it in the way I’ve been trained to in social and work settings, by mixing
it in with a lot of compliments and adding “downgraders” (Meyers, 2016) that tone down
the severity of my words. I try to do this generally, as, like Klopfer, the German manager
from our reading, I have been told that I come on strong and need to downplay my
criticism. Also like Klopfer, I do feel silly while doing it but I cannot deny that it gets me
better results.
I believe giving a Korean person negative feedback would be the most difficult for me.
Specifically, I fear that any negative feedback I give them may be considered offensive.
Due to this, I would follow the advice that Aini, the Indonesian colleague, gives to Meyer.
I would simply not give them any negative feedback (Meyer, 2016). I would instead, in a
private meeting with them, focus only on the aspects of their performance that deserve
positive feedback and hope the omission of the other aspects is enough for them to
understand.
References
Meyer, E. (2016). The Culture Map: Decoding How People Think, Lead, and Get Things
Done Across Cultures. Public Affairs.
2nd Peer Post:
Finland
It is important to approach the conversation with sensitivity and respect.
To provide negative feedback to a Finnish colleague, be direct yet polite, focusing on the
issue rather than the person. Provide context and reasoning behind the feedback, and
offer support and guidance to help them improve. Encourage open dialogue and
collaboration to reach a consensus, and allow time for reflection and processing the
information.
For example: “I appreciate the effort you have put into this project, but I noticed that the
deadlines have not been met consistently. Could we discuss ways to improve your time
management and ensure that we meet our targets in the future?”
USA
providing negative feedback is generally more straightforward, as people appreciate
clear and direct communication.
In this context, be direct and honest in your communication, focusing on the individual’s
performance and specific areas for improvement. Encourage self-reliance and initiative,
and recognize achievements. Create an environment that tolerates new ideas and
opinions, and be open to discussing different perspectives.
For example: “You have been doing a great job with the presentations, but I think there
is room for improvement in your time management skills. Perhaps we can work together
on setting priorities and deadlines to ensure that our goals are met on time. Keep up the
good work!”
Chinese
Providing negative feedback to a colleague in China should be approached with caution
and respect for hierarchy.
when providing feedback, it’s essential to choose a private setting, use indirect language,
and reference third-party observations. Offer constructive suggestions, encourage selfreflection, and be supportive and understanding, acknowledging cultural differences and
focusing on professional growth.
For Example “I recently heard about a team that faced difficulties in meeting their
project deadlines. They realized that by working together and improving communication,
they were able to overcome those challenges. I think our team can also benefit from
reviewing our processes and finding ways to enhance our collaboration. This way, we
can make sure we achieve our targets efficiently.”
India
It is crucial to approach the conversation with politeness, respect, and sensitivity.
Build rapport with the colleague, use indirect communication, and respect the hierarchy.
Frame feedback in terms of group performance, offer support for improvement, and be
patient, allowing time for the colleague to process and adjust their behavior.
For example: “I have noticed that our team has been facing some challenges in meeting
the project deadlines. I understand that this can be tough, and I want to assure you that
we’re here to support you. Let’s work together to identify areas where we can improve
our efficiency and make sure we achieve our targets.”
Reference
Meyer, E. (2014). The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global
Business. PublicAffairs.

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