The paper 'Concepts of Culture, Cultural Literacy and Ethnocentricity" is a perfect example of business coursework. Culture is an important concept in the management of organizations because it defines what organizations do and why they get involved in different activities. Culture is particularly important to organizations that are engaged in international business because such organizations employ people from different countries and have to deal with customers from different cultures in their business transactions. Therefore, in international business, managers of organizations have to learn how to deal with people from different cultures based on the different countries from which these people originate.
The way in which managers and other people in a business organization will deal with people from different cultures will be based on understanding different cultures across the world. Along this line, this essay will examine the concept of culture and discuss why it is important for people to avoid ethnocentricity and gain cultural literacy. To achieve this, the essay will define the concepts of culture, cultural literacy and ethnocentricity. The essay will also discuss the significance of the aforementioned concepts with reference to the operations of organizations.
The essay will then present the business strategies that managers of organizations that are involved in international business can use to ensure that those organizations achieve their stated goals despite having to deal with people from different cultures. Meaning of culture Culture can be defined as the set of beliefs, values, tenets and institutions that a specific group of people holds (Wild & Wild, 2012, p. 95). Culture can also be defined as the way of life of a specific group of individuals who have some similarities in terms of certain ideas that they possess and the manner in which they behave (du Plessis & Gerber, 2008, p.
28). For instance, people of the came culture are likely to be dressing in a similar manner, belonging to the same religion, eating the same kind of food and making the same type of art. These shared characteristics in the way of life of people are the aspects that define a certain group’ s culture. Even though some authors have attempted to define culture, as shown above, others have argued that culture comprises many aspects that have an influence on the behavior of human beings, and this makes it difficult to define the concept of culture (Soares, Farhangmehr & Shoham, 2007, p.
277). This also means that understanding culture is a difficult undertaking because of the many components that constitute the phenomenon. However, culture can still be used to explain the differences between different people. Soares et al. (2007, p. 279) note that the relevance of the phenomenon of culture in explaining cultural differences depends on the ability to break down the concept of culture and identify its components. Frameworks that assist in understanding cultural differences Various models have been used to help in understanding the cultural differences between different groups of people.
There are two widely accepted frameworks for studying cultural differences: the Kluckhohn-Strodtbeck framework and Hofstede’ s cultural dimensions framework. The Kluckhohn-Strodtbeck framework makes a comparison of cultures based on six dimensions by looking for answers to some questions. The questions include whether people believe that their environment controls them or they control their environment; whether people focus on past events or on the future; and whether people prefer to carry out activities privately or in public (Katsioloudes & Hadjidakis, 2007, p.
50). The Kluckhohn-Strodtbeck framework also seeks to determine whether people are easily controlled and therefore not to be trusted, or whether they can be trusted to act freely and responsively. As well, the model looks at whether people desire accomplishments in life, having carefree lives, or having spiritual lives. Another question in the Kluckhohn-Strodtbeck framework is whether people believe that individuals or groups are responsible for every person’ s welfare (Katsioloudes & Hadjidakis, 2007, p.
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