The paper "Turkey Culture Based on Hofstede's Cultural Typology" is a wonderful example of a case study on business. When cultural analysis or comparison is sought, Hofstede’ s dimensions serve as the most fundamental models to do so. This paper aims to analyze Turkey’ s culture based on Hofstede’ s cultural typology and decide whether it is a low or high context culture country. Hofstede’ s dimensions for Turkey Power distance (PDI) - the sense of inequality in power distribution and decision making is high in the case of Turkey (Fig 1). Less powerful members accept the fact that power is distributed unequally and rest with people at the upper echelons of management (ITIM International n. d).
However, due to a collectivist nature of culture, senior managers usually take decisions after involving all members of the team. Uncertainty Avoidance (UAI) - this dimension is also high in Turkish culture. Because of high power distance, people are less entrepreneurial, have negligible risk-appetite, and in general, try to avoid situations of conflict and ambiguity. Individualism/Collectivism - Turkey is a highly collectivist society where people carry a strong sense of relationships, belonging, family life, and remaining involved in groups.
Emotional attachment and dependency prevail. Masculinity/Femininity - dimension of masculinity and femininity is mediocre in Turkey because of the fact that this country hosts a diverse mix of cultures and traditions. Elements from Middle Eastern, European, and Central Asian cultures make Turkey fall between masculine and feminine dimensions. Low context vs. High context culture Low or high context cultures define how coded or open the communication system of a country is. High context culture is one where communication is mostly implicit and non-verbal cues, gestures, body language, etc.
dominate the message. On the contrary, low context cultures rely on explicit modes of communication where everything is almost verbal. Low context cultures do not give rise to ambiguities or misunderstandings as nothing is dependent on how the receiver perceives the message (Managing Diversity n. d). Turkey falls at the High context dimension of the communication continuum. Due to high context cultural patterns, Turkish managers do not encourage open disagreement on business issues. Debates and confrontations are usually avoided. This is also attributed to the fact that high power distance restricts the less powerful members to get involved in debates of any kind. However, unlike low context cultures, high context cultures negotiate by taking into account the views and opinions of all involved.
They emphasize relations more than economic goals. Decision making is also very detailed in high context cultures because people are less tolerant of unexpected results or events. As such, they try to look at every single point of an issue. Turkish also analyzes the situation first and takes its time in arriving at any decision (Managing Diversity n. d). Examples of Turkish high context nature are handshakes before business meetings, small informal talks to establish rapport with them, proper dress code for women, giving respect to their culture and tradition, and maintaining eye contact while speaking (Hooker 2008).
1. Hooker J (2008). Cultural differences in Business Communication. Retrieved 27 Sept, 2011 from http://ba.gsia.cmu.edu/jnh/businessCommunication.pdf
2. ITIM International (n.d). Geert Hofstede Cultural Dimensions- Turkey. Retrieved 27 Sept, 2011 from http://www.geert-hofstede.com/hofstede_turkey.shtml
3. Managing Diversity (n.d). High and Low Context Cultures/Communication. Retrieved 27 Sept, 2011 from http://www.managingdiversity.info/our-research/literature-review-and-theoretical-framework/2-3-high-and-low-context-culturescommunication/
4. Marieke K.de Mooij (2010). Global Marketing and Advertising: Understanding cultural paradoxes. London: Sage Publications