Uploaded by Jason Murugan

Cultural Comparison of Germany vs. Japan

advertisement
1|Page
Contents
1)
What is Culture? :................................................................................................ 2
2)
Globalization: ...................................................................................................... 2
3)
National Culture of Germany and Japan: ............................................................ 2
4)
Cultural Frameworks: .......................................................................................... 3
5)
Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions: ......................................................................... 4
6)
7)
8)
5.1
Power Distance: ............................................................................................ 4
5.2
Individualism: ................................................................................................ 5
5.3
Masculinity: ................................................................................................... 5
5.4
Uncertainty: ................................................................................................... 6
Trompenaar’s Cultural Dimensions: .................................................................... 7
6.1
Universalism vs particulism: .......................................................................... 7
6.2
Neutral Vs Emotional: ................................................................................... 7
6.3
Internal Direction Vs Outer direction: ............................................................ 8
6.4
Sequential time vs Synchronous time: .......................................................... 8
Hall’s Cultural Dimensions: ................................................................................. 9
7.1
Context: ......................................................................................................... 9
7.2
Time: ........................................................................................................... 10
7.3
Space: ......................................................................................................... 10
Conclusion: ....................................................................................................... 10
References: .............................................................................................................. 11
Appendices: ............................................................................................................. 13
Syed Mosa Raza Zaidi
CDU Sydney Campus
S282440
Course Code: MAN 501
2|Page
Cultural Comparison of Germany vs. Japan
1) What is Culture? :
Every place, group or society has its own set of beliefs, norms, attitudes, customs,
ways of life and arts, etc. Their social behaviour and intellectual achievements are
influenced by these integrated patterns of human literature. It is well said by Walter
Lippmann that people have an interest in their ideas, their models, the knowledge
they get and speeches they want to hear by controversies and gossips. This
particular climate of a community is its Culture. In the words of Sir Edward Burnett
Tylor (1871), the founder of cultural anthropology, culture is “that complex whole
which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, customs and any other
capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society” (Kroeber &
Kluckhohn 1952).
2) Globalization:
Each civilization has its diversified culture depending on different features as a class,
race, ethnicity, indigenous people, gender, age, institutions, etc. (Miller 2012). But
every culture has many things common to others and this integration in all political,
social and economic areas is a consequence of world’s ‘Globalization’ accompanied
by cultural crashes. (Hopper 2007). Globalization results from reducing barriers to
the economic, political and educational growth of countries or by reducing
communication and transportation costs ending up in an integrated world (Stiglitz
2002).
3) National Culture of Germany and Japan:
Rising from the ashes of the world war II, Japan and Germany became economic
superpowers globally within few decades. Germany transformed into the second
largest economy of the world after the US in 1950 while Japan becomes second
largest powerhouse in 1968. Today, Japan is ranked as third largest economic
power while Germany with the fourth largest world’s economy (The JapanTimes
2015). In the field of technology, German Engineering is the stigma of amazing
performance with a grip on quality mechanical engineering while Japanese are
reliable, smart and efficient designers of electrical engineering. Despite the fact that
Syed Mosa Raza Zaidi
CDU Sydney Campus
S282440
Course Code: MAN 501
3|Page
modernization is assumed to increase similarities in societies (Inglehart 2015),
Germany and Japan have quite different cultural conventions. German economic
structure, corporate organization and management techniques exhibit strong
resemblance with Japanese practices but still in other aspects, the Japanese and the
Germans are poles apart (Lincoln et al. 1995, p. 417). Surveys conducted by
Japanese Government cleared that no change is detected in post-materialism
(Trommsdorff 1983, p. 337) and socialization process is still under the influence of
highly dominant values of loyalty and seniority. Japanese culture possesses a
patrilineal system in which only one child (usually the elder one) inherits all the
property (primogeniture) and social standings while rest of the children have to
support themselves by their own way (Bestor & Hardac 2004). However, German
culture emphasizes the value of self-development opportunities enhancing the
plurality of values. Japanese possess politeness as their cultural norm, reluctant to
say ‘No’ with firmness and finality. Germans, in contrast, have a reputation for being
unfriendly, reclusive, rude and arrogant (Lincoln et al. 1995, p. 417). Comparing the
cultural diversity between Germany and Japan, we will refer to the main theories
presented by Geert Hofstede, Fons Trompenaar, Edward T. Hall.
4) Cultural Frameworks:
Referring to Hofstede’s (1980), Trompenaar’s (1997) and Hall’s (1976) cultural
dimensions: According to Hofstede, cultures are differentiated from one another by
following drivers: power distance, individualism, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance,
long-term orientation and indulgence (Steers et al. 2013 p. 419). Trompenaar
identified the following seven dimensions: universalism versus particularism,
individualism versus communitarianism, specific versus diffuse, neutral versus
emotional, achievement versus ascription, sequential time versus synchronous time
and internal direction versus outer direction (Steers et al. 2013 p. 420). Hall defines
three cultural factors as Context (High/low), Time (Monochronic/Polychronic) and
space (High territoriality/Low territoriality) and information (slow flow/fast flow)
(Steers et al. 2013 p. 419). Let us contrast Japanese and German culture according
to these dimensions.
Syed Mosa Raza Zaidi
CDU Sydney Campus
S282440
Course Code: MAN 501
4|Page
5) Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions:
Cultural Dimensions according to Hofstede’s framework.
5.1
Power Distance:
This factor expresses the attitude of inequality of individuals in a society. Power
distance can be defined as the level up to which the less powerful individuals of the
society (organisations and institutions) accept the unequal distribution of power
(Hofstede n.d. A). Japan with an intermediate score (54) is a mediocre hierarchical
society (Hofstede n.d. A). In any social level, Japanese are very conscious and act
accordingly to their hierarchical position, each Hierarchical layer confirms the
decisions and the final decision is approved by top management (Hofstede n.d. A).
Paradoxically, this type of slow decision-making process shows that there is no one
top guy who has full power to take decisions, so Japan is more like a meritocratic
society, also, Japanese education system notates equality of every society member
and progress of hard working individuals (Hofstede n.d. A). Contrary to Japan,
Germany with a score of 35, is among the low power distance countries (Hofstede
n.d. B). Decision-making rights are taken by the management fulfilling all the
requirements of participation and direct communication for a team work. Individual’s
control is not promoted rather leadership is promoted for best expertise and
outcomes (Hofstede n.d. B).
Syed Mosa Raza Zaidi
CDU Sydney Campus
S282440
Course Code: MAN 501
5|Page
5.2
Individualism:
Individualization is a dimension addressing the level of interdependence and
strength of ties within members of a society. It refers to the common practice of using
“I” or “We” for defining someone’s self-image. In individualist society one has to take
responsibility of individual’s opinion and actions while a collectivist society forces
people to be loyal to their belongings and take responsibility of group’s interest and
well-being (Mindtools 1996-2016). Japan with a score of 46 depicts collectivistic
social behaviour (Hofstede n.d. A). Being a paternalistic society, Japan does not
possess a full grip of individual opinions as many of its Asian neighbours show but
this behaviour is situational. Japanese show loyalty to their local communities, their
extended families, and their companies. (Hofstede n.d. A) .On the other hand,
Germany with a strong belief in self-loyalty is individualist society, scoring 67
(Hofstede n.d. B). Although some families have strong parent children relationship
but the strong belief of self-actualization, sense of duty and personal preference is
dominant. “Be honest, even if it hurts” is the key rule followed by the employee and
the employer providing counterpart a better chance to avoid mistakes in the future
(Hofstede n.d. B).
5.3
Masculinity:
Masculinity depicts value system in a society progressing by competition,
hardworking and success for the best one. A Feminine society with a low score is a
society caring for other members and whose success is assessed by the quality of
life (Hofstede n.d. A). People are motivated by “be the best one by doing the best” in
a masculine society while Feminine society promotes “like your doings” (Hofstede
n.d. A). Germany is a Masculine society with a score of 66 (Hofstede n.d. B). High
value is given to performance to develop self-esteem from their assignments and
tasks, living just in order to work. Managers are ambitious and decisive, pushing the
self-confidence of employees for best outcomes. People are conscious about their
status (Hofstede n.d. B). Japan is relatively more Masculine with a high score of 95.
But you do not see competitive and assertive behaviours which are commonly
associated with Masculine culture. There is a severe competition observed between
groups, motivation level is high among employees in any team fighting against its
competitor (Hofstede n.d. A). Quality standard, perfection, excellent material
Syed Mosa Raza Zaidi
CDU Sydney Campus
S282440
Course Code: MAN 501
6|Page
production and best presentation are key drivers in all services. Japanese are
workaholic and are enthusiastic towards their task and mission. Still, women find it
hard to level their cooperation with Masculine norms of hard working (Hofstede n.d.
A).
5.4
Uncertainty:
Uncertainty avoidance relates with the level of future control of a society. Predicting
the unusual and ambiguous situations, whether one is ready to avoid anxiety in the
worst situations or not (Hofstede n.d. A). With a score of 92, Japan is considered the
most uncertainty avoiding country of the world. Japanese have learned to plan,
prepare and take precautionary measures for any sudden natural disaster
(earthquakes, typhoons and tsunamis) (Hofstede n.d. A). Before start of ant project,
a lot of effort and time is utilized in feasibility studies and risk factors, and decision is
taken after considering all the facts and figures in detail (Hofstede n.d. A).
Throughout their life, rituals and beliefs are followed in every step for maximum
predictability. Japanese society is ethnically homogeneous (Bestor & Hardacre
2004). In Japan one has to attend many ceremonies in his entire life, for example,
every year schools arrange opening and closing ceremonies in almost the same way
throughout the country. Etiquette books prescribe how people must behave and what
to wear in any social event (Hofstede n.d. A). Relative to Japan, it is low but
Germany with 65 scores is also a high uncertainty avoiding country (Hofstede n.d.
B). Germans preferably rely on expertise to compensate for high uncertainty. Law
system also reflects that for proceedings, a systematic, detailed and thorough
overview of thinking, planning and presenting must be given. Also, preference is
given to deductive approaches instead of inductive approaches in any project
(Hofstede n.d. B). Appendix 1 depicts the cultural difference between Germany and
Japan based on Hofstede cultural dimensions.
Syed Mosa Raza Zaidi
CDU Sydney Campus
S282440
Course Code: MAN 501
7|Page
6) Trompenaar’s Cultural Dimensions:
Cultural Dimensions according to Trompenaar’s framework.
6.1
Universalism vs particulism:
The factor ‘universalism’ vs ‘particularism’ represents the degree of value of
relationships. Universalist culture emphasises the importance of rules and standards
over the needs and relationships of members of a society (Seven Dimensions 20052016), they are obliged to follow the law and codes in every situation whereas a
particularist society is the one in which bonds of relationships take precedence over
abstract codes and obligations. German culture exhibit universalism, people argue
on the point of “it all depends”. Japanese follow particularism in their response and
codify the relation between people according to the conditions and circumstances
(Mindtools 1996-2016A).
6.2
Neutral Vs Emotional:
Every culture has some norms about how one must reveal its emotions. ‘Neutral vs
Emotional’ dimension refers to the degree to which members of a society freely
display their feelings and emotions in a relationship. Neutrally oriented culture
restricts the spontaneous display of expressions, rather they usually control and
manage their emotions (Seven Dimensions 2005-2016). Their actions are direct
Syed Mosa Raza Zaidi
CDU Sydney Campus
S282440
Course Code: MAN 501
8|Page
under the control of reasons instead of feelings whereas in effective/emotional
culture, people are free to express their feelings spontaneously, positive use of body
language and attitude is welcomed and accepted (Mindtools 1996-2016A). They talk
to each other with smiles and loud laughs, greet with enthusiasm, their business
meetings are boisterous and full of animations (Fred & Doh 2012, p. 126). Germans
and Japanese both fall under the category of neutral culture (Mindtools 19962016A),
6.3
Internal Direction Vs Outer direction:
The dimension ‘Internal vs Outer Direction’ concerns to individual’s response
towards nature. People who consider themselves under the control of environment
and nature’s laws and driving forces are outer-directed, focusing on the environment
more. Contrary to this are those cultures which are externally directed with a
mechanistic view, and consider that nature can be dominated by humans by making
a right effort and with right expertise and control (Seven Dimensions 2005-2016).
Traditionally, Japanese have an outer-directed culture, living in harmony with their
environment. They adapt the nature and are comfortable with alters and changes in
the environment by adjusting themselves according to that (Bihjelpen 2015), while
Germans are inner-oriented people with internal locus of control (Mindtools 19962016A).
6.4
Sequential time vs Synchronous time:
It refers to the degree to which a member gives importance to time for a particular
work. This time, dimension has two projections: people who take time as sequential,
doing one thing at a time and people who structure time as synchronous, doing
several things at a time (Seven Dimensions 2005-2016). Germans consider time as
sequential, they complete projects in sequence and in a systematic way, whereas
Japanese synchronize the time, have multiple tasks and projects running at a time
considering the flexibility and intangibility of time (Mindtools 1996-2016 A).
Syed Mosa Raza Zaidi
CDU Sydney Campus
S282440
Course Code: MAN 501
9|Page
7) Hall’s Cultural Dimensions:
Hall's Cultural
dimensions
Context
Time
Space
• high
• Monochronic
• High territoriality
• low
• Polychronic
• Low territoriality
Information
• Slow flow
• fast flow
Cultural Drivers according to Hall’s framework.
7.1
Context:
Halls cultural dimensions relate to the communication style of people in a culture.
High context culture gives more priority to personal long-term relationships and
physical context as compared to actual words. Whereas in totally opposite low
context culture, due to short-term relationships, communication is verbal,
confrontational and direct; processing mass of information almost by the explicit
codes (Hall 1977). Japan is ranked as a high context culture giving value to
traditions, harmony, etiquettes, develop strong bonds among groups, slowly adaptive
to changes (Frost 2013), Japanese are more non-committal, their conversation style
is of high context with less number of moras (a unit to determine syllable weight of
sound) and many homonyms, communication is digressive, modest and polite with
use of less words, without frequent use of personal names (Nishimura et al. 2008)
whereas Germany is among the low context cultures prioritizing individual needs,
making shallow and low committed relationships, would be considered
straightforward, incompetent and ignorant, quickly adaptive to change. Direct and
explicit communication is required requiring all the information in message (Frost
2013). Appendix 2 show the cultural categories of communications.
Syed Mosa Raza Zaidi
CDU Sydney Campus
S282440
Course Code: MAN 501
10 | P a g e
7.2
Time:
Another aspect of cultural diversity is time perception; Monochronic time (similar to
Trompenaar’s sequential time factor) and Polychronic time (similar to Trompenaar’s
synchronous time factor) are the two criterions according to Hall’s framework.
Germans are monochronic focusing on one thing at a time by tangible planning and
careful scheduling ensuring time management (Changing Minds 2002-2016). They
face difficulties in starting new works before the completion of older activities. Others
property is given respect, borrowing and lending is very seldom (Changing Minds
2002-2016). Japanese culture varies under the category of both monochronous and
polychronous culture. Multiple tasks are continued at a time; human interaction is
given more value than time, easily distracted, relatively non punctual, turning up for a
meeting late and giving no importance to it. If people are late for meetings, this
means they are polychronic rather than being lazy or disrespectful (Changing Minds
2002-2016).
7.3
Space:
Space is another factor in the category of culture presented by Hall. Some people
need more space in all areas while others are less territorial. Germans are high
territorial needing bigger houses, bigger cars and so on (Changing Minds 20022016), with great concern for ownership, having boundary wars with neighbours
while Japanese are low territorial having less ownership of boundaries and space
thus if stands closer to any German, inadvertently, will make him/her uncomfortable
(Changing Minds 2002-2016).
8) Conclusion:
Cross culture comparison between Japan and Germany detected and specify the
development process of human history. Despite of the fact that both the cultures
emerged with different roots, still most of their behaviour is same and this
globalization will progress more by reducing differences among the two civilizations.
Syed Mosa Raza Zaidi
CDU Sydney Campus
S282440
Course Code: MAN 501
11 | P a g e
References:
Bestor, T Hardacre, H 2004, Contemporary Japan: Culture and Society,
http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/at_japan_soc/common/all
Bihjelpen 2015, Fons Trompenaars,
http://bihjelpen.blogg.no/1447366929_fons_trompenaars.html
Changing Minds 2002-2016, Hall's cultural factors,
http://changingminds.org/explanations/culture/hall_culture.htm.
Fred, L & Doh, J 2012, International management: Culture, strategy, and behaviour,
8th edn., McGraw-Hill Education.
Frost, A 2013, High Context and Low Context Cultures,
http://restaurantkyoto.dk/blog/en/high-context-and-low-context-cultures/.
Hall, ET 1977, Beyond culture, Anchor Books.
Hofstad n.d. A, What about Japan?, https://geert-hofstede.com/japan.html
Hofstad n.d. B, What about Germany?, https://geert-hofstede.com/germany.html.
Hopper, P 2007, Understanding cultural globalization, Polity.
Inglehart, R 2015, The silent revolution: Changing values and political styles among
Western publics, Princeton University Press.
Kroeber, AL & Kluckhohn, C 1952, Culture: A critical review of concepts and
definitions, Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, Harvard University.
Lincoln, JR, Kerbo, HR & Wittenhagen, E 1995. ‘Japanese companies in Germany: a
case study in cross‐cultural management’, Industrial Relations: A Journal of
Economy and Society, vol. 34, no. 3, pp. 417-440.
Miller, BD 2012, Cultural Anthropology in a Globalizing World, Pearson College
Division.
Mindtools 1996-2016 A, The Seven Dimensions of Culture,
https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/seven-dimensions.htm.
Syed Mosa Raza Zaidi
CDU Sydney Campus
S282440
Course Code: MAN 501
12 | P a g e
Mindtools 1996-2016, Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions,
https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_66.htm.
Nishimura, S, Nevgi, A & Tella, S 2008, Communication style and cultural features in
high/low context communication cultures: A case study of Finland, Japan and India,
http://www.helsinki.fi/~tella/nishimuranevgitella299.pdf
Seven dimensions of culture 2005-2016, http://www.provenmodels.com/580/sevendimensions-of-culture/charles-hampden-turner--fons-trompenaars/.
Steers, RM, Sanchez-Runde, CJ & Nardon, L 2013, Management Across Cultures:
Developing global competencies, 2nd edn., Cambridge University Press.
Stiglitz, JE 2002, Globalization and its Discontents, W.W. Norton & Company Inc.
The Japan Times 2015, How did Japan and Germany become global powerhouses
after WWII?, http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/08/13/national/history/japangermany-become-global-powerhouses-wwii/#.V779nTUlTTE
Trommsdorff, G 1983, ‘Value change in Japan’, International Journal of Intercultural
Relations, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 337-360.
Syed Mosa Raza Zaidi
CDU Sydney Campus
S282440
Course Code: MAN 501
13 | P a g e
Appendices:
Appendix 1: Cross culture comparison between Germany and Japan (The Hofstede
Centre)
Appendix 2: Cultural Categories of Communication (Nishimura et al., 2008)
Syed Mosa Raza Zaidi
CDU Sydney Campus
S282440
Course Code: MAN 501
Download
Random flashcards
State Flags

50 Cards Education

Countries of Europe

44 Cards Education

Art History

20 Cards StudyJedi

Sign language alphabet

26 Cards StudyJedi

Create flashcards