Questions for Discussion
1. Identify 2 or 3 cultural rituals, stories, or symbols from your native culture or family. Discuss, briefly, how each of these communicates cultural values, norms, and/or beliefs.
1) When thinking of the Southern United States, there are two cultural rituals that come to mind that I believe express the same cultural value. The first is the constant stream of terms of endearment used by Southern women. Older Southern will use terms like “dear”, “honey”, or “sweetheart” for almost anyone they women. Younger Southern women tend to only do this with children, but they do it nonetheless. A similar ritual performed by all Southerners is casual conversation with strangers. A friend of mine from Minnesota once pointed out that he was taken aback at how frequently random strangers would talk to him in line at the grocery store. Both of these rituals are symbols of what is often referred to as “Southern hospitality.” The idea that life is a little slower paced, and people are a bit friendlier, is cultural and not really indicative of how fast-paced life really is in large cities in the South. Regardless, these cultural rituals continue and, despite the growing similarities in all the US regions, Southern hospitality seems to be a real thing.
2. Compare and contrast Hofstede’s model of culture with the Kluckhohn-Strotbeck model. Which model do you think is more valuable for training managers in topics connected with international business operations? Why?
2) Although both models try to describe a culture, the Kluckhohn-Strodtbeck Framework seems more valuable as the results seem more descriptive. The Hofstede Framework appears useful when comparing cultures, but knowing that a culture is a two on a scale of ten in a particular dimension may not be very helpful when deciding how to operate within a culture. When training a manager to operate in another culture, it seems much more helpful to describe how the culture prefers to do things in public rather than assign a number that represents some level of masculinity.
3. After listening/reading our media story for Lesson/chapter 02, comment on your experience with the ‘border region’ of Texas. For example, have you ever visited El Paso, San Antonio, McAllen, or Laredo Tx.? Have you every though about the complex cultural influences from Mexico or the ‘border region’ that you can observe on our campus, in Denton, Dallas, or Fort Worth? As you develop an answer for this question, please use one or more of Hofstede’s five dimensions of cultural values to describe your experience/observations
3) Living in Austin has afforded me plenty of opportunities to work alongside native San Antonians. Additionally, I have met many families from El Paso, as well. One aspect of these families, and their blended culture, that is different from other parts of the US, is the involvement of their extended families. This is no surprise, as I believe Mexican culture is also very in touch with extended families rather than focused on their nuclear family. According to the Hofstede Framework, I believe this would represent scoring low on the masculinity scale.
Wild, J. & Wild, K. (2013). International Business: The Challenges of Globalization. (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.