Anglo-Saxon Culture

Cultural aspects of Anglo-Saxon Community Anglo-Saxon Culture: Perhaps one of the most important aspects of Anglo-Saxon culture is their architecture. The Anglo-Saxons played an important role in the architecture of the country from the 5th century until the conquest of the Normans in 1066. The first structures to be built by the Anglo-Saxons were fairly simple. They used materials such as timber and thatch. One thing that is certain about the Anglo-Saxons is that they did not like living in the older Roman towns. They had a preference for designing buildings which would cater to their own style.

They would typically build a village that was near an important centre for agriculture. Each city would have what was called the main hall. The main hall was surrounded by the homes of the farmers. It is very likely that this term was extended into places like the United States, where even small cities will have a downtown area with a “city hall. ” Very little has remained of the structures that were built by the Anglo-Saxons. There are a few churches today which still survive, but many of them have been altered over the years. Many have said that the Anglo-Saxon style borrowed influences from the Coptic style of architecture.

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In the late period, structures that were built by the Anglo Saxons would use things such as headed openings and baluster shafts. However, the contributions made by Anglo-Saxon culture are not merely limited to architecture. They also made a number of contributions in the field of art. The artistic aspects of Anglo Saxon culture became especially pronounced during the reign of King Alfred. Once the frequent Viking raids ended, Romanesque art became very popular. Before the rise of King Alfred, the art had primarily been a combination of Anglo-Saxon and Celtic influences.

Much of the art that was produced during this time is known today via manuscripts. A number of manuscripts speak of Hiberno-Saxon art, as well as Byzantine and Carolingian art. Another style that emerged during this time is the Winchester style. It used artistic influences from the northern region of the country and combined them with the ornamental style that had been borrowed from many Mediterranean countries. This artistic style is evidence that the Anglo-Saxons were influenced by a number of different cultures throughout Europe. The most impressive piece of surviving Anglo-Saxon art is called the Bayeux Tapestry.

Another important aspect of Anglo-Saxon culture is their language. The language spoken by these people is commonly called Old English. The Anglo-Saxon community in England was basically a rural one, where primarily all classes of society lived on the land. Anglo American is an individualist culture. Groups composed of the collectivist individuals ac ted co-operatively more often than did the groups composed solely of individualists ; under task conditions when cooperative behaviour was expected from others, the collectivists tended to increase their level of cooperative behavior but the individualists did not.

Here, the manager of individualist culture lacks emotional attachment to the company & his/her involvement is essentially calculative. He/she aims for variety rather than conformity in work. The Namaste of Asian countries like India and Wai of Thailand is not appropriate for a manager coming to an Anglo country. These gestures are not used by Westerners in their cultures. All managerial roles are centrally concerned with creating & interpreting powerful symbols . Managers influence other people by using symbols that have meaning to these persons & that motivate them towards desired ends.

An example of such a symbol is a memorandum written by the manager to announce a change in procedure. An Anglo manager selects the memo as the most efficient way of communicating a message & therefore its use seems obviously rational and hence may not be aware of it as a Symbol. Symbols rooted in some other culture appear exotic. The manager should be aware of dismissing a symbol in the other culture as irrational merely because it doesn’t have a referrant in his/her culture or has a different referrant. High context cultures convey meaning implicitly in communication. Eg: Arabic, Japanese, Chinese.

Japanese are convinced that they can communicate with each other without words at all. Communication in high context cultures is an art form that consciously employs a wider palette of communicative expression than is usual in Anglo cultures. Power distance is relatively low in Anglo countries. Members of high uncertainty avoidance cultures appear anxiety-prone & devote considerable energy to beating the future. The connotations of low needs to avoid uncertainty include lower anxiety & job stress, a greater readiness to take risks & less emotional resistance to change.

Eg: The introductory story shows the tendency of Swedes to suppress emotion. They tend to prize the rational above sentiment & this attitude also sets the tone for Swedish politics & business life. Swedish firms are avid appliers of new technology and ruthless in scrapping what is old & inefficient. Trade unions which are often represented on the boards of companies often do not oppose job cuts if there are rational arguments to back them. Here, inter-organisational conflict is considered natural & compromise is an accepted rule for reconciliation.

The manager is prepared to break formal rules if necessary. Eg: He/she is prepared to by-pass hierarchical structures to communicate with a superior or peer if the need arises. Matrix structure of an organisation involves a balance of power & joint decision making between functional departmental heads. Matrix structures work well when their members are prepared to co-operate, share information in a relationship of interdependence, collaboration & trust. When members have high needs to avoid uncertainty, they are uncomfortable with dual reporting procedures.

The matrix is more likely to succeed in cultures where there are low power distances & low needs to avoid uncertainty like in Anglo cultures. The Anglo cross-cultural manager is conditioned not to see patronage within the organization. He/she either overlooks its existence or characterizes it as inherently corrupt. Anglo multinationals tend towards bureaucratic form of control. Directness & bluntness in communication can lead to cross-cultural confusion in low context cultures like Anglo cultures. Eg: ANGLO – Can I interest you in our Product range?

JAPANESE: I shall give it careful consideration. The Japanese means a negative response to the offer, which is intended to discourage further discussion. The Anglo who interprets it as an indication of positive interest & who pushes ahead with his sales pitch is likely to meet embarrassment & eventual silence. This damages not only present but also future business possibilities. The matrix is most likely to succeed in cultures where there are low power distances & low needs to avoid uncertainty – eg: Anglo & Scandinavian cultures.

Market bureaucracies include U. K. and U. S. & other Anglo countries , South Africa, Sweden etc. No society is entirely free of patronage influence & examples of such relationships can be found in all cultures. In U. S. (as in other Anglo cultures & in most of North Europe) patronage relationships have drastically declined in importance over the past few decades. The Anglo manager’s suspicion of patronage is conditioned by his/her culture & professional training. The Anglo cross-cultural manager is conditioned not to “see” patronage within the organization.

He/she either overlooks its existence or characterizes it as inherently corrupt. Headquarters exerts bureaucratic control by enforcing impersonal rules that govern the selection, recruitment, training & rewarding of employees & regulate the individual’s behavior & output. This form of control is achieved through the use of written manuals, instructions & reports. Training is restricted to teaching these manuals & specific technical competences. Anglo multinationals tend towards this form of control – but they are not alone.

The Japanese stringently avoid using language forms likely to cause offence. When this style reflects a high-context culture, it may present no problems in understanding to cultural insiders who play by the same rules. However, they can lead to cross-cultural confusion with, eg: Low –context Anglo. The Anglo manager heavily relies on memos when communicating within the organisation. But in a culture where personal relationships (between peers, levels on the hierarchy) are of paramount importance, the apparent advantages of effective communication are delusory.

The memo suggests coldness, aloofness & a deliberate distancing from other person and achieves far less than a personal meeting – despite the greater investment in time that this entails. Anglo negotiators see no disgrace in actively searching for a “compromise” – which does not imply they intend to “compromise” their values ; but in Iranian terms, the concepts are less easily separated & a request for a “compromise” implies a invitation to sell-out basic principles.

In some cultures, it is acceptable to make physical contact with another person, for instance in a greeting. Anglos typically shake hands, but should not assume that this habit is universally appreciated. On the other hand, Anglo males usually resist embracing in public , which is normal in Latin cultures. In Asian cultures, almost any form of physical contact is avoided. In India & some South-east Asian cultures members greet each other by placing their hands together & making a slight bow.

The Japanese & Koreans bow in greeting & depth of the bow indicates the degree of respect shown. The Sigmund Freud’s psychological model accurately reflects such features of Austrian culture as high needs to avoid uncertainty & low individualism & notes that Freudian thinking has never been successful in U. S. – which differs significantly on these 2 dimensions. Hence, a motivational system based on values in Culture A may be ineffective in Culture B & possibly demotivating. Almost all models have been formulated in Anglo countries & in particular in U. S.

Thus they are characterized by certain presuppositions; relatively high masculinity & a protestant work ethic, high individualism, narrow power distances, low needs to avoid uncertainty & high needs for continual streams of explicit information to be communicated form the context. In Anglo cultures, a certain level of open disagreement is treated as inevitable & is tolerated. In U. S. , it has become accepted that tension is normal, even desirable , with the thought growing that “healthy” personalities actually seek to increase tension. Different tolerances of dispute: Research findings show very different tolerances.

Hofstede associates attitudes towards dispute with power distance & needs to avoid uncertainty. Large-power distance cultures – i)assume that latent conflicts between ranks is normal; ii)assume that peers are reluctant to trust each other. And small power-distance cultures – i)Value harmony between the powerful & the powerless; ii)Assume that peers are relatively willing to cooperate. Where needs to avoid uncertainty are large, i) conflict in organisations is considered highly undesirable; ii) competition is emotionally disapproved of; iii) there is a low readiness to compromise with opponents.

Where needs to avoid uncertainty are small, i) Conflict in organizations is considered natural ii) Competition between employees can be fair & right iii) There is a greater readiness to compromise with opponents. Most organizations would be better off if conflict could be eliminated forever. Culture & industrial disputes: The Anglo cultures tolerate high levels of workforce management disputes. These are complicated by disagreements within each side when both union & management negotiators have to negotiate their bargaining positions with their own constituents whose support is always conditional. In U. K. the 1984-5 miners’ strike ended without a formal agreement & a slow drift back to work when the union leaders were unable to maintain the solid support of their members. This conflict within the National Union of Miners led to a split & the formation of a rival miners’ union. The American manager expects to resort to confrontational tactics when disputing a contract with a trade partner & uses contracts that allow for arbitration by an agency such as The American Arbitration Association. Conflict arises when argument & competition is negative & uncontrolled and by implication has undesired consequences.

When real issues are involved (for instance, on allocation of resources, disagreements over principle etc) & the 2 sides are in possession of shared & reliable in formation, the dispute is substantive. When it involves vague feelings, , personal antipathies and displays of emotion or the 2 sides base their claims on inaccurate or contradictory information, the dispute is affective. Conflict occurs when: 1) The participants refuse to collaborate to find a solution ; 2) A superior is unwilling or unable to arbitrate; ) One or both of the participants refuse to accept the superior’s arbitration; 4) Rules & dispute-resolution procedures are inadequate, ambiguous or contradictory 5) Communication is poor; the participants are unable to communicate essential information or disagree on how it should be interpreted. Communicating dispute: This means – I) Failure to recognize that a dispute has arisen; II) Failure to recognize the causes of a dispute. When the cross-cultural manager misreads a dispute, it can rapidly spin out of control. These are real problems because disputes are signaled ifferently in different cultures. Eg: Where management interests are attacked by a symbolic action that would seem absurd in an Anglo culture but makes good sense within its actual setting. In a different cultural context i. e. in Anglo culture , where the employer is not expected to play much of a social role outside the workplace & is not responsible for the domestic relationships of his/her workforce, a mass divorce would elicit only mockery. The employer would have been far more inconvenienced by the previous demonstration of mass sickness.

Thai & American dispute: A traditional Thai boss avoids making demands that- i) Are over-complex or ambiguous & require clarification or lead to the subordinate making a mistake; ii) Challenge the subordinate’s perceptions of the world; iii) Are divisive & place the subordinate in conflict with other members of the organization. Eg: Suppose that the superior gives an opinion & the subordinate responds ‘I am afraid I can’t agree on all points. ” Within an American organization, this might still be tolerated.

But in the traditional Thai organization, the tolerances are narrower & the utterance is likely to be interpreted as antagonistic. Coping with conflict & finding a resolution: Thomas (1976) models the options for resolving dispute- i) Attempt to dominate; force your solution on the other side. This position is highly assertive & shows no desire to cooperate. ii) Collaborate to find a solution that integrates the needs of both sides. New interests are introduced & the scale of the negotiation is increased, to the mutual advantage of both.

This balances needs to assert & cooperate at a high level. iii) Compromise, for instance by bargaining down to a 50/50 split of resources. iv) Avoid conflict v) Accommodate & appease the other side. This position is highly cooperative but shows no desire to assert. In Anglo cultures, the posture that the disputants & other interested parties (a superior or mediator) take is influenced by such factors as: i) The stakes associated with the outcome. When the outcome is very important to one side, it invests more in winning. ii) The urgency of finding an immediate solution.

The less time there is available to negotiate a comprehensive settlement, the greater the pressure to assert power or to with draw. When the sides cannot agree, a superior may impose a solution. When one side decides that more can be gained form preserving the relationship, it may decide to withdraw in favour of the other party on this particular issue. iii) The emotional involvement of the parties. When one side is highly involved, it feel less inclined to look for a sharing solution. In these cultures, avoidance & appeasement appear to be strategies for only coping with the symptoms.

Culture & resolution: In Anglo cultures, the non-assertive strategies of withdrawl or smoothing are equated with an admission are equated with an admission of defeat; the individual who habitually withdraws from conflict is likely to be scorned as a “wimp” & the manager who regularly ignores subordinates’ disputes is in danger of losing their respect. Among American mangers, withdrawl is the least often used means of conflict resolution & confrontation the most often used. In case of negotiations, high context cultures place great importance on personal relationships.

A member of a culture in Latin America, the Arab world, some of the Mediterranean countries & parts of Asia may focus his/her energies on developing their understanding & trust of the other person & give less attention to the specifics of the deal. Only when convinced with your integrity & reliability(at least so far as this specific deal is concerned),does he/she agree to settle. And perhaps relatively little need to be spent on discussion of details – terms of payment, delivery, quality & even price, details to which the Anglo business person is used to paying most attention.

Who is negotiating? An Anglo company may be mistaken is selecting a young high-flier to head a team negotiating with a Chinese or Japanese team. The Asian team is likely to be led by a senior & older person, who has high status & who loses face if called upon to deal with a younger person as an equal. He may play little part in the detailed discussions, but take a significant “figurehead” role. Business relationships of long duration can occur in Anglo countries & elsewhere in the West; examples are in U. K.. also in Sweden & Germany. Nevertheless, Anglo negiotiators tend to focus on the advantages offered from a single deal. And a negotiation is likely to be evaluated in terms how many immediate options are developed. Like all communications, a negotiation must be appropriately structured. Four stages of negotiation are – i) Non-task relationship criterion ii) Task-related exchange of information iii) Persuasion iv) Concession & argument. Many Anglos experience difficulties in handling this apparently undirected activity.

They are uncomfortable spending time developing a relationship with a business acquaintance , particularly when this involves making general conversation. They are inclined to introduce the business interest early in the conversation & to focus on this. Anglos invest far less formality in card-presentations & may exchange them only at the end of a meeting to serve as remainders. Germans include their full academic & professional titles – & expect to be addressed by them. A Malaysian used to dealing with the Anglos always brings an interpreter to negotiations – although he speaks English fluently.

When his counterpart addresses the interpreter & when the interpreter translates into his Chinese dialect, he has twice the time to plan his answer , a second bite of the apple. In Anglo cultures, the action of signing a contract symbolizes an intention to fulfill the slated terms. Eg: In U. S. , the outcomes of marketing negotiations are determined primarily by events at the negotiation table. In case of culture shock, the Anglo takes it for granted that disagreement is sometimes expressed explicitly. The lack of such explicit negation in Japan can be very disconcerting.

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Anglo-Saxon Culture. (2017, Feb 18). Retrieved from