Cultures

Comparative models offer managers a framework which allows comparisons between cultures which is useful in predicting behaviour and reactions of different cultural groups. However, with globalisation criticisms of the comparative models have become more pronounced. Cultures do not signify a nation and today’s multi-national corporations do belong to a specific country or culture. The comparative model uses nation state as a unit of analysing cultures and assumes that a culture is contained with the geographical boundaries of a nation.

The models further that there is a homogeneous or dominant culture within a nation and other cultures besides the dominant culture are often disregarded within the model. Culture is also regarded as a constant ideology within the comparative models. However, in reality, countries function as an ecosystem where different cultures that co-exist and some countries are more heterogeneous than others. As explained by xx, the comparative model does not assess the impact of the differences between the dominant and subcultures.

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With globalisation, there is a greater exchange of cultures with larger inflow and outflow of goods and services. Cultures therefore transcend national boundaries and the culture of a particular nation could have originated from another nation. There is also a process of glocalisation where global cultures are transformed to suit the local cultures. It is therefore better to regard culture as an evolving concept that is not necessarily belong to any particular nation.

The comparative models are unable to evaluate traditional and new cultures. It also oversimplifies the cultural context of matters that need to be taken into account in management. Today’s companies are a mixture of the aspects Hofsteade took into account rather than holding a clear binary position. On the part of international manager, values such as collectivism and individualism vary according to the cultural background he/she belongs to. In addition there is an assumption that these values have similar meanings in all cultures.

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