Culture is more often a source of conflict than of synergy. Cultural differences are a nuisance at best and often a disaster.”
Prof. Geert Hofstede, Emeritus Professor, Maastricht University
The only thing permanent in nature is ‘change’. As the time passes, the world evolves. One of those recent waves of change is that of globalization. The impact of globalization is more far reaching and lasting than any other trend. On one hand globalization provides an opportunity to business world, at the same time, it poses a great threat to people interacting with each other.
The trend of globalization is therefore of particular significance to the business community. Since it expands the market, business try to go global. However, this results into an interaction with a culture that may be quite different from the previous one. This is the reason why cross cultural communication has been a major topic in business communication studies as well as academic research. In determining the cultural differences on concrete basis, no other studies seem to be more worthwhile than the Geert Hofstede Cultural Dimensions.
Hofstede was interest in researching the impact of national cultures on organizational cultures and work practices. While doing this, he assessed each nation under consideration on the basis of five dimensions. These five dimensions are low vs. high power distance, individualism vs. collectivism, masculinity vs. femininity, uncertainty avoidance and long term orientation vs. short term orientation.
Exploring each of these dimensions, one can realize their impact in business setting, especially when the manager of one culture collaborates with a manager from another culture. In such a situation, each of these dimension will determine their work approach and thus, it is important for each of them to be aware of the culture of its counterpart and not only respect it but also to make this relationship most productive.
It is therefore in this context the need of the hour to learn about various cultures that one is expected to interact with or live in. thus, due to the very same reason, the cultures of my host country, France and that of UK would be compared.
The methodology for this research would be quite simple. A number of questions/situations would be developed to determine the two dimensions ______ and ________ for this research. 40 questionnaires would filled by French and Britain each. Each of the choice would have certain score for each situation. Once, the data is gathered, it would be tabulated and statistical measures like measures of central tendency, the measures of variation would be analyzed and simple hypothesis testing would also be carried out.
There may be several hindrances in this research that may distort the result. In the first place, seeing the large population of the two countries, it is not possible, given the time frame of the research and the resources available to take a representative sample. Secondly, it may be possible that a given situation is perceived by the respondents differently, as they cannot be given a two pager case. At maximum, the length of the scenario would be 3-4 lines. Moreover, in case that such a situation has already happened to that person in past, it would also affect their response. Thus, these issues may distort the result. The only way to cater is careful questionnaire design and taking as bigger sample as possible, keeping resource and time considerations in mind.
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