Culture and Values
CULTURE AND VALUES
Countries are made up of people going about their business on a daily basis. The behavior of people is shaped by the values and mores of their parents, families and societies. While there are many cases of a close match between the value sets of people and national borders, this is not always the case. In a number of cases the cultures represented by specific value sets cross over national borders and in other cases multiple cultural value sets reside in one country.
While it may appear rather obvious that different groups of people have different cultural values and norms, it is not obvious to a person in a specific culture that what they hold dearly is not shared by others. It is indeed only when coming across someone from a different culture that this becomes apparent. The first signs are often misunderstandings where there should be none.
Operating across borders typically means doing business with people from different backgrounds and this poses significant challenges to businesses. Managers need to be aware that what appears obvious in many cases may be highly dependent on the cultural frameworks for the respective cultural representatives. Successful international managers are able to function in seemingly contradicting situations because they are flexible and comfortable with ambiguity.
TED talks – East versus west – the myths that mystify by Devdutt Pattanaik
There are also times when a parent cultural differences at the surface level may require solutions that look just like those in a very different cultural context.
TED Institute – 3 Lessons on success from an Arab businesswoman by Leila Hoteit