Cultural differences are reality of globalization. People from different cultures working in close contact far more than ever at any point in the history of mankind. So it has become a matter of great importance that people understand the cultural differences and how they need to modify their behavior for making a common ground and avoid possible conflicts. For a long working relationship, it is important for individuals to understand and respect their differences and commonalities.
Universalism Vs Particularism
Universalism postulates that ideas and practices can be applied universally with no or minor modifications. On the contrary Particularism theorizes that ideas and practices are framed by circumstances which makes then subjective. Countries like United States and Canada have a culture of universalism whereas countries in Southeast Asia have a greater sense of particularism.
Individualism vs. Communitarianism
Cultures with a sense of individualism have people who identify themselves as individuals and cultures with the greatest sense of communitarianism identify themselves as a part of a group or community. This is a transient sense of belonging and cultures change with socio-economic evolution. United States is an example of a country with high individualism whereas Germany and China are example of countries with high communitarianism.
Neutral vs. Emotional
Some cultures like British tend to rein in their emotions in public. They behave conservatively while doing business and are considered to be emotionally neutral. However people from countries like Mexico and Italy are expressive. They belong to the emotional category.
Specific vs. Diffuse
In a Specific culture, people have a very large public space which is shared with a larger community. The reserve a personal space only for family, friends and acquaintances. Example United States. In a Diffuse culture, this is a large overlap between the public space and personal space. as it isn’t individuals guard their public space and personal space carefully because of the permeability. Example Germany.
Achievement vs. Ascription
In an achievement culture, status of a person is defined by how will they do in what they do. Status is accorded based on the achievement of the individual. US and Israel comes in this category. On the other hand, in an Ascription culture the status is based on who the person is. Example older and senior members according to with status. Indonesia and China are two examples for this category.
Sequential vs. Synchronic
In a Sequential culture, the order of events, schedule and deadlines becomes the baseline for work. People follow the order in chronological manner by following the identified schedule and attempted to meet the clear deadlines. However, in Synchronic cultures, though the timelines and deadlines are important, people are usually more flexible with time and tend to focus on multiple things at the same time.
Internal vs. External Control
Cultures are also differentiated as driven by Internal or External control. In some cultures, people are inherently motivated and driven to take action in order to change the status quo. Like US and UK. In some other cultures, people need external guidance or push to make a change. Such people are more flexible with work and emphasizes on forging relationships. Like India and Mexico.