Cultural orientations

Attempts to apply American management techniques and philosophy globally have often backfired due to different cultural orientations.
The Japanese, for example, apply analytical-rational logic to machines and synthetic-intuitive logic to social relations. They take the functioning of local society seriously (glocalisation).

In every culture, notions like authority, bureaucracy, creativity, team work, verification and accountability are experienced in different ways.

That certain products are present everywhere does not tell you all that much about what lies underneath.

Trompenaars (p6) quoting Schein:
"culture is the way in which a group of people solves problems and dilemmas"

Relationships among people
Based on Parsons (The Social System 1951):

universalism vs. particularism

Could also be characterised as: rules vs. relationships
- universalism: what is good and right always applies; tends to be abstract

- particularism: takes more account of obligations of relationships and unique circumstances, less attention to abstract societal codes; if a close relative or friend is involved I must help or protect this person no matter what the rules say.

Universalists more common in Protestant cultures, where there are no intermediaries between the individual and God, and no-one to hear confessions, forgive sins or make allowances. Predominantly Catholic cultures retain more relational, particularist features. You can break the commandments and still find compassion for unique circumstances – God understands.

individualism vs. communitarianism

Whether people regard themselves primarily as individuals or as part of a group and whether common goals and objectives should come first.
These dimensions are complementary, not opposing.

The individual as a concept appeared in the Renaissance (prior to that individuals defined in terms of family, clan, tribe, city state, feudal group. Strengthened by...