Cultural Dynamics in
Assessing Global Markets

          Chapter 4
Importance of Culture to
International Marketing Efforts
   “Culture gets in the Way”
     eBay example
      • Japan’s cultural ideas about selling “castoffs” and buying
        from strangers (garage sales)
      • France has laws restricting operations except to a few
        “government-certified auctioneers”
     Importance of Culture
      • Successful businesses must be open to the learning of
        cultures of different countries
      • Culture effects every part of marketing (pricing,
        promotion, placing distribution, packaging…)
Definition of Culture
   Definitions of Culture:
     Authors definition: “the sum total of knowledge,
     beliefs, art, morals, laws, customs and any other
     capabilities and habits acquired by humans..”
     Geert Hofstede: culture as the “software of the
     mind… provides a guide for humans on how to
     think and behave”
     Edward Hall: cultural differences are invisible and
     that if marketers ignore them it often huts both
     companies and careers.
Exhibit 4.4 “Origins, Elements,
and Consequences of Culture
     Adaptation occurs through
      • Socialization,Acculturation & Adaptation:
         – Through growing up and adjusting to new cultures
     Origins of culture come from
      • Geography ( ex. climate connection to GDP)
      • History
      • Political Economy
      • Technology
      • Social Institutions (family, religion, school,
        media government corporations
Exhibit 4.4 “Origins, Elements,
and Consequences of Culture
   Geert Hofstede 4 dimensions of Culture
   (exhibit 4.5 pg. 105)
     1. Individualism/Collectivism Index (IDV)
         – Scores High in IDV reflect more individualistic behaviors
           (U.S., Australia, Great Britain)
     2. Power Distance Index (PDI)
      • Measures the power between superiors and subordinates
        within a social system
         – Higher PDI scores are hierarchical (Arab countries,
           Guatemala, Mexico, Venezuela)
         – Tend to have general mistrust of others
Exhibit 4.4 “Origins, Elements,
and Consequences of Culture
   Geert Hofstede 4 dimensions of Culture
   (exhibit 4.5 pg. 105)
     3. Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI)
      • Measures tolerance of uncertainty and ambiguity
          – Higher UAI scores mean intolerance of ambiguity and
            distrust new behaviors and ideas (Japan, France, Greece)
     4. Masculinity/Femininity Index (MAS)
      • Focuses on assertiveness and achievement
      • Proven least useful in measuring values within cultures
Elements of Culture
     Patterns of behavior and interactions that are
     See Crossing Borders 4.1 pg. 107 (“It’s Not the
     Gift That Counts, but How You Present it”)
     Language & linguistic distance (exhibit 4.5)
     Aesthetics (art, folklore, music, drama and dance)
     Myths, superstitions, or other cultural beliefs
   Thought Processes
Cultural Knowledge
   2 Types of Cultural Knowledge
     1. Factual knowledge
      • Straightforward fact about a culture
          – See Crossing Borders 4.3 pg. 113 (“Gaining Cultural
     2. Interpretive knowledge
      • Feeling that requires some insight as to how a culture
      • It is dependent upon experiences and can lead to
        incorrect conclusions when using (SRC)
   Cultural Sensitivity and Tolerance
      • Successful International marketing companies are
        sensitive to differences in cultures and view them
Cultural Change
   “Cultural Borrowing”
     Countries often times “borrow” the
     solutions from other cultures and countries
     that have experienced similar types of
     issues and problems
      • Similarities can be an Illusion:
         – Need to be careful borrowing from other cultures
           where differences may be so subtle that the
           international marketer overlooks very important
Cultural Change
   Resistance Change
     Cultures will accept or resist change based on how
     disruptive the change
   Planned & Unplanned Cultural Change
     International Marketers have two options when
     introducing new products/services to a culture
      • 1. They can wait for the change to occur
      • 2. They can cause the change
         – McDonald’s example in Japan
Cultural Change
   Consequences of Innovation or Change
     International Businesses can bring about
     functional or dysfunctional change
      • When product diffusion occurs, social change
        may also take place as a result of the
        acceptance of that product
      • Businesses do not intend to bring dysfunctional
        change, but it can happen
         – Nestle example in Nicaragua

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