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									                 What is culture

 Culture
   “culture provides members with images of their basic
    concerns, principles, ethics, and bodies of manners,
    rituals, ideologies, strategies, and tactics of self-
    survival including certain notions of good deeds and
    bad, various form of folklore and legends… The way
    we give logic to world begins at birth with gestures,
    words, tone of voice, noises, color, smells, and body
    contact we experience… Our culture is what is
    familiar, recognizable, habitual, It is „what goes
    without saying‟”.

         Van maanen, J. and Laurent, A. The flow of
          cultures: some notes on globalization and the
          multinational corporations, New York, NY, St.
          martin‟s Press 1993.

 Culture
      The Latin root of the word culture is colere, which means
       anything from cultivating and inhabiting to worshipping and

      colonus                 colonialism
      Colere         cultus            „cult‟ (as the religious term)

 Realist vs. subjectivist vs. idealism view of culture
 Within vs. Around

 For further reading see
      Terry Eagleton (2002) The idea of culture, Blackwell
  Cultural Issues in Global IT Management

   Global Village
       Is there a universal Business Culture that is
        independent of surrounding culture?

                                                  Cultural differences
Business is business
                                                  explain everything
all over the world

The computer                                      Cultural differences
subculture is the same                            explain everything
all over the world

                 The continuum of “does culture matter”
Cultural Issues in Global IT Management

 Stereotype
      Normal distribution cluster around a hypothesis.
          American stereotypes
          Indian stereotypes
          British stereotypes
          Finnish stereotypes
          German
          African

      Cultural experts claim that most successful managers are
       those that use these cultural mental files as starting points
       and continuously update them with new information

      Less successful managers are those who deny having any
       stereotypes and those who rely strictly on stereotypes.

 Some notions about culture
      The idea that culture can be managed is “itself cultural”
      American managers understand culture as something an
       organization has

      Europeans understand culture as something as
       organization is

      Americans believe in controlling their destiny and their
       ability to change corporate cultures, even in relatively short
       time spans.

      Corporate cultural change is something not highly stressed
       in Europe compare to America
Cultural Issues in Global IT Management

 Do Cultural Differences Affect Global
  Software Development and Management
  Cultural Issues in Global IT Management
 Different Types of Culture
      Within a national boundary (Canada or India or even US)
      Across boundaries (Arab or Arabic)
      Organizational culture (corporate culture)
          IBM, Microsoft, Toyota, Ford, etc
      Professional culture
          Lawyers, military, academic, programmers etc.
      Team Culture
          emerges from bonding through common work experiences, disaster
           and success, from cliquish jokes, team symbols or icon.
      Individual
          Multiple caps
          “I‟m more American now than Indian”

 Which of these cultural norms is the strongest?

 What is the future of a true corporate culture?
Cultural Issues in Global IT Management

 Managing Cultural Differences
   Awareness
   Knowledgeable
   Understand fundamental differences

 There is no general theory of cultural
  difference so what can we do?
Cultural Issues in Global IT Management

 Key Cultural Dimensions
   Data for these research was collected between 1967-
   By Geert Hofstede, a Dutch scholar, an industrial
    psychologist at IBM.
   Survey of IBM personnel in 40 countries
   Sample size was over 100,000

   Good data resource for our purpose but not perfect
    for social scientist in general because of the data was
    from a control group (IT professionals).
Cultural Issues in Global IT Management

 Result
     Revering Hierarchy (or Power distance)
     Individual versus Collectivism
     Taking Care of Business
     Risk Avoidance
     Long term orientation.
Cultural Issues in Global IT Management

 Revering Hierarchy (Power Distance)
   How people think about equality and relationship with
    supervisors and subordinates
   In some culture
      Large gaps between levels of organizational hierarchy
      Individuals are careful about expressing their opinion to
      Show proper respect to their boss
      Superior issue directives and expect subordinates to
       speak only when allowed and unpleasantly surprised
       when subordinates freely air their opinions
      Vice-versa

   Implication
  Cultural Issues in Global IT Management
Revering Hierarch. How unequal between rank and class is normal?
Low scores represent little reverence of hierarchy.
   Israel              13      Rank and class are less important
   Germany             35
   Netherlands         38
   USA                 40
   Japan               54
   France              68
   Hong Kong           68
   India               77
   West Africa         77
   Indonesia           78
   China               80
   Russia              95      Rank and class are very important
Cultural Issues in Global IT Management

 Individualism vs. Collectivism
    The extent to which a person sees herself as an
     individual rather than part of a group
       In   individual culture people are:
             Expected to have there own opinion
             Concern with personal achievement
             Individual right
             Independence

       In collectivism culture people are:
         Opinions are determined by group members
         People see themselves first as part of the group and
            are concern with the welfare of the group

       Implication
  Cultural Issues in Global IT Management
Individual-Collectivism. The degree to which individuals prefer to act as
individual rather than members of groups (I.e. collectivistic).
High score indicate high individualism and low scores imply high degree of

          USA                    91        Highly individualistic
          Netherlands            80
          France                 71
          Germany                67
          Israel                 54
          Russia                 50
          India                  48
          Japan                  46
          Hong Kong              25
          China                  20
          West Africa            20
          Indonesia              14        Rank and class are very important
Cultural Issues in Global IT Management

 Taking Care of Business
   “Toughness” needed in taking care of
    business (“masculine”)
   “Softer values” of taking care of people and
    being concerned with quality of life
  Cultural Issues in Global IT Management
Taking care of Business. To what degree are tough values such as
assertiveness valued against paternalistic values such as relationships and
quality of life.

           Japan                  95         Tough values
           Germany                66
           USA                    62
           Hong Kong              57
           India                  56
           China                  50
           Israel                 47
           West Africa            46
           Indonesia              46
           France                 43
           Russia                 40
           Netherlands            14         Paternalistic value
Cultural Issues in Global IT Management

 Risk Avoidance
   Attitude towards risky situations, ambiguous
    behaviors, predictability and control
      High risk avoidance culture places greater emphasis on
        Stability rather than innovation or change
        Resistance to outsiders or starting a company

      Low risk avoidance culture
        Embrace change more easily
        Tend to be more entrepreneurial
        More likely to break rules and
        Accepts new ideas faster

      Implication
  Cultural Issues in Global IT Management
Risk Avoidance. To what degree do people prefer structured, low risk
situation versus ambiguous, higher risk.

           Japan                  92        Avoid risk
           Russia                 90
           France                 86
           Israel                 81
           Germany                65
           China                  60
           West Africa            54
           Netherlands            53
           Indonesia              48
           USA                    46
           India                  40
           Hong Kong              29
Cultural Issues in Global IT Management

 Long Term Orientation (Confucianism
   Relative importance of here-and–now versus the
    future – long-term.
   Confucian – is a type of the Chinese philosopher
        Persistence
        Diligence
        Patience
        The Confucian tradition, also implies strong patriarchal
         authority, which is family centered, and it is also close
         to the “taking care of business” dimension
  Cultural Issues in Global IT Management
Long-term orientation. Based on values of Confucianism. To what degree do
people value the future (e.g., in persistence and thrift) versus the past or
           China                  118       Future orientation
           Hong Kong              96
           Japan                  80
           India                  61
           Netherlands            44
           Germany                31
           France                 30
           USA                    29
           Indonesia              25
           West Africa            16
           Russia                 10        Past and/or present orientation
           Israel                 N/A
Cultural Issues in Global IT Management

 Edward Hall Interpretation of Culture
     Space
     Material Goods
     Friendship
     Time
     Agreement
Cultural Issues in Global IT Management

 Space (Attitude towards space)
   Social distance or bubble
     Distance between business people
       Arab are comfortable with less space and find
         an American backing away as being rude

     Space between people in social settings
       British form nice organize queues (line) with
        lots of space in between people while waiting
        for bus
Cultural Issues in Global IT Management

 Material Goods
   Material goods are used for power and
     American managers wants the biggest, preferably
      corner office.
     In Japan, the boss has his desk in an open office
      space next to those of his subordinates,
      expressing the less importance placed on material
      as status.
Cultural Issues in Global IT Management

 Friendship
   On a continuum
      American make and loss friend quickly, regarding
       friendships as transitory, in part due to their high
       mobility. I.e. on both ends
      In other cultures
        Friendship takes a long term to develop but they are
           durable and involve a strong sense of mutual
        Same is true for business relationships. These
           culture prefers to do business with people with
           whom they have developed a relationship
        Business is conducted only after a personal
           relationship is established
Cultural Issues in Global IT Management

 Time
   In Linear time culture
        Deadline are taken very seriously
        Time is structured, sequential and linear
        Events are taken one at a time
        People plan things in great detail and are very punctual.
        Germany

   Expandable time culture
      Consider time commitments to be achieved only if
      Time is unlimited or simultaneous
      Time is fluid, elastic
      Delays are less important
      French
Cultural Issues in Global IT Management

 Agreement
   Expressing Agreement and Disagreement
     In some cultures detailed written contract is
      essential to agreement
     Handshake is sufficient
     In some cultures disagreement and dissent are
      openly and quickly expressed
     Open confrontation must be avoided at all cost
Cultural Issues in Global IT Management
 Language and communication
      High-Context Cultures
          E.g. Arabs, and East Asians
            Communicate a message in which most of the information
               is in the person, the surroundings, and the social
            Much of what is communicated is not said
            Ambiguity may be valued.
            For this culture the relationship of trust is of paramount

      Low-Context Cultures
          German and Nordic Countries
            People communicate is such a way that most of the
              information is explicitly stated in the actual message
            The person, the surroundings, the social perspective are
              largely irrelevant.
            Requires a high degree of precision in their communication
            Ambiguity is frowned upon.
Cultural Issues in Global IT Management

 High Context                 Japan, Chinese, Arab,
 Implicit communication       India, Latin

 Low Context                  American, German,
 Explicit                     English, Scandinavian

 Implication for IT professional
Cultural Issues in Global IT Management

 Do Cultural Differences Affect Global Software
  Development and Management
   No, there are essentially no cultural differences
    amongst software professionals
         Scientific culture dominates national culture
         I.e. Programmers in Moscow is more similar to his
          American peers than to other Russians.
         Engineering or Scientist stereotypes
           Is there a computer professional sub-culture that
              overpowers national culture?
           E.g Low social needs and high achievement
           Software development tools internationally
           Technical language and jargons
Cultural Issues in Global IT Management

 Do Cultural Differences Affect Global
  Software Development and Management
   Yes, there certainly are cultural differences
    amongst software professionals
        Different development method are used in
         different countries
          French are better in OO
          Japan are better in metrics
          American code first and then design later
          Contract and requirement interpretations

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