Working across Cultures: Applications and Exercises
Publication Year: 2001
You can help students and trainees gain a better understanding of the complexity of culture! The 71 exercises in this book can help you provide students and trainees with the practical experience and knowledge needed to succeed in real-world situations. Drawing from over 15 years of cross-cultural training experience, the author has assembled a diverse number of engaging exercises that can be quickly implemented with minimal effort. Self-administered questionnaires, case studies, culture-focused interviews, and pro and con debates are just a few of the wide range of activities you can use to enrich the classroom.
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 1: Understanding Cross-Cultural Differences
- Exercise 1.1 Culture and Group Effectiveness
- Exercise 1.2 Culture and the Manager's Role
- Exercise 1.3 Preconceived Influences
- Exercise 1.4 Language and Perception
- Exercise 1.5 Metaphors for Culture
- Exercise 1.6 Cultural Identity
- Exercise 1.7 Nationalism, Ethnicity, and Globalization
- Chapter 2: The Dimensions of Culture: Part I
- Exercise 2.1 Arrival Times for Different Activities
- Exercise 2.2 Time as Past, Present, and Future
- Exercise 2.3 Time and National Cultures
- Exercise 2.4 Individualism-Collectivism
- Exercise 2.5 Collectivism and Test Taking
- Exercise 2.6 My Best Friend versus Money
- Exercise 2.7 Space and Work
- Exercise 2.8 Spatial Zones
- Exercise 2.9 Relationship with Nature
- Exercise 2.10 Being or Doing
- Exercise 2.11 Being and Doing Phrases
- Exercise 2.12 The Nature of People
- Exercise 2.13 The Story of Upoli
- Chapter 3: The Dimensions of Culture: Part II
- The Work of Hofstede
- Exercise 3.1 Continuing to Use Hofstede's Dimensions
- Exercise 3.2 Supplementing Hofstede's Framework
- Idiocentrism and Allocentrism
- Exercise 3.3 Idiocentrism and Allocentrism
- Shared Cultural Values
- Exercise 3.4 Cultural Values
- Chapter 4: Cultural Metaphors
- Using Metaphors to Understand National Differences
- Exercise 4.1 Questionnaire Items
- Exercise 4.2 Paragraph Profiles
- Using Metaphors to Implement Organizational Change
- Exercise 4.3 Organizational Change
- Exercise 4.4 Learning about Cultural Metaphors in Pairs or Triads
- Exercise 4.5 Cultural Sensemaking
- Exercise 4.6 Stereotypes and Cultural Metaphors
- Exercise 4.7 The Cultural Interview
- Exercise 4.8 Debating the Merits of Cultural Metaphors
- Exercise 4.9 Creating Advertising Slogans
- Exercise 4.10 Creating a Complete Advertisement
- Using Metaphors to Compare Government and Business
- Exercise 4.11 The German Symphony, American Football, and Boards of Directors
- Exercise 4.12 Applying the German Symphony and American Football to Mergers of Companies
- Exercise 4.13 Managerial Interviews, Joint Ventures, and Cultural Metaphors
- Exercise 4.14 Selling Furniture
- Exercise 4.15 Office Assignments
- Exercise 4.16 Analyzing Advertisements
- Exercise 4.17 Military and Business Strategy
- Exercise 4.18 International Strategies
- Exercise 4.19 Organization Design and Work Groups
- Chapter 5: Cultures as Processes, Outcomes, and Emotional Expression
- Exercise 5.1 Seeing Processes, Outcomes, and Emotional Expression in Action
- Exercise 5.2 Southern versus Northern Hospitality
- Exercise 5.3 The Hong Kong Orchestra
- Exercise 5.4 Problem-Solving Approaches
- Exercise 5.5 Religions and Cultures
- Chapter 6: Sociolinguistics
- Exercise 6.1 Words, Phrases, and Cultural Meanings
- Exercise 6.2 Colors and Cultural Meanings
- Exercise 6.3 The Deaf Culture
- Exercise 6.4 Stereotyping National Cultures
- Exercise 6.5 Mangled Advertising Campaigns
- Exercise 6.6 Nonverbal Communication
- Exercise 6.7 Just Say No
- Exercise 6.8 Global Virtual Teams
- Exercise 6.9 Interviews about Languages
- Exercise 6.10 The Language of Gestures
- Chapter 7: Additional Behaviors across Cultures
- Exercise 7.1 Social Class, Culture, and Gender
- Exercise 7.2 Culture versus Social Class
- Exercise 7.3 Culture and Race
- Exercise 7.4 Culture and Institutions
- Classification of Human Relationships
- Exercise 7.5 The Four Basic Types of Human Relations
- Exercise 7.6 An Ethical Dilemma
- Exercise 7.7 Preparing for an International Assignment
- Exercise 7.8 Life Lesson
- Chapter 8: Cross-Cultural Negotiations
- Exercise 8.1a Rug Negotiations: Part 1
- Exercise 8.1b Rug Negotiations: Part 2
- Exercise 8.1c Rug Negotiations: Part 3
- Exercise 8.2 Key Rules of Negotiating
- Exercise 8.3 Metaphors for Negotiations
- Exercise 8.4 Collecting No's Cross-Culturally
- Exercise 8.5 Alpha and Beta Styles
- American, Japanese, and German Styles of Negotiation
- Exercise 8.8 American, Japanese, and German Styles of Negotiating
- Chapter 9: A Metaphor in Depth: The German Symphony
- Chapter Overview
- Discussion of the Culture
- Activities and Exercises
- Chapter Performance Review
- Chapter 10: A Metaphor in Depth: The Japanese Garden
- Chapter Overview
- Discussion of the Culture
- Activities and Exercises
- Chapter Performance Review
- Chapter 11: Training Videos and Web Sites
Copyright © 2001 by Sage Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Gannon, Martin J.
Working across cultures: Applications and exercises/by Martin J. Gannon.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
1. Culture—Research. 2. Culture—Study and teaching. 3. Cross-cultural orientation. 4. Social problems. I. Title.
HM623 .G36 2000
01 02 03 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
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Preface: Using This Book[Page vii]
The underlying premise of this book is that cross-cultural understanding is maximally achieved through the active involvement of the student or trainee in the learning process, but that this involvement must be based on a thorough grounding in theory. Even a very knowledgeable instructor lecturing on culture always faces the implicit—and sometimes not so implicit—assumption among trainees and students that they know as much as, if not more than, the instructor. The use of exercises forces students, trainees, and instructor to grapple with the complexity of culture in an active manner.
Furthermore, as the subtitle of the book indicates, it is not sufficient to be actively involved in exercises; the instructor must also show how cultural concepts and exercises apply in real-world situations. This is an applications book that presents a wide diversity of learning experiences in different formats, such as completing self-administered questionnaires, undertaking culture-focused interviews, debating pros and cons on a particular issue, analyzing short case studies, creating an advertising campaign, and redesigning work groups through using cultural knowledge.
Most exercise books include 20 to 30 exercises that the authors explain in detail, identifying the goals of each exercise, the amount of time required, and so on. In contrast, this book includes a large number of exercises (71, plus Chapters 9 through 11) containing lecture materials, examples, and a wide variety of perspectives. I have found these examples and approaches to be enriching and helpful in the classroom, but each instructor can tailor each exercise to his or her needs, preferences, and time constraints. Also, I opted for a large and diverse number of exercises so that the instructor can review quickly for ideas and approaches that are personally appealing and can be implemented quickly with minimal effort. The instructor can either proceed sequentially through the book or examine the table of contents and select exercises that are personally appealing.
The exercises are based on 15 years of cross-cultural training of undergraduate and MBA students at the University of Maryland and several non-American universities in Europe and Asia. Also, the material has been class-tested in cross-cultural management training programs, including the IMPACT Certificate Program (International Management Program and Compliance Training) at Northrop-Grumman, Baltimore, Maryland, and the Senior Management Training Program at GEICO.
[Page viii]Students and trainees are strongly encouraged to participate in discussions and group meetings in many of these exercises. I also recommend the use of the “think-pair-share” method, whereby the instructor presents a question to be answered but allows the class 1 minute of silence, following which each class member discusses ideas with another class member sitting in an adjacent chair. There is then a general class discussion, which allows class members to take ownership of the learning process, thereby enhancing it.
This book can be used either independently or to accompany Understanding Global Cultures (Gannon and Associates, 2001). All of the exercises relate to the concept of cultural metaphors, that is, a unique or distinctive phenomenon, activity, or institution with which members of an ethnic or national culture closely identify, which they understand, and which symbolizes their shared but frequently unconsciously held values, such as the Chinese family altar or the Swedish stuga. Triandis (in press) feels that this is the most interesting aspect of culture; similarly, Brislin (1993) believes that culture allows the individual to automatically fill in the blanks when behavior is required; and Hofstede (1991) defines culture as mental programming, or the software of the mind. It is this feature of culture that is not only very interesting but also problematic, because the instructor must involve trainees and students in the learning process to move such shared values from the background into the foreground.
Chapter 1 provides some initial exercises on cross-cultural differences; the focus in Chapters 2 and 3 is on developing exercises for well-known cross-cultural dimensions such as individualism-collectivism, power distance, time, and space. Chapter 4 presents several exercises on cultural metaphors that are designed to supplement the use of cross-cultural dimensions, whereas Chapter 5 presents exercises involving a new typology of cultures based on the concepts of processes, outcomes, and degree of emotional expressiveness. Chapter 6 looks at the area of socio-linguistics, or the interaction between language and society, and Chapter 7 treats some additional behaviors across cultures, including an exploration of the four basic types of human relations. Chapter 8 explores the issue of cross-cultural negotiating, and Chapters 9 and 10 take an in-depth look at the cultural metaphors for Germany and Japan. The book concludes by recommending training videos that can serve to enhance the learning process.
Michele Gelfand, Assistant Professor of Organizational and Cross-Cultural Psychology at the University of Maryland, authored Exercise 4.8, debating the merits of cultural metaphors, and Exercise 4.19, on organization design and work groups. I edited these exercises for this book with her permission. Also, I have used other sources, as noted, in developing exercises, but I centered these exercises around the concept of cultural metaphors.
I would like to thank two Maryland MBAs, Claire Boehmler and Mark Davis, for their research assistance. As usual, the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland at College Park has provided a congenial and intellectually stimulating environment in which to work, for which I am most appreciative. Finally, if the reader comes across any errors or ways of improving the book, I would be grateful if he or she would bring them to my attention (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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About the Author[Page 143]
Martin J. Gannon (PhD, Columbia University) is Professor of Management and Director of the Center for Global Business, Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland at College Park. He is also the Founding Director of the College Park Scholars Program in Business, Society, and the Economy (an undergraduate living-learning community). His previous positions at Maryland include Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Chair of the Faculty of Management and Organization, and Co-Founder/Co-Director of the Small Business Development Center. At Maryland, he teaches in the areas of international management and behavior and business strategy. He is the author or coauthor of 85 articles and 13 books, including Dynamics of Competitive Strategy (Sage, 1992); Understanding Global Cultures: Metaphorical Journeys Through 17 Nations (Sage, 1994, revised ed., 2001), Managing Without Traditional Methods: International Innovations in Human Resource Management (1996); and Ethical Dimensions of International Management (Sage, 1997).
Professor Gannon has served as a management consultant and trainer to a large number of private firms, federal government agencies, and labor unions. He has class-tested the applications and exercises in this book with managers, MBA students, and undergraduate students in many nations. Specific organizations for which he has consulted include the Strategic Forum Consulting Group in Malaysia and Indonesia; the Polish-American Center, University of Lodz, Pland; Bocconi University, Milan; Universities of Tübingen and Kassel, Germany; University College–Dublin; London Business School; Universiti Kabangsaan, Malaysia; and Thammasat University, Bangkok. Currently, he is the main external consultant to GEICE Insurance Company on the design and delivery of its Senior Management Training Program. He is University of Maryland Academic Director of the Northrop-Grumman Managerial IMPACT Certificate Program designed to increase international skill sets.
Professor Gannon has been Senior Research Fulbright Professor at the Center for the Study of Work and Higher Education in Germany and the John F. Kennedy/Fulbright Professor at Thammasat University in Bangkok, as well as a visiting professor at several Asian and European universities.