Culture Shock

3441 Words14 Pages
Culture Shock

1 Definition of Culture

Culture as the most complex terms has countless different definitions

ranging from complicated phrases to the simple statement describing

culture as "the way we do things around here". The widely used

definition of culture is that of Meads (1951), "A body of learned

behaviour, a collection of beliefs, habits and traditions, shared by a

group of people and successively learned by people who enter the

society"(Joynt and Warner, 1996, P. 33). Hofstede(1980) created the

very illustrative definition of culture as "the collective programming

of the mind which distinguishes the members of one group or category

of people from another". Again to Hofstede's option, culture is

learned not inherited, it is not impossible to learn new cultural

traits and to unlearn old ones (Manz, 2003, online). Therefore, it

must be feasible to integrate cultural differences.

Culture has significant influence on the behaviour of individuals. In

general, a person's perceptions, attitudes, motivations, values,

learning experience and personality are shaped by culture. The

importance of culture lies in the fact that it provides the body of

knowledge and techniques that enable people to act, both physically

and socially, in the world and make sense of the people and around

world . (Forester, 2000, p.63)

Culture items 'above the waterline' include language, food, festival,

clothing and dress, architecture and art. Those ''below water line'

are much more numerous and include business ethics, values, morality,

facial and body language, male/female relationships, family fidelity,

learning style, work motivation and emp...

... middle of paper ...

...titutions, and organizations across nations", Thousand

Oaks, 2001

Hofstede, Geert H.: "Cultures and Organizations: Software of the

mind", New York, 1997

Marx, Elisabeth: "Breaking through culture shock: what you need to

succeed in international business"; London, 1999

Mendenhall, Mark E./ Kühlmann, Torsten M../ Stahl, Günther K./ Osland,

Joyce S.: "Employee Development and Expatriate Assignments" in Gannon,

Martin J./ Newman, Karen L. (Editors): "The Blackwell Handbook of

cross-cultural management", Oxford, 2002

Simpson, J.A./ Weiner, Edmund S.C. (prepared by): "Oxford English

Dictionary", 2nd edition, Oxford, 1991

Wagner, W.: "Kulturschock Deutschland", Hamburg, 1996

Ward, Colleen: "Acculturation" in Landis, Dan/ Bhagat, Rabi S.

(Editors): "Handbook of Intercultural Training", Thousand Oaks, 1996

More about Culture Shock

Open Document