To undertake this assignment, acquire data on two countries from academic sources such as academic journal articles and academic books as well as government embassies, chambers of commerce and export advisory bodies by collecting data that provide knowledge about a country’s national culture. Choose the two countries based on personal experience, the Internet, or travel books.
- An ability to utilise sources such as the Internet and University library facilities to search, locate and summarise data relevant to the assignment
- An ability to utilise appropriate academic theories on national cultures that can provide a framework for analysing an overseas market.
- An ability to develop an effective comparison of the national culture within the two countries which have been selected.
- An ability to critically analyse information, formulate conclusions and exhibit original thought.
- An ability to present a well written, well-structured assignment.
Overview of the National Culture of Australia
As stated by Yang et al. (2016), cultural components have never been a vital component but in the age of globalisation the importance of cultural aspect of a country has increased by many folds. The continuous growth and expansion of the business has created the opportunity for intercultural management that would help to build up a relationship between two organisations as well as between two countries. The difference in the culture of different countries have leaded realisation among the researchers to continue studies in terms of the size and scope of a particular country (Duran et al. 2016). Understanding the culture of a country is important because the culture of a country also affects the organisational values and attitudes. The aim of this report is to compare and contrast the national culture of two countries. Australia and England have been selected as the countries for the case study because both countries have a unique cultural identity and hold importance in the commercial and business sector. The cultural identity of the two countries shall be measured using Trompenaars and Hofestede’s cultural dimensions. The report will also analyse the similarities and the differences of the culture of the two countries.
The culture of Australia is Western culture that has been primarily derived from Britain and is equally influenced the geography of the continent. The Australian culture is deeply rooted to the residents of the country that include the Aboriginals, Torres Strait Islanders and the people of Oceania (Gholipour and Tajaddini 2014). The colonisation of British had begun in 1788 and it brought the waves of multi-ethnic migration of people in the country. This created a significant Anglo-Celtic heritage that includes the predominance of the English language, along with a democratic political system of England. Christianity became the dominant religion of the country and it also adopted other cultural heritages like sports, forms of music and literature (Beugelsdijk et al. 2017).
The culture of England has been defined by the idiosyncratic cultural norms of the people of England. The country is always known for its unique culture that is derived from the Anglo-Saxon culture. The ethnicity of the country is made up of nationalities that include Irish, Scottish and the Welsh (Saleem and Larimo 2017). The country shares the Christian Protestant faith but there has been a huge decline in the role of the church in the recent time. There is social strata as well that differentiate the elite class with the middle class. The society is more patriarchal. The culture of England is popular in terms of their art and architecture and the historical evidences that the country has left in the colonies (Gholipour and Tajaddini 2014).
The Hofstede’s cultural dimension theory is the framework of the cross cultural communication that describes the impact of the culture of the society on the members of the country (Ferraro and Briody 2017).
If the national culture of Australia and England are seen through the lens of the Hofstede’s cultural dimension model, the Australian culture can be viewed through 6-D model. The model can easily explain the drivers of the Australian culture relative to the culture of the world. The Australian cultural dimension can be mentioned below:
- Power Dimension:This dimension expresses the attitude of the culture of the people towards inequalities. The dimension deals with the fact that the individuals in the society are not equal. It is the extent to which the lesser powerful members of the countries accept that power is distributed unequally in the country (Kashima and Abu-Rayya 2014).
Overview of the National Culture of England
Australia’s Power Dimension:
It has been evident that the score of Australia’s power dimension is low. This signifies that there is an established hierarchy in the country for convenience. The superiors are accessible and the managers can easily rely on the individual employees or the team members for their activities. In such cases, the employees and the managers are found to consult and share information with each other frequently keeping their communication informal, directive and participative (Lo et al. 2017).
England’s Power Dimension:
In this dimension, England scores low and has a strong belief that inequalities among the people should be minimised. Although, the country has a class division background, it beliefs that one’s luck should not be confined to the birth of an individual (Gholipour and Tajaddini 2014).
- Individualism:This is the factor that measures the degree of interdependence that the society maintains with the members of the country. It is considered on the basis of ‘I’ or ‘We’. As evident, the individualistic society looks at after themselves as the direct members of the family, whereas, in the collectivist society, people in group take care of each other in exchange for loyalty (Ferwerda and Schedl 2016).
Australia’s individualism dimension:
In this particular dimension, the score of Australia is 90 that imply that it is highly an individualist society where the expectation is that people would look after themselves and their immediate families directly rather than considering people as a group. They are self-reliant and take individual initiatives (Stump and Gong 2017). In addition to this, in the exchange-based world of economy, hiring and promotion decisions are based on the merit of individual’s work.
England’s individualism dimension:
The score is as high as 89. British people carry an individualistic and private characteristic. Children are taught to think about their life since their childhood; although, there has been an increase in the culture of consumerism that has strengthened the culture of self.
- Masculinity:A high score in this particular dimension indicates the competition of achievement and success of the winner and the best in field. The masculinity among the people starts during the childhood and continues throughout the life of an individual both in case of work and in leisure (Rallapalli and Montgomery 2015). Lower score signifies the dominant values are the caring for others and better quality of life. Moreover, this dimension motivates the people towards what they want to do.
Australia’s masculinity dimension:
In this dimension, Australia scores 61 and so, it is considered as a masculine society, the shared value indicates that the population of the country always have to strive to become the best in what they do (Kraidy 2017). The achievements and the success of the Australians offer them the basis of the hiring and the promotion decision at the workplace. In fact, the conflicts are resolved at the individual level and the aim is to win the argument.
England’s masculinity dimension:
The score is 66 that indicate a highly successful and masculine driven society. Their approach to life is critical and they have a clear ambition to fulfil in life (Gholipour and Tajaddini 2014).
- Uncertainty avoidance: This dimension deals with the fact that the future of the people cannot be known and that one can improve their future if they strive to do the best that can happen (Muldrew 2016). It depends on the extent to which these members are threatened by the ambiguous and the unknown situation that they have to face at any point of time.
Australia’s Uncertainty avoidance dimension:
The uncertainty avoidance score of Australia is 51. This clearly signifies that the people of Australia are much focused towards their future and they are busy in making their future better (Woolf 2014). They carry the belief that they can avoid any uncertainty if they prepare themselves for the future.
England’s Uncertainty avoidance dimension:
The score is 35 and it states the people are adjustable to the changes. They can easily make changes based on the new information available. There are definitely certain rules in Britain that the people have to follow.
- Long term orientation:The cultural dimension that talks about the importance of maintaining links with their past when it comes to dealing with any present or future challenges. Higher score in this cultural dimension encourages a thrift and effort in preparing the society for the future (Hewison 2015). Much effort is given in the modern education to encourage people to thrift and prepare for the society.
Australia’s long term orientation dimension:
In the cultural dimension, Australia’s score is 21. This signifies that Australia stands on a normative society and has strong concern in establishing the truth in the thinking of the people (Almond and Verba 2015). In fact, it has also been evident that the Australians respect their tradition in order to save their future. This automatically gives them the ability to get quick results.
The Hofstede's cultural dimension theory
England’s long term orientation dimension:
The people are much determined towards their lives and so the score is 51 where they prefer a dominant British culture in their lives.
- Indulgence: The dimension that measures the way children are socialised in a society is called indulgence. It is not possible to grow up as a human being if there is no indulgence in the society (Viswanathan 2014). This dimension is defined on the basis of the extent to which people can control their desire;
Australia’s indulgence dimension:
According to the Geert’s cultural dimension, Australia is an indulgent country with a score of 71. People realises their impulses and desires when it comes to enjoying their lives. They are optimistic in their approach and values the time spend on leisure.
England’s indulgence dimension:
With a score of 69, people of England are considered indulgent. They are fun loving and like to enjoy their lives. They are optimistic and show positive approach towards their lives.
People accept others in any situation or any condition. They respect others in similar situation.
Standards and values of the country are important for the people. They depend on the circumstances to act (Muldrew 2016).
Australians are more individualistic and are less concerned towards working as a group (Haynes 2016).
English people are more communitarian at first but as their relationship develop their approach changes.
They are soft spoken and display emotional behaviour towards others. They are very friendly and laugh and talks and greet each other enthusiastically.
People are very polite towards others and they frown when they see an angry person (Hewison 2015). Their culture is highly depended on the way they talk or greet people.
They share a good relationship with the friends as well as with people with whom they work. They also provide easy access to the public space.
They are very protective towards their personal and private life. It is very difficult for them to infuse others’ culture into them.
People respect the old and experienced people and maintain a relationship with whom they are familiar with. They respect the people who have gained titles (Stump and Gong 2017).
People maintain a status in the society. They are more culture oriented and respect their custom and manners.
Sequential/ Synchronous time
People are very focused towards their work and they consider that time is money for them. There always remains an internal competition among the people when it comes to maintaining a time with them.
They are very punctual and never disappoint anyone when it comes to dealing or maintain relationship with others. They believe in doing one thing at one time.
Internal direction/ External direction
Australians are much concerned towards the degrading condition of the environment and never make such approaches that harm the environment. They
They want to live in harmony with others. They understand that there is certain force s that cannot be controlled but they are equally concerned about their individual role in respecting nature (Ferwerda and Schedl 2016).
The cultural impact can affect the values and behaviour of the people of the country. The theory measures the value of individualism-collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, power distance or the strength of the hierarchy followed in the society and the masculinity-femininity of the society of the particular country. As commented by Rallapalli and Montgomery (2015), when an organisation adapts the expansion or the growth strategy of the business, it becomes important for that organisation to consider the cultural dimension of the country where it wants to operate. When it comes to comparing the cultural dimensions of these two countries, it has been rightly evident that both the countries are socially and culturally fit to carry out business operations. People are much committed towards their role as a part of improving the society (Lo et al. 2017). They share that value of the culture that welcomes the business bodies of other countries to carry on their business with these countries.
From the Hofstede cultural dimension, many cultural similarities have been noticed between the two countries. The power distance is almost equal. The consideration of inequalities in the society is almost similar in both the countries. Similar situation when it comes to the individualism. People are more focused towards themselves rather than working as group. The indulgence scores are in fact similar as well that talks about how well they guide their children on the culture of the country (Almond and Verba 2015). Therefore, it can be said that any other country thinking of making relationship with Australia and England can easily consider similar factors when it comes to consider their culture.
Fig: Hofstede’s Cultural Dimension
(Source: Geert-hofstede.com 2017)
The analysis based on the cultural dimension of Hofstede, it has been evident that the two countries under consideration do not share much difference in their culture. The score in the dimension is almost similar between the two countries. However, the score of the uncertainty avoidance is lower in England compared to Australia (Gholipour and Tajaddini 2014). This signifies that people of Australia are not much concerned about their future and that they want to improve their present life condition. Apart from this, the dimension of masculinity is also low in Australia compared to England that creates an impression that the society is more patriarchal and make lesser approach in creating a balanced situation in the country. In addition to this, the long term orientation is also low that shows that the Australian society is not much concerned about improving their future (Kashima and Abu-Rayya 2014). From this analysis, it can be said that if it comes to carrying out business, England would serve as a better market or cultural region rather than Australia.
Australia's Power Dimension
Comparison between the cultures of two countries has been carried on in the report. The analysis has been carried on based on the cultural dimension models. It has been clearly evident that both the countries share the British culture and they have the affinity towards making their country a better nation. People are much concerned about their individuality characteristics. In the present age of globalisation, there is no doubt that these two countries are suitable enough to carry out business activities or any bother collaborative activities.
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