Every culture distinguishes itself from others by the specific solutions it chooses to certain problems which reveal themselves as dilemmas. It is convenient to look at these problems under three headings: those which arise from our relationships with other people; those which come from the passage of time; and those which relate to the environment.
Fons Trompenaars (1993) provides a set of parameter for analysing cultural differences. Each parameter is applied in practical tips for doing business, and for managing and being managed. Fons Trompenaars' five dimensions of culture are identified and described below:
1) Universalism versus particularism-universalistic approach applies rules and systems objectively, without consideration for individual circumstances. Whereas the particularistic approach, puts the first obligation on relationship and is more subjective. (Deresky, 2002)
2) Collectivism versus individualism- in collectivistic culture, people place the community before the individual, it is the responsibility of the individual to act in ways which serve society.
In individualist culture, people place individual before the community as a whole, such that individual happiness, fulfilments welfare set the pace. (Mead, 1998)
3) Neutral versus emotional- the focus is on the emotional orientation of relationships. In neutral culture, people are taught not to show their feelings overtly, they accept and aware of feelings, but are in control of them. (Mead, 1998) In emotional culture, people do not object to the display of emotions.
4) Specific versus diffuse cultures- Individuals in specific cultures has a large public space they readily share with others and a small private space they guard closely and share with only close friends and associates. (Deresky, 2002) Diffuse cultures are in which both public and private space are similar in size and individuals guard their public space carefully, because entry into public space affords entry into private space as well.