Analysis of cultural issues.

Essay by katerina729University, Master'sC, August 2003

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In the 1870s, the anthropologist Edward Tylor defined culture as that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and other capabilities acquired by man as a member of society

It is crucially important to understand and explore cultural differences between China and UK. Understanding of the culture leads to better communication, anticipation of behaviour, ability to distinguish correct, reasonable, acceptable, safe behaviour and building of skills necessary to meet and negotiate to other business managers.

Key elements of culture to consider when establishing an office in Beijing, China



"XValues and attitudes



"XLaw and politics

"XTechnology/material culture

"XSocial organisation

Probably the most famous study of how culture relates to values in the work place was undertaken by Jeert Hofstede . He isolated four dimensions that he claimed summarized different cultures ¡V power distance, individualism/ collectivism, masculinity/femininity and uncertainty avoidance.

5.1Power distance

Focused on how society deals with the fact that people are unequal in physical and intellectual capabilities.

In China there is a high distance power culture where people with less power accept uneven distribution of power. In countries with low power distance culture such as UK the inequalities are played down as much as possible.

5.2Individualism / collectivism

Focused on relationship between the individual and his/her fellows.

In China as "collectivistic society" people were born into collectives, such as extended families, and everyone was supposed to look after the interest of his/her collective. The filling of collectivism was also intensified by over 80 years of socialism policy of communist party of China. UK has a total opposite culture to China and values individualism in its society.


Looks at the relationship between gender and work roles. In masculine cultures, sex roles were sharply differentiated and traditional "masculine values," such as achievement and...