The 6 Sliding Scales of Priorities in Different Cultures

Culture and engagement of employees will remain top priority for organizations globally. This is something that helps to achieve business excellence. Organizational Culture is the culmination of the processes, the attitudes of each and every employee and the ideologies we share. The way we talk, behave and deal with external world creates a mental picture, right? 

According to Fons Trompenaars and Charles Hampden - Turner in their book, "Riding The Waves of Cultures" different cultures tend to fall at different points on these spectrums which could cause clashes:

PRINCIPLE VS PRAGMATISM

How we approach rules and contracts

Principle : Time, logic and contract are a big concern in negotiation

Pragtamtism : Relationship and trust are important. They are flexible with time and structure

INDIVIDUAL VS COMMUNITY 

How we approach collaboration and independence

Individual : Quick-decisions, committed decisions, high self-interest, talks from the 'I' perspective

Community : Negotiate in teams, consult with bosses, evaluate from organizational benefit, talk from the 'we' perspective

SPECIFIC VS DIFFUSE

How we separate work from life

Specific : Speak directly and bluntly (can be perceived as aggressive), transparent with their aims, separate business and social spheres, approach every situation differently.

Diffuse : Speak circuitously (can be perceived as evasive), may have a non-stated agenda, view business and personal as overlapping, avoid conflict to protect relationship, evaluate situations as part the wider context.

ACHIEVEMENT VS ESTEEM

How we approach status in negotiations

Achievement-oriented : Specialists in their jobs, varying in age/ gender/ class/ ethnicity, respect expertise and track record, competence is valued of seniority, should include a senior figure while negotiating with esteem-oriented counterparts.

Esteem-oriented : Senior people in the company, respect seniority, should include a functionally competent figure when negotiating with achievement-oriented counterparts, resent having their functional competent exposes.

INNER-DIRECTION VS OUTER-DIRECTION

How to adapt to changing circumstances

Inner-directed : Narrow objectives, accept and embrace conflict, stick to their convictions, resilent to changing their postition and avoidant of changing circumstances.

Outer-directed : May have multiple objectives, view conflict as disruptive, adapt easily to changing circumstances.

SEQUENTIAL TIME VS CYCLICAL TIME

How we approach time constraints

Sequential : Prefer to negotiate one issue at a time, base negotations on a schedule, unwilling to deviate from set plan.

Cyclical : Prefer to negotiate multiple issues simultaneously, no strict agenda, will adjust schedules to suit priorities and circumstances

A positive and supportive culture, in which professionalism, high achievement, continuous improvement and team-building spirit is concentrated, will propel employees to work at a higher level. Likewise, a poor company or an non-supportive culture that is too causal, disorganized and or even unethical in its values and practices will adversely affect your employees' morale and performance.

Acknowledgement: The Gap Partnership Infographic 

In case you missed it, our last post was on Factors That Affect Disruptive Innovation Part II of II

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