intercultural negotiation working communication

Other Dimensions of Cultural Difference

© Article translated from the book “Negoziazione interculturale, comunicazione oltre le barriere culturali” (Intercultural Negotiation: Communication Beyond Cultural Barriers) copyright Dr. Daniele Trevisani Intercultural Negotiation Consulting Training and Coaching, published with the author’s permission. The Book’s rights are on sale and are available for qualified Publishers wishing to consider it for publication in English and other languages except for Italian and Arab. If you are interested in publishing or Intercultural Negotiation Training, Coaching and Consulting, please feel free to contact the author from the webstite www.danieletrevisani.com 

Other Important Dimensions to Consider in the World View for the ALM Method are:

• culture of personal times and temporal priorities: include the search for emotions (intangible goals) or tangible goals among the priorities; temporal experience and temporal dominances, awareness of the differences between personal culture (of the individual), organizational culture and national culture: how I live time, how my company lives it, how my national culture lives it – in haste either in relaxation, in planning or in chaos. In this context, one of the main objectives of the ALM method is the re-appropriation of the sense of pleasure of time, eliminating the forced conditioning produced by the cognitive prototypes of one’s own culture (self-determination of time);

  • religious beliefs, both in the difference between religions, but above all in the degree of overt or latent religiosity that the individual experiences and applies in daily and working life;
  • political ideologies;
  • the conception of the human being and the deep reason for existence;
  • the conception of interpersonal relationships (exploitation, utility, sharing, symbiosis, competition) and the versatility of interpersonal relationships (ability to live on multiple levels, characterized by different motivational systems);
  • the conception of the relationship between man and nature, the degree of spirituality vs. materialism;
  • internal orientation (self-exploration, exploration of the internal and psychological world, introspection) vs. orientation to the outside (exploration of the outside world);
  • the orientation to being vs. the orientation to having;
  • orientation towards positivity or negativity;
  • orientation to the past, present or future (and other specific quadrants identified in the proprietary T-chart model of the ALM method);
  • personal competitiveness and orientation towards competitiveness;
  • egocentrism, ethnocentrism, selfishness, centering on the self or on one’s own needs, vs. heterocentrism, altruism, also centering on the other and on the needs of others.

Comparison exercise of one’s own vision of the world on some personal elements (compare & contrast) Explain and compare (compare & contrast) your own world view with a colleague or exercise partner, search for differences and similarities, on the following topics:

  • meaning of love and difference from “loving”;
  • possible meanings of the term “betrayal” in a marriage;
  • debate between two different visions of life: “rejoice while you can, live for the day” or “sacrifice yourself for a better future, save, invest”;
  • the role of destiny on people’s success and career;
  • to what extent it is possible to predict behavior based on a person’s nationality, in which fields we can be more certain, in which less;
  • whether the people in the company perform better when you command or let them do it.
Intercultural Negotiation Arab Edition

© Article translated from the book “Negoziazione interculturale, comunicazione oltre le barriere culturali” (Intercultural Negotiation: Communication Beyond Cultural Barriers) copyright Dr. Daniele Trevisani Intercultural Negotiation Training and Coaching, published with the author’s permission. The Book’s rights are on sale and are available for any Publisher wishing to consider it for publication in English and other languages except for Italian and Arab whose rights are already sold and published. If you are interested in publishing the book in English, or in Intercultural Negotiation Training, Coaching and Consulting, please feel free to contact the author from the webstite www.danieletrevisani.com 

For further information see:

Second Component: the World View (World-View)

© Article translated from the book “Negoziazione interculturale, comunicazione oltre le barriere culturali” (Intercultural Negotiation: Communication Beyond Cultural Barriers) copyright Dr. Daniele Trevisani Intercultural Negotiation Training and Coaching, published with the author’s permission. The Book’s rights are on sale and are available for any Publisher wishing to consider it for publication in English and other languages except for Italian and Arab whose rights are already sold and published. If you are interested in publishing the book in English, or any other language, or seek Intercultural Negotiation Training, Coaching, Mentoring and Consulting, please feel free to contact the author from the webstite www.danieletrevisani.com 

Classifying Cultural Differences (Hofstede Categories)

A second component of culture considered in the 2V model is “World-View” – the “world view” The worldview is considered in anthropological studies as a set of beliefs, values ​​and attitudes, used by social actors to interpret and categorize reality, giving meaning to events, establishing relationships between them and guiding behavior.

The worldview is such a personal concept that it is difficult to classify in rigid schemes, however the need (or attempts) to provide classifications have led some social scientists to produce categories through which to read cultures. Among these, we expose the Hofstede classification, one of the most used in the literature.

Among the classics of intercultural communication, Hofstede’s categories are often cited as parameters for differentiating and categorizing cultures. Hofstede’s categories can be an interesting starting point for starting a reflection on cultural differences. However, the risk of generalization is high, and it is undesirable to use them for automatic predictive purposes. It would be extremely wrong to conclude that – because a person has a certain passport or a certain nationality – his mere belonging to a country allows us to predict with certainty how he will behave.

It seems more useful to think about how these categories can help us understand who we are dealing with when we negotiate, based on the concrete behaviors we observe, and without letting ourselves be clouded by automatic judgment. We therefore suggest using categories above all as tools to analyze the organizational cultures with which one comes into contact.

Individualism-Collectivism

Individualistic cultures characterize systems in which the bonds between individuals are weak, vary over time, and each has to look after himself substantially, or at most his close family. Individual freedoms are high, and social security substantially low, the possibility of social ascent and career high, as well as the risk of failing and falling without nets and protections. Collectivist cultures, on the other hand, incorporate the individual into the group in a very cohesive way, offering him protection in exchange for loyalty and fidelity, giving security but at the same time limiting freedom of expression and deviations from the norm.

The individual is very controlled. This dimension is typically used to distinguish how some cultures manage work and social practices, distinguishing between individualistic cultures such as Canada, US, Australia, and Great Britain, from other cultures considered collectivistic, such as those of East Asia (Japan, Korea South, Hong Kong, and Singapore) and Latin America.

Tab. 6 – Differences between cultures with high individualism and high collectivism

IndividualismCollectivism
Identity is based on the individualIdentity comes from belonging to social groups or families
We move in the first person, without waiting for help. The strategy is determined by the individualHelp is expected from the community; greater passivity. The strategy is expected from others
High degree of autonomy. Autonomy is rewardedLittle autonomy. Autonomy is punished
The value comes from the results produced by the individual himselfThe value is inherited or absorbed based on the group to which you belong
Employment relationships are seen as contracts based on mutual benefitWork relationships are seen as moral functions, like family relationships
The task or goal takes precedence over the relationshipRelationships come before tasks or goals
The recruitment comes as a result of selections based on skillsHiring depends on recommendations, on connections
Career depends on the results producedCareer depends on internal and external affiliations
Speaking openly and asking for an open confrontation indicates honestyHarmony must be maintained at any cost and confrontation and confrontation must be avoided
Communications are directCommunications are “veiled”
Failure to comply with the rules produces a sense of guilt and a loss of self-esteemFailure to comply with the rules produces public shame and loss of social face
Management is the management of individualsManagement is group management

As we argue throughout the course of this publication, the advanced intercultural negotiator should never assume that a counterpart is individualistic or collectivist (or otherwise characterized) just because it is classified in terms of nationality and stereotypes. Even within Western countries and industrialized areas (mainly individualistic) we can find “bubbles” of collectivism, in rural areas but also in corporate areas (partly for example in industrial districts) where the facade is individualistic but the heart and habits are essentially collectivist.

The mental practice of collectivism as “living and doing together”, hit hard by the crisis of the former Soviet Union, becomes a sign to be hidden in public statements. Intrinsically, in many cultures, there remains a strong need for sociality and collectivity, typical of Latin and Mediterranean areas, but also of Asian cultures, which continues to express itself despite the educational “mainstream” (prevailing culture, dominant proposal) proposed by the model Anglo-Saxon culture.

Intercultural Negotiation Arab Edition

© Article translated from the book “Negoziazione interculturale, comunicazione oltre le barriere culturali” (Intercultural Negotiation: Communication Beyond Cultural Barriers) copyright Dr. Daniele Trevisani Intercultural Negotiation Training and Coaching, published with the author’s permission. The Book’s rights are on sale and are available for any Publisher wishing to consider it for publication in English and other languages except for Italian and Arab whose rights are already sold and published. If you are interested in publishing the book in English, or any other language, or seek Intercultural Negotiation Training, Coaching, Mentoring and Consulting, please feel free to contact the author from the webstite www.danieletrevisani.com 

For further information see: