While many employees derive satisfaction from work

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Unformatted text preview: are just a few of the reasons that young people regard matrimony as “limiting their freedom,” and child-rearing as “a burden,” the study concluded. While many employees derive satisfaction from work, the report said others hold down jobs simply to make ends meet as Japan slogs through its third recession in a decade. According to the report, the percentage of full-time housewives fell to 26 percent in 2000, from 37 percent in 1980 during the Japan’s economic boom, as more women took jobs for extra income. The report also urged companies to come up with effective support systems to enable male employees to help in child rearing, and said that mobile phones and the Internet could be used more effectively in the future to reinforce family ties. Source: Excerpted from Greimel, H. (2002). Government urges Japanese to work less, have babies. The Globe and Mail, 3 April, p. C1. Reprinted with permission of The Associated Press. Hofstede’s Study. Dutch social scientist Geert Hofstede questioned over 116,000 IBM employees located in 40 countries about their work-related values.10 (There were 20 different language versions of the questionnaire.) Virtually everyone in the corporation participated. When Hofstede analyzed the results, he discovered four basic dimensions along which work-related values differed across cultures: power distance, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity/femininity, and individualism/collectivism. Subsequent work with Canadian Michael Bond that catered more to Eastern cultures resulted in a fifth dimension, the long-term/shortterm orientation.11 Power distance. The extent to which an unequal distribution of power is accepted by society members. ■ Power distance. Power distance refers to the extent to which society members accept an unequal distribution of power, including those who hold more power and those who hold less. In small power distance cultures, inequality is minimized, superiors are accessible, and power differences are downplayed. In large power distance societies, inequality is accepted as natural, superiors are inaccessible, and power differences are highlighted. Small power distance societies include Denmark, New Zealand, Israel, and Austria. Large power distance societies include the Philippines, Venezuela, and Mexico. Out of 40 societies, Canada and the United States rank 14 and 15, falling on the low power distance side of the average, which would be 20. Chapter 4 ■ ■ ■ ■ 105 Values, Attitudes, and Work Behaviour Uncertainty avoidance. Uncertainty avoidance refers to the extent to which people are uncomfortable with uncertain and ambiguous situations. Strong uncertainty avoidance cultures stress rules and regulations, hard work, conformity, and security. Cultures with weak uncertainty avoidance are less concerned with rules, conformity, and security, and hard work is not seen as a virtue. However, risk taking is valued. Strong uncertainty avoidance cultures include Japan, Greece, and Portugal. Weak uncertainty avoidance cultures include Singapore, Denmark, and Sweden. On uncertainty avoidance, the United States and Canada are well below average, ranking 9 and 10 out of 40. Masculinity/femininity. More masculine cultures clearly differentiate gender roles, support the dominance of men, and stress economic performance. More feminine cultures accept fluid gender roles, stress sexual equality, and stress quality of life. In Hofstede’s research, Japan is the most masculine society, followed by Austria, Mexico, and Venezuela. The Scandinavian countries are the most feminine. Canada ranks about mid-pack, and the United States is fairly masculine, falling about halfway between Canada and Japan. Individualism/collectivism. More individualistic societies tend to stress independence, individual initiative, and privacy. More collective cultures favour interdependence and loyalty to one’s family or clan. The United States, Australia, Great Britain, and Canada are among the most individualistic societies. Venezuela, Columbia, and Pakistan are among the most collective, with Japan falling about mid-pack. Long-term/short-term orientation. Cultures with a long-term orientation tend to stress persistence, perseverance, thrift, and close attention to status differences. Cultures with a short-term orientation stress personal steadiness and stability, face-saving, and social niceties. China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea tend to be characterized by a long-term orientation. The United States, Canada, Great Britain, Zimbabwe, and Nigeria are more short-term oriented. Hofstede and Bond argue that the long-term orientation, in part, explains prolific East Asian entrepreneurship. Uncertainty avoidance. The extent to which people are uncomfortable with uncertain and ambiguous situations. Individualistic vs. collective. Individualistic societies stress independence, individual initiative, and privacy. Collective cultures favour interdependence and loyalty to family or clan. Exhibit 4.2 compares the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, a...
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