The issue as to whether all individuals have the same

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Unformatted text preview: Zaleski, 2002:75; Brassington & Pettitt, 1997:112; and Rose, 1991:91]. 2.5.1.2 Environment-oriented values • Performance / status An individual’s performance is sometimes attributed to their opportunities and rewards and at other times, to their position and class. The issue as to whether all individuals have the same opportunities and privileges in life can be contentious. As a result, a dimension known as the power distance index is used in determining the degree to which people accept inequality in power, authority, status and wealth as natural or inherent in society [Cateora & Graham, 1999:98]. Geert Hofstede [in Engel et al., 1995:637], the creator of this dimension, found that cultures with high power distance index scores are more apt to have a general distrust of others since power is seen to rest with individuals and is coercive rather than legitimate. This results in perceptions that those in power are entitled to privileges. 50 • Risk taking / security This aspect, postulated by Hofstede [in Engel et al., 1995:636], examines society’s view on whether a person is seen as being courageous or stupid in tackling new ventures that are unpredictable. Cultures with high-scoring uncertainty avoidance indices, are highly intolerant of ambiguity and as a result tend to be distrustful of new ideas and behaviours. Mavericks, with their unconventional approaches in risk taking therefore do not easily fit into conservative cultures. Cultures scoring low in uncertainty avoidance are associated with a low level of anxiety and stress, a tolerance of deviance and dissent, and a willingness to take risks [Lovelock & Wright, 1999:73]. • Tradition / change Some people are of the belief that changing traditions are totally unacceptable regardless whether new and improved ways of life have been discovered [Flanagan & Finger, 1998:304 and Griffith, 1998:50]. A café owner, for instance, might believe that store changes are not necessary despite modern business trends. Even uncontrollable changes such as natural disasters and war sometimes have no impact. Some consumers believe that culture is not a dynamic, living process and will not easily change their ways of life [Cateora & Graham, 1999:101]. Opposition to this concept (cultural borrowings) has already been addressed. • Problem solving / fatalistic The previous point draws attention to the way that consumers deal with problems that they encounter. Some cultures will reveal how trials and tribulations are met with little mental and physical effort on an individual’s part, whilst others will explicitly express their disappointment and concern accordingly [Hawkins et al., 2001:51]. A child, for instance, might complain to a storeowner alone or with the help of a parent about a disappointing purchase. This example draws on the matter of providing the right environment and degree of response from influential adults could result in children pursuing interests [Hall, 2000:153]. Piaget simply said: "Children have real understanding only of that which they invent themselves, and...
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