Example Of Culture: Essay
It is important to recognize the importance of cultural knowledge as necessary for human adaptation in order to understand how human beings have survived for so long and have managed to grow and develop into societies and eventually nations. If not for the sharing of knowledge between cultures and the accumulation of knowledge, an individual or single group cannot grow sufficiently to adapt to different cultural and even ecological environments. (Boyd, 2012)
Culture allows humans to express their innermost desires, the similarities, and their differences.(Boyd, 2012) It is in a sense how human beings identify themselves and identify with others. Through culture humanity is given a true sense of who we are, where we are going, and where we have been.
Cultural variation is, simply put, the differences in social behaviors between cultures throughout the world. While one culture might value and think highly of one or more particular behavior(s), those same practices might be seen as vulgar or even highly offensive in other countries. (Al-Emadi, Al-Asmakh, 2006) In terms of national practices cultural variation is highly scrutinized, as politicians and world leaders are kept well aware of what to say, how to act, and even how to behave in front of their peers, so as to avoid an international “incident”.
So far as ethnic and other social differences go cultural variation is not quite as dire when observed between countries, but still is important to avoid offending native residents. Even within the same country one culture can be vastly different from another as environment, social mores, and other factors can also contribute.
There are a number of ways to assess culture from simply visiting another country to taking note of those a person works with and how their culture affects the workplace, if at all. One manner of assessing and measuring culture is to be an impartial observer and take note of how those different cultures affect the surroundings and how they are viewed by others. (Heathfield, 2015)
The options available to those wishing to view and measure different cultures are simple enough, be impartial, observe, watch for emotional reactions, and even pay attention to cultural artifacts and other items that are considered part of those cultures.
5) It isn’t enough to just recognize and understand other cultures, it is necessary as well to
analyze and reconcile any differences that come along. (Glover, Friedman, 2014) For the stakeholders of such cultural values it is highly important to stand back and take an impartial look at how their own values might coincide or interfere with those of others and find a manner in which they might work towards finding a compromise that can work for every party involved.
While this is a preferred method of reconciliation and tolerance, it is undoubtedly one of
the most difficult in that it not only calls for research, study, and self-realization, but it
also denotes that people must find a manner in which they can respect another culture
without compromising their own values.
6) It is common for culture to be a roadblock to change, as many do not seek to allow
culture to change, preferring that it remain static and observed as it has always been. The issue with this is that in any organization change must be constant or at least intermittent. While culture can be made to fit and be kept up in spirit and even in practice at times, there must be compromise between culture and the organization with which it must coexist. (Harwood, 20015)
Examples of this include but are not limited to:
Lewin’s Force Field Model- This is simply the belief that equilibrium can be achieved between driving forces and resisting forces, thereby creating a sort of compromise in which both can exist.
The Three-stage Process of Change- There are three processes in this method that essentially have to do with unfreezing the usual methods that are used, reorienting them into a workable equilibrium, and then make those new practices routine.
7) Cultural extensions are those pieces and parts of our overall culture that allow us to more fully develop the lives we lead, the beliefs we hold, and the practice of our ideals that help to define who we are. Without these very few cultures stand the possibility of becoming little more than lip service to an ideal that isn’t truly understood, practices that will be abandoned by the generations that come next. Through the use of cultural extensions we’re given a greater possibility of passing on the cultures and the many ideals that help to maintain our way of living in a manner that will insure that the culture itself is not allowed to fray or be allowed to fracture and thereby become a defunct idea.
8) Cultural dynamics help to shape and operate a business in that they decide how an organization is run, how it is bound into a cohesive, functioning unit, and are very important in the application of change and development. As an organization moved forward it will find the need to grow, change, and adopt new methods and functions so as to insure that it remains able to meet the continual and necessary developmental steps that it needs in order to survive.
9) Edgar Schein’s idea is that there exists direct mechanisms that directly affect the organizational model. Direct mechanisms include better than average behavior, status, and appointments. While indirect mechanisms are not seen to greatly influence the culture outwardly they are just as important as they can include the company mission, guidelines, and corporate identity. There are layers to this idea as well, and they go as follows:
Artefacts/Symbols- These could include most anything from logos, company clothing, architecture, and anything else that is in the public eye. This is the more easily noticed layer of the company. Examples of this would include company logos such as Mcdonalds and Starbucks, as they feature distinctive logos and architectural structures that are indicative of their product lines.
Values- Herein are the standards, rules of conduct, and generally how the company conducts itself and whether or not the management is able to fully cooperate with the company as a whole. Many if not all companies hold these types of beliefs, though few remain out of the public eye. A good example of this would be a company such as Solarworld, a solar panel manufacturing company that while shown publicly keeps its other aspects mostly within its company, and not for the public purview.
Underlying Assumptions- This is the hardest layer to notice and is mostly felt by those within the company as core values and beliefs that do not generally transcend to the public without some added effort. Many upon many companies are prime examples of this, as they are fiercely protective of such information despite its essentially similar practice among the lot of them. Banks are notorious for keeping this type of secret, as are government agencies and even privately run firms that deal with anything from matters of law to accounting.
10) In order to be a leader the average worker needs something far more than they are used to giving so that they might rise higher and show that they have the capacity to lead their peers. In this vein it is absolutely necessary to be knowledgeable about culture and all its many facets so as to be able to make competent and confident decisions when dealing with others. A leader is one who is able to distinguish between cultural differences and similarities and act upon that knowledge in a manner that will hold to core values, beliefs, and ideals that are present within the organization.
Al-Emadi, Talal; Al-Asmakh, Maryam A. (2006). Cultural Differences and Their Impact: Some
Brief Comments. Chinese Journal of International Law 5 (3): 807-810.
Boyd, Rob. (2012). Culture: the Engine of Human Adaptation:
Social Learning Leads to Our Greatest Achievements and Worst Errors. Being Human. Retrieved from
Glover, Jerry; Friedman, Harris. (2014). Cultural Dilemmas and Sociocultural Encounters: A
Transcultural Approach for Understanding, Assessing, and Changing Culture. Organization Development Journal. Retrieved from
Harwood, Rafe. (2015). Organizational Change in Today's Economy
Models of Change and Overcoming Employee Resistance. Retrieved from
Heathfield, Susan M. (2015) How to Understand Your Current Culture. About.com.