Cross Culture and Globalization
Speaking of culture, it is a very broad concept, and it is not easy to define this term that people always mentioned in their life in a precise and strict way. This term seems very common in people’s life, and it does appears everywhere in life, and so many people is working on or with the culture. Therefore, through all the great effort of plenty of philosophers, sociologists, anthropologists, historians and linguists, they try to provide a concept for culture from its own perspective of discipline. However, there is not a unified definition for culture that will satisfy every scholar from different aspects. There are at least two hundred kind of definition for culture from different time and perspective. The complexity of the definition of culture is coming from different aspects. It is about the pattern of human activities, as well as all the signifying structures of pattern(Rathje, 2009), and it is from all aspects and classification from every level of both the human and natural society. Due to the different aspects and classification of the culture, there will definitely be some cross culture problems. This essay is going to analyze three main themes about the cross culture, including the definition and development of the culture, the classification and different dimension of the culture, and the influence of the cross culture on global management.
The Definition and Development of Culture
Generally speaking, culture is a social and historical phenomenon, and also the precipitate of social history. More specifically, culture is coming from the material life, however, it is beyond the material life and concluded from the material life. It can reflected by all aspects in human life, such as history, geography, local condition and customs, traditions, life styles, literature and arts, behaviour regulations, way of thinking, outlook of value and so on, therefore, it can be inherited and commonly recognized by most of the people in the same nation or same country(Birukou et al, 2013).
Before discussing the definition of the culture, it is necessary to distinguish some relative terms, like civilization. The civilization can be regarded as the total of the fortune made by human being, especially the mental or spiritual fortune, including literature, arts, education, science and so on. It is the combination term of all the life styles, way of thinking during the process of inheritance, development and mixture of the aesthetic idea and cultural phenomenon(Ahn, 2014). Civilization only exist until human began living together and appeared the social division of lobour specialization, and it is a phenomenon after the basic appearance of human society. Civilization is always divided into two different dimensions including material civilization, which refers to the material achievements during the process of the transform of nature by human beings, and can be reflected as the progress of the material production as well as the improvement of human material life. The second one is the spiritual civilization, which includes the spiritual achievements during the process of the transformation of both subjective world and the objective world by human beings, and it is the progress of human wisdom and ethic(Koops, 2012). Sometimes, there is another dimension with the development of the society, it is the social civilization, simply speaking, it is the logic of social life, which includes the basic life style, outlook of value, ad basic pattern of life operation.
Comparing with civilization, culture and civilization have the same researching object, which includes nature, society and way of thinking of human, and they are all the reflections of material and spiritual constructions of human society. Secondly, culture and civilization both advocate peace and harmony(Chen, 2004). However, there are differences between them two. Firstly, culture has different features due to different conditions, like different nations, different countries, and so on; however, civilization can apply for everyone and the whole society. Secondly, culture is more concern with the change and transformation of thinking and theory, while the civilization can both rely on the change of material or theory. Thirdly, different culture can exist at the same time, there will be some cross-culture cooperation and communication, however, with the civilization, the higher level of civilization will exclude the lower level of civilization, therefore, with the conflict of different civilization, the whole society can develop.
There are different scholars provide various kind of definitions from different perspectives, and all these definitions reflect the different understanding and different aspects of the research.
The father of anthropology, Taylor, is the first one who contributes great deal for the definition of culture, and also the most classic one. As what he described that culture, from the broad significance of ethnology, is a complex overall expression. The culture includes knowledge, belief, arts, ethic, law, customs and other abilities and habits that were acquired by a social member(Feng, 2003). Apparently, this definition regards culture as the combination of all human creates during the whole developing process of the society, including material technology, social regulations, and conceptual spirits. From what Taylor has announced, people from different hold different opinions about that, and they came up with new ideas and descriptions. Different people from different disciplines may have their unique understanding of culture. For example, from the aspect of history, there are some scholars concludes the culture as a meaningful factor of a certain group, and the culture of this certain group is sum of their social inherit structures of their living style, and all the structures would carry different meanings due to their certain historical life and their unique group characteristics. This definition focus on the influence of the history background on the difference of culture. However, from the aspect of psychology, the culture is defined as the sum of technology, mechanism, intelligence, and spiritual talents that people used when they try to get their goals in certain period, and culture, therefore, should include the ways and methods that people may use in certain period of time. There are many different description about culture, however, from all these definition, people can conclude that there are several main features that they all agree about culture(Chen& Wu, 2010). The first one is that culture is commonly recognized by certain group of people. It includes a certain series of conceptions, outlook of value, and behaviour manners, as well as the common standard on which the whole group will accept about the personal behaviour. The second one is that culture does not happened from no where, it is learned from different aspects in people’s life, instead of being inherited from their ancestors. The third one is that the basic of culture is symbol, and the most important symbols are language and writing character. However, nowadays, with the development of the globalization, the world is getting close to each other year and year, therefore, the culture communication and exchanges is more and more frequent.
The Classification and Dimension of Culture
Except for there are different culture definition, there are also some different classification and different dimensions of culture. There are both internal and external reasons for why there are different type and different dimension of culture. The following analysis is going to take the different culture in both China and America as an example to analyze the reasons of why there are different cultures.
The first reason is the the influence of history and geography. China is located in the broad inner mainland, and the climate is subtropical monsoon climate, therefore, it has the clear four seasons changing from year to year. The inner mainland geographical environment and natural resources has constricted the ancient Chinese people is based on agriculture as the main economic life. Under this situation and social condition, people were basically working when the sun rises and relax when the sun goes down. This special lifestyle helps the Chinese people attaches great attention to the harmony of the whole group. However, on the other hand, the ancestor of American were from the coastal area in Europe, the development of seafaring helped people at that time to believe in human nature and power, they worshiped the personality and keen to take risks and challenges. They focus on the speed and efficiency, and seems never satisfy with their current condition. Therefore, when they first came to the northern America continent, the became the first generation of pioneer. The second reason is the influence of their traditional theory and thinking. China was based on the theory mainly developed by Confucius and his followers. They paid great attention to the harmony of the whole group or the organization. In the interrelationship, people need to understand how to adjustment and compromise, and under the protection of the basic rules, people should make the conclusion or agreement is satisfied by both parties, in order not to make the whole big party fall apart. So, the society will put the benefit of the whole group in front the benefit of every single person. However, this harmony will destroy the creation mind of people. On the other hand, American culture is based on the traditional culture of ancient Greece, and featured with the Aristotle’s logical thinking and analytical thinking, therefore, they paid attention to every single person. They are quite clear with right or wrong, and they will not make compromise or adjustment for the wrong things, and they are willing to take risks too. The third reason is the influence of the writing characters. The Chinese character are more suitable for the imaginal thinking, while the English letters are more suitable for the logical thinking. The Chinese characters were oriented from hieroglyphic, while the English letters were first coming from the unification of the pronunciation of the letters. There are also some other different reasons from both internal and external to explain the differences between two different cultures, however, this three is the most important analysing topics.
As for the different classification of the culture, there are several standards. Generally speaking, the culture can be divided into broad one and narrow one. Broad culture is the Culture with a big C, the narrow culture is the culture with a small c(Ma, 2005). Broadly speaking, Culture is the sum of both the material and the spiritual fortune of human being during the development of the history and society. It includes the material culture, system culture and psychoculture. The material culture is visible culture, so people can see all the material culture like transportation, daily uses and so on. The system culture and psychoculture are invisible culture, so they includes both system of life, family, and social, as well as the way of thinking, religious, and literature, politics, ans so on. While the narrow culture refers to the common social habits of people, such as the eating habits, tradition and customs, life style and so on(Smith, 1998).
Besides, the culture can be divided under the standard of time, like ancient culture and modern culture. They are classified due to their different time of happening. There are also culture divided based on the geography, like culture from different nations and different continents. Such as Asian culture, African culture, European culture and so on.
The Influence of the Cross Culture on Global Management
With the rapid development of the globalization in the 21century, people are connecting with each other closer and closer. Since culture is the reflection of nearly every aspects in people’s life, therefore, there will be different culture communicate with each other, and there will certainly be some conflicts or issues.
The cross culture conflict refers to the process that different culture or different cultural elements becoming mutual opposite and mutually exclusive. It can sometimes mean the conflict that happens in the multinational corporations when they are managing in different countries and the corporation does not agree with the local culture, and it can also includes that employees from different countries may come across with different understanding for the same knowledge. There are several reasons for the appearance of the cross culture issue, including the different understanding of information, for sometimes the same word may carries different meanings in different cultures, the misunderstanding of the meanings can cause cross cultural issues. The different way of communication is another factor that will influence the cross culture communication, for the communication is the most important process between two parties to exchange information and ideas. The most important influence of the cross cultural issue in a corporation is the different style of management. A wise global manager can not only obtains the great ability of managing and operating the company, but also the ability to manage different issues under different cultural environment. There are different styles of management, and a wise global manager should know when and how to choose a proper management style in different culture environment. For example, in China, people tend to focus on the harmony and benefit of the whole group, therefore, the democratic style which listen to and combine both ideas from the employees and manager will more easily to be accepted by Chinese workers, instead of the arbitrary decision by managers. Except for the reasons above, there are some other reasons abou the cross cultural issues, including the different awareness of the laws and regulations, the difference on national characteristics, the differences on the way of thinking, and so on.
Culture is an important meaning and aspect in people’s life as well as the whole development of the human society. Therefore a good understanding of the definition of culture can help people to carry out more specifically and more scientifically research on how the culture is influencing human life. Although there are different definition that are under consideration, people should realize that the culture happens everywhere in human life. With the development of the whole society and the rapid development of the globalization, there are more and more communications and exchanges between different culture forms and it requires the global manager in a broad sense. According to all the knowledge discussed above, the cross culture can provide with different opinion and views about the contemporary development of the world, and can provide practical suggestions for the global managers as well.
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