Various Explanations of Culture

According to Samovar et al (2009), culture has been subjected to numerous and often-complex abstract definitions as writers labored to incorporate and explain the array of cultural components and objectives. They continue to say that, what was considered earliest definition of culture by British anthropologist Sir Edward Burnett Taylor in 1871, explained culture as the complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by a man as a member of society (Tylor, 2007) Blad (p. 7) explains that, it is important to note that the characteristic that defines state autonomy and global market integration is found in both cases. He continues to say that, the comparison of inter-related state-building projects allows us to not only understand the role of distinct national culture but also how sub-state autonomy is enhanced through global political economic integration. According to Entezar (2008, p. 24-25), ‘culture can be studied in two different ways. One can either study specifics in order to determine the general patterns (inductive) or study the general patterns to identify the specifics of a culture (deductive). The second approach is adopted by Hofstede in his dimensional analysis of culture.’ She continues to explain that, ‘every culture deals with power ambiguity, individualism, and gender that are universal and exist in all cultures. Here again, these dimensions are filtered through the value systems of various cultures.’ In the argument that awareness of the impact of national culture on people in work organizations and its importance in today’s world, I will argue for it. Theories of National Culture Ernest Gellner’s theory of nationalism, initially articulated in a chapter of Thought and Change in 1964, rigorously questioned the putative casual power of a pre-existing culture in the formation of nations and nationalism. In what is now a famous reversal of commonsensical understandings of the relationship between culture and nationalism, he insisted no the nation, a bounded national culture that creates nationalism, but the other way round. (Hall et al 2010, p. 516) Lussier amp. Achua (2010: pp 391) explains that whether organizational or national, culture is a product of values and norms that people use to guide and control their behavior. Culture affects the relationship between members and leaders of a nation based on shared values. They continue to explain that, on the national level, a country’s values and norms determine what kinds of attitude and behaviors are acceptable or appropriate. The people of a particular culture are socialized into these values as they grow up, and norms and social guidelines prescribe the way they should behave toward one another. From the above explanation by Lussier and Achua, we can see that, in a nation, specific conduct that people should relate to each other, there is a specific way that people in a management position should relate to their subjects. These codes of conduct dictate how they relate and behave. For instance, the eastern countries, they have a unique dressing manner. In that, all women should be in a certain type of cloth. The same is seen in other countries with Islam religion. Another example is the African countries. the traditional Africans had a unique way of dressing their leaders with different types of clothing.

Back To Top