According to the dictionary, culture is defined as “the totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought.”1 Culture allows people to experience the world and carry out daily functions based on…
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He suggests that human nature and culture are different things but there is a lot of interplay between them. But culture itself can be broken down in smaller parts too. In order to get a full picture of culture in a general sense we should look at four important aspect: Values, beliefs, norms, and behavior.
What are values? Everyone decides for themselves what they believe to be right and wrong, but they are often powerfully influenced by the people and traditions around them. Some people have been colonized by other dominant countries and therefore have a slight inferiority complex. Others belong to ethnic and linguistic minorities—facts which influence the way they see the world. Some countries have religions that encourage them to have large families. All this must be taken into account when entering another country with the intention to practice business there.
Beliefs can be summed up as ideas that are held by a large number of people—perhaps not always based on empirical facts. They might be a religion held in common, for example, or an idea of history, which perhaps does not perfectly accord with the facts. These are often powerful motivating factors in a culture.
Norms are very similar to values, but they are broader. Norms are what the society at large tends to believe are the correct values or morals to live by. In most societies the idea that lying is wrong is considered a norm. Norms might change, but usually they change very slowly. Especially in cultures that are religious and conservative.
Behaviour is to some extent motivated by values and norms. What people can and cannot do may be dictated to them by the law, but also by the expectations that society has of them. There may be cultural expectation that they act a certain way if, for example, they are a married Brazilian woman. It might not be appropriate, culturally, for such a person to dance provocatively at a nightclub. These behavioural expectations may come from
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