Define culture and explain the terms related to culture. Define and describe ethnocentrism and prejudice. Give personal examples to support your descriptions. Explain the dimension of culture that research has focused on in the past 30 years.
Week Six Lecture
This final week our focus is on culture and leadership, as well as leadership ethics. These are two very important topics in terms of understanding and working with business strategies.
Our first chapter reading this week focuses on culture and leadership. What is culture and why is it important in terms of business strategies? There are many definitions for culture. According to our textbook, “culture is defined as the learned beliefs, values, rules, norms, symbols and traditions that are common to a group of people” (Northouse, 2013, p. 384).
Another definition on culture is that Culture refers to the cumulative deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes, meanings, hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and material objects and possessions acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group striving (Texas A&M University, Culture, n.d., para. 1).
One last definition might be that “culture is the characteristics of a particular group of people, defined by everything from language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts (Zimmermann, 2012, para. 1). Now that there is an understanding of what culture is, why is culture so important in terms of business strategies? There is a great interview that dives into the importance of aligning culture and strategies in organizations that is recommended to read. It can be found via this link:
Aligning Organizational Culture with Business Strategy (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (http://www.towerswatson.com/en-US/Insights/Newsletters/Global/strategy-at-work/2013/viewpoints-qa-aligning-organizational-culture-with-business-strategy).
The value of connecting both the organizations strategy, which would include the values, vision and mission, with the culture is a win-win for both the organization and the employees that come together that make it happen. As we have defined above, culture is a shared connection of knowledge, beliefs, values, etc. In an organizational culture these shared beliefs create an environment in which the stakeholders work together to not only be productive but to also create a successful organization. It should be noted that “culture formed by the moment, will also change by the moment, and ultimately it will disappear in a moment” (Myatt, 2012, para 4). Culture is not formed overnight. It is developed over time and becomes second nature to the organization and the manner in which it operates.
Below is a video that illustrates cultural dimensions:
When working with the term culture, there are many elements to consider. These include ethnocentrism and prejudice. Ethnocentrism is when a group feels their culture is superior to others. Another definition would be that “ethnocentrism is the tendency to believe that one’s ethnic or cultural group is centrally important, and that all other groups are measured in relation to one’s own (Princeton University, n.d., para. 1). Prejudice according to our textbook is to have a fixed “attitude, belief or emotion” towards another based on invalid information (Northouse, 2013, p. 385).
Below is an interesting video on sociology ethnocentrism and cultural relativism.
Moving forward, let’s look at Chapter 16, which focuses on leadership ethics. As we look at the contents of this chapter, let’s break down the meaning behind leadership ethics. As illustrated in our textbook, ethics relate to one’s “customs, conduct or character” as they relate to ones values, morale and what is and what is not appropriate (Northouse, 2013, p. 424).
An excellent article on the topic of leadership ethics that is recommended is:
The principles of ethical leadership focus on five disciplines:
· Respect Others
· Serves Others
· Shows Justice
· Manifests Honesty
· Builds Community (Northouse, 2013, p. 431).
Below is an excellent video with Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple discussing ethical leadership.
Forbes School of Business Faculty
Boutot, R. (2011, November 10). Sociology ethnocentrism and cultural relativism (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. [Video file]. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/antnSXwrBnM
Duke University – The Fuqua School of Business. (2013, May 30). Apple CEO Tim Cook on Ethical Leadership (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. [Video file]. Retrieved from http://youtu.be/3ygNKNaMv4c
Education Portal. (2014, September 28). Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory video – Lesson and example (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. [Video file]. Retrieved http://youtu.be/mNntW_DA0x0
Myatt, M. (2012, May 29). Culture vs. strategy – What’s more important? (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikemyatt/2012/05/29/culture-vs-strategy-whats-more-important/
Northouse, P. (2013). Leadership theory and practice (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Princeton University (n.d.). Ethnocentrism (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Retrieved from http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Ethnocentrism.html
Texas A & M University (n.d.) Culture (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Retrieved from http://www.tamu.edu/faculty/choudhury/culture.html
Zimmermann, K.A. (2015, February 19). What is culture? Definition of culture (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Life Science. Retrieved from http://www.livescience.com/21478-what-is-culture-definition-of-culture.html
Northouse, P. (2013). Leadership theory and practice (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. ISBN: 9781452203409.