Module 8 – The Ideas of Fons Trompenaars: Cultural Dimensions & Online Information Sources Objectives Instructor Comments AssignmentObjectives The aim of this assignment is to expose learners to the information offered by the Canadian Centre for Inter-Cultural Effectiveness and apply this information to the ideas of Fons Trompenaars.
Instructor Comments When working through these assignments do consider that Fons Trompenaars is considered the main intellectual competitor to Geert Hofstede. His ideas appear somewhat similar but on closer inspection are different. Unlike Hofstede, Trompenaars suggests seven cultural dimensions. An interesting critique of Trompenaars and Hofstede originates with anthropologists.
Commenting on the topic of training, Hassoun (2006) argues that most anthropologists today define culture as “all that is learned and passed from one generation to the next” and/or the framework through which we view the world that cannot easily be reduced into a group of simplistic parameters. While Trompenaars perspectives may be widely accepted in business circles, few anthropologists that have made a lifelong study using ethnographic methods can be entirely comfortable with five or seven simplistic dimensions to culture…. When we train students to understand culture in the classroom, we have a semester to expose them to other cultures and usually cover 16 to 20 major chapters in a book, outlining hundreds of dimensions to culture. The first and foremost issues we address are the issues of ethnocentrism and cultural relativity. It is very easy for these to be lost in the easily judgmental dimensions of Hofstede and Trompenaars.”
Assignment This assignment seeks to help you understand the answer to a broader concern and that is, “How might the ideas of Fons Trompenaars be applied in real life?” You should base your responses to the following questions on the country cultural descriptions found on the website of the Canadian Centre for Inter Cultural Learning.
In order to complete the assignment, please access the CCICL website http://www.intercultures.ca/. On the country Insights page, please use the Country List scroll bar and choose a country. For this assignment please choose four countries for comparative purposes. Once a specific country is chosen, please use the Country Insight scroll bar and choose ‘culture’. Please recall that the issues covered include making a good impression, dress, punctuality and formality, preferred managerial qualities, religion, class ethnicity and gender, relationship building, recommended books, films and foods, conflicts in the workplace, motivating local colleagues, in-country activities, national heroes, shared historical events, and stereotypes.
Please also base your responses to the following questions on your analysis of the article and the series of websites noted below.
•Fons Trompenaars Trade Culture Dimensions. http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/seven-dimensions.htm
•Fons Trompenaars and Peter Wooliams: A new framework for managing change across cultures, Journal of Change Management 2003 3(4) 361 – 375 Please answer the following questions:
Which inter-cultural issues noted in the Country Insights database help to explain differences (if any) in the Internal vs. External dimension among the four countries? What are some of the differences?
Which inter-cultural issues noted in the Country Insights database help to explain differences (if any) in Specific vs. Diffuse dimension among the four countries? What are some of the differences?
Which inter-cultural issues noted in the Country Insights database help to explain differences (if any) in Achievement vs. Ascription dimension among the four countries? What are some of the differences?
Hint: Please look carefully at the descriptions of the inter-cultural issues and the thinking patterns. This should help the matching exercise.
Please limit your response to this assignment to three single spaced, typed pages. Please cite your sources in the text and please reference them at the end of your assignment. Please end your write-up with one paragraph that summarizes what you think is the importance of this assignment.