“I was not born knowledgeable,
I am devoted to antiquity and am quick to seek knowledge.”
Kong Qiu 孔丘 (Confucius). Lunyu, 7, 19.
Please find hereby an indicative list of intercultural concepts. For more information, please contact us or check on Wikipedia nowadays a valuable resource.
ACTIVE LISTENING is a communication technique that requires the listener to understand, interpret, and evaluate what they hear. Active listening is a structured way of listening and responding to others, focusing attention on the speaker: from (i) repeating what is said, (ii) to paraphrasing and (iii) finally to reformulating the message in one's own words - this process comes always with checking with the sender. Suspending one's frame of reference, suspending judgment and avoiding other internal mental activities are important to fully attend to the speaker. As a result, the listener not only transforms infomation into knowledge, but even more important is the rapport building, the relationship will be strengthened and trusted.
A model of change management: AI emphasizes inquiry into strengths rather than focusing exclusively on fixing weaknessess (http://appreciativeinquiry.case.edu).
An interesting historical overview from (military based) strategic planning to AI 'SOAR' strategic planning (Strengts, Opportunities, Aspirations and Results) to be downloaded:
invalid link : could not retrieve urlID (full article)
"Sometimes it seems as if curiosity, true curiosity about the core of the organization, about the way people function in it and the formal and informal sides of the project, recedes to the background. Seldom do we see the element of amazement and surprise one experience when encountering an unfamiliar situation".(Koot, 1989). The ability to look on in wonder, to reflect on what puzzels us is typical of the Living Stone Gateway-approach.
CONNECTING PEOPLE, BRIDGING CULTURES (Living Stone Centre-baseline)
Connecting seeks to forge relationships by creating person-to-person linkages rather than group-to-group linkages. Connecting occurs when groups step outside their group identities and step inside a neutral zone where people can interact with one another as individuals. When this happens people suspend or put on hold their group differences, they begin to make connections based on their individual similarities. Over time and sustained interaction, the cultural differences that created rigid borders between groups begin to fade into the background. The result is intergroup trust - a state of mutual confidence and integrity that develops when boundaries are suspended and new relationships built.(Boundary Spanning Leadership Toolkit, 2011, Center for Creative Leadership)
Psychologists and sociologists call a collectivist orientation: a belief that the welfare of the community overrides that of the individual. E.g. Japanese culture encourages familial intimacy as an "important social resource" which benefits to the society at large. See also hereafter: Cultural Dimensions, Ubuntu.
Scholarly tradition and way of life propagated by Confucius in the 6th–5th century bc and followed by the Chinese for more than two millennia. Though not organized as a religion, it has deeply influenced East Asian spiritual and political life in a comparable manner. The core idea is ren (humaneness,benevolence), signifying excellent character in accord with li (ritual norms), zhong (loyalty to one’s true nature), "shu" (reciprocity), and "xiao" (filial piety). Together these constitute "de" (virtue). See also hereafter: 'Gentleman'.
Culture consists of patterns, explicit and implicit, of and for behavior acquired and transmitted by symbols, constituting the distinctive achievement of human groups, including their embodiment in artefacts" the essential core of culture consists of traditional ideas and especially their attached values"" culture systems may, on the one hand, be considered as products of action, on the other, as conditioning elements of future action. Culture is:
1) A shared system of beliefs and practices.
2) Changing and non-static.
3) Lies between human nature on one side and individual personality on the other.
4) Invisible as well as visible. This view of culture is embodied in the popular ‘iceberg model’ of culture. However, regarding culture as merely a two-level system seems to be too rudimentary. The ‘coconut model’ developed by LSC, is a tool to explore the layers of culture in an holistic way.
5) Distinguished between objective culture and subjective culture . Objective culture refers to the institutional aspects of culture, such as political and economic systems, and to the products of culture, such as art, music, cuisine, and so on. Subjective culture refers to the worldview of a society’s people. It is externalised through role behaviour.
"Culture is a fuzzy set of attitudes, beliefs, behavioural norms, and basic assumptions and values that are shared by a group of people, and that influence each member's behaviour and his/her interpretations of the "meaning" of other people's behaviour"(Helen Spencer-Oatey).
"About culture, we can say that it is both rational and irrational; has formal and informal sides; has both a statically conservative and a highly dynamic and process-driven character; is used strategically and has a highly emotional and irrational charge; provides clarity by offering standard rules and solutions while remaining opaque; reflects unity, diversity and ambiguity; is homogeneous as well as heterogeneous (Koot and Boessenkool, 1994).
Cultural dimensions are standards to measure the similarities and differences among various national, societal and organizational cultures. They have been an often-used tool of intercultural researchers for decades.
- HOFSTEDE, 4 NATIONAL CULTURAL DIMENSIONS
G.J. Hofstede built his theories after extensive surveys of IBM managers in 64 countries resulting in four independent dimensions of national cultural orientations.
1. Power Distance – the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions accept and expect that power is distributed unequally.
2. Individualism and Collectivism – In individualist societies the ties between individuals are loose: everyone is expected to look after theirselves and their immediate families. People from more collectivist societies tend to be integrated into strong and cohesive groups, often extended families and good friends that continue protecting them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty.
3. Masculinity and Femininity – This dimension classifies countries according to the distribution of roles between the genders. In the more masculine countries the degree of gender differentiation is high. The ideals are economic growth, progress, material success and performance. In the more feminine societies, the level of discrimination and the differentiation between genders tends to be low. Individuals are likely to treat men and women equally, and value the quality of life, human contact and caring for others.
4. Uncertainty Avoidance – This dimension reflects the resistance to change and the attitude to taking risks of individuals from different countries. Uncertainty avoiding cultures try to minimize the possibility of novel and unstructured situations by strict policies and rules, tending to be more emotional. Uncertainty accepting cultures are more tolerant of opinions different from what they are used to––– they try to have as few rules as possible.
Hofstede, G. (2001) ’Culture‘s consequences: Comparing values, behaviors, institutions, and organizations across nations' – 2d edition‘ (Sage Publications, UK)
- A SEQUEL: THE CHINESE VALUE SURVEY
Chinese social scientists developed the Chinese Value Survey (CVS, Chinese Culture Connection 1987), then translated it into other languages and administered it to students in 23 different countries on five continents. Twenty of the countries were also in Hofstede‘s study. Four dimensions of culture emerged from the study, three similar to Hofstede‘s dimensions of power distance, individualism/collectivism, and masculinity/femininity. The fourth dimension, however, represents Chinese values related to Confucianism. Originally called 'Confucian work dynamism', it was eventually labeled Longterm/ Short-term orientation by Hofstede.
- GLOBE, 9 CULTURAL DIMENSIONS
Survey of fundamental attributes or cultural dimensions, of both societal and organizational cultures, and how these impact leadership. Scope:17,300 middle managers in 951 organizations by researchers based in 62 of the world cultures. (Robert J. House, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, 2004)
1. Performance Orientation reflects the extent to which a community encourages and rewards innovation, high standards, excellence, and performance improvement.
2. Uncertainty Avoidance: the extent to which a society, organization, or group relies on social norms, rules, and procedures to alleviate the unpredictability of future events.
3. In-group Collectivism emerges as a strong predictor of the two most widely admired characteristics of successful leaders. In-group collectivism is “the degree to which individuals express pride, loyalty, and cohesiveness in their organizations or families".
4. Power Distance is the extent to which a community accepts and endorses authority, power differences, and status privileges.
5. Gender Egalitarianism is one of the predictors of the most widely admired characteristic of successful leaders. Gender egalitarianism is “the degree to which a collective minimizes gender inequality”.
6. Humane Orientation is defined as “the degree to which an organization or society encourages and rewards individuals for being fair, altruistic, friendly, generous, caring, and kind to others".
7. Institutional Collectivism is defined as “the degree to which organizational and societal institutional practices encourage and reward collective distribution of resources and collective action.
8. Future Orientation is the degree to which a collectivity encourages and rewards future-oriented behaviors such as planning and delaying gratification.
9.Assertiveness is the degree to which individuals are assertive, confrontational, and aggressive in their relationships with others.
HOUSE, R.J., e.a. CULTURE, LEADERSHIP AND ORGANISATIONS, SAGE - isbn 0761924019
- TROMPENAARS & HAMDEN-TURNER (1997): 7 VALUE ORIENTATIONS
F. Trompenaars and Hamden-Turner's research focuses on the cultural dimensions of business executives. They classified cultures along a mix of behavioral and value patterns.
1. Universalism versus particularism – defines how people judge the behaviors of their colleagues. People from universalistic cultures focus more on rules, are more precise when defining contracts and tend to define global standards for company policies and human resources practices. Within more particularistic national cultures, the focus is more on the relationships– contracts can be adapted to satisfy new requirements in specific situations and local variations of company and human resources policies are created to adapt to different requirements.
2. Individualism and Communitarianism - classifies countries according to the balance between the individual and group interests. Generally, team members with individualist mindsets see the improvements to their groups as the means to achieve their own objectives. By contrast, the team members from communitarian cultures see the improvements to individual capacities as a step towards the group prosperity.
3. Achievement versus Ascription - very similar to Hofstede‘s power distance concept. People from achievement-oriented countries respect their colleagues based on previous achievements and the demonstration of knowledge, and show their job titles only when relevant. On the other hand, people from ascription-oriented cultures use their titles extensively and usually respect their superiors in hierarchy.
4. Neutral versus Affective - According to Trompenaars, people from neutral cultures admire cool and self-possessed conducts and control their feelings, which can suddenly explode during stressful periods. People from cultures high on affectivity use all forms of gesturing, smiling and body language to openly voice their feelings, and admire heated, vital and animated expressions.
5. Specific versus Diffuse - people from more specific-oriented cultures tend to keep private and business agendas separate, having a completely different relation of authority in each social group. In diffuse-oriented countries, the authority level at work can reflect into social areas, and employees can adopt a subordinated attitude when meeting their managers outside office hours.
6. Human-nature relationship (internal vs external control) - Global project stakeholders from internal-oriented cultures may show a more dominant attitude, focus on their own functions and groups and be uncomfortable in change situations. Stakeholders from external-oriented cultures are generally more flexible and willing to compromise, valuing harmony and focusing on their colleagues, being more comfortable with change.
7. Human-time relationship - People in past-oriented cultures tend to show respect for ancestors and older people and frequently put things in a traditional or historic context. People in present-oriented cultures enjoy the activities of the moment and present relationships. People from future-oriented cultures enjoy discussing prospects, potentials and future achievement.
A second division of country cultures is based on the time orientation, in which sequential cultures drive people to do one activity at a time and to follow plans and schedules strictly. People from synchronic cultures can do work in parallel, and follow schedules and agendas loosely, taking the priorities of the individual tasks being performed as a major rule.
Trompenaars, F. and Hampden-Turner, C. (2005) ’Riding the waves of culture: Understanding cultural diversity in business‘ (Nicholas Brealey, UK).
Apart from the concept of culture, since the mid 1990's European business anthropologists also criticized the methodological standards used in these mainstream organization culture studies. The tools used, such as pre-programmed questionnaires, were too general to do justice to the complex phenomenon of cultural dynamics. According to the business anthropologists, the focus should be on: "understanding organizational mechanisms underlying daily interactions of people both on the work floor and in management" (Koot, 1994).
The scattering of the Jews to countries outside of Palestine after the Babylonian captivity; the return of the Jews from the Diaspora. Any group migration or flight from a country or region. Any group that has been dispersed outside its traditional homeland, especially involuntarily, as Africans during the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
DMIS: Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity
Milton Bennett’s Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity posits a continuum of increasing sophistication in our experience and navigation of differences. This model begins wit 3 ethnocentric stages in which our own culture is experienced as central to reality in some particular way. The latter 3 stages of the model are termed ethno relative, in which our own culture is viewed in the context of other cultures. The organising concept of the model is differentiation. The 6 stages of increasing sophistication in our experience and navigation of difference are: denial, defence, minimization, acceptance, adaptation, integration.
Bennett, Milton. 1993. Towards Ethnorelativism: A Developmental model of intercultural sensitivity. In R.M. Paige (ed.)Education for Intercultural Experience. Yarmouth, ME:Intercultural Press
Edutainment (also educational entertainment or entertainment-education) is a form of entertainment designed to educate as well as to amuse ... Most often, edutainment seeks either to tutor in one or more specific subjects, or to change behaviour by engendering specific socio-cultural attitudes. Various groups in the United States and the United Kingdom have used edutainment to address such health and social issues as substance abuse, immunization, teenage pregnancy, HIV / AIDS. (Wikipedia, 17 July 2008)
Ethnocentrism means that we hold views and standards that are ‘own group/ centric’ and make judgments about other groups based on our own group’s values and beliefs.
EXPLICIT vs. IMPLICIT COMMUNICATION
Explicit communication refers to specific information conveyed in written or spoken words. Iimplicit communication refers to the messages we 'give off' through our deeds and actions. Explicit communication is intentional, while implicit communication may or may not be intentional.
• Saying “yes” to a request might have vastly differing meanings from one type of culture to another. To a member of a low-context, explicit communication culture, the expectation may be that the request will be carried out no matter what. To a member of a high-context, informal communication culture, the expectation may be that all parties understand that “yes” is qualified by the context in which that member is situated.
FACE NEGOTIATION THEORY (Ting-Toomey & Oetzel)
SELF, OTHER & MUTUAL FACE-concern
“Face” is one’s favorable self-worth or self-image. 'Face' and its function in intercultural communication interactions is very important. At the bottom of many cultural misunderstandings are hurt feelings (emotional frustration) or mismatched expectations about respect, honour, status, reputation, and competence.
The term jūnzǐ (Chinese: 君子” literally "lord's child") is crucial to classical Confucianism. Confucianism exhorts all people to strive for the ideal of a "gentleman" or "perfect man". A succinct description of the "perfect man" is one who "combines the qualities of saint, scholar, and gentleman." In modern times the masculine translation in English is also traditional and is still frequently used. Elitism was bound up with the concept, and gentlemen were expected to act as moral guides to the rest of society. The great exemplar of the perfect gentleman is Confucius himself. Perhaps the tragedy of his life was that he was never awarded the high official position which he desired, from which he wished to demonstrate the general well-being that would ensue if humane persons ruled and administered the state.
Related concept: Stoicism (Greek στοά) was a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded in Athens by Zeno of Citium in the early 3rd century BC. The Stoics considered destructive emotions to be the result of errors in judgment, and that a sage, or person of "moral and intellectual perfection," would not suffer such emotions. Stoics were concerned with the active relationship between cosmic determinism and human freedom, and the belief that it is virtuous to maintain a will (called prohairesis) that is in accord with nature. Because of this, the Stoics presented their philosophy as a way of life, and they thought that the best indication of an individual's philosophy was not what a person said but how he behaved.
"...the ability of an individual to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organizations of which they are members".
The GLOBE researchers studied leadership worldwide. GLOBE is the acronym of 'Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness'. Scope: 17,000 middle managers in 951 organizations by researchers in 62 societal cultures. Specific findings: "Culturally Endorsed Leadership Theory Dimensions" (CLTs).
1. CHARISMATIC / VALUE-BASED: a leader’s ability to inspire, to motivate, and to expect high performance outcomes on the basis of his/her firmly held core values. All cultures saw this dimension as very substantially contributing to outstanding leadership.
2. TEAM ORIENTED: emerged in second place in capturing what many business people worldwide commonly associate with outstanding leadership. It is described as emphasizing effective team-building and implementation of a common purpose or goal among team members
3. PARTICIPATIVE: the degree to which managers involve others in making and implementing decisions.
4. HUMANE ORIENTED: reflects supportive and considerate leadership, but also includes compassion and generosity. Worldwide viewed as only moderately contributing to outstanding leadership.
5. SELF-PROTECTIVE: From a Western perspective, this dimension focuses on ensuring the safety and security of the individual or group. It also can reflect being status- and class-conscious, evasive, ritualistic, procedural, normative, secretive, indirect, self-centrered, and asocial. Worldwide viewed as not contributing to outstanding leadership.
6. AUTONOMOUS: refers to independent and individualistic leadership. Worldwide viewed as not contributing to outstanding leadership.
Robert J. House, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, 2004. HOUSE, R.J., e.a. CULTURE, LEADERSHIP AND ORGANISATIONS, SAGE - isbn 0761924019
The global and the local are regarded as the two sides of the same coin as developing countries are integrating with the world economy while at the same time they are devolving power to local governments and communities.
'Glocalisation' as a term is originated in the 1980's Japanese business practices and was introduced in the English-speaking world by the sociologist Roland Robertson in the 1990's.
“Guanxi” is a Chinese word, which literally means relationships and connections”” however, in practice it carries some special connotations, which more specifically means “a network of interpersonal relationships and exchanges of favours for the purpose of conducting business activities”. In this sense, “guanxi” has now become a term describing a certain kind of favour-seeking pragmatic social practice. Although “guanxi” is often identified as the most prominent feature of Chinese business culture, it is undoubtedly also functional in other social contexts, which has a tremendous impact on the effectiveness and sustainability of international business, and further on the diplomatic relations and long-term investments, cooperation between countries.
HIGH / LOW CONTEXT COMMUNICATION
Anthropologist Edward T. Hall’s theory of high- and low-context culture helps us better understand the powerful effect culture has on communication. A key factor in his theory is context. This relates to the framework, background, and surrounding circumstances in which communication or an event takes place. High-context cultures are relational, collectivist, intuitive, and contemplative. This means that people in these cultures emphasize interpersonal relationships. Developing trust is an important first step to any business transaction. Low-context cultures are logical, linear, individualistic, and action-oriented. People from low-context cultures value logic, facts, and directness.
Edward T. Hall, a cultural anthropologist who pioneered the study of nonverbal communication and interactions between members of different ethnic groups, died July 20 2009 at his home in Santa Fe (NM). He was 95. In his most influential book, "The Silent Language" (1959), Mr Hall outlined his theory of explicit versus informal forms of communication. Mr. Hall's most provocative ideas dealt with cultural attitudes toward space and time as part of the informal realm of communication. Those ideas form the substance of his books "The Hidden Dimension" (1966) and "The Dance of Life: The Other Dimension of Time" (1983). Space as a form of communication, a field he dubbed proxemics, embraced phenomena like territoriality among office workers and the cultural meanings of architecture. The use of time as a form of communication can be seen, he argued, in the executive or the movie star who keeps a client waiting for a precisely calibrated number of minutes. His ideas were synthesized in "Beyond Culture" (1976). (William Grimes, New York Times, 5 Augustus 209)
Living Stone Gateways and training programmes are inspired by the principles of High-End-Learning, intended to develop thinking skills and problem solving capabilities:
1. Each learner is unique
2. Learning is more effective when participants enjoy what they are doing
3. Learning is more meaningful and enjoyable when content (knowledge) and process (thniking skills, methods of inquiry) are learned within the context of a real life situation or present problem
4. Some formal instruction may be used, but a major goal is to replace dependence and passive learning with independence and engaged learning.
High-End Learning requires a facilitator with the kinds of 'guide by the side' responsibilities rather than an instructor.
Renzulli,Joseph, The Definition of High End Learning, www. gifted.uconn.edu
IEP - Intercultural Effective Person
An IEP is someone who can “live contentedly and work successfully in another culture”. Profile and indicators developed by the Center for Intercultural Learning at the Canadian Foreign Service Institute to measure cultural competency. Designed for the international sojourner. Some criteria: has knowledge of host country and self-knowledge (understand their own culture and how it has shaped how they think, feel, and react to people and events)” accepts criticism” asks for local help, etc.
Thomas Vulpe, Daniel Kealey, David Protheroe and Doug Macdonald (2001) Centre for Intercultural Learning. Canadian Foreign Service Institute. http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/cfsi-icse/cil- cai/publications- en.asp
IN-GROUP vs. OUT-GROUP
Most of us are members, on some level, of at least one ingroup. These are people with whom you feel a close attachment or connection, with whom you identify strongly. However, ingroups typically define themselves not just in relation to the members of that group, but in relation to other groups that are different from the ingroup.
An outgroup is a group that is viewed from the perspective of an ingroup, often in negative terms. Members of an ingroup may feel a sense of difference or separateness from the outgroup. They may feel excluded. They may even feel a strong sense of opposition or conflict with the outgroup—or even hatred.
Ingroups and outgroups tend to view one another in very separate terms, and they usually have little or no interaction with each other. As a result, these groups don’t have a lot of real information or firsthand experience with one another. And as a consequence of the lack of information, they rely heavily on stereotypes and misinformation about each other. The stereotypes then reinforce the ingroup’s mistrust toward the outgroup.
Relating to, involving, or representing different cultures. The prefix ‘inter’ refers to an integrative, dynamic process that does not occur systematically by bringing together several cultural groups. Extra effort is needed to acknowledge, surmont, and reorder cultural differences.
The term 'interculturality' refers to an 'imaginary' or 'openess' where countervailing forms of resistance can reassert 'cultural differences and reaffirm the power of heterogeneous political cultures and identities' (Kenji Takeda, 2000).
- Interculturality stands for the interaction, exchange and cross pollination between people of different cultures. Interculturality transforms and intermixes rather than remaining unchanged, which indicates a process of innovation, creativity and integration.
- Entrepreneurship: the state, quality, or condition of being an entrepreneur, an organizer or promoter of any enterprise in the private or public of sector, usually with considerable responsibility, initiative and risk. It is the quality of his performance that determines whether the economy and human condition would grow or improve rapidly or slowly, and whether this growth would involve innovation and change.
...'the ability to get by in a multicultural society where none of the interactants may use their mother language and all bring to the interaction their own cultural and personal background'. 'Intercultural competence is a life-long learning process that enables an individual to interact effectively and appropriately with members of other cultures in fulfilling certain objectives'. 'Intercultural competence refers to a long-term change of a person’s attitudes, knowledge, and skills to enable positive and effective interaction with people of other cultures' (Bennett, 1993 - Dignes & Baldwin, 1996). The definitions vary, but what they have in common in most cases is the “appropriate and effective behaviour in a given context” (Hajek & Giles, 2003).
Claire Kramsch (Berkeley,2011) thinks 'to find approppriate subject positions in the multiple situations' is a modernist approach that focuses on empowerment; breaking with the context, not assimilating to a defined context, is according to prof. Kramsch a post modernist approach focusing on a 'future of possibilities' (notes L.Dusar).
In international business language, the development of Intercultural Competence is considered a key to an effective and successful approach of an increasingly diverse and interdependent marketplace. It results in better self management and collaboration, which in turn lead to higher productivity, talent retention and lasting relationships.
MEANING = a behaviour + a context
We all believe that we observe reality, things as they are, but what actually happens is that the mind interprets what our eyes see and gives it meaning. If you consider that the mind of a person from one culture is going to be different in many ways from the mind of a person from another culture, then you have the explanation for lots of cross-cultural troubles: the fact that two people look upon the same reality, but hold two entirely different insights. Any behaviour observed across the cultural divide, therefore has to be interpreted in two ways:
- the meaning given to it by the person who does the action, and
- the meaning given to it by the person who observes the action.
MINDFUL OBSERVATION involves paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally. The practitioner can observe the person's posture, dress, social skills, tone of voice, behavior, and physical abilities (i.e., use of the limbs and ambulation).
ODIS - Observing, Describing, Interpreting, Suspending evaluation
A “decoding” tool by Stella Ting-Toomey that summarizes the discrete stages in decoding communication. A culturally competent communicator when confronted with dissimilar others is first Mindful (mindful Observation), being aware of our own and others’ behavior and mentally observes the communication behavior without assigning motivation or meaning to it’ second, they Describe the communication in behavioral terms’ third, they Interpret the behavior from the other culture’s possible perspectives’ and, finally, Suspend evaluation until the hypothesis is confirmed.
Perception is the process by which individuals select, organise, and evaluate stimuli from the external environment to provide meaningful experiences for themselves. Perceptual patterns are learned. We are not born seeing the world in a particular way; rather, experience teaches us to perceive the world in specific ways. Perception is consistent, persistent: once we see something in a particular way, we tend to continue to see it that way. Perception is inaccurate. We see things that do not exist and do not see things that do exist. Our background, values, interests, and culture act as filters and lead us to distort, block, and even create what we choose to see and to hear. We perceive what we expect to perceive. We perceive things according to what we have been trained to see, according to our cultural group.
PROXEMICS (Space regulation)
Proxemics (E.T.Hall, 1963) is the study of set measurable physical distances – close or far - between people as they interact: intimate distance for embracing, touching or whispering, personal distance for interactions among family members and good friends, social distance for interactions among colleagues and business partners, and public distance used for public speaking. Different cultures maintain different standards of personal space. In Arab cultures, for instance, those relative distances are smaller, and people tend to be more comfortable standing close to each other–– in Nordic cultures the opposite is true. Realizing and recognizing these cultural differences helps eliminate discomfort people may feel if the interpersonal distance is too large or too small. Comfortable personal distances also depend on the culture, social situation, gender, and individual preference.
The capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and reorganise while undergoing change, so as to retain essentially the same function, structure, identity and feedbacks.
STEREOTYPES are standardized and simplified conceptions of groups based on some prior assumptions. Stereotypes allow individuals to make better informed evaluations of individuals about whom they possess little or no individuating information. Negative effects may include forming inaccurate opinions of people, erroneously judgmentalism.
Yet, the stereotype that stereotypes are inaccurate, resistant to change, overgeneralized, and exaggerated is not founded on empirical social science research, which instead shows that stereotypes are often accurate and that people do not rely on stereotypes when relevant personal information is available.
The ancient Silk Road started from Chang'an (now Xi'an), capital of Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-24 AD). It was a cultural exchange and trade route from ancient China to the Roman empire, with a total length of more than 11,000 km. The Silk Road gets its name from the lucrative Chinese silk trade, a major reason for the connection of trade routes into an extensive transcontinental network. The German terms "Seidenstraße" and "Seidenstraßen"- 'the Silk Road(s)' or 'Silk Route(s)' were coined by Ferdinand von Richthofen, who made seven expeditions to China from 1868 to 1872.
"The more people have to do with each other in everyday life, the more likely they will be to identify with each other as fellow individuals rather than primarily by reference to their collective identifications" (Jenkins, quoted in Pollmann, 2009, p. 537).
- POLYCHRONIC / MONOCHRONIC
The terms "polychronic" and "monochronic" were first used to describe whole cultures and not individuals by the anthropologist Edward Hall in his book The Silent Language, 1959. In monochromic cultures, time is thought of as being linear divided into fixed elements that can be organized, quantified and scheduled. People are expected to do one thing at a time, and they will not tolerate lateness or interruptions. In polychronic cultures, time is thought of as being cyclical. In such cultures, it is acceptable to interrupt someone who is busy. These two types of behavioral tendencies are likely to exist side by side in many work environments and may be a source of conflict because of their contrasting approaches to time management. To a polychron, switching from one activity to another is both stimulating and productive"" to a monochron it is uncomfortable. Persons who are monochromic are expected to lean more toward strict planning, time allocation, and prioritizing in attempting to meet their obligations.
- PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE
Past: focus is on heritage, tradition, experience and 'the way things always have been done'. Present: focus is on here and now.
Future: focus is on planning, on how things can be improved for next time.
"I am what I am because of who we all are." Ubuntu (Zulu/Xhosa) is an ethic or humanist philosophy focusing on people's allegiances and relations with each other. The word has its origin in the Bantu languages of southern Africa. Ubuntu is seen as a classical African concept. Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1999): "A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed".
VERBAL COMMUNICATION STYLES
a. Self enhancement emphasizes the importance of boasting about one’s accomplishments and abilities’ whereas self-effacement emphasis humbling oneself via verbal restraints, hesitations, modest talk.
b. Direct communication is when individuals say exactly what they mean. Direct communicators believe that it is better to say what needs to be said. Indirect communicators do not believe everything needs to be said’ and will leave it up to the listener to fill in the blanks and make out the meaning by correctly reading the contextual clues.
c. Circular is often described as storytelling style. Speaker may take the listener to the main point but not explicitedly verbalize it. Linear usually main point first with supporting explanations and details following’ outline style’ clear verbal transitions.
In Chinese philosophy, the concept of 阴阳;yīnyáng is used to describe how polar or seemingly contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other in turn. They are opposites thus they only exist in relation to each other. The concept lies at the origins of many branches of classical Chinese science and philosophy, as well as being a primary guideline of traditional Chinese medicine, and a central principle of different forms of Chinese martial arts.