The To be clear, Hofstede’s cultural dimensions study

  The present study aims to examine how culture
differs between India  and Iraq . This
means that the researcher is going to focus on what differences in culture between
Iraq (including some Arab countries) and India before and after they were
occupied by super countries like America and Britain respectively. To answer
the research questions and the objectives of research, the researcher is going
to study the results of the studies of Hofstede, GLOBE, and Hall, compare the
results and come up with results and conclusions.

  This study came up with the result that India
and Arab countries including Iraq exhibit some different cultural systems that
are based on different cultural studies. In some  aspects of Hofstede’s cultural study results, the GLOBE study and Hall’s study the cultural differences
are worth mentioning for all Arab countries from one side and India from the
other side.

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Keywords:  Arab countries, India, Culture, Power Distance, Individualism, High
context.  

1.       
Introduction

     Both India and Arab countries are famous
as oldest eastern cultures in the world. Indian culture is mixed with various regional and religious cultures, but
the main characteristics of this culture are good traditions, beliefs, values,
human relationships with the others from different religions live in the same
society peacefully. Although India has suffered from different conquests in the
past keep on their culture from the influence of change in the meantime, ”Arab culture refers to
the culture in the countries in which the official language is Arabic and have
Arab cultural heritage world” .( Wikipedia
: 2017 ) March 2017); March 2017

 

 In this research paper  the researcher   is 
going to focus  on  the role of the occupation  in changing 
some  cultural dimensions  in selected countries( India and some Arab
countries) whether these changes 
are  positive or negative  according to cultural  levels and dimensions. To be clear, Hofstede’s
cultural dimensions study in (2001) will be examined for each society. In
addition, the results will be compared to both India and the Arab countries as
well as the role of these cultural differences. Furthermore, the scores on the
GLOBE study (2004) will also be compared and analyzed for both sides. Some
recommendations will be offered based on previous studies and experiences. It
can also be useful for people in power to adopt some cultural solutions instead
of political and military solutions to further peace and stability based on
human rights. So this paper aims to answer  the following questions.

·          
In what cultural aspects does Indian 
culture differ from some Arab countries according to Hofstede, GLOBE and
Hall’s studies?

·          
What are the cultural differences between these selected countries
after getting independence?

·          
What can be culturally done to further peace and stability regardless
of the cultural differences?

  2. Literature review

  Many scholars have defined the expression of
culture.  “Culture is the way of life, especially the general
customs and beliefs, of a particular group of people at a particular time “(Cambridge
Dictionary). Levine and Campbell (1972) define culture as “the way of thinking,
feeling and reaching that are characteristic of the ways a particular society
meets its problems at a particular point in time.”

 This means that the people of each culture has
the same way of thinking and feelings to express and solve their problems in
their society at the particular point in time and contrasts in groups.
Hofstede, (1991) said that culture is the “collective programming of the mind that
distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another”.  Hofstede identifies six the cultural
dimensions into six groups. They are; the power distance ”which is the extent
to which a society accepts the unequal distribution of power ” (Trevino,2011 p.43
). The second dimension is individualism versus collectivism which means
whether the relations between the individuals are strong or weak. The third
dimension is masculinity versus femininity which means whether there is a
difference in gender’s roles or not. The fourth aspect is uncertainty avoidance
which means how  a society feels
uncomfortable with strange or ambiguous conditions. The last aspect of Hofstede’s
classification is the short term versus long term orientation which was studied
after that. It means focusing on the future versus focusing on the present or
the past. He conducted a study on IBM (workers) employees in several Countries
to measure the cultural differences between each country.

Edward Hall, (1976),
on the other hand, divided cultures into
high context versus low context cultures. Shoji Nishimura, Anne Nevgi and
SeppoTella (2008) defined “Hall’s classification as being high context when the
communication is very precise and brief where people can even understand each
other from the signs.” In the low context communities, you should speak and be
direct in speaking and writing. This study was started by Robert J. House,
(1991). Some 180 scientists have been involved in this project which involved 62 of the world’s cultures. This study
focused on nine cultural dimensions : assertiveness, Institutional collectivism
,In-group collectivism, Performance orientation, Uncertainty avoidance, Humane
orientation, Gender egalitarianism, Future orientation and Power distance (Robert
J. House, 1991)

  In India there are different languages and cultures in throughout   country. However there are general
characteristics which identify them as one family as Bose (1967, p.9) said that”
these    details might vary from place to place, and
from one caste to another, yet the sameness of the traditions on which all of them
have been reared cannot be overlooked”. Arab culture is a unique term and
need for understanding. The most general marks of this culture is loyalty to
family, personal dignity and reputation                                                                                                               

2.       
Methodology

   This study is going to be a comparative,
analytic study of the cultural differences between India and some Arab
countries (including Iraq). It will compare the two cultures based on Hofstede,
Hall and the GLOBE studies. The figures will be compared and the results will
be analyzed with some solutions to be suggested. The Hofstede
Center uses the official website of https://www.geert-hofstede.com/ to compare cultures in different parts of the
world. This website will be used in this present research to make comparison
between the results of India and (Iraq) represented by  Arab group in his study.

Robert. J.
House, (2002) GLOBE study results will be shown and analyzed in addition to
Hall’s concepts of  low context and high
context cultures.

 

3.       
Data analysis and discussion

3.1   Hofstede IBM study
(2001).

Hofstede
(2001) has examined six cultural aspects which are power distance, uncertainty
avoidance, individualism versus collectivism, masculinity versus femininity, short term versus long-term orientation
and Indulgence . The Hofstede Center has a website to show the results of each
country and to compare the results of countries with each other. The results
are on this website. www.geert-hofstede.com .The results of India on that website were as
shown in figure (1).

Figure (1) India’s cultural dimensions according to Hofstede.

 

 

The Indian culture is (attributed) by a
very low level of Indulgence. This means that they have an inclination to
cynicism and have not good view about the future.

But If we compare this result with the result of Iraq and Egypt, for
example, we will see that India is higher in indulgence
than Iraq and Egypt, in this dimension (Hofstede :1991)  states that” the people do not have the
perception that their actions are Restrained by social norms and don’t feel
that indulging themselves is somewhat wrong”. The results are as shown in figure (2).

Figure (2)
Hofstede’s cultural differences between India, Iraq, and Egypt.

   From figure number (2), we can figure out
that there are differences between the results of India and the results of Iraq
which show that the Iraqi culture is different  
from the Indian culture concerning the power distance with a result of (95)
compared with( 77 ) in India and Egypt (70 ) respectively . This means that in
Iraqi culture there is more acceptable to have
inequality distribution of power than in Indian and Egyptian cultures. In
Kuwait and the rest of the Arabic countries, the situation is not very
different. For example, the power distance in Kuwait is (90) whereas as shown
in Hofstede’s results (1991) of all Arab countries, in general, the result is (
80 ).

  If we look at the second cultural aspect of
the Arabic versus Indian culture we will see their different result. For example,
individualism in India is 48 whereas the average of all Arab countries, in
general, is 25. In Iraq, it is (30) and in Egypt the same with about only 25.
India and Arab communities are characterized by collectivism as opposed to
individualism. In the Arabic culture, the family and the society have the great
effect on the individual’s decisions and way of living whereas in India the individual’s
decisions can enjoy more freedom

  The third dimension of culture which Hofstede
studied is masculinity. According to (Hofstede,1991) has stated that” a
masculine culture is the culture in which the roles of genders are clearly
distinct and where the males are supposed to be assertive, tough and focused on
material success whereas women are supposed to be
more modest, tender, and concerned with the quality of life “. In India,
the score of masculinity is (56), whereas the average score of the Arab
countries is 53. There is a difference but we can’t say it is a big difference,
but when we take some examples of Arab countries like Iraq and Egypt the
results are (70), and (45) respectively. There is a big difference
concerning Iraq and Egypt. Iraqi society is more masculine than Egyptian and
even Indian. I think, there is uncertainty regarding the results of Egypt, as a person who knew about the nature of Egyptian
society.

  The fourth aspect of Hofstede’s culture is
uncertainty avoidance. To him, “uncertainty avoidance is the way that a society
deals with the fact that the future can never be known “. As we see from the
table (3), the score of India is low only (40) and most of the Arab countries
is high and similar. That is attributed to the fact that India becomes good
economic, military and technological position after independence from British
occupation in 1947. The result
is different concerning Iraq and Egypt both countries feel threatened by
something. This is because most of the Arab countries always suffered from the
war and occupation in the past and even in the present especially oil Arab
countries like Iraq. The score of Iraq and Egypt is (85) and (80) respectively.

  The fifth cultural aspect which Hofstede
examined in his study is long-term versus short-term orientation. This dimension describes how a culture preserves some
connects and do balance between its own past and face the difficulties of the
future. India scored (51) on long-term orientation versus a score of (14)
for Morocco, (70) for Egypt, ( 25) for Iraq and (16 ) for Jordan. The Indian
culture exhibits a huge distinction between Arab and Indian culture related to
long-term orientation. Most of the Arab countries scored many times lower than
Indian on Hofstede’s scale. There is a big cultural difference between that
country and Arab countries. According to Hofstede (1991), “normative societies
-like Arab countries-which score low on this dimension prefer to maintain
time-honored traditions and norms while viewing societal change with suspicion.

 The countries with high score – like Indian –
do more practical steps towards modern life. Arab countries’ culture, in
general, focuses on the past and present and gives less priority for the future
as opposed to the Indian culture in which the past, present and the future are all
the great importance

 4.2 The GLOBE study:

“Global
Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness”

  If the researcher starts the analysis by
analyzing the GLOBE study, he should consider that this study puts the countries
into cultural groups. Arab countries are put under the title of Middle East and
India is included in Southern Asia group. They are different groups as in figure
(3).

Figure (3): The cultural organizational groups
of GLOBE study according to GLOBE Project

 

 

“GLOBE ” is both a
research program and a social entity. The GLOBE social entity is a network of (170)
social scientists and management scholars from (61) cultures throughout the
world, working in a coordinated long-term effort to examine the interrelationships
between societal culture, organizational culture and practices and
organizational leadership.”  (House
et al, 1999).

”The meta-goal of the Global
Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness (GLOBE) Research Program is to
develop an empirically based theory to describe, understand, and predict the
impact of cultural variables on leadership and organizational processes and the
effectiveness of these processes”, Robert J. House, (2004).

  “This study includes  200 researchers
from 62 countries studying more than 17,000 mid-level managers in the initial
phases ” (ibid).This study works on nine cultural dimensions
which are shown in the table (1).  Most
of these dimensions are based on Hofstede’s cultural dimensions with
modification of some of them and addition of others.  This study compares the recent practices (as
is ) with value ( what should be ). This is good advantage of this study.   When we
compare the results of India with the Arab countries we find them as shown in
the table (1). Iraq is not included in this study so the researcher will make a comparison between India
and Egypt which can be generalized to all Arab countries

 
Country

 
Assertiveness

 
 colle           Institutional
 c                 collectivism

 
 In-group
 collectivism

Future-
Future
orientation
 

 
Gender
 egalitarianism

 
hUMAH   Humane
                orientation
 
Hum

P       

performance orientation

 
Power
Distance

 
UU          Uncertainty

 
India

3.7

4.25

5.81

4.04

2.89

4.45

4.11

5.29

4.02

4.65

4.59

5.22

5.43

4.4

5.2

5.87

2.58

4.58

 
Egypt 

3.91

4.36

5.49

3.8

2.9

4.6

4.15

4.76

3.97

3.22

4.72

5.39

5.6

3.34

5.13

5.71

3.2

5.24

Table (1) Scores of the GLOBE study (House, et al, 2004)
India and Arab countries. –As is (The first line figures), compared to as
should be (The second line figures)

 

 

“When we examine the societal culture using the nine
GLOBE dimensions, Egypt appeared to have relatively low scores on
assertiveness, uncertainty avoidance, societal collectivism, future
orientation, and gender egalitarianism. On the other hand, it had the third
highest score on in-group collectivism and had relatively high scores on
performance orientation, power distance, and humane orientation. In terms of
the desires to change the culture, the data showed that Egyptians are most
interested in reducing the power distance and increasing the future orientation
aspects of their societal culture.” 
Eahab Elsaid, (2002). Indian culture also shows low scores in
assertiveness and Gender egalitarianism, and on the other hand, it showed very
high   scores in In-group collectivism
and Power distance Institutional collectivism, Future orientation, Human
orientation and Uncertainty avoidance dimensions  

      From table (1) we can see the differences
between India and Egypt in some aspects of the GLOBE study. For example, Egypt
exhibited a lower degree of future orientation than India, which was graded as one of the highest countries not
surprisingly because it is part of the Indian culture which is characterized by
performance orientation in general. Concerning gender egalitarianism, Egypt showed
low score in minimizing gender inequalities. The same thing has happened with India with
higher desire in minimizing this dimension than Egypt. That is obvious because
the Arabic society is a masculine society according to Hofstede’s study as will
be shown in the next section. There are no significant differences between
Indian culture and Egyptian culture concerning assertiveness but the difference
is that Indian like to be more
assertive than Egyptian do.

 

 

 

 

 

 The Egyptians again
expressed high hopes to minimize power distance even though they scored lower
than the Indians in (as is).

4.3
Hall’s low and high context cultures

  According to Hall (1976) “a high context
culture is the culture which uses an overt language in communication because of
the long-term relations among people where many things are left unsaid and are
left to the culture to explain compared to a low context culture which uses an
overt language where the message is directly transmitted.” 

  When we talk about the culture of the Middle
East in general, we talk about a culture that can be described as a high
context culture. Arabs in the Middle East are not an exception to this fact.
But Arabs are classified among the highest context cultures (regarding high
context). This can be translated as focusing on the context of the message,
people stand close to each other and they can touch when they communicate. The
focus is mainly on social relationships rather than on legal contracts. The
same thing to India, the culture of this country is characterized by High
context too. In general, the Indian and the Arab cultures (meet) are similar in
being high context cultures.

4.       
Conclusion

        1-The Indian culture and
the Arabic cultures are not far away from each other because both of them are
from Asia  and the  Indians and the
Arabs are conservative societies.

     2- There is a significant
difference between the Indian culture and the Arabic culture in individualism.
People are freer to take decisions without the effects of family and society in
India than in Arab countries.

3- Both Indian and Arabic cultures are high masculinity Cultures. Women
must call for their rights and the equality in the role of both genders in
modern society.

4-There is a big similarity between Arab countries and India in the
point of looking to the future after getting their independence. The score of
India and most of the Arab countries is relatively high and similar. That is
attributed to the fact that each of both sides feels threatened by other
countries. This is because both sides always suffered from the war and
occupation in the past, especially Arab countries.

 5-There is also a significant
difference between Indian and Arab countries in keeping their official
languages after their suffering from the control of super countries over their
lands for a long time. The English language becomes the second official
language in India but some Arab countries keep their Arabic language as only
official language and consider the English language as foreign language.

References  

 Bose, Nirmal Kumar (1967). Culture
and society in India. Bombay: Asia   

     Eahab
Elsaid, (2002). Comparing Egypt to the GLOBE Study of 62 Societies.
Business and             management Research
Vol. 1, No. 2; 20

   
 Hall, E.T. (1976). Beyond
Culture, New York: Doubleday

   Hofstede, G, (1991). Cultures and
Organizations: Software of the Mind, Maidenhead, UK: McGraw-Hill.

    Hofstede, G, (2001). Culture’s Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions,
and Organizations Across Nations. 2nd Edition. Sage Publications.

    House,
R. J., Hanges, P.J., Ruiz-Quintanilla, A., Dorfman, P.W., Javidan, M., Dickson,
M.W., & GLOBE Country Co-Investigators (1999).Cultural influences on
leadership and organizations: Project GLOBE. In W. Mobley, J. Gessner,
& V. Arnold (Eds.), Advances in global leadership. (Vol. 1, pp. 171-234).
Stamford, CN: JAI Press.

    Levine, Robert A., and Donald T.
Campbell. 1972. Ethnocentrism. New York: John Wiley.

    Mansour
Javidan, et al, (2005). Cross-border transfer of knowledge: Cultural lessons
from Project GLOBE .Academy of Management Executive, 2005, Vol. 19, No.

   Nevgi, Anne and Seppo Tella (2008)
Communication Style and Cultural Features in High/Low Context Communication
Cultures: A Case Study of Finland, Japan, and India

   Robert J. House et al. (2004), Culture,
Leadership, and Organizations: The GLOBE Study of 62 Societies, Sage
Publications.

  Trevino,
Linda and Katherine A Nelson (2011), Managing business ethics: straight talk
about how to do it right. New York: John Wiley,
2011. P4.3

    

 Website
references  

 

 https://www.geert-hofstede.com   

 https://www.ethnologue.com/country/HU

 http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/culture

 www.grovewell.com/wp-content/uploads/pub-GLOBE-intro.pdf

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_culture