The theme of this book is "Business and Different Cultures". Many business scholars have tried to measure national culture, and several indicators have been published. Among them, the index by Professor Hosted, on which this book is based, is the most famous, and if you are a researcher of a different culture. There is no one who does not know *. If you're interested in this subject, it's the first book to pick up.

In this book, the countries of the world are classified into 6 types of "mental images (cultural areas)" based on the "6D model" based on the analysis of the culture of each country. If your readers are to work in a country, it's a good idea to research the customs of that country in advance and understand the mental image of that country. That would significantly avoid communication risks. When working with multinational members, mutual understanding must be greatly speeded up if the mental image of the country of origin is in mind as the background of each person's way of thinking. We Japanese also have a mental image, and we need to be aware that it is different from that of other countries.

With a little touch of detail, the abstracter read the warning that "business theory is bound by American culture" and Japan's "groupist paradox" with great interest. It's full of surprising data and examples, so you can enjoy reading it.

The main points of this book

Point 1

Dr. Hofstede scored the differences in culture between countries as a "six-dimensional model" for the first time in the world. There are six evaluation axes: "large and small power disparity," "groupism or individualism," "feminine or masculine," "high or low degree of avoidance of uncertainty," "short-term or long-term orientation," and "life. Is the way of enjoying the game restraining or satisfying? "

Point 2

Japan is a unique type that does not fit into the six models. Highly masculine and also highly avoidable of uncertainty.

Point 3

In order to create an organization with high CQ (ability to effectively respond to diverse cultural backgrounds), it is important to share the same vision with mutual understanding and objective awareness. ..

What is a 6D model

The essence of national culture

In this book, based on the "6D model" developed by Dr. Geert Hofstede, we will consider how to utilize the ability to adapt to different cultures in our management strategy.

The basic unit dealt with here is "national culture." Culture is composed of "customs" and "values". It is the practice that is the subject of normal cross-cultural understanding and training. This is visible.

On the other hand, values ​​are invisible. It is the basis for making decisions, which are unknowingly formed and internalized very early in life. We do not know or be aware of what our values ​​are. It suddenly appears when you are stressed or disgusted. It is this "value" that forms the core of culture.

Score culture

Dr. Hofstede scored the difference in culture between countries as a "six-dimensional model" for the first time in the world based on a huge amount of survey data. This has been repeatedly debated and sometimes criticized, but has always been the center of cross-cultural debate.

The 6-dimensional model makes it possible to objectively recognize cultural differences in each country. CQ (Cultural Intelligence) = the intelligence quotient of culture is the ability to effectively produce results across multiple cultures while using tools such as 6-dimensional models. CQ is defined as "the ability to effectively respond to diverse cultural backgrounds." It refers to the ability to solve problems and achieve goals with people from different cultures.

Evaluation axis of 6-dimensional model

The 6-dimensional model consists of the following 6 evaluation axes.

(1) Large and small power disparities: Whether to emphasize hierarchy or equality.

(2) Groupism or individualism: Do you respect the interests of the in-group (family or relatives) to which you belong, or do you prioritize the interests of individuals independently?

(3) Feminine (quality of life) or masculine (achieved): Do you value the time you spend with your family, friends and loved ones in a competitive society, or achieve, succeed, and position? Are you aiming to get it?

(4) High or low degree of avoidance of uncertainty: Do you regard uncertainties, ambiguities, and unknowns as threats, or do you not care?

(5) Short-term or long-term orientation: What do you think about the future?

(6) Whether the way of enjoying life is restraining or satisfying: Whether to suppress the desire to enjoy or enjoy life, or to diverge and satisfy that feeling.

In the 6-dimensional model, the culture of each country is represented by an index of 0 to 100 for these 6 items. It should be noted that the subject of this model is country-to-country differences, not individual human differences.

[Must read points!] 6 mental images

Characteristics of each mental image and applicable countries

Based on this 6-dimensional model, the world can be classified into 6 groups (cultural areas). This classification is called "six mental images". Here is an overview of each group.

(1) Contest (Competition "Winners Get Everything"): A culture of Anglo-Saxon countries that is competitive and has a small power gap. Strong individualism and masculineness, and low degree of avoidance of uncertainty. The United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are of this type.

(2) Network (individuals are independent, connected and related): A society with small power disparities, individualism and strong femininity. Scandinavian countries such as the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland.

(3) Oily machines (organizers that emphasize order): The power gap is small, individualism is strong, and uncertainty is highly avoided. Procedures and rules are emphasized, and hierarchical pressure is ineffective. Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary and German-speaking Switzerland are of this type.

(4) Human pyramid (loyalty, hierarchy, internal order): A type with a large power gap, groupism, and a high degree of avoidance of uncertainty. There is a patriarchal and powerful leader, and his subordinates follow that decision. This includes Latin American countries, African countries, Middle Eastern countries, Portugal, Greece, Russia, Slovakia, Southern Italy, Turkey, Thailand, and South Korea.

(5) Solar system (hierarchy and individualist paradox): A type of individualism with a large disparity in power and a high degree of avoidance of uncertainty. This includes France, Belgium, northern Italy, French-speaking Switzerland, some Spain, Poland and Argentina.

(6) Family (classification and loyalty, flexibility): Power disparity is large, groupism, and low degree of avoidance of uncertainty. There are patriarchal and powerful leaders, but their subordinates are flexible in their decisions. China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia and India are of this type.

Contest-type culture

Each of the six types has different priorities in business and how to make decisions at meetings. Here, I would like to take a look at the contest-type mental image to which the United States and the United Kingdom belong.

Keywords are achievement-oriented, goal setting, winning and losing, overcoming, career, etc. In this model, a "free competitive environment" is paramount. The hierarchy within an organization depends on "whether or not it is recognized that it can work".

Expected leadership is more sensible than professional, and once you have a subordinate and purpose (WHAT), leave it to the method (HOW). The ability to market the team's performance internally is required, and positive feedback and coaching are effective.

The purpose of the meeting is to generate better ideas through discussions. Everyone speaks and pitches their claims. Participants who do not speak may be considered incompetent. If the discussion is confusing, make a top-down decision and participants will follow it.

It should be pointed out here that the management theory taught at universities and business schools around the world has a strong characteristic of a contest-type cultural sphere. It is by no means effective in any country in the world.

Take the performance-based personnel system as an example. The performance-based personnel system was introduced in 80% of Japanese companies from the end of the 1990s, but many companies are subject to review. Some companies have even significantly revised or abolished this system, saying that it hinders employee cooperation and devoted work styles. Here is the pitfall of transferring a certain type of thinking as it is, without considering the factor of culture.

Japanese mental image

Japan does not belong to any of the six cultural spheres and is the only country that forms one mental image in one country. Specifically, it is highly masculine and has a high degree of avoidance of uncertainty. By this combination, the characteristics of Japanese people are defined as "going further", "having an inner desire to work hard", and "difficult to achieve work-life balance".

These traits lead to the potential to turn a pinch into an opportunity. For example, in the case of two oil shocks. In this crisis, Japan actively promoted research and development of energy-saving technology and aimed to reduce the amount of oil used. As a result, we were able to obtain excellent environmental technology and energy-saving technology.

On the other hand, strengths are also weaknesses. Due to the high degree of avoidance of uncertainty, it is difficult for fundamental innovation to occur in Japan. The nature of the Japanese people, who carefully consider and adjust the thoughts of the people involved, may be hindering innovation. We must think of ways to utilize the mental image unique to Japanese people as a “strength”.

To increase CQ

Awareness to the big picture

Here, I will explain how to improve CQ as an individual tool, and how an organization with high CQ should be.

To improve CQ, it is effective to have awareness. Always be aware of the big picture, such as what you felt from communicating with the other person, the difference in cultural background with the other person, and the influence of the external environment.

The author does two things to have awareness. First, take the signal of the other party carefully. If you are interested in the other person and make full use of your five senses, you can accept the signal.

Next, observe what is happening between you and the other person, and what thoughts and feelings you have. At this time, it is important to objectively view from a meta perspective (overhead perspective).

Accept each other's creativity

High creativity can be achieved if the team has diverse cultural backgrounds. On the other hand, managing diversity is difficult. This is because different cultural backgrounds have different ways of expressing themselves, maintaining motivation, and tolerance to risk.

So how can we create an organization with a high CQ? It's about acknowledging the creativity of each person's actions, while reconciling the team's beliefs and goals. Develop team culture, communication between members, norms / processes, sharing team goals. This is the key to working together with people from different cultural backgrounds.

First, recognize and respect each other's cultural differences. Then share your team's vision and goals. Respecting each other's way of thinking and how to proceed with work, and always communicating openly is the key.

Recommendation of reading

In the experience of the summarizer, the addition of at least one foreigner to a Japanese-only team immediately improved communication throughout the team. It can be said that it is a positive spillover effect of a mindset that accepts different perspectives.

This book gives many suggestions not only for cross-cultural issues but also for communication issues between human resources with diverse nationalities and personalities. If you are a manager or manager who has communication problems in the workplace, it is definitely worth a read. In addition to detailed explanations for each of the six types, the interview "Interview with Dr. Hofstede" at the end of the book is also worth reading. Please pick up this book.