The following are the cultural characteristics that exist in the workplace as well as in the context of everyday life. They include learned behavior, covert behavior, overt behavior, and a variety of other behaviors (Fong, 2016). Overt behaviors are those that we see people engaging in in their daily lives or at their places of employment, such as going to the movies every weekend or watching or participating in football games every day, whereas covert behaviors are those that are less visible, such as when we plan our activities or when we have feelings of hatred or love for other people. It is possible to learn these behaviors. In addition, we have conscious and unconscious behaviors, such as when a child grows up with both of his or her parents. The child attempts to handle the father, and rejecting the mother will ultimately have an impact on the child’s ability to handle others in the future. Another cultural characteristic is that culture is a way of life, and in a real sense, culture is a way of life in everyone’s life in the sense that it is a way of designing one’s own way of living.
When a group comes together, culture tends to be shared among all of the members of that particular group. This can be manifested as explicit cultural behaviors that are similar, either in words or in actions that are visible. The way people from a particular group dress and interact with others are examples of explicit cultural behavior, whereas implicit cultural behavior is present or exists in forms that are not readily apparent (Kluckhohn, 2013). Another cultural characteristic is that culture is passed down from generation to generation among members of a particular group. In the majority of working environments and life situations, culture is passed down from generation to generation, whether it is from grandfather to grandson or from boss to employees. For example, the manner in which people dress in a particular working group is passed down from one person to the next through the group. That is to say, some people teach while other people observe and learn the same behaviors. Culture also has the characteristic of a pattern of learned behavior in which each person’s behavior is influenced by the behavior of others, which is another characteristic. When it comes to culture, some societies or workplaces, such as corporations, foster a homogeneous point of view for all those involved, allowing people to be encouraged to continue working toward their goals. They are also expected to be flexible in their approach in order to achieve their goals, which relieves a great deal of distress for the people who participate in them. Taking a cultural perspective in this context, as well as understanding it, people from different societies come together and work together to achieve the goals and objectives of a specific working group are both important considerations. At the end, they develop characteristics that tend to be shared by multiple people, which is an encouraging and motivating experience for everyone involved. When these characteristics are developed, behaviors are developed, which are then transmitted from seniors to juniors, and at the end of the day, these behaviors match to the advantage of achieving the goals and objectives of that particular working group or company.
There are nearly five dimensions to culture, and we will discuss how they affect or impact intercultural communication in this paper. The concept of power distance refers to how different cultures perceive social inequality. Hofstede (1997) explains how high-power distance cultures raise their children by instilling in them a respect for their elders, which they carry into adulthood. As a result, employees prefer more centralized leadership in organizations, where all subordinates expect to be told what to do and where there is always a large wage disparity in the hierarchical. In low-power-distance cultures, inequality isn’t a factor; all employees are asked or consulted about decisions, and in the end, a more resourceful and democratic leader is preferred. Individualism is another cultural dimension, in which people prefer to belong to a society in which self-determination and autonomy are valued. Then there are collectivist structures, which place greater emphasis on independent social units such as a family or a group than on the individual. Employees must have the freedom to work independently in this individualism society if they want challenging work that is more important than personal relationships that will later help them achieve self-actualization. The unquestioned management structure is responsible or in question in this dimension for the organization of employee teams and the collection’s cohesion. The other dimension is masculinity, which represents or stands for cultures with different gender roles, in which men are more concerned with competition, success, and how they will be rewarded.
Women, on the other hand, are concerned with how they will live and the quality of their lives. Managers in this dimension of masculinity are more assertive and value making decisions, whereas managers in feminine cultures foster conflict resolution and encourage participation in decision-making (Tang, 2012). Another cultural dimension is uncertainty avoidance, which is the degree to which members of a culture feel unfamiliar with situations or threatened. Members prefer a well-structured environment with strict policies and rules in this dimension. Where there is a greater sense of anxiety among the workers, hard work is welcomed or embraced, whereas in weak uncertainty avoidance cultures, rules and policies create discomfort, fear, and exist only when absolutely necessary. In this culture, there is no rush, and people are more relaxed. All of these dimensions are linked in an attempt to find a way for what occurs in the locality to occur in the wider world.
We have several stages in this intercultural adaptation, according to the developmental model of intercultural sensitivity: denial, defense, minimization, acceptance, adaptation, and integration (Ruokonen, 2012). Right now, I’m in stage four, and everyone aspires to get to this point. This stage requires us to change our perspective while remaining committed to our values. The only task at hand at this point is to ensure that everyone understands that the same behavior can mean different things in different cultures. In this stage of development, the toolkit’s comparisons can be especially useful for mainstream staff to improve agencies and improve their intercultural sensitivity. This stage must be completed by the majority, if not all, of the collaboration participants in order to have a long-term successful collaboration. Acceptance does not imply agreement at this point, and cultural differences may be viewed negatively.
In conclusion, cultural characteristics in the workplace and in everyday life include learned behavior, some of which is covert and others which is overt. Overt behaviors are those that we see people doing in their daily lives or at work, such as going to the movies every weekend or watching or playing football every day, whereas covert behaviors are those that are less visible, such as when we plan our activities or have feelings of hatred or love for others. These are behaviors that can be taught. There are nearly five dimensions to culture, and in this paper, we will discuss how they affect or influence intercultural communication. Power distance, individualism, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance, and long-term avoidance are among the dimensions that represent cultural differences.
Fong, E. H., Catagnus, R. M., Brodhead, M. T., Quigley, S., & Field, S. (2016). Developing the cultural awareness skills of behavior analysts. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 9(1), 84-94.
Kluckhohn, C. (2013). 2. Values and value-orientations in the theory of action: An exploration in definition and classification (pp. 388-433). Harvard University Press.
Tang, L. (2012). The direction of cultural distance on FDI: attractiveness or incongruity? Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal.