Cross-Culture Assignment Comparing USA & China
Task: Prepare a report on cross-culture assignment comparing USA and China using cross-cultural theories.
As evident herein cross-culture assignment, the culture and customs of society play an important role in determining the marketing strategies of an organization. The growing trend of Globalization and multiculturalism has prompted more organizations to expand their businesses across borders. Cross-cultural marketing is a strategy that is used by organizations to expand their business in a market in which the culture and customs are different from the culture and customs of the host country of the business organization. Cross-cultural aspects significantly differ amongst countries, which impact their marketing approaches and activities. Therefore, the current study has focused on conducting cross-cultural analysis by comparing on USA and China and using cross-cultural theories.
Hofstede’s cultural dimension theory
Geert Hofstede, a social-psychologist developed the cross-cultural communication framework that displays the impact of culture on the value creation of society following that culture and the effect of those values on the behavior of the people following the culture (Beugelsdijk et al., 2018). It is a set of six dimensions that define the culture of a region or country.
1. Power Distance
It means that in marketing activity, the communication between marketers and managers are very low where the power distance is high(de Mooij et al., 2017).
2. Individualism vs Collectivism
This dimension measures the extent to which the people in a particular culture prefer to integrate into groups. More individualism suggests individual approach in marketing whereas collectivism approach focuses on group marketing where all of the members take part in the development of marketing idea.
3. Uncertainty Avoidance
This dimension explores the extent to which uncertainty is tolerated in a culture. A higher degree in Uncertainty avoidance indicates the culture is less tolerant of uncertainty and a lower degree indicates the opposite about a culture. With a higher degree of this dimension, uncertainty tolerance in case of the results of marketing increases.
4. Masculinity vs Femininity
Masculine society indicates the culture prefers material achievements, wealth building, and prominent gender-roles whereas a feminine society prefers fluid gender roles and focused on the quality of life (Beugelsdijk and Welzel, 2018). It implies the involvement of gender into marketing activities and identifies the majority of male or female in marketing activities in a country.
5. Long term orientation vs Short term Orientation
This dimension measures how society adapts to new changes and the traditional impact on the culture. It tells if the marketing activities are done in a long time or short time.
6. Indulgence vs Restraint
This dimension measures the freedom allowed in the culture for the gratification of personal desires. This model is used by marketers to understand the values, traditions, and behaviors of a culture of a target market. The marketers use the indexes of this model to analyze the consumers' behavior in a particular culture(Riviezzo et al., 2017). The values that come as a result of Hofstede’s cultural dimension analysis assist the marketers to segment the target market and to understand what products, services, and strategies are likely to work in the particular culture.
(Source: Hornikx and le Pair, 2017)
Hall and Hall
1. Low context vs High context culture
Low-context cultures depend heavily on verbal communications whereas high-context cultures are contextual and value interpersonal relationships(Bai, 2016). However, it is determined that in order to gain marketing success, it is important for companies to consider both low and high context depending on the nature of the countries.
Monochromic culture focuses on doing an action at a time whereas Polychronic culture focuses on doing several actions at once. It is imperative for firms to consider time factor to successfully market the products and services amongst the culturally differ regions in order to gain maximum return.
High territorial culture focuses significantly on ownership and security whereas the Low territorial culture is not much concerned with territorial boundaries and ownership. This type of culture focuses little on boundaries and ownership.
Wills et al
A paper presented by Wills et al in 1991 developed an innovative approach related to cross-cultural marketing strategy(Busch, 2012). The theory presented by Will et al also stresses the education of culture. According to Will et al, the learning of a culture determines the behaviors and choices of culture, this influences their purchase pattern.Marketers use this theory to analyze and understand the adaptability of a culture to new products.
One of the dimensions of Hofstede’s cultural dimension theory is ‘Power Distance’ (Karibayeva et al., 2017). The power distance index indicates the power distribution system, power roles, and power dynamics of a culture. This index assists a company to understand the gender roles and the power dynamics of a culture. This helps an organization to implement the marketing strategies related to promotion and advertisement. Advertisement plays a crucial role in cross-cultural marketing. This can be understood from the research paper by Lo (2018). The research assesses the contents of bridal magazines to understand how techniques of advertisement vary depending on the power dynamics of different cultures. The paper for research purposes compares the advertisements of Chinese magazines with the advertisement of bridal magazines of the U.S. The research paper concludes that the concept of beauty changes with cultures and so does the marketing techniques. In cross cultural marketing all those dimensions play important role. For example- High power distance means that there is communication gap between the managers and marketers which is seen more in China and less in USA. The masculinity vs femininity index shows the dominance of male or female marketers in a selected country. In case of China and USA both, the masculinity index is high. The orientation index decides that if the marketing activities take part for a long time, which is true in case of developing countries like China. The uncertainty avoidance index compares the countries marketing in terms of uncertain conditions tolerance. Collectivism vs Individualism showsif the marketing in a country is an individual or a group approach and in developing countries collectivism favours most, which is rue in case of China. Restraint vs indulgence index compare countries marketing cultures with its capability of restraint. Here indulgence index is very high for USA.Following the Hall and Hall’s theory, the Chinese marketers follow the context of low culture, influenced by the time and space requirements of the low culture context. Both the countries follow Wills cross cultural marketing theory especially during the marketing in overseas.
The relevance of Cross-cultural analysis in the marketing of 21st century can be understood from the research paper by Perelló-Sobrepere (2020). The advancement of technology has bridged the gap between cultural differences and have led towards globalization. Globalization influences the cross-cultural marketing strategies of the present generation. The author concludes that advancement in media technology has lessened the effectiveness of traditional cross-cultural analysis theories in present-day marketing.
Relevance and Conclusions
The relevance of traditional cross-cultural techniques in the cross-cultural marketing of the present generation has declined as opined by Perelló-Sobrepere (2020). Hofstede developed Hofstede’s cultural theory around the 1970s. The relevance of traditional cross-cultural analysis techniques in analyzing a particular culture of a region or country can be understood in detail from the research conducted by Suharnomo and Syahruramdhan (2018).
The analysis of traditional cross-cultural techniques such as -Hofstede’s cultural framework, Edward T.Hall’s cultural framework, and Wills et al in the study indicate that these cross-cultural analysis techniques heavily impacted cross-cultural marketing of a decade earlier. The world has gone through a cultural change over the past few years (Tombleson and Wolf, 2017). The advancement in communications technology, information technology, media have bridged the gap between different cultures. All these have impacted the relevance of the traditional cross-cultural theories on the cross-cultural marketing of present days. The cross-cultural marketers of the present-day focus significantly on the type of media a consumer consumes to understand consumer behavior as the present multicultural and multimedia society demands a cross-marketer to consider these things (Sharma, 2017).
The growing trend of globalization has significantly bridged the gap between cultural norms, languages across cultures. This also influences the cross-marketing strategies in today’s world. The society at present is more connected and the use of technology has contributed to that. All these have massively differed the techniques used by cross-cultural marketers of the present generation from the generation of the past. It is recommended that business organizations consider the social media trends in developing cross-marketing strategies as social-media connects people across the border (Chen et al., 2016). Also, it is recommended that collective effort provides many innovative theories and businessorganizations should focus on multiple innovative marketing approaches to gain upper hand in this digital age.Although the relevance of traditional cross-marketing techniques has lessened but has not diminished.
The purpose and aim of the study were to examine the relevance of traditional cross-cultural analysis techniques in the analysis of cultural differences in the present world. For the purpose of the research, the researcher applies Hofstede’s cultural framework on the ethnic groups of Indonesia to understand the relevance of the theory in determining the differences between culture and behavioral differences between the ethnic groups of USA and China.
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