A Linguistic Analysis
6 Implications for businesses going global
Interviewees affirmed the questionnaire findings presented earlier in this work. It is especially interesting that even though interviewees had to answer open questions and answered independently from one another, a high number of re- spondents made similar experiences and assigned nearly identical features to the relevant cultures. One could argue that stereotyping may play a role when iden- tical features are assigned to the culture of a group of people. According to Hall (1997:268), stereotypes represent the few “simple, vivid, memorable, easily grasped and widely recognized characteristics about a person, reduce everything about that person to those traits, exaggerate and simplify them, and fix them without change or development to eternity”. Moreover, stereotyping reflects and promotes particular perspectives. In other words, stereotyping can be defined as the social classification of particular groups as often highly simplified and gen- eralised signs, which implicitly or explicitly represent a set of values, judge- ments and assumptions concerning their behaviour or their characteristics. For many, it is enough to classify someone as German, Swiss, US-American, or Australian from the way they look, communicate and behave, to then draw con- clusions on their character without the least bit of information on the newly categorised individual. However, impressions and views on the other culture cannot be generalised. Overgeneralisations and stereotyping can contribute to false estimation and failure as such overgeneralisations are too simplistic. In a wider sense, it is important to understand that whilst concepts of cultural dimen- sions are designed for a general orientation...
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