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The Interface of Business and Culture


Michael B. Hinner

Humans need to communicate in order to interact with one another, and culture helps regulate such interaction and communication. The same is true in the world of business since there, too, people interact and communicate with one another. And in today’s globalized world, it is inevitable that many such encounters and interactions involve people of diverse cultural background. That is why it is so imperative that business people understand how culture influences human behavior and communication, including their own. This knowledge will provide a better understanding of not just one’s own behavior, but also that of one’s international business partners, employees, and customers. So who better to explain the influence of culture than some of the leading experts in the field? These contributing authors cover a wide spectrum of topics that range from general principles of intercultural communication to very specific aspects of culture’s influence in particular business contexts. These insights should prove to be interesting, perceptive, and useful to many international business transactions and interactions.


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Managing Diversity in Higher Education in Response to Internationalization and Globalization: Implications for University Leaders - Ming-Yi Wu 121


121 Introduction to Managing Diversity in Higher Education in Response to Inter- nationalization and Globalization: Implications for University Leaders By Ming-Yi Wu Ming-Yi Wu notes that universities have become more international and cultur- ally diverse due to globalization. In such internationalized academic environ- ments, university leaders need to have knowledge and skills to manage cultural diversity in response to globalization, Wu asserts. Wu carried out a quantitative study to explore cultural influences on work-related cultural values and expected leadership styles in higher education; namely, at Taiwanese and U.S. American universities. Wu interviewed 303 university employees in the USA and Taiwan. Previous research suggested that the national cultures of Taiwan and the USA are very different from one another. For example, Hall’s study suggests that most Asian cultures are high context whereas the USA is low context in its communication. And Hofstede’s study demonstrates that Taiwanese culture is a medium/high power distance, medium uncertainty avoidance, medium/low mas- culinity, and high collectivism culture. In contrast, U.S. culture is a me- dium/low power distance, medium/high uncertainty avoidance, medium/high masculinity, and low collectivism culture. In her study, Wu first compared Taiwanese and U.S. university work-related cultural values based on Hofstede’s work-related cultural dimensions including uncertainty avoidance, power distance, masculinity vs. femininity, collectivism vs. individualism, and Confucian work dynamics. Then Wu compared the par- ticipants expected leadership decision-making styles; including democratic and authoritarian leadership decision-making styles. Finally, Wu compared the par- ticipants’ expected leadership conflict-management styles; including task- oriented, relational-oriented, and laissez-faire conflict management styles....

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