It has been argued that culture effects how individuals implement, understand, and teach the curriculum of business courses within a society's educational institutions (Burcik et al., 2007; DeLorenzo et al., 2006; Hofstede & Hofstede, 2005). As an example, the curricula and their subject matter reflect the societies in which the curricula are developed and in which they are taught.
The essay presents a contextual case for analyzing this curricular phenomena based on Hofstede and Hofstede's (Hofstede & Hofstede, 2005) conception that a society's culture constituted in and presented in individuals' views and routines is determinate of a changing and increasingly global world. The essay includes a comparative analysis of two university populations--one each from the Slovak Republic and the United States. Finally, Hofstede's Value Survey Module 1994 Questionaire and resulting indices on Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, Masculinity, and Individualism dervived from one university within the Slovak Republic and the United States are compared to Hofstede's original study, analyzed and discussed.
The Global and the Local
The global is always at odds with the local. Friedman (2000) used the metaphors of "Lexus" and "Olive Tree" to evoke the conflictive and tension-filled relationships between the push of modernity and the pull of tradition. Friedman's concept of globalization emphasizes that there is a unifying and homogenizing system of markets, societies, and information networks worldwide, which are leveling and standardizing forces: the push of modernity. Standardizing forces are homogenizing.
For instance, an aspect of the global is the movement of The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International, an accrediting body for business and finance education and curriculum, to spread across local situations and to impose educational standards of quality on societies' institutionalized business curricula (Burcik et al., 2008). The result: regional cultural identity meets "global" standardization.
Research and Findings
The Cultural Matrix
Culture is the concept we use to explain seemingly patterned behaviors from the perspective of a social group (Burcik et al., 2007, 2008). Culture is the complex matrix of behavior; a shared system of valued sensibilities and practices which influence individuals' habitual ways of saying and doing things. Culture is all the things taken-for-granted and presumed as a basis for communication. Culture refers to the usual ways of doing and saying. Culture is the common sense in situations and their affairs and activities. People spend all their time learning how and why to act, learning what emotion goes with what cognitive affair, learning how to use language, how to see things, hear things, and touch things, learning things so well that they become habits of experience. For individuals, enculturated and socialized are developmental and evolutionary affairs. Culture is the shared habits of representation, reference, and inference (Burcik et al., 2007, 2008). Every person has an idiosyncratic take on the habits learned (or each person thinks he or she does.) This is particularly evident in the many habits, patterns, and belief structures associated with ethnic identity. A typical habit learned is the habit of dependency (and independency.) Part of this phenomenon is an ability and competence at influencing the sense of a situation as defined by the web of social relationships. Being independent or dependent are important, but being able to influence how situations are finished is more important. Humans learn about this phenomenon even before they can name it. Hofstede and Hofstede (2005) call this the power distance dimension of a culture. Power distance is an important explanatory concept of behavior. Another learned cultural habit is that of dealing with "up-in-the-air" situations or ambiguous situations. …