Combining Classification Models for a Comprehensive Understanding of National Culture: Metaphorical Analysis and Value Judgements Applied to Burmese Cultural Assessment

By Rarick, Charles; Nickerson, Inge | Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict, July 2008 | Go to article overview

Combining Classification Models for a Comprehensive Understanding of National Culture: Metaphorical Analysis and Value Judgements Applied to Burmese Cultural Assessment


Rarick, Charles, Nickerson, Inge, Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict


INTRODUCTION

The cross-culture literature contains many articles assessing the relevance and accuracy of the various models and theories used to describe and explain differences in national culture. Some of these articles focus on ideological struggles and methodological limitations of the targeted research model (Early 2006; Javidan, House, Dorfman, Hange, & Sully de Luque 2006). Some have argued for a more contextual approach to the classification and study of culture (Sackmann & Phillips 2002; Niffenegger, Kulviwat, & Engchanil 2006) in which culture operates in a time-sensitive dimension and may produce multiple "cultures" within one national culture. Still others (Jacob 2005) believe that national cultures are too complex to be explained in terms of the uni-linear dimensions used by researchers such as Hofstede and Trompenaars. This article proposes that a better understanding of national culture can be developed through a combination of approaches in which the weakness of one model can be supplemented by the qualities of another. In particular, an assessment of the culture of Myanmar is made by combining the frameworks of Hofstede and Trompenaars, along with the use of a metaphorical analysis.

Myanmar was not included in the research of either Geert Hofstede or Frans Trompenaars, and no reference to the country can be found in the culture metaphor literature. Myanmar is located in Southeast Asia, bordering Thailand, China, India, and Laos. The country, formerly called Burma (and still referred to by that name by the United States government for political reasons), gained its independence from Britain at the end of World War II, after a hard fought struggle with the colonial power and the Japanese invaders. Burmese nationalist and national hero, Aung San fought for his country's independence and for democratic rule (Khng 2000). His daughter, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi continues the struggle today inside Myanmar, even as she lives under house arrest. While Myanmar interacts with its ASEAN neighbors, a number of Western countries have placed economic sanctions on the country for its lack of democracy. These sanctions have limited foreign investment and other forms of economic exchange. A military junta has ruled the country in one capacity or another since 1962, and Myanmar has operated in various states of isolation from the world over those years (Fink 2001). As a result of its isolation, very little research has been conducted on its culture or values orientation. Myanmar is a strongly Buddhist country which retains many traditional values and cultural practices. A multi-modality approach to its classification allows for the inclusion of these important cultural characteristics.

HOFSTEDE AND MYANMAR

Perhaps the most popular and far-reaching cross-cultural model is that of Geert Hofstede (Hofstede 1980a; Hofstede 1980b; Hofstede 1983; Hofstede 1993; Hofstede 1994; Hofstede 2001). Hofstede's work has been widely cited in a number of different management related academic studies (Kirkman, Lowe & Gibson 2006) and typically forms the basis for cross-cultural analysis in university management courses. Using surveys from the original 72 countries, Hofstede was able to classify 40 of the countries. Later research allowed the addition of 10 more countries and three regions (Arab World, East Africa, West Africa). Hofstede originally identified four dimensions of culture: power distance, individualism, masculinity, and uncertainty avoidance. Power distance represents the degree of a culture's acceptance of inequality among its members. Individualism and collectivism represent a culture's main focus, being either the importance of the individual or the group. Masculinity and femininity represents the stereotypical characteristics of men and women as being the dominant cultural values. Uncertainty avoidance is essentially a collective tolerance for ambiguity for a culture. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Combining Classification Models for a Comprehensive Understanding of National Culture: Metaphorical Analysis and Value Judgements Applied to Burmese Cultural Assessment
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.