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Most horticultural products, for example, have no problem in transfer from one culture to another, however specific types may have. It is unlikely that produce like "squash" would sell well in Europe, but it does in Zimbabwe. High and low context cultures Hall 2 has suggested the concept of high and low context cultures as a way of understanding different cultural orientations. In low context cultures messages have to be explicit, in high context cultures less information is required in the verbal message. In low context cultures, for example like Northern Europe, a person's word is not to be relied on, things must be written.

On the other hand, in high context cultures, like Japan and the Middle East, a person's word is their bond. It is primarily a question of trust. Perception Perception is the ability to see what is in culture. The SRC can be a very powerful negative force. High perceptual skills need to be developed so that no one misperceive a situation, which could lead to negative consequences Many of these theories and approaches have been "borrowed" from other contexts themselves, but they do give a useful insight into how one might avoid a number of pitfalls of culture in doing business overseas.

Consumer products are likely to be more culturally sensitive than business to business products, primarily because technology can be universally learned.

However there are dangers in over generalisations. For example, drink can be very universal and yet culture bound. Whilst appealing to a very universal physiological need - thirst - different drink can satiate the same need. Tea is a very English habit, coffee American but neither are universals in African culture. However, Coca Cola may be acceptable in all three cultures, with even the same advertising appeal. Nationalism Nationalism is a cultural trait which is increasingly surfacing. In Western, developed countries a high degree of interdependence exists, so it is not so easy to be all that independent.

However, less developed countries do not yet have the same interdependence in general, and so organisations need to reassess their contribution to the development of nations to make sure that they are not holding them "to hostage". Culture is a very powerful variable and cannot be ignored. Whilst "universals" are sought there is still a need to understand local customs and attitudes.

These are usually no better understood than by the making use of in country personnel. The elements of culture The major elements of culture are material culture, language, aesthetics, education, religion, attitudes and values and social organisation. Material culture Material culture refers to tools, artifacts and technology. Before marketing in a foreign culture it is important to assess the material culture like transportation, power, communications and so on. Input-output tables may be useful in assessing this.

All aspects of marketing are affected by material culture like sources of power for products, media availability and distribution. For example, refrigerated transport does not exist in many African countries. Material culture introductions into a country may bring about cultural changes which may or may not be desirable. There were both economic and environmental reasons for this.

Economically, Zimbabwe did not have the production facility for canning. Environ mentally, Zimbabwe had seen the litter in Botswana, caused by discarded empty cans. By putting a deposit on glass containers they ensured the empties were returned to the retailer, thus avoiding a litter problem.

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However, with the advent of trade liberalisation under the Structural Reform Program, the Government of Zimbabwe decided to allow the import of some 4 million cans as an experiment, after which it would assess the environmental impact. The result was a huge influx of canned alcoholic and other beverages not just from nearby Botswana and South Africa but from Australia, USA and Europe Language Language reflects the nature and values of society. There may be many sub-cultural languages like dialects which may have to be accounted for. Some countries have two or three languages.

In Zimbabwe there are three languages - English, Shona and Ndebele with numerous dialects. In Nigeria, some linguistic groups have engaged in hostile activities. Language can cause communication problems - especially in the use of media or written material. It is best to learn the language or engage someone who understands it well. Aesthetics Aesthetics refer to the ideas in a culture concerning beauty and good taste as expressed in the arts -music, art, drama and dancing and the particular appreciation of colour and form.

African music is different in form to Western music. Aesthetic differences affect design, colours, packaging, brand names and media messages. Education Education refers to the transmission of skills, ideas and attitudes as well as training in particular disciplines. Education can transmit cultural ideas or be used for change, for example the local university can build up an economy's performance.

Religion Religion provides the best insight into a society's behaviour and helps answer the question why people behave rather than how they behave.

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A survey in the early s revealed the following religious groupings see table 3. Table 3. Attitudes and values Values often have a religious foundation, and attitudes relate to economic activities. It is essential to ascertain attitudes towards marketing activities which lead to wealth or material gain, for example, in Buddhist society these may not be relevant. Also "change" may not be needed, or even wanted, and it may be better to relate products to traditional values rather than just new ones.

Many African societies are risk averse, therefore, entrepreneurialism may not always be relevant. Attitudes are always precursors of human behaviour and so it is essential that research is done carefully on these. Social organisation Refers to the way people relate to each other, for example, extended families, units, kinship. In some countries kinship may be a tribe and so segmentation may have to be based on this.

Other forms of groups may be religious or political, age, caste and so on. All these groups may affect the marketer in his planning. There are other aspects of culture, but the above covers the main ingredients. In one form or another these have to be taken account of when marketing internationally.

Hofstede's contribution One of the most prolific writers on culture is Hofstede, a Dutchman. Working with two colleagues Franke and Bond 1 he sought to explain why "culture" could be a better discriminator than "material" or "structural conditions" in explaining why some countries gain a competitive advantage and others do not. They noted that in Michael Porter's book on the "Competitive Advantage of Nations" he popularized the idea that nations have competitive advantage over others.

Unfortunately he stopped short of the key question as to why certain nations develop competitive advantage and others do not. They hypothesized that differences in cultural values, rather than in material and structural conditions the private and state control are ultimate determinants of human organization and behaviour, and thus of economic growth. Nigeria and Zimbabwe were in the study. In order to understand the results a word of explanation is needed on what the authors mean by "cultural variables".

Now, the results of the research have a revealing, and sobering effect on economies seeking economic growth via structural or material changes viz: a "Confucian dynamism" is the most consistent explanation for the difference between different countries' economic growth. This index appears to explain the relative success of East Asian economies over the past quarter century. This is a liability in a world in which group cohesion appears to be a key requirement for collective economic effectiveness. In conclusion, therefore, "better" economic growth can be explained more by culture than structural or material changes.

Economic power, from this study, comes from "dynamism" - the acceptance of the legitimacy of hierarchy and the valuing of perseverance and thrift, all without undue emphasis on tradition and social obligations which could impede business initiative; "individualism" - the tendency of individuals primarily to look after themselves and their immediate families its inverse is the integration of people into cohesive groups and finally a tendency towards competitiveness at the expense of friendship and harmony.

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Whilst debatable, this research may attempt to explain why the Far East, as compared to say Africa, has prospered so remarkably in the last ten years. The cultural values of the populations of the East may be very different to those of Africa. However, further evidence is required before generalisation can be made. Culture has both a pervasive and changing influence on each national market environment. Marketers must either respond or change to it. Whilst internationalism in itself may go some way to changing cultural values, it will not change values to such a degree that true international standardisation can exist.

The world would be a poorer place if it ever happened. Chapter Summary Along with "economics", "culture" is another so called "environmental uncontrollable" which marketers must consider.


In fact, it is a very important one as it is so easy to misread a situation and take decisions which subsequently can prove disastrous. The study of culture has taken many forms including the anthropological approach, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, the self reference criterion, diffusion theory, high and low context culture, and perception approaches.

One of the principal researchers on culture and its consequences is Hofstede, who, as a result of his studies, offers many insights and guides to marketers when dealing with diverse nationalities. Ignoring differences, or even similarities, in culture can lead to marketers making and executing decisions with possible disastrous results.

Describe the main elements of culture. List the major approaches to the study of culture and show their relevance in international marketing citing examples. How does Hofstede's approach to cultural differences aid the international marketer? Do you think his approach is reasonable and valid? Review Question Answers 1. Main elements of culture - "Definition of culture" - The integrated total sum of learned behavioral traits that are manifest and shared by members of society.

Elements are - language, social norms, religion, ethics, socio economics, mores, traditions, societal regulations, nationalism, aesthetics, material culture, attitudes, values, social organisation. Discuss each in turn with students. Main approaches to culture a Anthropological - relevance to interpretation of ways of doing business e. Japan versus USA. Students should be asked to describe Hofstede's approach first. Whilst he concentrated in his original theories on "power distance" and "masculinity versus femininity" dimensions, students should note how he adapted this approach to the study described in the text.

Exercise 3. This aspect of the movement is a self-proclaimed "movement of housewives". As a result of this dumping the residents had symptoms of skin irritation, Lois Gibbs , a resident of the development, started a grassroots campaign for reparations. Eventual success led to the government having to purchase homes that were sold in the development.

Prior to the s the protection of basic air and water supplies was a matter mainly left to each state. During the s, primary responsibility for clean air and water shifted to the federal government. Growing concerns, both environmental and economic, from cities and towns as well as sportsman and other local groups, and senators such as Maine's Edmund S. These laws regulated public drinking water systems, toxic substances, pesticides, and ocean dumping; and protected wildlife, wilderness, and wild and scenic rivers.

Moreover, the new laws provide for pollution research, standard setting, contaminated site cleanup, monitoring, and enforcement. The creation of these laws led to a major shift in the environmental movement. Groups such as the Sierra Club shifted focus from local issues to becoming a lobby in Washington and new groups, for example, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Defense, arose to influence politics as well.

Larson [ citation needed ].

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In the s President Ronald Reagan sought to curtail scope of environmental protection taking steps such as appointing James G. Watt who was called one of the most "blatantly anti-environmental political appointees". The major environmental groups responded with mass mailings which led to increased membership and donations. The large environmental organization increasingly relied on ties within Washington, D. At the same time membership in environmental groups became more suburban and urban. Groups such as animal rights, and the gun control lobby became linked with environmentalism while sportsmen, farmers and ranchers were no longer influential in the movement.

When industry groups lobbied to weaken regulation and a backlash against environmental regulations, the so-called wise use movement gained importance and influence. The wise use movement and anti-environmental groups were able to portray environmentalist as out of touch with mainstream values. In , with the environmental movement seemingly stalled, some environmentalists started questioning whether "environmentalism" was even a useful political framework. According to a controversial essay titled " The Death of Environmentalism " Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus , American environmentalism has been remarkably successful in protecting the air, water, and large stretches of wilderness in North America and Europe, but these environmentalists have stagnated as a vital force for cultural and political change.

Shellenberger and Nordhaus wrote, "Today environmentalism is just another special interest. Evidence for this can be found in its concepts, its proposals, and its reasoning. What stands out is how arbitrary environmental leaders are about what gets counted and what doesn't as 'environmental. Werbach endorsed building an environmental movement that is more relevant to average Americans, and controversially chose to lead Wal-Mart's effort to take sustainability mainstream.

These "post-environmental movement" thinkers argue that the ecological crises the human species faces in the 21st century are qualitatively different from the problems the environmental movement was created to address in the s and s. They argue that climate change and habitat destruction are global and more complex, therefore demanding far deeper transformations of the economy, the culture and political life. The consequence of environmentalism's outdated and arbitrary definition, they argue, is political irrelevancy.

These "politically neutral" groups tend to avoid global conflicts and view the settlement of inter-human conflict as separate from regard for nature — in direct contradiction to the ecology movement and peace movement which have increasingly close links: while Green Parties, Greenpeace , and groups like the ACTivist Magazine regard ecology, biodiversity, and an end to non-human extinction as an absolute basis for peace, the local groups may not, and see a high degree of global competition and conflict as justifiable if it lets them preserve their own local uniqueness.

However, such groups tend not to "burn out" and to sustain for long periods, even generations, protecting the same local treasures. Local groups increasingly find that they benefit from collaboration, e.

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However, the differences between the various groups that make up the modern environmental movement tend to outweigh such similarities, and they rarely co-operate directly except on a few major global questions. In a notable exception, over 1, local groups from around the country united for a single day of action as part of the Step It Up campaign for real solutions to global warming. Groups such as The Bioregional Revolution are calling on the need to bridge these differences, as the converging problems of the 21st century they claim compel the people to unite and to take decisive action.

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They promote bioregionalism , permaculture , and local economies as solutions to these problems, overpopulation , global warming , global epidemics , and water scarcity , but most notably to " peak oil " — the prediction that the country is likely to reach a maximum in global oil production which could spell drastic changes in many aspects of the residents' everyday lives.

Many environmental lawsuits turn on the question of who has standing; are the legal issues limited to property owners, or does the general public have a right to intervene? Christopher D. Stone's essay, "Should trees have standing? Stone suggested that there was nothing absurd in this view, and noted that many entities now regarded as having legal rights were, in the past, regarded as "things" that were regarded as legally rightless; for example, aliens, children and women.

His essay is sometimes regarded as an example of the fallacy of hypostatization. One of the earliest lawsuits to establish that citizens may sue for environmental and aesthetic harms was Scenic Hudson Preservation Conference v. See also United States environmental law and David Sive , an attorney who was involved in the case. One way to avoid the stigma of an "ism" was to evolve early anti-nuclear groups into the more scientific Green Parties, sprout new NGOs such as Greenpeace and Earth Action, and devoted groups to protecting global biodiversity and preventing global warming and climate change.

But in the process, much of the emotional appeal, and many of the original aesthetic goals were lost. Nonetheless, these groups have well-defined ethical and political views, backed by science. Some people are skeptical of the environmental movement and feel that it is more deeply rooted in politics than science. Although there have been serious debates about climate change and effects of some pesticides and herbicides that mimic animal sex steroids , science has shown that some of the claims of environmentalists have credence.

Claims made by environmentalists may be perceived as veiled attacks on industry and globalization rather than legitimate environmental concerns. Detractors note that a significant number of environmental theories and predictions have been inaccurate [ citation needed ] and suggest that the regulations recommended by environmentalists will more likely harm society rather than help nature. Specific examples include when Rachel Carson , in her book Silent Spring , suggested that the pesticide DDT caused cancer and drastically harmed ecosystems.

DDT is highly toxic to aquatic life, including crawfish, daphnids, sea shrimp and many species of fish. However, DDT is also used to control malaria. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works to address such concerns and recommended the employment of double-blind experimentation in environmental research. Crichton suggested that because environmental issues are so political in nature, policy makers need neutral, conclusive data to base their decisions on, rather than conjecture and rhetoric, and double-blind experiments are the most efficient way to achieve that aim.

A consistent theme acknowledged by both supporters and critics though more commonly vocalized by critics of the environmental movement is that we know very little about the Earth we live in. Most fields of environmental studies are relatively new, and therefore what research we have is limited and does not date far enough back for us to completely understand long-term environmental trends.

This has led a number of environmentalists to support the use of the precautionary principle in policy making, which ultimately asserts that we don't know how certain actions may affect the environment, and because there is reason to believe they may cause more harm than good we should refrain from such actions. Clair wrote "The mainstream environmental movement was elitist, highly paid, detached from the people, indifferent to the working class, and a firm ally of big government.

Historian and President of the American Historical Association William Cronon has criticized the modern environmental movement for having a romantic idealizations of wilderness. Cronon writes "wilderness serves as the unexamined foundation on which so many of the quasi-religious values of modern environmentalism rest.

Similarly Michael Pollan has argued that the wilderness ethic leads people to dismiss areas whose wildness is less than absolute. In his book Second Nature, Pollan writes that "once a landscape is no longer 'virgin' it is typically written off as fallen, lost to nature, irredeemable. Within the environmental movement an ideological debate has taken place between those with an ecocentric view point and an anthropocentric view point. The anthropocentric view has been seen as the conservationist approach to the environment with nature viewed, at least in part, as resource to be used by man.

In contrast to the conservationist approach the ecocentric view, associated with John Muir , Henry David Thoreau and William Wordsworth referred to as the preservationist movement. This approach sees nature in a more spiritual way. Many environmental historians consider the split between John Muir and Gifford Pinchot.

While the ecocentric view focused on biodiversity and wilderness protection the anthropocentric view focus on urban pollution and social justice. Some environmental writers, for example William Cronon have criticized the ecocentric view as have a dualist view as man being separate from nature. Critics of the anthropocentric view point contend that the environmental movement has been taken over by so-called leftist with an agenda beyond environmental protection.

Several books after the middle of the 20th century contributed to the rise of American environmentalism as distinct from the longer-established conservation movement , especially among college and university students and the more literate public. One was the publication of the first textbook on ecology , Fundamentals of Ecology , by Eugene Odum and Howard Odum , in Another was the appearance of the best-seller Silent Spring by Rachel Carson , in Her book brought about a whole new interpretation on pesticides by exposing their harmful effects in nature.

From this book many began referring to Carson as the "mother of the environmental movement". Another influential development was a lawsuit, Scenic Hudson Preservation Conference v. Federal Power Commission, opposing the construction of a power plant on Storm King Mountain , which is said to have given birth to modern United States environmental law.

The wide popularity of The Whole Earth Catalogs , starting in , was quite influential among the younger, hands-on, activist generation of the s and s. Recently, in addition to opposing environmental degradation and protecting wilderness, an increased focus on coexisting with natural biodiversity has appeared, a strain that is apparent in the movement for sustainable agriculture and in the concept of Reconciliation Ecology. Fewer environmental laws have been passed in the last decade as corporations and other conservative interests have increased their influence over American politics.

Much environmental activism is directed towards conservation [36] as well as the prevention or elimination of pollution. However, conservation movements , ecology movements , peace movements , green parties , green- and eco-anarchists often subscribe to very different ideologies, while supporting the same goals as those who call themselves "environmentalists". To outsiders, these groups or factions can appear to be indistinguishable. As human population and industrial activity continue to increase, environmentalists often find themselves in serious conflict with those who believe that human and industrial activities should not be overly regulated or restricted, such as some libertarians.

Environmentalists often clash with others, particularly "corporate interests," over issues of the management of natural resources , like in the case of the atmosphere as a "carbon dump", the focus of climate change , and global warming controversy. They usually seek to protect commonly owned or unowned resources for future generations. While most environmentalists are mainstream and peaceful, a small minority are more radical in their approach.

Adherents of radical environmentalism and ecological anarchism are involved in direct action campaigns to protect the environment.

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Some campaigns have employed controversial tactics including sabotage , blockades , and arson , while most use peaceful protests such as marches, tree-sitting, and the like. There is substantial debate within the environmental movement as to the acceptability of these tactics, but almost all environmentalists condemn violent actions that can harm humans. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article needs additional citations for verification.

Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Main article: Anti-nuclear movement in the United States. Main article: DDT. This section may contain content that is repetitive or redundant of text elsewhere in the article. Please help improve it by merging similar text or removing repeated statements. February Main article: Radical environmentalism. Second Nature. Retrieved October 14, Archived from the original on December 12, Retrieved November 23,