Relational Mental Model Essay

Total Length: 950 words ( 3 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 1

Page 1 of 3


Different countries or regions around the world tend to be characterized by different shared values, beliefs, norms, and practices (Dorfman et al., 2012). Simply, culture differs from country to country, or region to region. These differences mean that behavioral tendencies often differ from culture to culture. Indeed, the underlying national or societal culture significantly influences how individuals behave (Dorfman et al., 2012). It dictates how people interact and communicate with one another. For instance, Anglo-Americans tend to behave differently from Africans or Asians. Generally, Anglo-Americans are characterized by low power distance in the sense that recognition is informed by one's accomplishments as opposed to their authority or status. This is unlike Africans or Asians, where there is clear recognition of status and power (high power distance). Accordingly, a leader or a manager in an Anglo-American culture would tend to forge a more participative and democratic style of leadership or management, often giving subordinates an opportunity to participate in decision-making. Nonetheless, a leader in an African or Asian setting would interact with subordinates in a more autocratic style. The leader would expect subordinates to follow instructions without questioning. This clearly shows how culture shapes relationships, interactions, and behavior.

Question 2

Culture also influences interpersonal behavior (Dorfman et al., 2012). It may influence the extent to which individuals value interpersonal harmony, or have emotional involvement with others around them. In an African setting, for example, a great deal of premium is placed on human interdependence, meaning that individuals strive to maintain harmony with one another in every instance of social interaction (Dorfman et al., 2012).
Simply, people tend to identify with groups such as family, clan, and tribe. As a result, individuals tend to be more emotionally involved in the lives of their group members. In the workplace, for instance, individuals have a tendency of wanting to know how their colleagues or business partners are doing in their non-work lives, such as family and relationships. Moreover, there is a tendency of avoiding conflict as harmony is valued more than anything else. Interpersonal relationships in an individualistic society, however, tend to be different as individuals rarely identify with groups. In an Anglo-American workplace, for instance, an individual would expect colleagues to only discuss matters relating to work. They will rarely engage in conversations about family and other emotional aspects. Additionally, the tendency to avoid conflict is less as interpersonal harmony is not given much premium.

Question 3

Though cultural behaviors tend to be deeply embedded in people's or groups' lives, they can be changed. For instance, contact with individuals from a different culture can cause one's behavior to change. The Ecuadorian government initiated a campaign to eliminate….....

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Dorfman, P., Javidan, M., Hanges, P., Dastmalchian, A., & House, R. (2012). GLOBE: A twenty-year journey into the intriguing world of culture and leadership. Journal of World Business, 47(4), 504-518.

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