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Cultural Metaphor

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Andrea Baeten

on 30 April 2013

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Transcript of Cultural Metaphor

Metaphor Polychronic Metaphor Power Distance Limitations There are 48 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa
~ same amount of countries as Europe Gaetano Fossi and Andrea Baeten The Sub-Saharan African Bush Taxi Collectivist The taxis do not operate on a fixed schedule
Helps Africans in waiting for the Bush Taxi to leave
Africans do not see time in terms of a clock, but rather in terms of events, or how time is used •An African bush taxi is an intimate experience
•Food and drink are shared among passenger
•Although all passengers are expected to pay a fare, exceptions may be made Masculinity Business Implications Tend to be Polycrhonic It may take many meetings to arrange a deal
Deadlines may be flexible
People arrive may late for meetings
Important people are expected to arrive late for meetings or events Collectivist Personal relationships between individuals may be more important than the business context
Rules may be circumvented due to reciprocal relationships that exist between people
Managers are expected to take care of their employees, layoffs are taken seriously
Government corruption leading to individual corruption Gifts It is normal to reciprocate gifts
Those that have wealth are expected to share with the less well off Power Distance Promotion is often based on seniority, not ability
Especially in government and government owned companies
Criticism of managers is frowned upon
Formality is important
Leaders are expected to act, dress, and behave in a manner befitting their position
Use titles instead of names Business Implications Main form of transportation
Differ widely in form:
Pick-up truck
Even motorcycle
Privately owned
Seldom operate on a fixed schedule
Taxi waits until all seats are filled
Usually overcrowded
Almost always in poor condition Bush Taxi A women’s movements are more restricted
A women would never travel (or be allowed to travel) without the means of paying The front seat of the bush taxi is the seat of honor and is normally saved for the elders of status or expatriate visitors
Ascribed Power
Power is not necessarily material wealth, age is also respected and family that you come from Africa contains five of the world’s six major divisions of humanity
Pygmies Cannot apply a metaphor to an entire continent 1/4 of world’s languages are spoken in Africa Applying a single metaphor to all of Africa will blind us to the underlying differences and the richness of cultures and attitudes found in Africa Limitations Colonization by different countries accounts for many of the cultural differences in Africa Hofstede's Dimensions Diversity The diversity in the form of the vehicles could be an illustration of diversity in Sub-Saharan Africa
(Not mentioned directly in reading) History of Africa "Scramble for Africa" 1880 2000s Decolonization Modern Africa 1945 Within 30 years different countries controlled the whole of Africa, apart from Ethiopia and Liberia
King Leopold of Belgium The end of WWII gave rise to decolonization
1959-1973: 47 independent nations were born
Final step of decolonization in South Africa in 1991 Best known in the West for problems rather than success Famine, civil wars, genocide, poverty, AIDS, etc. Because of uncertainty, FDI is minimal Subsidies by Western governments to their agricultural producers mean that African producers cannot leverage their competitive advantages in low labor/land costs "Despite all the problems, there is an optimism and vitality about Africa and Africans that is unmatched by any other continent." "African values . . . should eventually allow Africa to solve its own social and economic problems in its own unique way." Agenda Define Bush Taxi
History of Africa
Discuss Metaphor
Business Implications
Questions Questions? Uncertainty Avoidance Junior staff unwilling to make any decision without first clearing it with their supervisors
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