Culture and Civilization Matters

June 24, 2010

Russia’s Relational Model and Cultural Dimensions

Filed under: Term 5 St. Petersburg — Tags: , — wadatripp @ 5:05 am

SOCIAL RELATIONAL MODEL

As has been the case in prior residencies, upon completing your blog pre-reading we ask that you provide us with a baseline on the Social Relational Model for Russia.

fiske rmt

Russia’s unfolding of history from Imperial Power to Totalitarian Rule through the Dismantling of the Soviet System and the emergence of Nationalist pride and Autocratic Rule has been replete with turmoil and abrupt transitions.

Please take the following POLL:

CULTURAL DIMENSIONS

Russia’s long and winding history has also forged alignment with a core set of Dimensions that form its unique Culture.

GLOBE CD

Please take the following POLL:

That’s It….YOU’RE DONE…..Safe Travels and See you all in Shanghai!

Click HERE to return to the Russia main page.

April 5, 2010

China’s Social Relational Model and Cultural Dimensions

Filed under: Term 4 Shanghai — Tags: , , — wadatripp @ 9:39 pm

SOCIAL RELATIONAL MODEL

As has been the case in prior residencies, upon completing your blog pre-reading we ask that you provide us with a baseline on the Social Relational Model for China.

fiske rmt

For 16 centuries, China was an Agrarian society that maintained stability by adhering to Confucianism. During the last two centuries China has experienced significant turmoil. From Semi-Colonialism and Japanese Occupation followed by Communist Rule under Mao yielding to Rapid Economic Growth under Deng Xiaoping, China’s Social Relational model has likely changed significantly.

Please take the following POLL:

CULTURAL DIMENSIONS

China’s long and winding history has also forged alignment with a core set of Dimensions that form its unique Culture.

GLOBE CD

Please take the following POLL:

That’s It….YOU’RE DONE…..Safe Travels and See you all in Shanghai!

Click here to return to the China Main Page

October 24, 2009

Islamic Economics, Banking and Business Practices

THE ISLAMIC REGION

With 1.3 billion people, a rich endowment of natural resources, and large pools of captial, Islamic nations are a significant component of the global economy.

As the video below outlines, Dubai is first among equals when it comes to doing business in this region:

SHARIA LAW AND ITS IMPACT ON BUSINESS

The principles inherent in Sharia Law have a direct impact on how business in conducted in the Islamic World. According to Frank Voegel and Samuel Hayes of Harvard University, “Westerners who plan to do business in the Persian Gulf need to appreciate the extent to which religion and Islamic Law are intertwined and permeate all levels of society, including commerce.”

The three fundamental prohibitions in Islamic Finance Include:

    Riba(Interest) Essentially riba covers any return of money on money.

    Gharar (Uncertainty): This is often used as the grounds for criticism of conventional finance practices such as short selling, speculation, and derivatives.

    Maysir(Gambling): Often used to argue against conventional insurance and derivatives.

Sharia Law shapes Islamic Markets. Partnership is often preferred to hierarchy, speculation is prohibited, and charging of interest is not allowed because it is seen as exploitative according to the teachings of Islam. For example, prohibition of speculation forbids futures markets, currency hedging, or the representation of gambling companies in mutual funds.

The prohibition of fixed, predetermined interest payments also prevents the establishment of primary or secondary debt markets.

ISLAMIC BANKING AND ECONOMICS

To gain a more in-depth understanding of how Sharia law impacts business in Islamic regions you are strongly encouraged to review the following report from KPMG:
kpmgifin

You can access the full report by clicking here.

ISLAMIC ETHICS AND THE “MORAL FILTER”

MFIL2

Gillian Rice of Thunderbird contends that “A free market capitalist economy uses market determined prices as a filtering mechanism to distribute resources. The use of a price system alone, however, can frustrate the realization of socio-economic goals.”

Dr. Rice continues, “Islam is absolutely unambiguous in its objective of eradicating form society all traces of inequity, injustice, exploitation and oppression. The intense commitment of Islam to justice and brotherhood demands that Muslim society take care of the basic needs of the poor. In the eyes of Islam the rich are not the real owners of their wealth: they are only trustees and, through Zakah, they are obligated to share that wealth to care for less privileged members of Islamic Society. In short, income redistribution is not only an economic necessity, but also a means of spiritual salvation.

The Islamic worldview implies that the market system should be maintained, but that the price mechanism be complemented with a device that minimizes unnecessary claims on resources. This device is known as the Moral Filter. This means that people adhering to Sharia Law would pass their potential claims on resources through the filter of Islamic Values so that many claims would be eliminated before being expressed in the marketplace.

According to Rice, there are there are three primary Moral Filters:

    Unity (tawhid): Unity is by Muslims as a coin with two faces: one face implies that God is the sole creator of the universe and the other face implies that people are equal partners or that each person is a brother or sister to the other. Tawid essentially means a brotherhood based on equality. Economically, Choudhury suggests that peoples of Islamic faith believe that behind the workings of an economy based on market exchange, the allocation of resources, the maximization of utility and profits there is a more fundamental truth – that of social justice.

    Justice (adalah): Islam teaches that all wealth should be productive and people may not stop the circulation of wealth after they have acquired it. Equitable distribution of income and wealth is incumbent upon both the Islamic state and the individual. At a micro-level the Islamic view of inheritance helps to redistribute private property. The primary motive of the law of inheritance is to put a final check on the concentration of material assets in the hands of the few. Sharia Laws centered on the Moral Filter of Justice can present unanticipated consequences for the economic development of a region as Duke Professor Timur Kuran explains in the video below:

    Trusteeship (khilafah): People are viewed as trustees of the earth on behalf of God. As we learned from Tom Standage, when Muslim merchants traveled to distant lands, the inhabitants of those lands were impressed by the trader’s social and business conduct and so became curious about their beliefs. In Islam, there is no conflict between the moral and socio-economic requirements of life. Resources are for the benefit of all and not just a few and everyone must acquire resources rightfully.

Perhaps this is why, as we learned from Tom in London, that most of the trade conducted in the Indian ocean during colonial times was governed by Sharia law.

THE MIDDLE WAY AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP
According to Rice, “Muhammad advised Muslims to be moderate in all their affairs; in fact he even described Islam itself as the “Middle Way”. A balance in human endeavors in necessary to ensure social well-being and continued development of human potential.”

In Islam, business activity is considered to be a socially useful function. Muhammad himself was involved in trading for much of his life. The individual profit motive is not the chief propelling force in Islam. Social good should guide entrepreneurs in their decisions besides profit. In Islam it is established that worldly goods are for the advantage of all and that no one has the right to use these goods to cause a loss to other members of society. In regards to this value, the expected behavior of the firm would not be any different from the behavior of any member of society.

According to Masudul Choudhury, the main objective of a Muslim entrepreneur is based on:

    Reasonable Profit

    Just Price

    Just Wage

    The Welfare of Society

Islamic economics requires the market to work with cooperation, compassion, justice, charity and solidarity and to produce a socially acceptable optimality alongside economic efficiency.

In conclusion, based on her research, Dr. Rice suggests that “Leaders working in Islamic regions should develop and implement a balanced business philosophy which integrates the profitability requirements of multinationals with the social, economic, and sustainability needs of the region and those who live in it.”

REVISITING THE CULTURAL DIMENSIONS

As we learned in London, the Globe Project findings can enhance global managers’ global competence and cultural acumen. It compares countries on nine critical cultural dimensions (see below) and discusses the implications of the cultural similarities and differences for global managers.

GLOBE CD

Throughout the course we will be using these cultural dimensions that Cornelius Grove describes as’ “The Measuring Rods of Cross Cultural Research,” in his summary (click HERE) of the Globe Study to compare and contrast cultures during in-Region activities.

Given this refresher on the cultural dimensions and the History, Civilizaiton, Culture and Business content provided on this blog, please take the following poll to determine the most pronounced cultural dimension you believe you will encounter in Dubai.

POLL:

Click HERE to return to CCL Dubai Main Page.

July 8, 2009

Defining and Identifying a Regional Culture

GLOBE is an acronym for “Global Leadership and Organization Behavior Effectiveness,” a 62 nation, 11-year study involving 170 researchers worldwide. Robert House, GLOBE’s Principal Investigator contends that, “There is ample evidence that cultures of the world are getting more and more in contact. The business world is becoming more global.”

Globe

House further suggests that, “Although globalization opens many opportunities, it also creates many complex challenges. That is why a survey of Fortune 500 firms showed that having competent global leaders is the most important factor in business success. The same survey showed that 85% of executives do not think they have and adequate number of global leaders.”

The Globe Project findings can enhance global managers’ global competence and cultural acumen. It compares countries on nine critical cultural dimensions (see below) and discusses the implications of the cultural similarities and differences for global managers.

GLOBE CD

Throughout the course we will be using these cultural dimensions that Cornelius Grove describes as’ “The Measuring Rods of Cross Cultural Research,” in his summary (click HERE) of the Globe Study to compare and contrast cultures during in-Region activities.

Now that you have had an overview of the Cultural Dimensions, please take this POLL:

Click HERE to return to Main Course Page.

Blog at WordPress.com.