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The notion of culture emerged for the first time in the 18th century. The term ‘Culture’ does not take a fixed definition. This is because cultures vary from people to people, place to place, profession to profession, to mention a few. The way people attribute things will then tend to differ based on their refinement. This ascription will be positive if it emerges from ‘similar’ people. They should either be of the same origin or sharing the same occupation; otherwise, it will be negative.
For instance, psychologists view culture based on acuity, clarifying thinking styles as either influential or inferential. Sociologists view it in terms of the social structures, whereas anthropologists define it in terms of the life patterns.
Other fields like business combine some of these views in pursuit of a working definition of culture. Cultures have quite a several characteristics. They are socially shared, materialistic, enduring, among others. Following the 21st economic globalization issue, some of these features are subject to failing like the society-based character, while others will succeed like the feature of materialism. This overview checks into details some of these failing and succeeding cultural characteristics and the relevant measures to resolve this.
Characteristics of Culture Failing or Succeeding
Culture is defined based on characteristics, which are subject to influence by other factors. A factor that has played a significant role in influencing culture is globalization, viewed as the emergence of commonness rather than diversity. The 21st century has been marked by the rise of a global market, which, on the other hand, has led to a worldwide economy that is based on that of all the states around the globe.
In previous centuries, culture was characterized by endurance, which lasted regardless of external forces. This feature still holds in the 21st century. Education and religion are thought to remain different as per culture, owing to the many functions it plays in the culture ranging from instrumental to figurative. Education is the determinant of the extent of financial development and continues to boost it even in the 21st century. Technology has been applied in business even in the previous centuries and will continue to grow business people in the 21st century depicting the endurance feature of cultures.
“Change of culture in organizations is very important and inevitable. Culture innovations are bound to be because it entails introducing something new and substantially different from what prevails in existing cultures” (Markus 67). This shows that culture can take another form better or worse than the previous depending on the forces behind. According to Fouke, culture is characterized by materialism, where all businesses want to pile wealth (9).
The 21st century has been distinguished by the rising global markets. This, on the other hand, has fuelled materialism, which is thought to increase as globalization intensifies. Also, Harris views 19th century culture as socially shared where the entire society does everything in accordance with what it has declared right or wrong. Though advantageous to all categories of people, business people, politicians, or religious people, this feature is pictured differently in the 21st century. This century has been marked by individualistic people who do things based on their views, provided they benefit from the action.
Technology has done away with interactions, as it is evident in this century. People have narrowed down their views from societal to personal, which is highly welcomed in the 21st century. Another general characteristic of the 19th-century culture was sexual discrimination. Parker posits those only males were given the mandate to lead in all areas, Families, politics, businesses, among others (21). The 21st century has declared this useless.
According to Cameron, all people are equal and able to carry out any duty provided the relevant qualifications are there (66). This is no more than doing away with the lots of cultural distances that have there before. That is why the dawn of this century is marked by an increasing number of women holding prominent positions set for men before. Language is the tool behind the global economy. Different cultures claimed their identity based on language, but this is currently outdated, following the increased interaction rate between people. This is seen through marriage, business, and education, where all a free to interact with the rest from whichever place.
Since the characteristics of culture cannot be entirely good or bad, there are some which have been adopted in the 21st centuries which ought to be discarded. In contrast, others have been discarded when they ought to be adopted for the betterment of the century. For instance, individualism should be rejected because it is the root cause of the ever-widening rich-poor people gap. This then calls for the adoption of the society oriented cultural feature. “It is very important to keep in mind that culture change must be managed from the top of the organization, as a willingness to change of the senior management is an important indicator” (Cummings & Worley 490).
It is not easy to make these adjustments through citizens, business people, and politicians have joined hands to bring each to where it ought to be. For instance, they promote languages by ensuring that people get to know as many of them as possible since the global markets cannot run when there is a language barrier. They are also getting rid of the youth-oriented cultural feature portrayed in many countries by incorporating all categories of people provided they have the ability, qualifications, and will.
Cameron, Kim & Quinn, Robert. “Diagnosing and Changing Organizational Culture: Based on the Competing Values.” New York: HHa, 2005.
Carol, Fouke, “Sensitivity to Cultures Builds Foreign Markets.” Marketing News, 1989, 8-9.
Cummings, Hasnel & Worley, Ben. “Organizational Changes of Culture.” West Virginia: W,VA Press. 2005, page 490.
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Harris, Stanley. “Organizational Culture and Individual Sense making: A Schema-Based Perspective.” London: Hasden Publishers, 1994, Vol. 5, (3): pp. 309–321.
Parker, Mcguffin. “Organizational Culture and Identity.” London: Sage. 2000.