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Fons Trompenaars is renowned for his study of various people’s cultures around the world. It is in this light that his analysis would be used in the excerpts below. Four countries namely the United States, the United Kingdom, China and Austria form part of the description in answering the questions therein.

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In an internal culture, people believe that what happens to them is their own doing. On the other hand, in an external culture, people believe that the environment has to shape your destiny. Taking a keen eye on the countries we are reviewing, you find that the United States, the United Kingdom and Austria tend to differ from China on this. This is after taking a closer look at relationship building, you find people in the above three countries would recall the other persons’ contacts information if there is a mutual gain. Business meeting would be worth attendance only if there are some gains at hand. Also, taking a look at class and ethnicity, you find that it has an impact too. In the United States and the United Kingdom, one’s social status rises if he is deemed to be wealthier. In China, however, there is the Hans community that is viewed as dominant (Wooliams, 2003).

On taking a closer look at the mode of dressing, you find that in Austria as it is in United States, emphasis is based on one’s neatness and appearance. The type of job or activity one is undertaking too plays a key role in determining what to wear. The United Kingdom too attaches a great sense of style depending on which sector one is employed. It is due to this aspect of the mode of dressing that we would say that one’s dressing ends up being own responsibility. The Chinese mode of dressing is also formal but tends to be consistent. By this I mean it is not dictated by the type of job or occasion. The females tend to wear heels often irrespective of whether they are headed to the office or walking in the garden (Seipel, 2005; Nonaka, 1994).

Looking at the time management aspects of the four countries, you find that lateness is viewed as a person’s responsibility. In Austria, for instance, excuses of lateness are not tolerated. In the United States and the United Kingdom too, the issue of time management is one that warrants keen attention. As the saying goes in the United Kingdom, “time is money.” Contrary to the Chinese way, they only value time if there is someone superior in their presence. The other distinct aspect practiced in China is that of taking long breaks within working hours. To them, taking a nap more or less forms part of the work schedule (Minkov, 2007; Rao, 2005; Knapp, 2001).

In terms of specific cultural issues, you find that people are more open to each other even to strangers. However, certain aspects are only restricted to select few such as family members. Contrary to this, we have the diffuse dimension of culture. In this, there seems to be no privacy. According to this, both private and public items seem to be equally divided. The United Kingdom, the United States and Austria are more of a specific culture (William, 1993; Veltman, 2006).

In terms of country activity, you find that in the United Kingdom there are various recreational facilities under which one can pay a visit. The same applies to the United States. Sporting activities create a sense of openness to the rest of the people. At these functions, people tend to interact freely and close links are built. In China, however, people are more self-centered. Their custom tends to bind one to his close relatives. There are few house activities and foreigners have to learn the Chinese language else they will only interact with English speaking allies (Helmreich, 1996; Dalziel, 1998).

Conversations play a role in differentiating the culture as to whether they are specific or diffuse. In Austria, for instance, they welcome openness but they draw a line when it comes to talking about certain past incidences. First time conversations ought to revolve around something more general like soccer or their cuisine. In the United States the first time conversation also ought to revolve around topics touching on something general such as sports and politics in general. The people of the United Kingdom tend to feel more comfortable talking about their work. The culture there is more diverse. Taking a keen look on China, you find that they feel free to open up when one enquires about their children. To them, family issues are not personal. They can be shared by anyone and they seem to be comfortable about this fact (Rodriguez, 1997; Dunin-Keplicz, 2011).

In relation to culture, the countries deemed to have a well-developed base achieved in terms of the person’s actions. Mainly, this is more of a personal responsibility. On the other hand, ascription cultures tend to deem one as an achiever based on his age, social interaction or even gender. The four countries in our study, all seemed to sway onto the achievement of culture features. This is after taking a closer look at their heroes. In Austria, their heroes are often reigning at certain time frame. Take, for instance, Niki Lauda who was a race car driver, the other is Arnold, the famous actor. In the United States too, J.F. Kennedy is regarded as a hero. The Chinese also attach heroism to Dr. Bethune based on his contributions to the communist movement. The common aspect amongst all these heroes is that they did something that had an impact on the country at large. They put their country in the global radar par say (Petty & Gerin, 2006; Hampden-Turner, 1998).

In the United States, the United Kingdom, Austria and China, one’s own hard work reflects his or her promotion in a work setting. In these four countries, one ought to be hardworking, devoted and focused on whatever he or she is doing in order to be considered for appraisal. The motivating factor among these countries is often money, recognition and fear of failure (Wiley et al, 1994; Tochtermann, 2009).


The above comparison of the various aspects of culture among four different countries is very informative. The cultural diversity witnessed in the world is something people should be proud of. Learning how to relate with citizens of other nation is very crucial in enhancing inter-cultural relations. Also, the knowledge on other countries culture may make one appreciate them even more. Fons Trompenaars’ ideas are also very applicable in the real life today.

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