Friday, April 3, 2015

April - Month Birthdays - Management Scholars and Professionals

1 - Prof Maike Andresen (1971) - Chair for HRM
2 - Jan Jantsch (1960)
3 - Mark Albion (1951)
4 - Charles Buxton Going (1863)  - Principles of Industrial Engineering - Book in 1911
6 - Armand V. Feigenbaum (1920) - Total Quality Control
      Clayton Christensen (1952) - Disruptive innovations
10 - Joseph Pulitzer (1847), Perry Sink Marshall (1969)
11 - Charles Eugene Bedaux (1886) - Check?  26 October
12 - Elwood S. Buffa (1923)  - Modern Production Management, Operations Management
13 - W. Charles Redding (1914), -
        Michael Hammer (1948) - Business Process Reengineering
14-  Eric Brynjolfsson (1962)
15 - Glen L. Urban (1940)
17 - J.P. Morgan (1837)
18 - Frederick Herzberg (1923),   Hygiene factors - Motivation factors model
       Bengt R. Holmstrom (1949),
       Niall Ferguson (1964),
       Robert Allen Phillips (1968)

19- James B. Orlin (1953), Peter Bowman Scott-Morgan (1958)
21- Alan Cerf
29 - Dan Ariely (1967)

Do Extra Effort for Summer Placement and Final Placement If You are Studying in a Less Known Institute

Don't lose heart if you are studying in a lesser known institute for your MBA. If you want to excel, you can still excel. You have the opportunity to display your talent to top most companies but you need to make extra efforts. If you are in an elite university or institution, top companies come in search of you. But if you are not in their target company list, still they will be willing to consider if you approach them with a bio-data worth looking at. You need to build up your academic credentials, extra-curricular credentials and your managerial and leadership skills.

If your achievements are visible and noticeable they will look at you. Try to find the successful among your alumni and approach them for guidance. Follow their advice and perform to their satisfaction.

Read the following article in Wall Street Journal.
How 300 Emails gave an internship in a Wall Street Top Company to a student in non-elite Institute.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Culture - Review of Sociology Book Chapter

Sociology Revision Article Series

Culture consists of shared products of society. Society consists of interacting people who share a culture.


Culture: An Explanation

In the German, Scandinavian, and Slavic language groups, the word "culture" tends to mean a particular way of life, and it is applied to groups of people or  time periods. In Italian and French language, the word refers to art, learning, and a general process of human development. In English language, both meanings exist today. In Sociology, culture refers to the ways of living or customs of a group or society.
Conceptually culture and society can be distinguished. Culture consists of shared products of society. Society consists of interacting people who share a culture [1]. But the two are very closely interrelated. A society could not exist without culture, because there is no bond in the absence of ties that create the bond. Culture is the collection of ties that create society. A culture cannot exist or cannot be identified without a society.

The contents of culture are not genetically transmitted. They are learned during the growth of the person in the society.

Elements of Culture

Anthropologist, George Murdock identified cultural elements that are universally found in cultures. These universal elements include age grading, athletic sports, cooking, dancing, family, feasting, folklore, fod taboos, funeral ceremonies,  hospitality, hygiene, joking, personal names, religion,  mourning, and soul concepts. Even though these cultural features are universal, the specific content varies from society to society. For example, different societies use different languages and different types of names. Some of these elements are termed as social institutions and they are studied in detail and theories are developed regarding them in Sociology.

Sociologist William F. Ogburn made a useful distinction between elements of material and nonmaterial culture.

Some Important Elements of Culture


 Norms (they include folkways, mores and laws and values) are elements of culture, especially that of nonmaterial culture.

Norms or also termed social norms are guidelines that prescribe the behavior that is appropriate in a given situation. While some norms apply to all persons in a society, some apply to some people in particular situation. Norms that apply to students, religious preacher are etc. are norms applicable to some group of people in particular situations.


Folkways are norms for everyday life. The food people eat, the way they cook it, the way they dress are all folkways. Those who do not conform to the folkways are considered peculiar and eccentric. But they are not immoral.


Mores are norms that are much stronger than folkways. People believe that mores are crucial for the maintenance of a decent and orderly society, and the offender is strongly criticized, punched, or insulted. Some violations are almost unthinkable and they are termed taboos.


Laws are norms encoded in law. A law is a rule that have been formally enacted by a political authority and is backed by the power of the state.


The norms of a society are ultimately an expression of its values. The difference between values and norms is that values are abstract, general concepts, whereas norms are behavioral rules or guidelines in particular kinds of situations. Values influence the content of norms.

American values

Robin Williams (1970) identified fifteen basic values of American society [2].

1. Achievement and success
2. Activity and work
3. Moral orientation
4. Humanitarian mores
5. Efficiency and practicality
6. Progress
7. Material comfort
8. Equality
9. Freedom
10. External conformity
11. Science and rationality
12. Nationalism - patriotism
13. Democracy
14. Individual personality
15. Group-superiority theme.

Reasons for Cultural Variation

The Functionalist Approach: The functionalist approach advocates that certain cultural elements maintain social order in certain societies. They are absent in other societies as they are dysfunctional in them.

The Ecological Approach: This approach makes an attempt to explain the cultural elements in the context of environment in which the society exists.

Robertson gave the opinion that by combining the approaches, we gain a better overall understanding of cultural variation.

The human brain being creative, different societies adopt different solutions to similar functional requirements or ecological problems. Once a solution is adopted, it may persist for decades or centuries. The traditions may persist even after the origins for them are forgotten and the need for them has disappeared.

Cultural Change

All cultures do change, although in different ways and at different ways.

No culture is ever static. All cultures change, although they do so in different ways and at different rates.

Culture always tends to be inherently conservative (it has inertia), especially in its nonmaterial aspects - people are reluctant to give up old values, customs, and beliefs in favor of new ones.

With in a culture, change occurs due to discoveries and inventions. Discovery is the perception of an aspect of reality that already exists in the nature, the environment and the society. Invention is the combination of new use of existing knowledge to produce some man-made thing that did not exist before.

Diffusion is the process that facilitates spread of cultural elements from one culture to the other. Diffusion occurs as people of different cultures mix. It happens when societies interact through cooperative, competitive or conflict activities.

Are We as Individuals Prisoners of Our Culture?

Culture sets certain limitations on our options and behavior, but it cannot control any individual completely. If it did, there  would be no culture change. People have influence on their culture and they change it.


Ian Robertson, Sociology, Worth Publisher, Inc., New York, 1977
Robin Williams, American Society: A Sociological Interpretation, New York, Random House, 1970.
Persell, Caroline Hodges, Understanding Society, Harper and Row, New York, 1984.

Dimensions of National Culture

The values that distinguished country cultures from each other were statistically categorised into four groups by Hofstede based on his data collection and analysis. These four groups became the Hofstede dimensions of national culture:

Power Distance (PDI)
Individualism versus Collectivism (IDV)
Masculinity versus Femininity (MAS)
Uncertainty Avoidance (UAI)

A fifth dimension was added in 1991 based on research by Michael Harris Bond, supported by Hofstede,  That dimension, based on Confucian thinking, was called Long-Term Orientation (LTO).

In the 2010 edition of Cultures and Organizations, a sixth dimension has been added, based on Michael Minkov's analysis of the World Values Survey data for 93 countries. This new dimension is called Indulgence versus Restraint (IND).

Updated:  2 April 2015,  28 Jan 2012