The Cultural Fragmentation In South Africa Commerce Essay

To get down with, South Africa has eleven official linguistic communications whereas most of the most developed states have merely one. Language is an of import characteristic of a state ‘s civilization since it enables an exchange of thoughts and information between persons ( Rugman and Collision, 2006 ) . Communication is the most effectual mean to forestall intolerance since it favors interaction and therefore provides a better apprehension of the values and beliefs that guide person ‘s behaviour. As we can detect the considerable figure of linguistic communications is a first statement to explicate the decomposition of persons in the South African society. A farther cause of are the being of diverse faiths in South Africa. Although Christianity dominates in a important manner[ 2 ], Islam, Judaism and more traditional African faiths are besides represented. Harmonizing to Rugman and Collinson ( 2009, 142 ) faiths influence persons in their beliefs, life styles, attitudes towards work and can therefore significantly affect dealingss between members of a society. For case Protestantism promotes values of self-accomplishment in which an person has to work and avoid inordinate pleasances[ 3 ]. Protestants favour entrepreneurship and tend to put on the long term instead than disbursement or devouring all their net incomes ( Weber, 1930 ; Grier, 1997 ) . Conversely, some African populations accept the manner things are because it is the ‘will of God ‘ and would accordingly be focus on the present clip, non trouble oneselfing about the hereafter.

Furthermore, each ethnicity has specific cultural traits inherited from a long development. Hofstede ‘s four dimensions of civilization theoretical account ( 1983 ) seeks to emphasize these differences by analysing cultural behaviours of a state. Harmonizing to his survey, the power distance index[ 4 ]in South Africa is reasonably undistinguished[ 5 ]( see Figure 2 ) . So South Africans tend non to experience an of import power disagreement between the high degree of hierachy and the underside of it.

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Figure 3

Figure 2hofstede_south_africa.gif


PDI=Power Distance Index IDV= Individualism MAS= Mascunality UAI= Uncertainty turning away


Similarly, the individuality index is ranked mean in South Africa. Following these findings, I think it is interesting to do a comparing with states influenced by an Anglo-saxon civilization such as the USA, the UK, Canada and New Zealand. All the latter states portion a similar trait in Hofstede ‘s research: they all record the six highest rate of individualism[ 6 ]. This indicates a society with a more individualistic attitude, caring more for their ain opportunism than for the group. Conversely, traditional African civilizations tend to be basically built on communalism ( Ghosn, 2001 ) as epitomized by the high rates of nomadic phone incursion in African states[ 7 ]. Looking at the information, South Africa has an IDV index which is greater than the universe norm[ 8 ]. Hence, harmonizing to the theoretical account we can reason that the Anglo-saxon civilization is significantly act uponing behaviours in the state. So values and behaviours of different communities are conflicting which so contributes to beef up a cultural atomization.

However, Hofstede ‘s theoretical account can be criticized for merely looking at IBM, a US house influenced by western values, so how can it be relevant to other states? ( MacSweeney, 2002 ) In this instance we can reason that western values inherited from a past colonisation are rooted in the South African society and the survey therefore the survey is pertinent to South Africa. A farther critic is that Hosftede ignores the weight of communities ( Dofman and Howell, 1988, 129 ; Smith, 1998, 62 ) . Consequently the theoretical account assumes a ‘cultural homogeneousness ‘ in the domestic population ( Jones, 2007, 5 ) . This issue is highlighted by different indexes of individuality between South Africa and the UK ( Figure 2 & A ; 3 ) . This difference demonstrates that there is an influence of an Anglo Saxon civilization which is balanced with influences of assorted other bing communities and their values. Otherwise we would hold found the same consequence for both states.

To reason this first portion, we can understand that the multiple idioms, faiths and each community ‘s behaviour are a barrier to a common apprehension every bit good as holding the building of a national civilization. As a consequence, South Africa is sing a ‘culture clash’- “ when two cultural groups meet, interact, or work together and differences in values, beliefs, regulations of behaviour, or manners of communicating create misinterpretation, hostility or other jobs ” ( Rugman and Collinson, 2009, 145 ) – which deteriorates the life environment and lead to unpredictable effects.

Impacts of civilization clang

The chief deductions of this cultural atomization are on the macro environment and on the national competitiveness.In order to measure the consequence of a cultural division on the environment, I will analyze the ‘Social ‘ constituent of the PESTLE model[ 9 ], analysing the “ attitudes to work ” , and the issue of force.

Deductions of cultural differences on the organisation and the environment

Culture influences attitudes at work affects efficiency and by extension on organisation fight ( Rugman, 2009 ) . Some Scholars[ 10 ]hold stated that a mix of civilizations is a great advantage for concerns because it brings together complementary accomplishments and experience. A common consideration of each member ‘s civilization is cardinal for success. This would enable squads to execute better and rapidly get the better of challenges originating ( Kokt, 2003 ) . However, a paper written by Recardo and Jolly ( 1997,4 ) argues that ‘heterogeneous work squad ‘ must cover with cultural issues in the first topographic point because it could harm efficiency. For case the being of linguistic communication jobs can estrange squad members from each other. I believe that major unsimilarities in civilizations are a barrier to efficiency.. Hence, houses willing to come in the South African market need sensitive versions of their direction patterns to fit the cultural specificities. Failure to make so can take to misinterpretation, “ hapless group relationship and higher costs ” ( Rugman, 2009 ) .

Differences in civilization have lead to racial segregation in South Africa during the Apartheid period. Post-apartheid ( 1995 ) steps were taken to cut down spreads between Whites and inkinesss, for illustration the “ Rainbow Program ”[ 11 ]or the ‘Black Economic Empowerment act ‘[ 12 ]( BEE ) restraining companies to engage black workers. Despite such actions, inequality and poorness are still of import constituents of the life environment.

Consequently force is an of import characteristic impacting South African metropoliss. The state is one of the most criminally violent with “ one of the universe ‘s highest slaying rate ; six times America ‘s rate and about 20 times Britain ‘s ” ( The Economist, 2009 ) .


As seen in the group study, force and corruptness are of import issues in South Africa particularly for its planetary attraction because an inauspicious environment is a drawback to carry on concern.

This insecure atmosphere pushes persons who can afford it to go forth the state. Knowing, skilled and rich people stand foring the South African elites, go abroad to avoid a constraining environment[ 13 ]. “ The primary driver for out-migration among all groups, but particularly whites [ aˆ¦ ] is fright of offense ” ( Newsweek, 2009 ) .

The chief deduction of this ‘brain drain ‘ concerns the state fight. Competitiveness can be evaluated through Porter ‘s diamond theoretical account ( 1990 )[ 14 ]. Harmonizing to this theoretical account, four conditions affect the competitory high quality of a state. Sing the ‘factor conditions ‘ constituent of the theoretical account, and specifically ‘Labour ‘ , a migration of elites cause jobs at different degrees. It is consuming the figure of skilled and best-educated immature citizens and hence damaging the state planetary fight and attraction. In add-on, in the group study we have highlighted the mass going of scientists in the engineering sector. As more scientists leave the research and development ( R & A ; D ) centres within the state are going less efficient, so the full technological development is spoiled. Furthermore, Education would besides significantly suffer from a deficit of competent instructors with higher instruction. The function of instruction is indispensable in the economic and industrial development of a state. Education enhances people ‘s productiveness and promotes entrepreneurship and technological progresss. Similarly, it is important in protecting any economic and societal advancement every bit good as bettering income distribution. ( Ozturk,2008 ) .[ 15 ]

More significantly, the hegira of persons at executive degrees is weakening well companies established in the state and costs South Africa around “ ?159m a twelvemonth ”[ 16 ]. As a consequence harmonizing to the diamond theoretical account, South Africa is non seen as a competitory state on the international phase.

However, harmonizing to Rugman and Collinson ( 2009, 222 ) , Porter is evading the function of authorities which plays a important function in determining the fight of a state. A Government decides the chief policy schemes to be followed over the long term and by puting for case in higher instruction it can increase fight in high-skilled sectors like pharmacological medicine.

Then the theoretical account is besides limited by concentrating excessively much attending on the domestic market. It is true that many South Africans choose to migrate to other states but it does non intend that the state will endure irreversible effects. Multinationals like IBM are conveying cognition, people and engineering from abroad, hence assisting a technological and economic development of the state.


The Culture atomization has major impacts on the South African society. It is a divided state where differences stressed during the apartheid period still remain today. Even though alterations have occurred with the nomination of a black authorities and steps to take favoritism such as the BEE act in 2003 ; extremism is prevailing and force is qualifying the state. As a consequence elites are go forthing, therefore diminishing the state ‘s entreaty.

Can the issue of cultural atomization be solved in the hereafter?

The resurgence of white extremism and the recent decease of the leader of a white supremacist party has demonstrated that an ordered society is still at shame.

Critical reappraisal

The hardest portion of this essay was to take a subject. At first I was interested in analyzing the impact of force in South Africa but the literature was truly wide and losing deductions on the international concern position. In visible radiation of this, I preferred to contract my research and concentrate on cultural differences and their deductions on society and so concern. My purpose was to truly travel deep into a survey that has frequently been cited but non in item. It was really fulfilling to cover with an issue that is rooted in the history of South Africa. If I now deal with my findings, I think most of my beginnings are from diaries and academic databases and more or less up-to-date, which have helped me to better understand the current state of affairs in the state. In add-on questioning a former employee of IBM South Africa has given me a complementary image of the state. However, beginnings coming from official statistical organic structures were hard to happen on the brain-drain because evidently the South African authorities does non wish to unwrap information on such affair. I believe that the diverse faiths and linguistic communications in the state are a barrier to the peaceable running of society in South Africa. Nevertheless, even though it is interesting to compare Hofstede ‘s theoretical account between Anglo-Saxons states and South Africa, it is likely losing the point that after two centuries the posterities of British settlers do non portion the same traits as their British opposite numbers. So the decision saying that it makes version tougher for Anglo-Saxons may non be wholly true.

I think the major critic on this work concern a deficiency of grounds associating cultural differences to a important resistance between persons. A survey[ 17 ]( Kort,2003 ) has tried to capture the being of cultural issues within an organisation in South Africa but consequences did non bespeak that was a major issue for concern efficiency, it instead stressed the of import function of the squad leader.


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