High context vs. Low context – The United States is a low-context culture meaning that communication is explicit and there is very little reliance of non-verbal communication; informal, direct and participative to a degree.

Individualism vs. Collectivism- The United States society is a highly individualistic one, in which the self is more important the collective group. The society is loosely-knit in which the expectation is that people look after themselves and their immediate families only and should not rely on authorities for support. There is also a high degree of geographical mobility in the United States. Americans are the best joiners in the world; however it is often difficult, especially among men, to develop deep friendships.

Power distance- The U.S. has a low power distance with the premise of “liberty and justice for all.” This is evident and an explicit emphasis on equal rights in all aspects of American society and government. Within American organizations, hierarchy is established for convenience, superiors are accessible and managers rely on individual employees and teams for their expertise. Both managers and employees expect to be consulted and information is shared frequently.  Americans are accustomed to doing business or interacting with people they don’t know well. Consequently, Americans are not shy about approaching their prospective counterparts in order to obtain or seek information. In the business world, employees are expected to be self-reliant and display initiative.  Also, within the exchange-based world of work we see that hiring, promotion and decisions are based on merit or evidence of what one has done or can do.

Uncertainty Avoidance- The U.S. society scored low on the uncertainty avoidance metric, meaning that they are open to new ideas, innovation, and are willing to try something new or different; it can pertain to food, business practices, or technology. They are more tolerant of different ideas, opinions, and the freedom to express yourself is very prominent.

Masculinity vs. Femininity- The U.S. is a masculine culture and it is seen in typical American behavioral patterns. This can be explained by the combination of a high masculine drive and the most individualistic drive in the world. In other words, Americans, show their masculine drive individually.

Relationship vs. Task Orientation– The U.S. is task orientated culture in which meeting goals and deadlines are more important than building relationships with people.

Cultural Metrics:

Chronemics- Time in the United States is linear meaning that business and other activities that pertain to time occur that the time they are set to start; Monochronic society

Proxemics- Americans have large personal space areas (personal bubbles), especially in public spaces. Don’t stand too close to people while you wait in line for coffee or check-out stands.

Haptics- Excessive kissing and overly touchy behavior is not favorable in the United States.

Occulesis- When someone is speaking you are expected to keep eye contact with the speaker; it shows that you are attentive and interested.

Kenisics- Raising the middle finger and no other digits is a sign of insult and highly offensive.

References:

“THE HOFSTEDE CENTRE.” Cultural Insights. N.p., n.d. Web http://geert-hofstede.com/united-states.html

Freitag, Alan, and Ashli Quesinberry. Stokes. (2009) Global Public Relations: Spanning Borders, Spanning Cultures. Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon: New York, NY. Print.

 

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