Manual High Theory/Low Culture

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In High Theory/Low Culture, Mikita Brottman uses the tools of "high" cultural theory to examine many areas of today's popular culture, including style magazines.
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Similarly, a high-context individual could be considered vague, secretive, unpunctual, unable to adhere to plans, or incompetent due to a lack of ability to work on their own. Examples of high context countries include: Japan, China, and the Arab countries. Examples of low context cultures include: Scandinavia; Germany, and the US. It should however be noted that not all the characteristics described above and below apply to all cultures described as either high or low context.

For example Japan, which has a very high context culture, uses both polychronic and monochronic time. Sorrels, K.

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Edward T. Tung, R. Your email address will not be published. High context cultures: Value traditions. Foster long-lasting relationships.

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Rely on non-verbal signs such as tone of voice, facial expressions, body language, and so on. Tend to be non-confrontational and more in-direct. Rejection is to be interpreted from non-explicit communication.

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Require little explanation. Are more collectivistic. The identify lies with the group. Value group harmony.

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Have stronger boundaries, i. Are slow to change. Low context cultures: Tend to make many shallower, short-term relationships. Require explicit communication since they lack additional context.

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Communication is more direct and confrontational. Are more individualistic.

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Identify lies with the individual. Value individual needs. People in a high context culture such as Saudi Arabia tend to place a larger importance on long-term relationships and loyalty and have fewer rules and structure implemented.

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Low context implies that a lot of information is exchanged explicitly through the message itself and rarely is anything implicit or hidden. People in low context cultures such as the UK tend to have short-term relationships, follow rules and standards closely and are generally very task-oriented. These concepts are covered during cross-cultural training programmes such as Communicating across Cultures and managing international teams. Cultural awareness training which focuses on one or more specific cultures like Doing Business in India or Living and Working in China will also address these concepts.

When doing business in a high context culture such as Mexico, Japan or the Middle East, you might encounter the following:.

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When doing business in a low context culture such as Germany, Switzerland or the US, on the other hand, you might find the following:. High and low context cultures usually correspond with polychronic and monochronic cultures respectively. The table below shows some general preferences of people from high context and low context cultures.

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Participating in a cross-cultural training programme such as Doing Business with India and Doing Business in the UK , you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the high or low context preferences in the country or countries where you are working and the impact these preferences have on doing business with them.