Understanding Culture

Understanding Culture

http://www.ted.com/talks/martin_jacques_understanding_the_rise_of_china

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Let’s talk about culture. My culture. Your culture. Our culture. Other’s culture. Understanding culture is fundamental to formulating and implementing change. Culture is a determining factor in the success of any change initiative. Imagine, for just a minute, that you are a drug dealer in South America. What type of culture exists that allows drug dealers to work together to stop the sale of crack, because it wrecks their neighborhoods? What does it say about the ability to implement change?

Tell us about your culture by using the Cultural Web and Hofstede’s criteria (you must use both of these models to characterize and describe your culture) to help us understand your culture. You can talk about your family, school, church, work, or any organization that is relatively stable. For example, I work in an institution whose rituals date back, literally, hundreds of years. Rituals are very different in universities in other countries; for example, at Oxford University, students there dress up for exams, and they dress identically. Furthermore, they congregate outside of the testing hall and walk into the hall two by two. The robes that you see our professors wear at graduation are also worn for exams at Oxford. In the United States, we do not require you to dress up, identically, to take exams. What does all this mean for us in terms of change? What we know is that universities in the U.S. will change and adapt, but it tends to be quite slow and only under great pressure. We have to use some extraordinary interventions to move change along.

Another example can be found in tourism, such as at a Disney hotel property. The water provided by the property came in a pretty pink bottle and was shipped in from Italy. Italy, people! We have the safest water supply in the world, and we are shipping water in pink bottles to the U.S. Our culture reveres such extravagance.

Discuss culture.

Discussion boards are an all or nothing assignment. You either receive full credit or none at all. There is no partial credit. To receive ANY credit for the discussion board, you must meet ALL of the following criteria:

  1. Do NOT describe or restate the content of the discussion reading or video. Instead, choose one or two points that you find interesting/important and elaborate on those points in your discussion.
  2. A minimum response is 250 words.
  3. Every initial response is required to include, minimum, two scholarly or peer-reviewed resources to support your response. Our library allows you to choose these settings to help you find appropriate research to support your work.
  4. Do NOT use Wikipedia.com, wiki-anything, about.comhow.comanswers.com, blogs, or any other generic answer base, because you cannot verify the accuracy of the information on the website. Instead, search our extensive library databases to find articles that have contain verified information to support your discussion. If you find a blog from a notable source, you can include that information, but the blog will not count as one of your scholarly references.
  5. There are several articles in Course Documents and Web Links that you can, and should, use as references to support your discussions.
  6. Every response must be completed in APA style. That includes all citations, both in text and reference, and format. This includes indented paragraphs, font size, and other particulars that you will find specified in the APA manual. You will find an example of a paper written in APA style in Course Materials. Also, the APA style manual is a required text for this course. Discussion boards do not require cover pages, tables of content, and other front matter, and can be copied and pasted from a draft page, such that attachments are not necessary.
  7. You must respond to, at least, two (2) other students in class in their discussion boards as well as any questions and comments from the professor or other students. You are required to actively communicate with other students in this class.
  8. The initial post for each week’s discussion board is due by Wednesday, 11:59 p.m., of every week that a discussion board is due.
  9. There are no discussion boards in week 1 or week 9, because these are the weeks for preparation and the final exam.
  10. Technique counts, so be sure to proof read your posts for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and other technical issues that can impact communication quality. If you are not a strong writer, you can contact the Writing Center for help toward improving your work.
  11. I always suggest that students write their discussion board posts in Word or other word processing software rather than directly into Blackboard. This allows you to save your work and to make corrections before you post your work publicly. Blackboard has, regrettably, been known to eat some thoughtful and insightful responses simply because the response did not load correctly.
  12. Again, if you do not meet all of these requirements, you will not receive any credit for the discussion board. Below, you will see a checklist that will help you insure that your work meets graduate standards and decreases the likelihood that you will suffer oversights.

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