Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Individualism and Collectivism

Individualism Vs. Collectivism: A Study on Students. 

G.Suryanarayana Reddy and P.Govinda Reddy
Management Matters, Vol.1, Issue 2, March-August 2004
A questionnaire was prepared by using seven constructs for measuring individualism and eight constructs for measuring collectivism from Oyserman et al. 2002.  Each item was given seven responses with response one indicating “not at all characteristic of me” and response seven indicating “completely characteristic of me”.  The questionnaire was administered to 100 M.B.A. students of Madras University, Chennai, India in the year 2003.
The factor analysis had given rise to six rotated factors: Group orientation, achievement orientation, in-group harmony, collectivist conscientiousness, distinctiveness of private and public spaces and autonomy.  Three represent individualistic characteristics and the other three represent collectivist orientations.  As they are orthogonal, any one of these orientations can be developed independent of others.  One type of orientation among these six factors can not assist or hinder any other orientation. 
The present study points out that a sample from Chennai based M.B.A. students showing the characteristic of individualistic cultural domains.  This study also points out that each of these concepts consists of different orthogonal domains.  As traditional societies become more and more modern, individualism and collectivism will become too broad concepts to differentiate national cultures.  Narrower domains need to be developed to differentiate national cultures and even sub-cultures within a nation.  

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Dental Anthropology

Fluctuating Asymmetry in Root Number and Morphology of Permanent Premolars and Molars—Case Reports

Anand Sherwood and Govinda Reddy
  Dental Anthropology, 24 (1): 16-24, 2011. 
Aim of this article is to report cases with fluctuating asymmetry in root morphology and root number in permanent premolars. Fluctuating asymmetry is a left-right asymmetry of a paired structure that is usually symmetrical. Teeth in corresponding quadrants of the upper and lower jaws are normally symmetrical structures that exhibit mirror imagery. Fluctuating asymmetry does occur at varying levels for all root traits. Fluctuating asymmetry for root morphology and number has been poorly studied. In this article, cases with fluctuating asymmetry in root number and morphology of permanent premolars and molars are reported. Key points are: (1) Fluctuating asymmetry seems to be occurring in Tamil speaking population of Madurai South India more frequently than reported for Caucasian populations. (2) More detailed study of variation in root morphology with greater emphasis on fluctuating asymmetry for root morphology is warranted. 3) Fluctuating asymmetry is of importance to clinical dentists, dental morphologists, and dental anthropologists.
The present cases highlight the importance of the clinician and researcher to understand this phenotypic variation. A total of 21 cases are described exhibiting macroscopic fluctuating asymmetry in root number and morphology of permanent premolars and molars. This report describes four mandibular second premolars with extra roots, seven mandibular first molars with extra roots, four mandibular second molars with C-shaped roots, two mandibular second molars with extra roots, three mandibular third molars with extra roots, and one maxillary second molar with extra root configurations.
From the case reports presented here it is seen that for the Tamil speaking population group in Madurai, South India, fluctuating asymmetry is occurring for various types of root aberrations in permanent premolars and molars.
Fluctuating asymmetry in root aberrations will be of importance to clinical dentists, dental anthropologists and dental morphologists.
A more detailed study on the incidence of root aberrations in permanent premolars and molars of local population group is necessary with greater emphasis on occurrence of fluctuating asymmetry for root aberrations.

Sam Walton’s Rules of Business and Cultural Dimensions of Hofstede and Trompenaars

Sam Walton’s Rules of Business and Cultural Dimensions of Hofstede and Trompenaars


 Shriram Venkatraman, G.V. Suresh and P.Govinda Reddy

Proceedings of First International Conference on Business Anthropology which was held during May 17-20, 2012 at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China, edited by Confeence Committee, Pp.155-171.
Several social sciences and management experts give credence to the fact that the culture of an organization is influenced to a large extent by its founder or leader, who is mostly an entrepreneur in a Business environment.  The founder/leader/entrepreneur in turn can be influenced by the society’s culture that he/she lives in. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., as a retailer tops the list of fortune 500 companies. Though, giant in size, execution and revenues, it portrays a quality that still follows the legacy and the culture built by its founder Mr. Sam Walton. His list of ten rules for a successful business is still followed religiously at Wal-Mart and is also a motivator to several developing entrepreneurs. The rules laid down by Mr. Sam Walton are Commit to your business, Share your profits, Motivate your partners, Communicate everything possible, Appreciate everything, Celebrate success and find humor in your failures, Listen to everyone, Exceed your customers’ expectations, Control your expenses and Swim upstream. Though the rules/ideas might not be conceptually new, they are appreciated because of the person from whom it flows. As Sam Walton himself says in his biography ‘Made in America’, the rules he put forth have originated from his empirical experience, where each of these rules have been personally tried and tested over time by him.

Albeit understanding a society’s culture was made simple with the introduction of Cultural Dimensions by Social Scientists like Hofstede and Trompenaars, it will be interesting to examine the business rules followed by Wal-Mart against these cultural dimensions.  However, this paper builds on the cultural model for entrepreneurship developed by Lee and Peterson (2000), which focuses on the dimensions introduced by Hofstede and those of Trompenaars.  This paper explores the ten Rules of Sam Walton and discusses these rules in the light of   the cultural dimensions of Hofstede and Trompenaars.
Lee and Peterson’s work forms the basis of the cultural dimensions of Hofstede and Trompenaars for a successful entrepreneurial environment, which is once again correlated with the Cultural dimensions of United States. The paper evidenced the correlation of Sam Walton – a very successful entrepreneur’s values and ideals with the cultural model of entrepreneurship of Lee and Peterson.
A conducive entrepreneurship environment according to Lee and Peterson’s cultural model of entrepreneurship created by the entrepreneur as a leader would be to maintain a Weak Uncertainty Avoidance, Low Power Distance, High Levels of Masculinity, Individualistic, Achievement oriented and Universalistic in approach.   
When Sam Walton’s Business Rules are fitted with both Lee and Peterson’s cultural model of entrepreneurship and a Rule by Rule approach to see its fit with the dimensions of Hofstede and Trompenaars, one gets to witness that for a conducive entrepreneurship environment created by the entrepreneur as a leader would be to maintain a Weak Uncertainty Avoidance, Low Power Distance, a balance between Masculinity and Feminity, a balance between Individualism and Collectivism, be Achievement oriented and Universalistic in approach. An undercurrent of the dimension of Internal Control that needs to be exerted by an entrepreneur is also visible.
It also becomes interesting to note that though Sam Walton exerts certain aspects to fit in with Feminity or Collectivism, it also has an undercurrent of a strategy that finally aims to outdo the competition, which can be a very Masculine characteristic. Similarly is the case with Collectivism too. His rules thus, very clearly say that one needs to have qualities of Feminity and Collectivism, but at the same time, not lose the big picture, that business is competition.
In view of this, studies such as this show that branding National Cultures as the culture of people of that specific nation, need not work always. Though, United States of America is typically called as a Masculinity oriented, Individualistic culture, Sam Walton’s moderation in these dimensions show otherwise. He is very American (even his book is called “Made in America”), however, not all his thoughts and values reflect a Masculine oriented Individualistic culture. Individual case studies of leaders with influence such as Sam Walton might reflect and repose a better understanding of National Cultures.
This exercise is an attempt at showing that individual level case studies of values and ideals of successful entrepreneurs, can throw immense light on the true nature of cultural dimensions. Further, these dimensions might change on a case by case basis. The values and the cultural dimensional fit of the values of a first generation entrepreneur, as compared to a Chief Executive or to a second generation owner of family business might be different. This is also a step towards understanding that “One Size Does Not Fit All”.
The study is a step in striving to understand analytically the values of a successful entrepreneur in terms of cultural dimensions and conducive entrepreneurial environment; however, empirical evidence might be needed to understand this further.
Such studies with entrepreneurial values of successful entrepreneurs in growing economies like India and China need to occur more often to understand the cultural systems of these countries much better. As emerging economies, attracting international attention, there is an urgent need to conduct research into the values and ideals of successful entrepreneurs belonging to these countries and quantify them through cultural dimensions in order to gauge the changes in cultural value systems and understand the effect of globalization in these economies. This can also provide an understanding of the direction that these economies are heading towards.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Individualism and Collectivism

The Study of G.Suryanarayana Reddy and P.Govinda Reddy (2000) on Individualism and Collectivism

By using Fons Trompenaars (1994) questionnaire Reddy and Reddy collected data from 120 students pursuing Master’s programmes in different subjects in the University of Madras, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India in the year 2000.  Out of the sample of 120 students, 65 (54%) have indicated individualism whereas 55 (46%) have indicated collectivism.  Majority of males (66.7%) showed tendency towards individualism whereas majority of females (66.7%) showed tendency towards collectivism. Through Chi square test they found that male students are significantly individualism oriented and female students are significantly collectivism oriented (Reddy and Reddy, 2000).

Friday, 18 May 2012

Consumption of branded soap products among the Kani Tribe of Tamil Nadu, India


Consumption of Branded Soap Products: A Study among the Kani Tribe of Chinna Mylaru Kani Settlement, Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu, India

        Shriram Venkataraman, S. Sumathi and P.Govinda Reddy 

Proceedings of First International Conference on Business Anthropology which was held during May 17-20, 2012 at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China, edited by Conference Committee,  Pp.132-144.

Man is a social creature and cannot live in total isolation. “Social”, here, is the process of drawing inspiration, motivation, influence and in turn inspiring, motivating and influencing others belonging to a group. This is of high intensity when the social group is small. However, with globalization, the entire world is in the process of becoming a closely knit social group. Visible streaks of this social process are evident not only in urban settlements but also in rural/tribal settlements. A factor that makes it very evident is the consumption of branded globalized/localized consumer goods, by the Kani tribe of Tamil Nadu, India.  

A research into their culture and lifestyle enlightens one with tremendous data on their consumption of branded products of FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) companies, specifically soaps. This paper allows one to understand and analyze their selection and consumption patterns of branded soaps, influence networks, brand loyalty, consumption style and external factors such as advertisement and availability which influence consumption of certain soaps. This paper also strives to correlate on how culture influences all of this.

It becomes very evident that more than half of the sampled households preferred using Medimix as a brand, followed by Hamam, Lux, Chandrika and Life Buoy soaps. Though surprising, it is evident that washing soap brands such as Vairam and Sarvodaya are also used as toilet soaps by approximately 14 percent of the sampled households. 

There were a few patterns that stood out in this choice of soaps. The most preferred brands, at least the top two, were medicinal soaps. Similarly, Chandrika soap which occupies the fourth position in the choice of soaps is also a medicinal soap. Life Buoy occupying the fifth position can be termed as Health soap. A very clear pattern that emerges out of this choice of soaps is that out of the five brands of soaps preferred by the Kani Tribe, four of them are related to Health and Medicine. The odd one out, might be Lux, premium brand luxury soap. Though some of these consumers claim Lux as helping them reduce acnes and pimples, there is a general thought process that Lux is majorly a non-medicinal soap. However, it becomes necessary to understand how Lux as a premium brand of soap, captures a place for itself in the list of medicinal soaps. It also becomes imperative to understand as to why is their choice of soaps limited to medicinal soaps? Another interesting aspect that needs to be understood is their choice of washing soaps as bathing soaps.  As, an understanding of the non-consumers of toilet soaps was also necessary, a series of interviews with them revealed that they were using herbal remedies instead of soaps.   

However, a very interesting fact that was revealed in the use of Lux as a brand by younger women was that, a section of its young women consumers were married and had infants or very young children at home. The interviews with the shop keepers also revealed that the consumption of Lux soap increased when families witnessed birth of a child.  The interview with the young mothers revealed that Lux was used by them not only as toilet soap, but also to wash their infants clothes when they were being breast fed. They particularly spoke about two very specific attributes that stood out in Lux as a choice for these young mothers, which were its perfume and softness.

When questioned about the use of Vairam/Sarvodaya, brands of washing soaps for personal use as toilet soaps, the older women revealed that they called it “Uppu Soap” meaning Soap with Salt content, for a reason. They reasoned that if the washing soap removed stains from the clothes, they should definitely be able to remove dirt from human body.

Their consumption pattern revealed a very particular attribute that stood out in their use of two varieties of soaps namely Lux and Vairam/Sarvodaya was the reversal of the roles of Toilet Soaps and Washing Soaps. Though present in a few families, it was a very interesting trend that was observed.

An aspect that assumed significance, during interviews, was the level of Loyalty that the Kani consumers of toilet soaps showed towards their preferred brand. During interviews with Shop keepers, it became very evident that Kani tribe was very loyal to the brand that they were consuming. The shop keepers revealed that just in case the brand of soap that a particular Kani consumer preferred was not available, the consumer never chooses an alternative, even if recommended by the shop keeper. He/she preferred to wait for the stock of the particular brand to arrive, rather than choosing another brand. Else, they preferred to go down to the plains to buy the brand of their choice instead of settling for an alternate brand. A very surprising fact that was revealed when presented with a case of non-availability of their preferred brand of soap was that, they were even ready to bathe without their preferred brand (in times of non-availability) rather than settle down for an alternate brand.

The interviews with the consumers revealed that there was a very strong pattern of not compromising their choices, if they had already settled for a brand or were satisfied with a particular brand of soap. When questioned on whether they were open or would ever try or test another brand just to experiment with it, most answered they would, however with a claim that they would get back to their brand after experimenting with the newer brand. An interesting fact, that came across was that if they were convinced to experiment with a new brand, they would give it a chance (at the most two times), before which they should be convinced with it to be used more often, else they would revert back to their earlier brand. However, convincing them to even experiment a new brand requires influence through key networks. 

There are several factors that play a major role in influencing the Kani to select a particular brand of soap, which was again revealed through in-depth interviews and focus group discussion sessions conducted with them. The factors that mostly influence the Kani can be better understood from a historical point of view

In the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s there were religious missionaries who selected some of the Kani children to be educated in schools in towns away from the Kani settlement, these children have since gone on to be employed in towns and cities away from the Kani settlement, and were exposed to increasing urbanization. Thus being exposed to branded soaps was natural. Further, advertisements and their non-Kani friends’ network also played a role. When these Kanis visited their native place, the Chinna Mylaru Kani settlement, they in turn brought these soaps back as gifts and also for their use, which in turn has influenced their kin back home.

Similarly, after 1991 (post liberalization in India), they were offered jobs in Government sectors, specifically in the forest departments, which ensured that they sometimes were transferred to different areas (both on promotion and as a rule in the Government departments ensuring staff mobility). This again influenced their exposure to branded soaps. Further, advertisements and their non-Kani friends’ network also played a role. The members of the Kani tribe who have had this exposure seem to have influenced their kin back home at the Chinna Mylaru Kani settlement. Also, the Tiger reserves/forest departments where they are employed as forest guards, night watchers even in their own area (Mundanthurai Tiger reserve), also employs non-Kani staff. These non-Kani colleagues of the Kani have also played an influential role in their choice of consumer products, soaps being one of them.

Further, they act as research assistants to several researchers from India and abroad in their research of the forest areas. Their relationship with these researchers and their use of consumer products also has influenced the choice of soaps.

The Karaiyar and Servalar dams, which have become major tourist spots in the Tirunelveli district, have attracted thousands of tourists to these areas. The Chinna Mylaru Kani settlement is at close proximity to these areas and thus the influence of tourists is natural. Further, the waterfalls in this region, is a famous pilgrimage/tourist destination. It also houses facilities for bathing. The Kanis’ observation of different brands of soaps used by the pilgrims and the tourists in these areas, are influential factors for choice of soaps.

Their increased level of importance to education has pushed them to attend schools, where even non-Kanis study. Further, the teachers are also non-Kanis. The Kani students have hostels in these residential schools, which again increases their exposure to certain soap brands, that they come back and tell their parents and other kin. The school in this Kani area has non-Kani teachers who stress the value of cleanliness and use of soap brands such as Hamam/Medimix. Similarly, the bi-weekly or sometimes the monthly visit of the doctors of the Primary Health centers, through their mobile hospital initiative, to these schools, have also increased the awareness of using medicinal soaps. The doctors and teachers seem to influence them the most on using medicinal soaps such as Medimix, Hamam and Chandrika; very specifically Medimix and Hamam. Distribution of free samples of these soaps has also played a major role in this regard.

A very interesting aspect that was evident in the influential factors of the Kani was that they pay high levels of respect to education and experts. They rely on their children who are being educated and exposed to urbanization to let them know things happening in the outside world. The discussions with the older generation revealed a reverse influential process, where the older generation was no longer influencing the younger generation, but, the younger generation was influencing the older generation. Discussions with the older generation revealed that they are willing to test and experiment with anything that their youngsters recommend.

The influence of media should definitely not be downplayed, though they do not have electricity provided by the government, they do have some facilities to generate electricity through solar power, though this is not stable or does not come for a longer period of time. They do have television sets, provided free of cost by the earlier Tamil Nadu government as a part of the vote bank politics. However, lack of electricity ensures that their TV watching habits are very less, at least by the older generation. However, the younger generation watches movies coming down to the plains. They watch advertisements with a keen interest. Battery operated radios are commonly used and the advertisements are heard with an interest. Local newspapers and magazines are bought by some of them and are read with an interest. They do accept that they are influenced by the advertisements, though, they discuss them with their own peer groups (women with women, older men with older men and youngsters with their peer group), and they do not buy everything they see. Sometimes, they wait for one of their peers to experiment with it, and wait for recommendations to try, before they invest on it.

A very strong undercurrent that was very evident is that, they all know that they are a community of doctors, who practice Ayurveda/ Siddha medicine. Therefore, this sense of medicine prevails in their selection of soaps too. They make it evident that they pay more attention to the medicinal qualities in soap and see if the soap is health soap before they purchase it. In case, one of their children has a skin problem, their sense of medicine prevails and immediately, they also get recommended by their peer group to try an ayurvedic/medicinal soap to cure the problem. If it works, they stick on to the soap. Even the use of Lux as washing soap, reveals that the softness of the soap does not cause irritation in the clothes of the infant, thus causing rashes in the new born/infant. Everything gets connected back to their sense of medicine. Finally, it’s their undercurrent culture of belief in medicine that influences their decision in selection of soaps.

Urban and Rural markets definitely require more of an ethnographic study, in order to understand them better. Consumer environments need not exist only in Urban and rural markets, micro markets such as tribal markets are also important areas for such consumer based studies. Ethnographic market studies of homogenous micro areas need to be conducted more often not from a corporate point of view but more from a social sciences point of view, in order to gauge the choices of tribes in this era of globalization, because, urbanization of these indigenous populations is occurring at a higher rate. The customs and behavior, in short their culture directs them to choose and consume certain products more than others. Their choice is dictated by their culture. Understanding, their consumer choices and their behavior from a multi-dimensional point of view is necessary, specifically in India, where such research is not very common. The paper is a step towards motivating, such research in micro level consumer markets/environments.  



Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Individualism and Collectivism

 Hofstede and Triandis on the Cultural Dimension of Individualism and Collectivism:

An Overview.

Shriram Venkataraman and P.Govinda Reddy

Management Matters, Vol.1, Issue 14, 2011
Value preferences, attitudes and behaviors are choices made at individual level.  They are individual characteristics.  In a society, certain social processes try to give uniformity and predictability to these characteristics.  Role modeling, general socialization in the family, in the educational institutions etc. and subtle methods of social rewards and punishments can influence the formation of value system and attitudes and determine the behavioral choices.  The ensuing uniformity within a society is considered a cultural variable, as the social processes across cultures are likely to be different.  Individualism and collectivism are two variables that have attracted lot of attention in the literature.
Individualism is a general orientation in a society which emphasizes personal aspects such as personal goals, personal uniqueness and personal control and marginalizes social aspects (Hsu, 1983; Kagisticibasi, 1994; Triandis, 1995).  Individualism emphasizes creating and maintaining positive sense of self, personal success, developing unique qualities for the self and relying on abstract traits (Baumeiser, 1998; Oyserman and Markus 1993).  Individualism implies that attainment of one’s personal goal is important indicator of well being and life satisfaction (Diener and Diener 1995).  Individualism also implies that judgment, reasoning and causal inference are generally oriented toward the person rather than the situation or social context (Morris and Peng, 1994).
The core element of collectivism is the assumption that groups bind and mutually obligate individuals (Oyserman et al.2002).  In these societies the personal is a component of the social and in-group is the key unit of analysis (Triandis, 1995).  Collectivism emphasizes group membership as central aspect of identity (Hofstede, 1980 and Kim, 1994) and valued personal traits are based on goals of collectivism (Oyserman, 1993).  Collectivism implies that individual’s life satisfaction comes from the performance of social roles and obligations (Kwan and Singelis, 1988).

Studies of Hofstede on Individualism and Collectivism

Hofstede, in 1980 published a work quantifying the cultural dimensions for the first time, based on an extensive research  ( conducted twice between 1967 and 1969 and again between 1971 and 1973)  with over 116,000 questionnaire responses of over 88,000 employees of IBM in 72 countries (later reduced to 40 countries and again extended to 50 countries in three regions). With a minimum of 50 respondents in each country, the survey was conducted in 20 languages and was published as a comprehensive work in the form of a book titled “Culture’s Consequences” in 1980. Through theoretical reasoning and a country level factor analysis he introduced four factors or dimensions of culture which determine national cultures and called the first dimension as individualisma and collectivism.  According to him, the dimension of Individualism – Collectivism refers to:
“The high side of this dimension, called Individualism, can be defined as a preference for a loosely-knit social framework in which individuals are expected to take care of themselves and their immediate families only. Its opposite, Collectivism, represents a preference for a tightly-knit framework in society in which individuals can expect their relatives or members of a particular in-group to look after them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty. A society's position on this dimension is reflected in whether people’s self-image is defined in terms of ‘I’ or ‘we’.”

Hofstede (1983) mentioned that through his study he observed that poorer countries in terms of wealth were collectivistic and wealthy countries were individualistic in nature.  Hofstede (2001) is of the openion that the dimension of individualism and collectivism is affected by economic factors such as wealth or poverty. 

Studies of Triandis on Individualism and Collectivism/Communitarianism

Similarly Trompenaars (1994) introduced seven dimensions of culture. One among them is Individualism versus Communitarianism.  According to him it refers to:
“The degree to which people see themselves function more as a community or more as individuals. In a principally individualistic culture, people place the individual before the community. This means that individual happiness, fulfillment and welfare prevails and people take their own initiative and take care of themselves. In a principally communitarian culture, people place the community before the individual. Thus, it is the responsibility of the individual to act in ways which serve society. In doing so, individual needs are automatically attended”.

According to Traindis (1990) collectivists emphasize on relationships whereas the individualists emphasize on rationality. Triandis and Suh (2002) observed that the interpersonal relationships of people in collectivistic cultures were more stable than those in individualistic cultures.

Triandis (2004) states that people in collectiovistic culture pay more attenntion to how something is said (like attention to gesture and tone of voice) than to what is being said.  Further, collectivists see environment as immutable and people as mutable and indiviudlists see peole as stable no matter how the environment is.  Similarly, collectivists see behavior as due to external factors such as norms and roles than due to inernal factors such as attitudes and pesonality and the self is interdependent and changeable based on the in-group one is with, whereas, individualists see self as stable.  Also, people in colectivistic culture give more preference to in-group goals than to personal goals.

Triandis (2004) also observes tht within any culture, individuals can either be idiocentric (think, feel and behave as people in individualistic culture) or allocentric (like people in collectivistic cultures).  Similarly, collectivistic cultures have around 30 to 100 percent allocentric people and between 0 to 35 percent idiocentrics.  Individualistic cultures have between 35 to 100 percent idiocentrics and 0 to 35 percent allocentrics.

Triandis (2004) states that idiocentrics are high on expressiveness, dominance, initiation of action, logical arguments, aggressiveness, regulation of flow of communication, eye contact, tended to finish task and has strong openions.  Further, idiocentrics in collectivistic cultures tend to feel dominated by the culture and want to eacape from it.  Similary, allocentrics are high on accommodating, avoidance of argument, shifted opinions more easily than idiocentirics.  Further, allocentrics in individualistic cultures feel the need to join groups, associations, unions among others.

Triandis (2004) states that factors such as affluence, leadership role, education, international travel and social mobility, socializing in bilateral families, movement to an indiviuslistic culture after upbringing in a collectivistic culture, greater exposure to western mass media and acculturation for years to a western culure as factors that influence idiocentric tendencies.  Similarly, factors such as financial dependence on an in-group, low social class, limited education, limited travel, socialization in unilateral families, traditionally religious and acculturation to a collectivistic culture as factors that influence allocentric tendencies.

Triandis (2004) states that organizations that have indivisualistic cultures have greater individualistic human practices and people in these organizations are selected on the basis of their individual attributes.  Further, these organizations have less training as employees are seen to be less loyal and less committed to organizations and are seen to leave the organizations when better opportunities arise.  Paternalism is not common, boss does not maintain personal relationships with the employees and mangers are highly concerned about performance.  Similarly, organizations tht have collectivistic cultures have collectivistic human practices.  People in these organizations are selected on the basis of group memberships.  Organizations have more tarining as employees are seen to be loyal and highly committed to organizations and are observed to stick to organizations.  Paternalism is common, boss maintains a personal relaionship with his employees and managers are more concerned about interpersonal relationships than performance.

Triandis (2004) also observes that a national level, the wealth of nations can be correlated  to individualism and collectivism and states that countries can move from being collectivistic to being individualistic when they become more affluent, but he also states that this might require several generations.
Comparison of works of Hofstede and Triandis on Individualism and Collectivism
It is interesting to observe the contributions of Hofstede and Triandis on the same dimension of individualism and collectivism from two different perspectives.  While Hofstede explores this cultural dimension from a macro level, Triandis expands and explores this dimension at a micro level.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

What is Physical Anthropology?

Physical anthropology is mainly concerned with human evolution and variation.
In order to understand human variation, physical anthropologists used different methods.
Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, father of physical anthropology had used anthropometry to understand human variation. During the initial stages, anthropometry and anthroposcopy were used to understand this phenomenon.  Gradually, Blood group (ABO, Rh, MNSs etc.) and serum protein studies and later HLA blood typing were used for this purpose.  Now, Human genomic studies (Nuclear DNA and Mitochondrial DNA studies) are used to understand human variation and evolution.  Well-equipped laboratory is necessary to carry out these studies.  Slowly, people from other disciplines like Bio-technology are also doing research in human genomic studies for this purpose.
Earlier dermatoglypics was used to understand human variation and for forensic invetigation. Now, cheiloscopy is also being used to understand human variation and for forensic purposes.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Family life among Information Technology professionals

Due to long hours of work at office combined with work pressure to complete the project within the time schedule may lead to tension among them. Some times, they have to work even after office hours from home to update their knowledge in the domain on which they work. Due to constant work pressure and tension, small adjustment problems are assuming serious proportions among some couples.  Interpersonal relations and peaceful family life are getting disturbed due to this.  In certain extreme situations, some of them  may end up with unexpected things.

Ocuupational Health hazards of Information Technology Professionals

People use different terms for the symptoms I.T. professionals’ experience in their occupation.  The terms normally used are Occupational Overuse Syndrome (OOS), Repetitive Strain Injury RSI), Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), Computer Related Injury (CRI), Warrens Syndrome (WS), Cumulative Trauma Disorder (CTD), Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)  etc.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Anthropologists predictions and views on Business Anthropology

Davenport (2007) in his article on “Rise of Corporate Anthropology” published in the Harvard Business Review mentions: ‘I have been predicting for years that anthropologists would soon be in demand in the workplace, and now this is finally coming to pass’.

Alfons van Marrewijk (2010) in his article on "European Developments in Business Anthropology,"  published in International Journal of Business Anthropology, mentioned that interesting research in contemporary multinational organizations and international business lies ahead of Anthropologists.