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Values, Beliefs and Basic Assumptions - Deep in the Cultural Iceberg

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Deep in the Cultural Iceberg

Values, beliefs and basic assumptions are buried deep in the cultural iceberg. Most of us are partially conscious of our own culture’s values and beliefs but completely unaware of the assumptions on which they are based. Here are some examples of basic assumptions that govern everyday business interactions like negotiating, managing and planning:

Human nature is essentially good/Human nature is essentially evil. If you believe that human nature is essentially evil, you will be distrustful of your negotiating partners from the beginning and convinced they are out to cheat you.

· People are born equal/People are born unequal. If you are a boss who believes that people are born unequal, you will assume that you are naturally superior to your workers and will be angry if they disagree with you.

· The world is governed by rational laws/The word is an arbitrary place. Why would you spend time on long range planning if anything can happen and things are out of your control?

If you ask colleagues or clients from another culture about the basic assumptions underlying their customs or behavior, they will probably think you are crazy. It is undoubtedly something they have never thought about.

Values beliefs assumptions

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