The information in GlobeSmart describes values and behaviors that are typically found among business people in different cultures. The content and culture profiles have been developed and are continually being reviewed by individuals from the cultures being described.
GlobeSmart is, however, not a source of cultural absolutes, and the information provided in GlobeSmart will not apply to every individual in every situation. Individuals are, of course, unique, and individual values, behaviors, and expectations will differ based on a variety of factors, only one of which is cultural.
When talking about difference, it is useful to make a distinction between stereotypes and generalizations. GlobeSmart content is intended to provide useful generalizations and examples — it is not meant to promote stereotypes.
Stereotypes are fixed or oversimplified opinions, images, or judgments. When we have oversimplified perceptions of other people, we often assume all individuals in a particular group are the same, and we use words like always, never, and all. We close our minds to new information.
Generalizations are general ideas, statements, or principles based on observations of patterns of behavior that may be demonstrated within a group. When we generalize we use words like: most, many, often, and generally. However, we are open to new information, and we use it to continually refine our understanding of individuals.
Our goal is to avoid stereotypes, as identity is complex. However, generalizations can be a useful starting point for discussions. We encourage GlobeSmart's users to see GlobeSmart as a starting point for discussion rather than an "answer" to cultural differences.