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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Cross-Cultural Dimensions of Internet Portals

Cross-Cultural Dimensions of Internet Portals
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Author(s): Sajjad Zahir (University of Lethbridge, Canada), Brian Dobing (University of Lethbridge, Canada) and Gordon Hunter (University of Lethbridge, Canada)
Copyright: 2002
Pages: 5
Source title: Issues & Trends of Information Technology Management in Contemporary Organizations
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-930708-39-6.ch221
ISBN13: 9781930708396
EISBN13: 9781466641358


Culture can be defined as the manifestation of “learned behavior consisting of thoughts, feelings and actions” (Hoft, 1996) formed under the influences of social, biological, psychological, economic and ecological environments over an extended period of time. But, as Hoft notes, culture is a complex subject encompassing many diverse concepts. By 1952, Kroeber and Kluckhohn (1963) had already identified 164 definitions of culture, ranging from “learned behaviour” to “ideas in the mind,” “a logical construct,” “a statistical fiction,” and “a psychic defense mechanism” and claimed that over 300 existed (p.291). Culture is a product of learning (Hoebel, 1971; Murdock 1965), changing over time and from place to place. Such changes are accelerated by various social exchanges, direct or indirect, among peoples. Creative processes or innovations diffuse through culture, so that times of rapid technological innovation are likely to see rapid cultural changes. Recently, the Internet has brought about a revolution in information technology, affecting many aspects of the personal, professional and social lives of those connected through it. The Internet is changing the way we do business, learn and get education, gather information, bank and invest, pay bills, listen to music, see movies, buy and sell things, exchange greetings and communicate with others, express views, participate in debates and are entertained. These changes are affecting our cultures. But are all cultures being affected in similar ways? Are different cultural groups adopting this particular information technology in different ways consistent with their culture? Or is the Internet likely to lead to greater cultural homogeneity?

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