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CROSS-CULTURAL MANAGEMENT BBSB 4103

             Flat UI Design Resources
                                                                                                                         


TABLE OF CONTENT


1.0    INTRODUCTION                                                                 2

2.0    WHITE HOUSE                                                                   4

3.0    OVAL OFFICE INTERIOR DESIGN                               8

4.0    THE IMPORTANCE OF WHITE HOUSE TO UNITED STATES CULTURE                                                                    11

5.0    CONCLUSIONS                                                                   15

          REFERENCES                                                                     16








1.0              INTRODUCTION
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (US) or America, is a federal republic consisting of 50 states and a federal district. The 48 contiguous states and Washington, DC, are in the center of North America between Canada and Mexico. The state of Alaska is located in the northwestern part of North America and the state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific. The country also has five uninhabited territories populated and many in the Pacific and the Caribbean. At 3.8 million square miles (9,842,000 km2) and with over 320 million people, the United States is the fourth largest country in the world by total area and the third most populous. It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural country, large-scale immigration of the product in many countries. The geography and climate of the United States are also extremely diverse, and the country is home to a wide variety of wildlife.

Paleo-Indians migrated from Eurasia to what is now the U.S. mainland at least 15,000 years ago, with European colonization beginning in the 16th century. The United States emerged from 13 British colonies located along the East Coast. Disputes between Great Britain and the colonies led to the American Revolution. On July 4, 1776, as the colonies were fighting Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War, delegates from the 13 colonies unanimously adopted the Declaration of Independence. The war ended in 1783 with recognition of the independence of the United States by the Kingdom of Great Britain, and was the first successful war of independence against a European colonial empire. The country's constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787, and ratified by the states in 1788. The first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, were ratified in 1791 and designed to guarantee many fundamental civil rights and freedoms.

Driven by the doctrine of Manifest Destiny, the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century. This involved displacing American Indian tribes, acquiring new territories, and gradually admitting new states, until by 1848 the nation spanned the continent. During the second half of the 19th century, the American Civil War ended legal slavery in the country. By the end of that century, the United States extended into the Pacific Ocean, and its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power. The United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. The end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower.

The United States is a developed country and has the world's largest economy by nominal and real GDP, benefiting from an abundance of natural resources and high worker productivity. While the U.S. economy is considered post-industrial, the country continues to be one of the world's largest manufacturers. Accounting for 34% of global military spending and 23% of world GDP, it is the world's foremost economic and military power, a prominent political and cultural force, and a leader in scientific research and technological innovations.


2.0       WHITE HOUSE
Picture 1: White House

The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the President of the United States, located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C. It has been the residence of every U.S. president since John Adams in 1800.

The house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia Creek sandstone in the Neoclassical style. When Thomas Jefferson moved into the house in 1801, he (with architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe) expanded the building outward, creating two colonnades that were meant to conceal stables and storage. However, in 1814, during the War of 1812, the mansion was set ablaze by the British Army in the Burning of Washington, destroying the interior and charring much of the exterior. Reconstruction began almost immediately, and President James Monroe moved into the partially reconstructed Executive Residence in October 1817. Construction continued with the addition of the South Portico in 1824 and the North in 1829.

Because of crowding within the executive mansion itself, President Theodore Roosevelt had all work offices relocated to the newly constructed West Wing in 1901. Eight years later, President William Howard Taft expanded the West Wing and created the first Oval Office (picture 2) which was eventually moved as the section was expanded. In the main mansion, the third-floor attic was converted to living quarters in 1927 by augmenting the existing hip roof with long shed dormers. A newly constructed East Wing was used as a reception area for social events; Jefferson's colonnades connected the new wings. East Wing alterations were completed in 1946, creating additional office space. By 1948, the house's load-bearing exterior walls and internal wood beams were found to be close to failure. Under Harry S. Truman, the interior rooms were completely dismantled and a new internal load-bearing steel frame constructed inside the walls. Once this work was completed, the interior rooms were rebuilt.

Figure 2: Oval Office

The modern-day White House complex includes the Executive Residence, West Wing, East Wing, the Eisenhower Executive Office Building—the former State Department, which now houses offices for the President's staff and the Vice President—and Blair House, a guest residence. The Executive Residence is made up of six stories—the Ground Floor, State Floor, Second Floor, and Third Floor, as well as a two-story basement. The term White House is often used as a metonym for the Executive Office of the President of the United States and for the president's administration and advisers in general, as in "The White House has decided that....". The property is a National Heritage Site owned by the National Park Service and is part of the President's Park. In 2007, it was ranked second on the American Institute of Architects list of "America's Favorite Architecture".

Figure 3: Floor map of White House

Figure 4: White House Area


3.0       OVAL OFFICE INTERIOR DESIGN


The Oval Office is the official office of the President of the United States. It is located in the West Wing of the White House Complex.

The room features three large south-facing windows behind the president's desk, and a fireplace at the north end. It has four doors: the east door opens to the Rose Garden; the west door leads to a private study and dining room; the northwest door opens onto the main corridor of the West Wing; and the northeast door opens to the office of the president's secretary.

Presidents generally decorate the office to suit their personal taste, choosing new furniture, new drapery, and designing their own oval-shaped carpet to take up most of the floor. Artwork is selected from the White House's own collection, or borrowed from museums for the president's term in office.

The Oval Office is traditionally redecorated to reflect each president’s personal tastes and attitudes. Jimmy Carter, who favored frugality, was one of the few recent presidents who chose to retain the Oval Office d├ęcor selected by his predecessor. To personalize this space most presidents choose furniture, artwork, and sculpture from the historic collection. Kennedy’s Oval Office walls were adorned with seascapes and naval paintings. Clinton chose busts of his favorite presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln to sit on the table behind his desk and selected red, blue, and gold as the primary upholstery and carpet colors. George W. Bush replaced Clinton’s color choices with antique gold and hung paintings depicting his home state of Texas. One constant that no president changes, however, is the placement of the flags—the presidential flag always stands to the president’s left, while the United States flag always stands to the president’s right.

Figure 5:The Oval Office in 1981, during the administration of Ronald Reagan. President Reagan used the Resolute Desk, which President Jimmy Carter had returned to the White House. The rug from the Gerald R. Ford administration was replaced when the Reagans redecorated in 1988.

The items each president keeps on his desk in the Oval Office often offer a glimpse into the president’s past, personality, and beliefs. Truman quite famously kept a wooden sign on his desk declaring “The Buck Stops here!” Reagan and Clinton preferred the optimistic slogan “It can be done” on their desks. Beginning with Kennedy, most presidents have used the historic Resolute desk, which was crafted from the timbers of the retired British ship HMS Resolute and presented as a gift of peace from Queen Victoria in 1880. Only Lyndon Johnson, Nixon, and Gerald Ford chose not to use the Resolute desk.

Another key feature of the Oval Office that most presidents choose to change is the rug. Though each version of the Oval Office rug features the presidential seal at the center, presidents are free to redesign the colors and other elements embedded in the rug’s design. Bill Clinton’s rug was dominantly royal blue with a floral border and red accents. Laura Bush redesigned the rug when her husband became president, and it features a yellow sunburst emanating from the seal to relay what Laura intended to be an “open and optimistic” element to the room. Bush’s rug also includes a border comprised of olive branches and blue stars. The design of the rug’s presidential seal was changed by Harry Truman in the wake of World War II. The main element of the seal is a bald eagle which represents the United States. The eagle holds an olive branch in one talon and a group of arrows in the other. Before Truman’s administration, the eagle faced the military might of the arrows. Looking toward a peaceful future, Truman redesigned the seal so that the eagle now glances toward the olive branches. The seal remains that way in Bush’s rug. Although President Obama will likely choose a new rug design for his Oval Office, he has decided to retain Bush’s rug for the time being.

Figure 6: Every President have their own preffered rug. Shown in the picture is the rug use during Bush administration.

4.0  The importance of white house to UNITED STATES culture
For two hundred years, the White House has stood as a symbol of the Presidency, the United States government, and the American people. Its history, and the history of the nation’s capital, began when President George Washington signed an Act of Congress in December of 1790 declaring that the federal government would reside in a district "not exceeding ten miles square…on the river Potomac." President Washington, together with city planner Pierre L’Enfant, chose the site for the new residence, which is now 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. As preparations began for the new federal city, a competition was held to find a builder of the "President’s House." Nine proposals were submitted, and Irish-born architect James Hoban won a gold medal for his practical and handsome design.

3.1  United States According Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions
Figure 7: Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions

Hofstede's cultural dimensions theory is a framework for cross-cultural communication, developed by Geert Hofstede. It describes the effects of a society's culture on the values of its members, and how these values relate to behavior, using a structure derived from factor analysis. The theory has been widely used in several fields as a paradigm for research, particularly in cross-cultural psychology, international management, and cross-cultural communication. If we explore the US culture through Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions, we can get a good overview of the deep driving factors of American culture relative to other cultures.

3.1.1        Power Distance in the United States
While all societies and cultures are not equal, the range of inequality varies from culture to culture. The United States score is a low 40, which is no surprise. We value the American premise of “liberty and justice for all.” This is also shown through the importance of equal rights in every aspect of the United States government and society. Within American organizations, “hierarchy is established for convenience, superiors are always accessible and managers rely on individual employees and teams for their expertise.” Managers and employees expect to be discussed with during decision-making, and information is shared between the different levels of leadership and power. Along with this, communication is “informal, direct and participative. “

3.1.2    Individualism           
Individualism is the one side versus its opposite, collectivism, that is the degree to which individuals are integrated into groups. On the individualist side we find societies in which the ties between individuals are loose: everyone is expected to look after him/herself and his/her immediate family. On the collectivist side, we find societies in which people from birth onwards are integrated into strong, cohesive in-groups, often extended families (with uncles, aunts and grandparents) which continue protecting them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty.

The United States can clearly been seen as individualistic (scoring a 91). The “American dream” is clearly a representation of this. This is the Americans’ hope for a better quality of life and a higher standard of living than their parents’. This belief is that anyone, regardless of their status can ‘pull up their boot straps’ and raise themselves from poverty.

3.1.3    Masculinity
Masculinity versus its opposite, femininity refers to the distribution of roles between the genders which is another fundamental issue for any society to which a range of solutions are found. The IBM studies revealed that (a) women’s values differ less among societies than men’s values; (b) men’s values from one country to another contain a dimension from very assertive and competitive and maximally different from women’s values on the one side, to modest and caring and similar to women’s values on the other. The assertive pole has been called ‘masculine’ and the modest, caring pole ‘feminine’.

Masculine traits include assertiveness, materialism/material success, self-centeredness, power, strength, and individual achievements. The United States scored a 62 on Hofstede’s scale. So these two cultures share, in terms of masculinity, similar values.

3.1.4    Uncertainty avoidance
Uncertainty avoidance deals with a society’s tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity; it ultimately refers to man’s search for Truth. It indicates to what extent a culture programs its members to feel either uncomfortable or comfortable in unstructured situations. Unstructured situations are novel, unknown, surprising, and different from usual. Uncertainty avoiding cultures try to minimize the possibility of such situations by strict laws and rules, safety and security measures, and on the philosophical and religious level by a belief in absolute Truth; ‘there can only be one Truth and we have it’.

The United States scores a 46 compared to the 65 of the German culture. Uncertainty avoidance in the US is relatively low, which can clearly be viewed through the national cultures.

3.1.5    Long-Term Orientation
Hofestede's fifth dimension, Long-Term Orientation, was added after his first four dimensions including individualism, masculinity, power distance index, and uncertainty avoidance failed to satisfy the criteria defined within. After collecting data from only 23 countries Hofestede wished to reach a higher portion of the globe.

Countries with high regard for Long-Term Orientation, value persistence rather than immediate results. This plays a rather crucial role in business decisions where Long-Term Orientated countries wish to establish a Long-Term commitment, while Short-Term Oriented countries wish to make decisions faster in order to achieve more immediate results. This is also seen in cultures where spending money is more common than saving. Additionally, cultures that practice higher Long-Term Orientation more commonly make rash judgments when it comes to investing in areas such as the stock market, real estate, luxuries, and further.

Confucian Dynamism (LTO) rates the long-term or short-term orientation of a country. The United States scored a 29, far below the worldwide average of 48. These results allow us to conclude that United States values short-term concepts more than long term ones. This is seen as especially true when members of societies value meeting obligations and appreciating cultural traditions more than it values long-term ones. These are often referred to as newly adapted tradition due to the interest in thrift and perseverance. It is also a manageable tool that has been adapted to combat the undesirable economy facing us across the globe.


5.0       CONCLUSIONS

The United States is the third largest country in the word with a population of more than 320 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Because of this, the United States is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. Nearly every region of the world has influenced American culture, as it is a country of immigrants, most notably the English who colonized the country beginning in the early 1600s. U.S. culture has also been shaped by the cultures of Native Americans, Latin Americans, Africans and Asians.

The United States is sometimes described as a "melting pot" in which different cultures have contributed their own distinct "flavors" to American culture. Just as cultures from around the world have influenced American culture, today American culture influences the world. The term Western culture often refers broadly to the cultures of the United States and Europe.

For more than 200 years, the White House has been more than just the home of the Presidents and their families. Throughout the world, it is recognized as the symbol of the President, of the President's administration, and of the United States. The White House is the only private residence of a head of state that is open to the public, free of charge.

Every president since John Adams has occupied the White House, and the history of this building extends far beyond the construction of its walls. From the Ground Floor Corridor rooms, transformed from their early use as service areas, to the State Floor rooms, where countless leaders and dignitaries have been entertained, the White House is both the home of the President of the United States his family and a museum of American history. The White House is a place where history continues to unfold.
ATTACHMENT

REFERENCES
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Dean, J. W. (1976). Blind Ambition: The White House Years. Simon & Schuster.

Fredrie W. Rohm Jr. (2010). American and Arab Cultural Lenses. Inner Resources for Leaders, School of Global Leadership & Entrepreneurship, Regent University, Virginia Beach.

Hofstede G. (1980). Culture’s consequences: Institutional Differences in Work-Related Values. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

Hofstede G. (1984). Culture’s consequences: Institutional Differences in Work-Related Values. Abridged Edition. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

Haldeman, H. R. (1994). The Haldeman Diaries: Inside the Nixon White House. Putnam Adult.
                                                      
Kissinger, H. (2011). White house years. Simon and Schuster.

"Ethical Values and Long-term Orientation." Journal of Business Ethics . 71.3 (2007): 264-273. Web. 2 Feb. 2013.

Hofstede (2001), Culture’s Consequences, 2nd ed., p 359

G. Hofstede, B. Neuijen, D. D. Ohayv, G. Sanders. “Measuring Organizational Cultures: A Qualitative and Quantitative Study Across Twenty Cases,” Administrative Science Quarterly, 35, no. 2, (1990).

Seale, W. (1986). The president's house: a history. White House Historical Association with the cooperation of the National Geographic Society.





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