Cultural Differences between UK and Morocco

Subject: Business
Type: Compare and Contrast Essay
Pages: 4
Word count: 1230
Topics: Human Resources, Management


The world continues to shrink into a global village daily and telecommunication enables people to travel across cultures thus necessitating comparative cultural studies on different topics. Hofstede (2011) observes that many people are presently avoiding isolation by travelling for international endeavours like pleasure, business or official functions. Hofstede has measured six aspects of culture and observes that the interaction varies because each individual involved in the discourse holds different beliefs, values, and perceptions. Such interactions help build richer experiences through appreciation of others’ cultures. This essay presents a comparative investigation of the cultural difference between Morocco and the UK with special attention to individualism and Power Distance. The essay contends that international contacts enrich, stimulate and give individuals a wider picture of the values of others.

Differences between Morocco and UK Based on Individualism

Differences in communication between UK and Morocco can be established along individualism-collectivism parameters. For instance, the UK is noted to be one major individualist nation where the culture has less regard for the concerns of other people. This is the idea echoed by Kapoor et al. (2003) who note that nations like the UK have a culture that permits exultation of personal interests. This is in sharp contrast to the collectivism witnessed in Morocco whereby relationship harmony is maintained in all communications. In Morocco, people often avoid certain expressions in speech that are likely to hurt others. Individualism in the UK is characterised by direct communication which seeks to avoid ambiguity thus preventing potential conflict. On the contrary, the culture of communication in Morocco allows for indirect communication that avoids misinterpretation (Sadiqi, 2009). 

Individualism among the Britons is evident in their independence, self-sufficiency, and pursuit of personal interests. In their research, Wlotko, and Federmeier (2012) reveal that communication differences between individualist and collectivist nations concern aspects of self-promotion that can be termed bragging. People of UK are known to be assertive, self-confident and keen on attempts to establish their personal branding. This is opposed to the culture in Morocco where humility is an ingrained part of the culture. In the country, there is a minimal attempt to honour individual attention as this is seen as an opposition to the collectivism spirit. Whereas it is apparent that UK communication is replete with self-esteem, standing out and superiority, Collectivists prefer less independence (Kapoor et al., 2003). Hofstede (2011) opines that the straightforward and domineering trait of most Britons is in contrast to kindness and lack of confidence in ability experienced in other nations. 

Power Distance Differences between UK and Morocco 

By definition, power distance refers to how people perceive and accept power distributions that are unequal in a society (Peltokorpi & Clausen, 2011). It is noted that the UK is a low power difference because individuals perceive themselves as equal as opposed to Morocco where people are not equal (Sadiqi, 2009). The communication in these two nations shows clear cultural differences. For instance, there exists a supportive and self-assured relationship among UK bosses and their employees because of the perceived mutualism. In Morocco, most speeches are characterised by subordination and autocracy. Jensen (2005) observes that nations with high power difference like Morocco are often keen on following rules to protect status quo. To be specific, the culture in Morocco encourages strengthening of Arabic language instead of English. This centralisation of authority is not experienced in the UK where people treat each other with equality. 

Another power difference in communication between UK and Morocco concerns politeness and directness in approach. With a power difference score of 70, people in Morocco use impolite speech according to the aim of the conversation. This takes the form of direct speech geared through autocracy in a hierarchical society. On the contrary, Wlotko and Federmeier (2012) observe that nations with low power difference like the UK cherish politeness and open expression of satisfaction in everyone. This is a stark difference discernible in the comparative investigation. 

How to Adapt to UK Culture 

There are recommendations that may enable a foreigner to adapt to the culture of UK as the host nation.  First, a foreigner not only needs to form links with fellow foreigners but also with UK neighbours. Kim (1988) observes that communication among newcomers and settled members of a host nation is one way to adapt. Therefore, apart from getting mutual help among fellow foreigners, newcomers into the UK should interact extensively with the host as a way of learning and appreciating the culture for future endeavours.  

Secondly, a newcomer should be open-minded as they join the UK. As it is evident that there are certain ideologies making the UK peculiar like individualism and equality, prior pre-entry reading of this will most likely prevent culture shock. Peltokorpi and Clausen (2011) mention that in order to survive in a foreign nation, one should read about their self-esteem, resilience, ambiguity in speech and interpersonal skills expected by the host. 

One should also have a thorough grasp of the UK language in order to adapt comfortably. Wlotko and Federmeier (2012) observe that linguistic differences and barriers make it difficult for newcomers to appreciate the UK English. It is necessary to learn these skills in order to survive in the UK. Oetzel and Ting-Toomey (2003) reiterate that travelling to a new nation is the beginning of many cross-cultural stresses that may upset a newcomer. Therefore, adjustments should be made on one’s personal predispositions so that the culture of the host nation is appreciated ahead of time. 

A critique of Hofstede’s Model

Hofstede presents a model of cultural comparison which many scholars acknowledge as a comprehensive tool in cultural studies. In fact, the approach has been widely applied in research. However, Hofstede’s arguments are disputable on certain grounds. Williamson (2002) contends that a critical look at the cultural dimensions developed by Hofstede reveals an approach that is currently non-functional and out-dated. Signorini, Wiesemes, and Murphy (2009) cushion that contemporary research should seek alternative approaches to culture due to the apparent changes in politics, values at work and increased sharing of knowledge. 

  Hofstede’s approach falls short of the capacity to sustain comprehensive reasoning since the concept of national culture is simplistic. Signorini, Wiesemes, and Murphy (2009) support that dynamic structures should be embraced in cultural studies since Hofstede’s model assumes that all domestic cultures are homogenous while the truth is that they are heterogeneous. Further, it approaches cultural analysis through national entities while ignoring the fragmented cultures along different boundaries within the same nation. Taras, Kirkman, and Steel (2010) argue that Hofstede’s approach is overwhelmingly loaded with Western notions which ignore alternative frameworks in various parts of the globe. Williamson (2002) observes that Hofstede runs the risk of overgeneralising one situation to every context without considering peculiar features of individual cultures. 


In conclusion, this essay has investigated the cultural differences between Morocco and UK along the dimensions of power differences and individualism-collectivism. These two ideologies account for the clear differences in speech as manifested by members of each distinct group. The UK is depicted as highly individualistic in nature while Morocco is a collectivist nation. There are salient features of the communication in each of these nations that spring from the parameters. Further, the essay notes that the UK embraces equality while Morocco culture is more inclined to autocracy. Finally, Moroccan communication culture is impolite and dictatorial while UK speech is polite. 

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  2. Jensen, G., 2005. The Peculiarities of ‘Spanish Morocco’: Imperial Ideology and Economic Development. Mediterranean Historical Review20(1), pp.81-102.
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  8. Signorini, P., Wiesemes, R. and Murphy, R., 2009. Developing alternative frameworks for exploring intercultural learning: a critique of Hofstede’s cultural difference model. Teaching in Higher Education14(3), pp.253-264.
  9. Taras, V., Kirkman, B.L. and Steel, P., 2010. Examining the impact of culture’s consequences: A three-decade, multilevel, meta-analytic review of Hofstede’s cultural value dimensions. Journal of Applied Psychology95(3), p.405.
  10. Williamson, D., 2002. Forward from a critique of Hofstede’s model of national culture. Human relations55(11), pp.1373-1395.
  11. Wlotko, E.W. and Federmeier, K.D., 2012. So that’s what you meant! Event-related potentials reveal multiple aspects of context use during construction of message-level meaning. NeuroImage62(1), pp.356-366.
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