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Max Weber called the maxim “Time is Money” the surest, simplest expression of the spirit of capitalism. Coined in 1748 by Benjamin Franklin, this modern proverb now has a…
Max Weber called the maxim “Time is Money” the surest, simplest expression of the spirit of capitalism. Coined in 1748 by Benjamin Franklin, this modern proverb now has a life of its own. In this paper, I examine the worldwide diffusion and sociocultural history of this paradigmatic expression. The intent is to explore the ways in which ideas of time and money appear in sedimented form in popular sayings.
My approach is sociological in orientation and multidisciplinary in method. Drawing upon the works of Max Weber, Antonio Gramsci, Wolfgang Mieder, and Dean Wolfe Manders, I explore the global spread of Ben Franklin’s famed adage in three ways: (1) via evidence from the field of “paremiology” – that is, the study of proverbs; (2) via online searches for the phrase “Time is Money” in 30-plus languages; and (3) via evidence from sociological and historical research.
The conviction that “Time is Money” has won global assent on an ever-expanding basis for more than 250 years now. In recent years, this phrase has reverberated to the far corners of the world in literally dozens of languages – above all, in the languages of Eastern Europe and East Asia.
Methodologically, this study unites several different ways of exploring the globalization of the capitalist spirit. The main substantive implication is that, as capitalism goes global, so too does the capitalist spirit. Evidence from popular sayings gives us a new foothold for insight into questions of this kind.
This paper aims to describe a proverb game where the themes of work and money introduce participants to world perspectives on handling social transactions and establishing…
This paper aims to describe a proverb game where the themes of work and money introduce participants to world perspectives on handling social transactions and establishing “fair play” between people.
Students are involved in a “serious game” where they work in international groups to piece together parts of a linguistic puzzle drawing on the language competencies of the group. They exchange viewpoints about “fair play”. This experiential learning opportunity introduces an ethics and cross-cultural framework into the curriculum.
The game has been used to “break the ice” at the start of international business programs and allow exchange students greater opportunity to become involved in problem solving activities.
In three versions, the authors have tested over three academic years, the proverb game has allowed the participants to reach the objectives: become involved with international classmates, co-produce cultural knowledge with peers (an alternative to a teacher-driven seminar on culture), develop awareness of cultural self, study world values through proverbs, and examine the importance of rule-based behavior and fair play.
To the authors' knowledge, there are no “language” games suitable for the international business classroom whose purpose is actually ethical.
The purpose of this paper is to examine how national culture influences individuals’ subjective experience of tension when confronting paradoxical demands that arise…
The purpose of this paper is to examine how national culture influences individuals’ subjective experience of tension when confronting paradoxical demands that arise during their day-to-day organizational experience. The paper further explores two types of paradoxical demands (task oriented and relational oriented) and two mediating mechanisms (tolerance for contradictions and harmony enhancement concerns) that exhibit contrary cultural effects.
Drawing from a sample of white-collar workers in China and the USA, the authors first inductively generated scenarios with task-oriented and relational-oriented paradoxical demands and then conducted three studies where participants rated the perceived tension from the scenarios. In Study 1, they examined cross-cultural differences in perceived tension and the mediating role of tolerance for contradictions. In Study 2, they primed Americans with proverbs that promoted tolerance for contradictions. In Study 3, they examined the indirect effects of harmony enhancement concerns in China in relational-oriented paradoxical demands.
The results found that for task-oriented paradoxical demands, Chinese participants were less likely than American participants to experience tension and the effects were mediated by a higher tolerance for contradictions. Americans exposed to proverbs that promoted tolerance for contradictions also experienced less tension. For relational-oriented paradoxical demands, on the other hand, the authors found no cross-cultural differences, as the indirect effects of a tolerance for contradictions were mitigated by negative indirect effects of greater harmony enhancement concerns.
This paper demonstrates that culture can influence the tension that individuals subjectively experience when they confront paradoxical conditions, suggesting that individuals learn implicitly how to cope with tensions associated with paradoxes from their broader cultural environment. However, the authors also found different cultural effects within different paradoxical conditions, suggesting that the knowledge that individuals acquire from their broader cultural environment is multifaceted.
The Internet has the potential to facilitate understanding across cultures and languages by removing the physical barriers to intercultural communication. One possible…
The Internet has the potential to facilitate understanding across cultures and languages by removing the physical barriers to intercultural communication. One possible contributor to this development has been the recent release of freely‐available automated direct machine translation systems, such as AltaVista with SYSTRAN, which translates from English to five other European languages (French, German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese), and vice versa. However, concerns have recently been raised over the performance of these systems, and the potential for confusion that can be created when the intended meaning of sentences is not correctly translated (i.e. semantic processing errors). In this paper, we use an iterative paradigm to examine errors associated with interlingual divergence in meaning arising from the automated machine translation of English proverbs. The need for the development of Web‐based translation systems, which have an explicit cross‐linguistic representation of meaning for successful intercultural communication, is discussed.
A contrast of site productivity levels for an in situ concrete operation (reinforcement fixing) on a high‐rise project amongst construction contractors from Germany…
A contrast of site productivity levels for an in situ concrete operation (reinforcement fixing) on a high‐rise project amongst construction contractors from Germany, France and the UK is given. The productivity rates provided by contractors' planning engineers for a model construction project form the basis of this evaluation. Conclusions drawn, based on relatively small samples, are considered approximations of the actual productivity levels in each international location. An analysis of variance based on international origin indicates significant differences between these productivity rates. Generally, amongst the sample surveyed, UK and German contractors exhibit the most efficient levels of labour productivity for the operations observed, whilst French contractors are by far the least productive. For the model building, UK contractors are the most productive, requiring less labour input than those from Germany and France. The UK contractors also demonstrate a high degree of performance variation. Leading on from these analyses, a construction (labour) cost comparison indicates the UK to be the most economic location. A comparison with previous research indicates contrasting findings. It is concluded that the performance ranking of French, German and UK contractors will vary depending upon the construction operations concerned, and therefore, assumptions regarding national contracting industries should not be based on individual operations. Contractors could benefit from developing closer links with their international counterparts since this would facilitate dissemination of European ‘best practice’.