Open access peer-reviewed chapter

The Cultural Differences in the Perception and Application of Crisis Management in Tourism

Written By

Marica Mazurek

Submitted: March 30th, 2021 Reviewed: April 19th, 2021 Published: May 18th, 2021

DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.97779

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Abstract

During the COVID 2019 outbreak countries in the world reacted to the epidemic situation differently. These discrepancies were based on the cultural differences and the reactions of public sector to deal organizationally and financially with these negative externalities, which can damage also tourism businesses. In this book chapter has been explained the differences in the reactions of Eastern cultures and Western cultures and their hierarchical approach to the decision-making process. The methodological approach to this book chapter and its content is based on the use of concepts rooted in the studies of applied models of crisis management and the application of several case studies from Europe, Asia and North America, where has been discussed the preparedness of public sector to bear a risk and to act effectively during COVID-19 outbreak. A discussion comprises cultural differences and their impact on health situation and the role of media as well as the organizational learning culture.

Keywords

  • cultural differences
  • crisis management
  • organizational learning
  • pandemic situation of COVID-19
  • tourism

1. Introduction

The existence of danger and threat are serious factors, which could undermine image, reputation, competiveness of tourism and the whole country. In the global crisis situation, a majority of countries has to face risk of health and human´s security, but also the economy survival. Responses of different countries to these events depend on a variety of factors, especially the economic position, the model of governance, preparedness to cope a critical situation, reaction of international community, mass media, and business culture.

During the COVID 2019 outbreak, communities seem not to be fully and similarly empowered and organizationally and financially prepared to cope with these negative externalities, which can damage also tourism businesses. Eastern cultures do not react the same way as western cultures and their hierarchical approach to the decision-making process could be a strong argument that generic models or approaches would not be implemented in the same way in different cultural milieu, which has also a strong influence on the organizational learning. Similarly, there could be differences even in the reaction of countries joined in common geographical and political structure. For this reason, it might be interesting to study some discrepancies in the reactions of those countries and their managerial preparedness and the organizational specifics for a critical situation especially in tourism due to the pandemic outbreak of COVID 19.

Safety and security are important factors of competitive advantage of a destination, which might not only serve as a place of existence and life of humans, fauna and flora, but also a place for economic and social activities, which are typical for tourism. Those factors are not eternal and unchanging, which is a real danger for the competitiveness, but also the existence of these above mentioned subjects or elements. One of the most vulnerable activities, which might be influenced by safety and security hazards, is tourism. The most important is to understand different patterns of the same problem, which was created by a crisis, and to distinguish the difference of the approaches of different cultures and countries to the same problem and learn a lesson of the organizational differences based on a variety of cultural approaches. Tourism destinations are as vulnerable as any other places, and sometimes more so, and for this reason the crisis management will discuss specifics and organizational learning tasks also from this point of view.

The methodological approach to this book chapter and its content was framed by the conceptual base of studies of applied models of crisis management and the responds of several studied countries to the pandemic situation of COVID 19, especially the preparedness of public sector to bear a risk and to act effectively. A discussion comprises cultural differences and their impact on health situation and the role of media as well as the organizational learning culture. Organisational learning was found to be a critical source of sustainable competitive advantage [1] as stated by Škerlavaj et al. [2]. There will be discussed the questions of tourism in the connection to the economic consequences of pandemic situation. The case studies will be based on the studied secondary sources in selected countries in Europe, Asia, and North America.

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2. Conceptual base

The concepts dealing with the crisis management portfolio deal with the reasons or the impacts of crises and disasters. An important perspective to study and understand is the perception of the crises and their solution, which means the preparedness to cope a disaster, set priorities and responses of countries and communities to crises. Faulkner ([3], p. 139) mentioned that “different internal cultures and modus operandi become barriers to communication and co-operation between organizations”. It concerns countries, their governments, people, businesses, social groups and tourism as one of the business and social activity as well. For this reason, it is also complicated to apply the universal model for the crisis management.

Hofstede [4] mentioned in his work that people from different national cultures tend to have different styles of management. Based on the author ([4], p. 28) “in the process of comparing phenomena similarity and differences are two sides of the same coin; one presupposes the other.” It concerns not only people, but also the institutions position, role, involvement. Important work from Hofstede [4] is the idea to take into consideration the division of societies in the world into the individualistic or collectivistic cultures, which has an impact on people’s behavior and the approach of the whole society and government to the urgent tasks in society. Hofstede [4] explained five dimensions of national culture, which influence a behavior of different cultures and it means also countries with people living predominantly in this cultural group. Those typical independent dimensions are: power distance; uncertainty avoidance; individualism versus collectivism; masculinity versus femininity; and long-term versus short-term orientation. Škerlavaj et al [2] mentioned that only a few studies have applied Hofstede´s model to examine the effects of national cultural dimensions on organizational learning.

Among the above mentioned dimensions, power distance means the hierarchy of power and wealth among the general population and a nation, culture, and business. A higher degree means a higher hierarchy, which is executed in society. It allows governments to imply more easily a power in society. It might influence the role of public sector versus private business and concerns the differences of aims of public and private enterprises and their organization. In the connection to the crisis management execution, the role of public sector is unquestionable; however, the scenario of mutual roles of both sectors depends not only on the power distance factor, but on the type of government’s response to the crisis, which could be for instance the influence of tighter centralization in a country. Organizational learning from this situation will be based on the direction in a particular country and the role of private and public sector in crisis management.

The uncertainty avoidance could be defined as the affinity to the status quo, less change in society, tendency to keep strict codes and obey the rules in society. The feeling of absolute truth might be a reason for further dictatorship from the side of government, which might complicate free entrepreneurship provision. Less tolerance in society might influence the behaviour of companies and organizations in a country.

Individualism versus collectivism means a preference of being more independent and less governed or on the other hand better compatibility with the other members of society, families, friends, etc. Uncertainty avoidance means a fear of unknown or not certain situations and it might influence also decision level and empowerment in society. In such situations as health risk it could influence behaviour in a positive or negative way. This type of behaviour influences the speed and type of changes in society, business environment and changes, which should be done really smoothly, quickly, and in a more massive way due to crisis situation.

According to Hofstede [4] as stated in Compiranon and Scott [5], individualism stands for a society in which the ties are loose between individuals, and as a result, individuals are only expected to look after himself/herself and his/her immediate family. Conversely, collectivism stands for a society in which people from birth onwards are integrated into strong, cohesive in-groups, which throughout people’s lifetime continue to protect them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty. In management decision making and organisational learning situation, a collective decision is preferable in a collectivism culture, whilst an individual decision is more likely to be seen in a culture that supports individualism. This might complicate even decisions of government in the area of health protection and risk avoidance, which could be generated by such a negative externality as the pandemic situation (as one possible outcome of risk management situation), which has consequently negative influence on the whole country, quality of life, security, economy where tourism business is part of it.

Division of roles between genders is incorporated in the expression of masculinity versus femininity and this could be also applied in crisis management concept and organisational learning and decisions in a country. As Compiranon and Scott [5] explain the ideas of Hofstede [4] masculinity is found in a society, in which social gender roles are clearly distinct; thus men are encouraged to be assertive, tough and focused on material success. Women are expected to be more modest, tender and concerned with the quality of life. Unlike masculinity, femininity stands for a society in which social gender roles overlap, and both men and women are encouraged to be modest, tender and concerned with the quality of life. Hofstede [4] explained how masculinity and femininity approach influences culture and as a consequence how managers in a femininity culture prefer to use more intuition, deal with feelings and seek consensus. In masculinity culture, the managers are more decisive, firm, assertive, aggressive, and competitive. More masculine societies are focused on achievements, material rewards and success, which influences also the learning about the business culture in such countries and underlines a type of behaviour of managers who want to succeed in their business strategies.

The question is how this might influence the crisis management process and organisational learning, consequently also tourism business in those countries having a more masculine or feminine dominance society. In COVID-19 crisis situation, surprisingly the countries with more feminine culture impact (Scandinavian countries for instance) achieved better results in fighting the epidemic situation. It might be a result of preferring health protection over business, at least in the beginning of the crisis situation.

The authors Compiranon and Scott [5] discussed the role of culture and leadership and described the crisis management stages in the following scheme (Figure 1). They used the ideas of the World Tourism Organization Model. The following scheme shows the main ideas.

Figure 1.

Crisis management stages. Source: amended upon Compiranon and Scott [5] and the World Tourism Organization [6] model.

Eastern cultures do not react the same way as western cultures and their hierarchical approach to the decision-making process could be a strong argument that generic model would not be implemented in the same way as it would be in western societies.

Some form of criticism also lies in adoption of similar management methods and organizational decisions to different management environments. “For example, the authors FanN and Zigang [7] compared the differences between reaction of American and Chinese managers while dealing with uncertain situation: “having a high uncertainty avoidance culture, Chinese managers normally lack and adventurous spirit and the sense of risk. On the other hand, low uncertainty avoidance American managers are more likely to accept risk.” These examples only confirm what the other authors discussed as being in impertinent situation for implementation of models in different environments. Thus, academics as Faulkner mentioned this possibility by stating that “different internal cultures and modus operandi are barriers to communication and co-operation between organizations” [3]. In a case of the epidemic situation; however, we have to face a totally different situation and it is quite smart to ask if we should be adventurous or more predictive and cautious in order to save somebody’s health and life. There is always an open question if the health is a priority or the economy, business, for instance also tourism business. Many countries were able to make reasonable decisions to save both or just to do their best for citizens, their health, but also the existence of businesses and survival of the economy and tourism as well.

Compiranon and Scott [5] agreed “that national culture has a significant impact on crisis management.” Johnson and Peppas [8] stated that “crisis intensity varies from country to country and culture to culture, which means that it is very important that crisis response plans are developed for a specific location.” It influences a society as social and economic structure with such an economic phenomenon as tourism, a role of government in a society, a role of people as social entities and their culture and behavior, and a role of media as a mean of communication in a society.

The authors Faulkner [3], Ritchie [9], Paraskevas and Arendell [10] mentioned the role of mass media during the crises and disasters. Media role is closely related to image and reputation. The connotation of meaning of crises and disasters can be positive and negative; however, predominantly negative. Though, in Chaos Theory, the existence of a “turning point can be “essentially creative, rather than a destructive process” as described by Faulkner ([3], p. 137). The author explained several examples of this positive outcome as for instance “the empowerment of a society, the creation of modern facilities, innovations, international recognition of destination, etc.” It might be really disputable if this could be a case of health pandemic situation in the globalized world, but it should be mentioned also this opinion in order to understand some developments and changes especially influenced by the processes of innovation in the world. As Compiranon and Scott [5] explained the ideas formerly delineated by Holmes [11] that at the heart of every crisis lies tremendous opportunity, and perhaps this is why the Chinese word for crisis is surprisingly composed of two symbols of meaning ‘danger’ and ‘opportunity’. For this reason, it might be important to see and predict which countries might be more in a danger and which will take the opportunities and the same could be visible in the business sphere and tourism could be one example. For instance, tourism businesses, which might be more friendly with modern technologies, digitalization or countries, which are not so tightly depended on mass tourism development and are more typical in a sustainable tourism development, would have probably easier way for the adjustment to a new situation and a real change of business strategies.

Culture, resources and leadership (political and economic), geographical character (for instance isolation as more the islands can use as their advantage in this concept), time (which is now visible in the development of the pandemic crisis, stages and waves of the crisis), level of preparedness, responses of governments, citizens, businesses, especially power of economy, it all might have an enormous influence on crisis recovery, and for this reason could be visible also differences in several parts of the world and also in tourism business performance and changing preferences and visitors’ behaviour.

In order to understand the questions of crisis management generally, but also in tourism, some authors tried to develop generic model suitable not only for tourism destinations, but also for different purposes, for instance a country generic model with its specific requirements of safety, security, service provision. Faulkner [3] applied a deep inductive approach in order to construct generic model of crisis and disasters.

Ritchie [9] underlined a necessity of more holistic and strategic approach. Hence, models are more useful for studies of the first group of conceptual approach, e. g. the reasons of crises and disasters and the roles of stakeholders during these events. However, some authors as Paraskevas and Arrendell [10] shifted further risk assessment research of crisis management to the different methodological approach by questioning particular destination stakeholders, corporate and government representatives, policy makers and planners about their preparedness to deal with crises and disasters, which could be an excellent lesson of different approaches to the organizational learning and managerial decisions understanding. As the authors stated, “the purpose was to produce insight rather to test theory, the study was inductive in nature and used a qualitative, interpretative approach” [12]. Their research revealed through interviewing of experts on corporate and government security, safety, tourism policy and planning some controversial aspects of former research approaches based on compiling of theoretical frameworks without testing the attitudes of stakeholders. A research underlined necessity of co-operative approach of all stakeholders, compatible jurisdiction, allocation of financial resources, etc. Thus, pragmatic approach to the studied topic revealed important gaps between managerial theoretical approach, organization, and practice.

More discussion is needed on perception of disaster management framework of models (re-active models) and pro-active risk management models as has been stated by some academics in numerous academic journals dealing with the topic of crisis management. Important role in the crisis management and resolving the situation has a state and its role is crucial. It is well known in the public economy theory that public sector has to be present where the private sector is not capable of solving a problem, but has to withdraw when it is not necessary to intervene. Crisis management is a really difficult role, which should be planned and prepared thoroughly ahead and kept strongly during the occurrence of the negative situation in a country and the world. Many countries and their businesses failed due to unpreparedness and due to risking of health of their inhabitants and the consequences in those countries could be tremendous. For this reason, a discussion about the preparedness and models of crisis and disasters is needed.

First academic, who identified these two approaches to model creation in crisis and disasters, was Heath [13, 14] who mentioned the traditional crisis management approach and the risk management approach. Miller and Ritchie [15] added that “the traditional crisis management approach involves no initial (pre-crisis) planning or management (Figure 2) and the role of risk management approach “is to respond to the crisis and manage the impacts effectively and efficiently (Figure 3).

Figure 2.

A traditional approach to a crisis.

Figure 3.

A risk management approach to a crisis.

The methodological approach is based on the qualitative approach and is framed by the conceptual base of studies of applied models of crisis management and the responds of several studied countries to the pandemic situation of COVID 19, especially the preparedness of public sector to bear a risk and to act effectively and the responds of governments and citizens to the crisis situation. Škerlavaj et al. [2] mentioned that the type of predominant culture would bring diverse influence on the development of organizational learning culture. Crucial are especially cultural differences and a role of media in several discussed countries. The case studies are based on the studied secondary sources in Europe, especially in Slovakia, Czech Republic in comparison to the other countries in Asia (Taiwan, South Korea) and North America (Canada and the U.S.A.), etc.

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3. Results

Several studies from Asian countries showed that in many cases could be visible former experience with crisis situation and it means also preparedness of a responsible government to that situation. Moreover, there might be visible cultural dimensions, which have been mentioned as the collectiveness or the individualism. Important could be fast political decisions and a respond of citizens. For instance, one excellent example is Taiwan. Taiwanese government is one of the most successful examples of crisis management implementation in the world. The first information about the virus appeared on 21st of January 2020. Taiwanese government has actively and really efficiently sent all instructions about the protection against a new form of virus to the citizens and did not try to hide any information, which is a sign of democratic and responsible government. One of the crucial tasks was a control of the healthcare supply chain affordable to the country and its citizens and a tight co-operation with the academic institutions in a matter of the antiviral drugs development. For instance, the figures by April 9th, about 79 days after first case appeared, the number of cases was 379 and deaths only 5. These numbers were much lower than the numbers in China in that time, which is a result of a quick response, geographical advantage (an Island separated by a sea), preparedness and different cultural and political approach despite of being Chinese culture, but with a totally different political attitude. When we compare the numbers of the evidence of this virus to the situation in China, by April 9, in China the number of confirmed cases was 175,74 times the number in Taiwan and the number of deaths 5,300 times the number in Taiwan (in Taiwan 4,7 cases and 0,06 deaths per day).

Another example of success might be found in Malaysia and Vietnam. Similarly, as in Taiwan, Malaysia and Vietnam are culturally close to Confucianism. It means that governmental leadership might be easier because of that collectivist feelings and a meaning of collective good is deeper incorporated in their cultures. It means hegemony of duty to society over individual needs. This was visible in those countries, where for instance citizens of Taiwan regularly wear facemasks in public despite of the fact that the evidence of COVID-19 is very low. Governments in Asia need not always remind people to wear masks, keep distance and stay home.

In Malaysia, COVID-19 infection started to spread early March and rocketed to 8 800 cases early June, but later due to the discipline and facemasks, responsibility of the citizens and government regulations obedience, the number of cases dropped. Ethnic Malay cultures in Malaysia and Indonesia promote banding together against common threats.

Malaysia is also one success example of the cultural influence, governmental approach and responsibility of citizens; however, there could also play important role the geographical indicators and a distance from the neighbouring countries. Boundaries, geographical distance, social distance and political capability might be decisive factors of successful outcome of such pandemic situation caused by a virus.

Similarly, Vietnam was able to keep the situation of their country with just 401 cases in the beginning under control; however, there might be visible not only cultural, but also political influence and more governmental control as a consequence of former historical and political development. Despite of it, Vietnam could be a success story to the world.

In the United States, the virus started to develop in early March, but in comparison the above mentioned countries, the numbers have climbed in June 2020. It might be a cultural attitude and power distance characteristics, but Americans are not unified in the rule to wear masks and abandon their personal freedom to decide personally. This might be a problem in several western countries all over the world, for instance also in Europe or even in Eastern Europe (a case of Czech Republic).

On the opposite to the U.S.A., another country at the North American continent, Canada knows as a multicultural country focused on social, health, and community principles. Canada has a different story as for instance the U.S.A. and the rest of western world (particular countries). Based on a research of Zhang and Young-Leslie who have been collecting data mainly through focus groups and surveys of Canadians from across the country, several results could indicate a cultural and political approach as well the attitudes of different cultures to the rules given by Canadian government as a result to the pandemic situation. The research showed that some rules as face masks wearing was quite common even before the COVID-19 outbreak among some cultures, for instance as a result of fair pollution or sensitivity to toxins in the air. Those cultures were from East Asia, for instance China, Korea, Vietnam, and Japan. In some cases, these inhabitants tried to avoid harsh weather or wanted to keep anonymity. In a poll conducted by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies, 51 per cent of Canadians surveyed said they’ve worn masks while doing their grocery shopping. Fifty-three per cent said masks should be mandatory in public and confined spaces like shopping malls and public transit. Public acceptance of protective face masks has evolved dramatically in Canada since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new psychology research from the University of Alberta. It is important to state that North- American people, a generation of people who are still alive and the middle aged or young generation never experienced Spanish flu. This could be also stated about a majority of people in the world because this flu was typical for the beginning of the 20th century and not many people are still alive from that period of time. This might be also important fact in general judgment of the behaviour of some people who do not believe in this real health problem and think this might be only made up artificially and distributed by media. However, there are again political, cultural and geographical differences among countries and people.

Zhang and Young-Leslie also found there were differences between non-Chinese-speaking Asian-Canadians and recent immigrants, where the assimilated Chinese non-Chinese speaking Asian Canadians felt to be more targeted as new immigrants, which is also an important sign of a stigma. However, based on this research and results, it could be visible that cultural influence and a period of life in different country and culture might have an influence on behaviour of people.

Richard Schultz, an expert on federalism and a 40-year veteran of teaching politics at McGill University mentioned important statement on Canada, which should be discussed in order to understand the differences among the development in the epidemic outbreak in Canada and the U.S.A. There is this culture (in Canada) of … more deeply rooted community and social services. We fight about the size of government, we fight about deficits -- but when push came to shove, we said, 'Look, there's no one fighting this.' … it does say something to me about the vast cultural difference between the United States and Canada. “Professor Schulz continues” Political scholars have long seen Canada as one of the world's most decentralized federations -- a place where Ottawa yields much to the provinces and territories, which manage key services like health and education.” (https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/compared-to-u-s-canada-s-covid-19-response-a-case-study-in-political-civility-1.4895357).

However, in the question of crisis solving, there has been a strong consensus and co-operation among the provinces and the federal government. Important is also a consensus with the communities and citizens, businesses and economic support in the time of crisis to overcome the negative consequences. Professor Schulz commented that "And yet, I think this is a highly exceptional case that we're dealing with. We have the 10 provinces and the federal government -- in a way that I haven't witnessed in the 56 years I've been studying it -- working relatively collaboratively, co-operatively together on this issue.", which confirms the above stated ideas (https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/compared-to-u-s-canada-s-covid-19-response-a-case-study-in-political-civility-1.4895357) [16]. It might be more explained by one fact that Canada has had already an experience with SARS outbreak in 2004 and a positive outcome of this situation was preparedness for the epidemiological and crisis situation. Important role might play also cultural factors as has been mentioned above and the fact that Canada is a country with strongly developed common sense feeling.

In Canada, the outbreak of SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) did not have an extreme impact on mortality of people because only 45 people died, but an immediate effect was evident in tourism industry. Over 1/3 of 95 000 employees in tourism was laid off (based on Smith Travel Research) after the SARS outbreak and total decrease of tourism revenue due to SARS was 500 million in Toronto, Ontario in the following months. From April to June 2004, the number of international visitors declined 14%, their spending declined 13% and the travel deficit in the income from international tourism was over 1.1 billion CAD together with the decrease of employment in tourism by 2.4% ([17]; KPMG; PKF Consulting). Based on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Federal government has a power to act in a matter of health protection in a case of health protection of the whole country despite a fact that health care, public health lies under the jurisdiction of the provinces. Some formerly experienced problems and failings during SARS outbreak in 2004 lead to a stronger federalism in this question, which had an influence on Canadian story in pandemic fight. It might be a real problem in the second largest country in the world, but the outcome was not catastrophic and when we compare the situation in the U.S.A., Canada was able to cope the crisis situation much more efficiently. Fierlbeck commented that Canada, because of historical circumstances, really has what I would call a reasonable institutional framework for co-ordination between jurisdictions". (https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/compared-to-u-s-canada-s-covid-19-response-a-case-study-in-political-civility-1.4895357).

The success lesson could be taught from Slovakia in the 1st wave of COVID-19 situation, where mostly several key factors played the most important role, the quick introduction of protective rules, which were especially rooted in wearing protective masks and gloves. The strict rules were implemented in order to protect citizens as for instance a penalty of breaking a quarantine order. Slovakia belonged to the first countries in the world (second after the Czech Republic in Europe) to order face masks to become mandatory inside buildings (stores, schools, etc.) and in public spaces. This decision was made even earlier as the World Health Organization advised people to wear masks in public. By March 13, one week after Slovakia confirmed its first coronavirus case the Slovak governmental representatives appeared in masks in front of media and demonstrated their compassion with the existing situation and the seriousness of the health care problem caused by the COVID-19 virus. The message was sent to the public: “Protect others and you’ll be protected … It’s not embarrassing. It helps everyone.” Important decision was a nationwide lockdown. The reason might be a fear of the situation in the world, especially in Italy and Spain and a fear to cope a pandemic situation, which could be overwhelming and devastating for the Slovak healthcare system. (https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2020/05/slovakia-mask-coronavirus-pandemic-success/611545/) [18].

When analysing the success factors of Slovakia in a survey about the successful measures fighting against the virus of COVID-19, the most important were classified the rule of wearing face masks, gloves, especially in very frequent spaces. About 90 percent of the respondents have limited their travelling, either by public transport or by car. This had a strong consequence on tourism and travel agencies and airports experienced a strong decline of passengers (about 80%). (https://newsnow.tasr.sk/featured/survey-over-90-of-slovaks-view-coronavirus-related-measures-as-appropriate/)

Unfortunately, this is not a case of the 2nd COVID-19 wave in Slovakia, where the situation is becoming more difficult. Slovakia and Czech Republic are culturally very close countries in some aspects and at the beginning of the pandemic situation in Slovakia was second after Czech Republic to implement face masks duty after the outbreak of COVID-19 in their countries. Both countries have a democratic government, which was elected in free elections and the development in fighting the epidemic situation was at the beginning similar, despite a slightly higher numbers in Czech Republic due to the number of citizens and a proximity to western countries, which were more affected in that period of time. In the first wave of pandemic situation both countries were cases of good results. In June the situation has been improved and both countries opened the economy, schools and some travelling to safe countries was fully introduced. However, it is visible from the development in both countries that Slovak citizens were more careful in opening and did not abandon some formerly introduced regulations. Slovaks are people who obey the rules and it is more collectivist society with a masculine characteristic. This cannot be fully generalized, but when we compare Czechs and Slovaks, there are differences.

This might be a reason why there exist now such differences in the number of infected people, mortality and 14-day cumulative number of cases per 100 000 when we compare both countries now. In Czech Republic (now takes 2nd place in Europe in the daily increase of numbers of infected people), there are 49 290 cases, daily increase ranks from 2000 to over 3000 infected people, mortality is 503 and 14th day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 37,9. The expectation based on the European Centre for the Prevention and Control of Diseases the expected daily increase in Czech Republic could be 8000 cases a day. Finally, the government decided to renew the meetings of the General Crises Committee and decided about a personal change of a Minister of Health Care. In Slovakia, on the other hand are 6 677 infected, mortality is 40 and the 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 is 37,9 per 100 000. Slovakia had to restrict the travelling rules from Czech Republic and there are several strict restrictions, which will try to avoid spreading the virus. Slovak government tries despite very friendly contacts with Czech government to look at the case as the negative externality, which might be a danger for Slovak citizens. Culturally, Czech people could be characterized as more feminine society (in comparison to Slovakia as more masculine society), more individualistic society closer to western European countries and a society with not such a tendency to obey rules (refusal to wear masks inside, for instance) and keep all restrictions, especially in big cities. Cultural dimension, political rule, governance and also the number of visitors with tourism or business aim might be a decisive reason for Czech Republic to be in such a situation. In all aspects, economy and consequently even tourism suffers more when people are not administered properly or there is lack of control from a government. Obviously, this pandemic situation might lead to stronger governmental role in a country and in tourism business as well. It might be a lesson for the countries and governments of those countries how to solve the situation more effectively. The effective crisis management and organizational learning processes should be helpful not only to understand the differences among cultures, but especially could solve problems in a faster and progressive way.

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4. Conclusion

Competitiveness of countries, which is based not only on comparative advantage, but also the competitive forces as for instance is safety and security, has tremendous impact on economy and tourism as well. The world is in continual change, which could be positive or negative. Some changes might be totally unexpected and devastating for the economy and the most dangerous are consequences for the human´s health and life, which is a case of pandemic COVID-19, which affected the whole world since January 2000. In this chapter, we tried to discuss not only managerial preparation and the existence of models of crisis and management from former crisis situations, but also preparedness of several countries to cope critical situation, the role of mass media and business culture and especially the influence of cultural differences in managerial decisions, in behavior of citizens generally and in the discussed countries. Hofstede [4] explained five dimensions of national culture, which influence a behavior of different cultures and it means also countries with people living predominantly from this cultural group. Those typical independent dimensions are: power distance; uncertainty avoidance; individualism versus collectivism; masculinity versus femininity; and long-term versus short-term orientation. Škerlavaj et al [2] mentioned that only a few studies have applied Hofstede´s model to examine the effects of national cultural dimensions on organizational learning. For this reason, we tried to discuss if those mentioned dimensions could have an influence on the development in crisis situation in the studied countries in the 1st wave of COVID-19 (not including the 2nd wave or the period after 2nd wave with new mutations of the virus COVID-19). It is evident that for instance high power distance culture would enhance the positive effects of information interpretation, information acquisition and behavioural and cognitive changes as the important variables of organizational learning, but on the other hand the individualistic, masculine and the uncertainty avoidant culture would weaken or hinder such process. For instance, in such situation as crisis, lack of flexibility caused by the uncertainty avoidant culture could be dangerous for crisis problems solutions as well as for the organizations who are not able to learn from a failure, do not engage experimental learning and would hinder the development of the organizational learning culture. These several examples could be important for the statement that the roles of national culture could be decisive for the organizational learning culture and that different cultural dimensions influence organizational learning culture. Dimensions of national culture could have an impact on the whole process of crisis management. For this reason, the same situation cannot be totally the same in every country despite of taking similar restrictions or providing similar processes of crisis management and organizational learning. Consequently, the situation in risk environment has an impact on economy (unemployment, bankruptcies of businesses, social problems, etc.). Tourism is a part of social and business environment by its activities and goals and a destabilizing situation in the world has a really negative consequence not only on humans, countries, but also tourism businesses.

References

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Written By

Marica Mazurek

Submitted: March 30th, 2021 Reviewed: April 19th, 2021 Published: May 18th, 2021