GEERT HOFSTEDE CULTURAL DIMENSIONS

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For those who work in international business, it is sometimes amazing how different people in other cultures behave. We tend to have a human instinct that 'deep inside' all people are the same - but they are not. Geert Hofstede's research gives us insights into other cultures so that we can be more effective when interacting with people in other countries. When negotiating in Western countries, the objective is to work toward a target of mutual understanding and agreemen t and 'shake-hands' when that agreement is reached - a cultural signal of the end of negotiations and the start of 'working together'.
HOFSTEDE¶S FIVE CULTURAL DIMENSIONS: Power Distance Index (PDI ) that is the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions (like the family) accept and expect that power is distributed unequally. This represents inequality (more versus less), but defined from below, not from above. It suggests that a society's level of inequality is endorsed by the followers as much as by the leaders. Individualism (IDV) on the one side versus its opposite, collectivism, that is the degree to which individuals are inte grated into groups. On the individualist side we find societies in which the ties between individ uals are loose: everyone is expected to look after him/herself and his/her immediate family . Masculinity (MAS) versus its opposite, femininity refers to the distribution of roles between the genders which is another fundamental issue for any society to whi ch 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. Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI) 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. Long-Term Orientation (LTO) versus short-term orientation: this fifth dimension was found in a study among students in 23 countries around the world, using a questionnaire designed by Chinese scholars It can be said to deal with Virtue regardless of Truth.

extended family. overcoming obstacles with time. India's Long Term Orientation (LTO) Dimension rank is 61. The combination of these two high scores (UAI) and (PDI) create societies that are highly rule-oriented with laws. in part. or extended relationships. to the high level of emphasis on a Collectivist society by the Communist rule. Geert Hofstede analysis for Pakistan: There is a high correlation between the Muslim religion and the Hofstede Dimensions of Power Distance (PDI) and Uncertainty Avoidance (UAI) scores. The Chinese rank lower than any other Asian country in the Individualism (IDV) ranking. The population may have fewer rules and regulations with which to attempt control of every unknown and unexpected event or situation.China¶s religion is officially designated as Atheist by the State. This may be attributed. although the concepts and teachings of the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius (500BC) are woven into the society at large. Loyalty in a collectivist cul ture is paramount. The higher the country ranks in this Dimension.India has Masculinity as the third highest ranking Hofstede Dimension at 56.India's lowest ranking Dimension is Uncertainty Avoidance (UAI) at 40. rules. It may also generate a more competitive and assertiv e female population. which is true for all Asian cultures. Geert Hofstede analysis for India: India has Power Distance (PDI) as the highest Hofstede Dimensio n for the culture. and controls in order to reduce the amount of uncertainty. This Power Distance score for India indicates a high level of inequality of power and wealth within the society. This Dimension indicates a society's time perspective and an attitude of persevering.Geert Hofstede analysis for China: Geert Hofstede analysis for China has Long-term Orientation (LTO) the highest ranking factor (118). that i s. The society fosters strong relationships where everyone takes responsibility for fellow members of their group. if not with will and strength. b ut rather accepted by the population as a cultural norm. with the world average at 48. This condition is not necessarily subverted upon the population. however. although still less than the male population. the government sets rigid limits. the greater the gap between values of men and women. with a ranking of 77 compared to a world average of 56. Some religious practice is acceptable in China. the culture may be more open to unstructured ide as and situations. regulations. be that a family. as is the case in high Uncertainty Avoidance countries. The low Individualism ranking is manifest in a close and committed member 'group'.5. with the world average just slightly lower at 51. On the lower end of this ranking. compared to the world average of 65. A higher LTO score can be indicative of a culture that is perseverant and parsimonious. while inequalities of power and wealth have been allowed to . as compared to one of Individualism. at 20 compared to an average of 24.

and organizations across nations (2nd ed.grow within the society. reinforce their own leadership and cont rol. Geert (2001). and the rules. 2003 3: 347 -368 Cross-cultural Differences in Compensation Level and Inequality across Occupations: A Set-theoretic Analysis Organization Studies January 1. Cultures and organizations: software of the mind (Revised and expanded 2nd ed. behaviors. This indicates that both the functionalist and other paradigms are needed for future research into national culture and for understanding social behaviour in different national cultures. His critique is examined for its useful warnings to those who follow Hofstede¶s research and for its logical consistency. It is not unusual for new leadership to arise from armed insurrection ± the ultimate power. institutions. A paradigmatic perspective identifies where McSweeney argues against Hofstede¶s logic and wh ere he rejects Hofstede¶s paradigm and premises. it creates a situation where leaders have virtually ultimate power and authority. "Hofstede's Model Of National Cultural Differences And Their Consequences: A Triumph Of Faith . These cultures are more likely to follow a caste system that does not allow significant upw ard mobility of its citizens.). McSweeney. laws and regulations developed by those in power. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management December 1. When these two Dimensions are combined. Geert. . 2011 32: 85-115 Hofstede. Criticism: McSweeney¶s critique (2002) rejects Hofstede¶s model and finds national culture implausible as a systematically causal factor of behaviour. References: Critique of Hofstede's Fifth National Culture Dimension. New York: McGraw -Hill. Brendan (January 2002). Hofstede. Gert Jan (2005). rather than from diplomatic or democratic change.) Hofstede. Culture's Consequences: comparing values.A Failure Of Analysis". Human Relations 55 (1): 89 ±118.

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