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"Culture is more often a source of conflict than of synergy. Cultural differences are a nuisance at best and often a disaster.³ - Dr.
Geert H. Hofstede was born on October 2, 1928 in Haarlem, the Netherlands. He received his M.Sc. from the Delft Institute of Technology in 1953, his Ph.D. from Groningen University in 1967. Hofstede served in the Netherlands Army from 1953 to 1955. In 1955, he married Maaike A. Van den Hoek.
Hofstede is most well known for his work on four dimensions of cultural variability, commonly referred to as "Hofstede's Dimensions." These include: Uncertainty Avoidance, Power Distance, MasculinityFemininity, Individualism-Collectivism, Confucian Dynamism. These dimensions were arrived in his 1980 publication, "Culture's consequences: International differences in work-related values." The study took existing survey data (sample size of 116,000) collected from a multinational corporation (IBM). The result was a score in each of the dimensions for 40 different countries.
. Geert Hofstede's dimensions analysis can assist the business person or traveler in better understanding the intercultural differences within regions and between counties. where the majority of English speaking population and the minority French speaking population in Quebec has moderate cultural differences. although the Hofstede's results are categorized by country. In addition. An example is Canada. often there is more than one cultural group within that country. In these cases there may be significant deviation from the study's result. As with any generalized study. the results may or may not be applicable to specific individuals or events.
. or inequality. France and Belgium. between people in the country's society. High power distance cultures are characterized by bosses who have much more power than their subordinates. focuses on the degree of equality. Greece. Examples of such cultures include Portugal. power holders who are entitled to privileges and subordinates who consider superiors as a different kind of people.
. Cultures that have tropical climate tend to have high PDI scores. the greater the culture's power distance. Cultures in highlatitude climate (moderate or cold climates) tend to have low PDI scores. Population: Generally. the greater the power distance is likely to be . the more people within the culture. measured by geographical latitude. Distribution of Wealth: The more unequally the wealth is distributed within a culture. Climate.
. Most evident are family customs. the relationships between students and teachers. the young and the elderly. language systems and organizational practices.
Autocratic relationships between managers and subordinates Low Power Distance Organizations just as with low power distance cultures are characterized by leadership styles that empower subordinates and treat them with respect. In such organizations. Walgreens. shows very high PDIs. such as Kimberly-Clark.. . high power distance organizations have cultures where the leadership styles are more authoritarian. General Electric. with little regard for any initiatives from subordinates. and Gillette. A retrospective review of the leadership styles of companies such as Enron Inc. and Tyco Inc. High power-distance cultures create: Hierarchical organizational structures. WorldCom. On the other hand. These characteristics are evident in Good to Great (Jim Collins. Loyal and committed subordinate workers. 2001) companies. subordinates work for these leaders out of fear and are ready to jump ship as soon as the opportunity presents itself.
Members of individualistic societies also place emphasis on self respect. focuses on the degree the society reinforces individual or collective. Individualism is highest in Anglo Saxon countries. in exchange. Portugal. Greece. A High Individualism ranking indicates that individuality and individual rights are paramount within the society This is the opposite of collectivism and describes the extent to which individuals are integrated into groups. members of collectivist cultures place more importance on fitting in harmoniously and face saving. Italy. people expect to take care only of themselves and their immediate families and their relatives to look after them and be more loyal to them. Where individuals are high. Latin American countries and Japan. achievement and interpersonal relationships. . it is much lower in Spain. Belgium and France.
Climate. whereas cultures in warmer climates tend to be collectivistic. Cultures in colder climate tend to be individualistic. Wealthy cultures tend to be individualistic. . Economic development. whereas poor cultures tend to be collectivistic.
members of the collectivistic cultures are likely to use avoidance. people in the individualistic cultures do not perceive a large psychological distance between in group and out group members. Collectivistic cultures tend to be group-oriented. Conversely. intermediaries. impose a large psychological distance between in group and out group members and in group members are expected to have unquestioning loyalty to their group. They value self-expression. see speaking out as a means of resolving problems. In a conflict situation. . and are likely to use confrontational strategies when dealing with interpersonal problems. or other face-saving techniques.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt also has clearly declared Google's collectivist purpose: "The goal of the company is not to monetize anything. the goal is to change the world. If one thing is settled. while at the same time opposing any concept of individual customer service. Apple's CEO Steve Jobs individual leadership has defined Apple's design. it is that Apple is the epitome of American individualism. and business model." Google's well-known collectivist approach makes most all of its products and services. including its Android mobile operating system. More than probably any business leader in modern history. focus. innovation." . and made Apple one of the most successful and influential companies on the planet. Google's well-known collectivist mission is to "organize all the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. Another thing that is settled is that Google is the epitome of modern-day collectivism. free to the masses.
. This is the extent to which the dominant values in society are male-values such as assertiveness. and power. the traditional masculine work role model of male achievement. control. the United States is moderately masculine and Japan and Austria are highly masculine. Masculine societies also define gender roles more rigidly than do µfeminine¶ societies. A High Masculinity ranking indicates the country experiences a high degree of gender differentiation. the acquisition of money and goods. or does not reinforce. and not caring for others. Hofstede¶s findings suggest that Scandinavian countries are the most feminine. focuses on the degree the society reinforces.
. Climate: Masculine cultures tend to live in warmer climate near the equator and feminine cultures are likely to locate in colder climates away from the equator.
and sexual inequality is seen as beneficial. Sex roles are clearly differentiated. Members of high MAS cultures believe that men should be assertive and women should be nurturing. The reverse is true for members in the feminine cultures .
Feminity Organizations are flat. adopt an instrumental orientation and view members as means of goal accomplishments . rely on impersonal rules and standards . downplay rules and standards .exhibit attentiveness and responsiveness to the needs of others and they express relational orientations. Masculine organisations are more hierarchical.
focuses on the level of tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity within the society . unstructured situations. . and controls in order to reduce the amount of uncertainty. rules.e.i. This creates a rule-oriented society that institutes laws. regulations.
Higher uncertainty avoidance indicates that people like to control the future. Hongkong and India combine large power distance with weak uncertainity avoidance. the uncertainty avoidance index plotted against the power distance index reveals several clusters of countries that are characterized by strong uncertainty avoidance and large power distance. traditional and superstitious. It is associated with being dogmatic. authoritarian. Most latin American and European countries fall into this category but: Countries such as Singapore. Looking at fifty countries. while Scandinavian and Anglo Saxon countries and typically countries with small power distance and weak uncertainty avoidance .
But in general. No clear-cut predictors. low UAI cultures tend to have reached the level of modernization or have more stable or predictable in their rate of change . high UAI cultures tend to be those that are beginning to modernize and are characterized by a high rate of change. Conversely.
Low UAI cultures need few rules to control social behaviors. High UAI cultures tend to develop many rules to control social behaviors. .
. Focus on security and trust. Clearly defined roles for employees. High uncertainty-avoidance cultures create: Formalized procedures to minimize unpredictability.
Hofstede¶s research does not attempt to tell international managers how to apply various management techniques in different cultures. Based on marked cultural differences among 40 countries. Hofstede believes it is not proper to expect those theories to apply automatically on absolutely different cultures. Two factor and expectancy theories respectively within US cultural context. But it suggests for cultural adaptation of American management theories and practices. F Herzberg and Victor Vroom developed their achievement needs. A Maslow. Hofstede recommends : That American management theory should be adapted to local cultures rather than imposed on them. . Behavior concepts of David Mclelland.
Differences in the culture. .
It is also known as Long-Term Orientation. and protecting face. This dimension refers to the selective promotion of particular set of ethics found in Confucian teachings Particular teachings that lead to economic development include thrift. a sense of shame. Other Confucian teachings are less emphasized such as tradition. . and following hierarch. It ranges from long term orientation to short term orientation . perseverance.
. This is a recent addition to the Hofstede model. Long-Term Orientation (LTO) focuses on the degree the society embraces. This is thought to support a strong work ethic where long-term rewards are expected as a result of today's hard work. High Long-Term Orientation ranking indicates the country prescribes to the values of long-term commitments and respect for tradition. forward thinking values. long-term devotion to traditional. added as a new dimension to the model in the second edition (2001). or does not embrace.
. A high level of savings and reduced borrowing leads to more financially stable institutions. There is a general thrift and dislike of waste. This leads to creating of products that are economic in production and reliable in use. It also leads to careful economy with finances and consequent profitable firms and nations.
people will work through disappointment and difficult problems in order to reach the desired end position. Once something has been decided as requiring action. There is a general perseverance and tenacity in pursuing a goal. .
Relationships are clearly defined. With a clear power relationship. with strong hierarchies that people observe very carefully.they move into the persistence that may be required to achieve the goals that have been set for them by their superiors . people do not spend time arguing and challenging orders -.
as a cultural thriftiness highlights individual overspending .a fact which leads to persistence. Likewise. shame drives relationships. is affected by shame. also. where to be seen to fail or otherwise lose face is highly undesirable. If goals are not reached. Thrift. then it is considered shameful -.
Setting things for a long period or anticipating future for a longer or bigger period .
Also. . Family Oriented people also like to have big families probably 3 kids or more. In addition family oriented can also apply to a product." "that theme park is family oriented So in short. Family Oriented means that a person in particular likes to spend time with biological relatives like children. etc. things in the community that are advertised as "fun for the whole family" or "safe for kids" are often family oriented events. grandparents. "those movies over there are family oriented. service.. cousins. film etc. if you are family oriented. parents. you like family friendly things.. siblings.
anticipating or making provision for the future. progressive .
A company¶s culture may be informal while a country¶s culture could be rather formal. It is anything but rare for employees. A company may be encouraging and rewarding risk-taking in a country where people are generally risk-averse. vice versa. especially those of foreign companies. Or. to be facing conflicts between them. An explicit recognition by the parent organization that its own particular ways of managing human resources reflect some assumptions and values of its home culture. . There is no doubt that the two kinds of culture both exert powerful influences on people.
but could possibly be more effective locally. The building of a genuine belief by all parties involved that more creative and effective ways of managing people could be developed as a result of cross cultural training. but also to take active steps to ensure these are discussed and incorporated where appropriate. particularly abroad An explicit recognition by the parent organization that its foreign subsidiaries may have other preferred ways of managing people that are neither intrinsically better nor worse. . An explicit recognition by the parent organization that its particular ways are neither universally better nor worse than others but are different and likely to exhibit strengths and weaknesses. Willingness by headquarters staff not only to acknowledge cultural differences.
The national culture of the country within which an organization is based will impact how a company operates. problems may result. When a multinational company attempts to bring it¶s corporate culture to a new country that is clearly different from the national culture of the host country. The home country is a significant environmental factor for the company. . This poses unique problems for multi-national companies.
. The resulting shared values. and behaviors of population groups differ widely between countries. so keep in mind that the term ³national culture´ can be misleading. preferences. It may only be referring to part of the people in a given country. The influences of national cultures shape strong value systems among their members. That is frequently also the case between different subgroups within a country.
The benefit of cultivating a pronounced organizational culture is that it helps establish common values and align behaviors among employees. written value definitions. and other tools for their employees world-wide in order to drive this kind of alignment . corporate ethics guidelines. Many multinational companies use employee handbooks. Culture is a completely different component that contributes significantly to organizational functioning.
Communitarianism is about the rights of the group or society. Integrating Analyzing decomposes to find the detail. It sees people who look at the big picture as being out of touch with reality. It assumes that if you have your head in the weeds you will miss the true understanding. it finds the best rule. Communitarianism Individualism is about the rights of the individual. Analyzing vs. Individualism vs. It assumes that God is in the details and that decomposition is the way to success. group. Integrating brings things together to build the big picture. and sees group-focus as denuding the individual of their inalienable rights. It seeks to put the family. Particularism is about finding exceptions. It sees individualism as selfish and short-sighted. Universalism vs. Particularism Universalism is about finding broad and general rules. When no rules fit. company and country before the individual. rather than trying to force-fit an existing rule. When no rules fit. it judges the case on its own merits. It seeks to let each person grow or fail on their own. .
such as seniority. It assumes status is acquired by right rather than daily performance. and that other approaches are recipes for failure. It finds order in coordination of multiple efforts. It assumes individuals and organisations earn and lose their status every day. Outer-directed Inner-directed is about thinking and personal judgement. Inner-directed vs. synchronised together. Time as synchronisation sees events in parallel. which may be as much luck as judgement. in our heads . Ascribed status Achieved status is about gaining status through performance. It assumes that thinking is the most powerful tool and that considered ideas and intuitive approaches are the best way. It finds order in a serried array of actions that happen one after the other. Time as sequence vs. Outer-directed is seeking data in the outer world. Achieved status vs. sequence one after another. . Ascribed status is about gaining status through other means. It finds order and security in knowing where status is and stays. It assumes that we live in the 'real world' and that is where we should look for our information and decisions. Time as synchronisation Time as sequence sees events as separate items in time.
irrespective of birth or other gift. It assumes that order happens when few are in charges and others obey through the scalar chain of command. Equality vs. Hierarchy is about people being superior to others. . It assumes we all have equal rights. Hierarchy Equality is about all people having equal status.