5 Cultural Dimensions by Hofstede

5 Cultural Dimensions by Hofstede

Week 2- Activity 3- Online Tool to Explore Different Countries 5 Cultural Dimensions by Hofstede

We are living in a global era whereby all people are brought together and closer by technology. This implies that people from different cultures are working together and communicating to their colleagues more and more (Hofstede et al., 2010, p. 350). Despite this being exciting, it could turn out to be frustrating and fraught with uncertainty. How does a person relate to another of a different culture? What does he/she say or not say to start a conversation? Are there any culture-bound taboos that one has to be aware of or not? PREVIEW:

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Establishing connections with different people from varying cultural backgrounds is important to an organization. Building connections is a factor to consider when motivating personnel, structuring projects, and implementing strategies (Tung and Verbeke, 2010, p. 33). How we understand cultural differences is relegated to learning from our mistakes and the general guidelines that have to be followed.

Fortunately, Hofstede researched these questions in the 1970s. What emerged after ten years of research and thousands of interviews was a cultural dimension model that today is internationally recognized as a business standard.

Hofstede accessed people working in the same company in over 40 countries where he gathered cultural data and proceeded to analyze his findings (Valente, 2010, p. 1900). Initially, he identified four cultural dimensions that help in differentiating one culture from the rest. He later added a 5th dimension that forms today’s model.

Hofstede scored every country on a scale of 0 to 100 for the five dimensions (Hofstede, 2010, p. 55). The higher the score, the higher that dimension is manifest in the society and workplace.

After gathering sufficient database about cultural statistics, He analyzed his results and found out that there were clear patterns of differences and similarities amid the responses along these 5 dimensions (Minkov and Hofstede, 2012, p. 10). Hofstede research was undertaken on IBM employees only, which enabled him to characterize the patterns of national differences in culture by significantly alleviating the challenge of the differences manifest in a company culture.

The five Hofstede dimensions are:

  1. Power or distance (PD)
  2. Individualism (IDV)
  3. Masculinity (MAS)
  4. Uncertainty or Avoidance Index (UAI)
  5. Long-term orientation (LTO)

In today’s workplaces, it has been interesting to see how employees with different cultures react and interact with foreign colleagues in their nation, including Australia. In Eastern Europe nations, the main reaction to foreign workers is age. However, given sufficient knowledge then knowledge is not a barrier to Hofstede dimensions.

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