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Cultural Dimensions (a research article)
1.       mltm
3690 posts
 08 Oct 2009 Thu 12:26 pm

It seems long but interesting to read. It´s more reader friendly here than on the site. Just the long explanations of the 5 cultural dimensions are cut and can be found on the site.

SOURCE: http://www.geert-hofstede.com/geert_hofstede_ressources.shtml* D

Geert Hofstede Cultural Dimensions


Prof. Geert Hofstede, Emeritus Professor, Maastricht University, AN Velp, Netherlands  
 " Culture is more often a source of conflict than of synergy. Cultural differences are a nuisance at best and often a disaster."
    Prof. Geert Hofstede, Emeritus Professor, Maastricht University.




What are the practical applications for Geert Hofstede´s research on cultural differences?



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. Therefore, if we go into another country and make decisions based on how we operate in our own home country - the chances are we´ll make some very bad decisions.



Geert Hofstede´s research gives us insights into other cultures so that we can be more effective when interacting with people in other countries. If understood and applied properly, this information should reduce your level of frustration, anxiety, and concern. But most important, Geert Hofstede will give you the ´edge of understanding´ which translates to more successful results.



Can you give an example?


One example of cultural differences in business is between the Middle Eastern countries and the Western countries, especially the United States.


When negotiating in Western countries, the objective is to work toward a target of mutual understanding and agreement and ´shake-hands´ when that agreement is reached - a cultural signal of the end of negotiations and the start of ´working together´.


In Middle Eastern countries much negotiation takes place leading into the ´agreement´, signified by shaking hands. However, the deal is not complete in the Middle Eastern culture. In fact, it is a cultural sign that ´serious´ negotiations are just beginning.


Imagine the problems this creates when each party in a negotiation is operating under diametrically opposed ´rules and conventions.´


This is just one example why it is critical to understand other cultures you may be doing business with - whether on a vacation in a foreign country, or negotiating a multi-million dollar deal for your company.


What are Hofstede´s five Cultural Dimensions?


(Note: The explanations are cut short. You can read the full explanations on the page)

* Description for each of Hofstede´s Dimensions listed below


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...


Individualism (IDV) on the one side versus its opposite, collectivism, that is the degree to which individuals are inte-grated into groups...


Masculinity (MAS) versus its opposite, femininity, refers to the distribution of roles between the genders which is another fundamental issue for any society to which a range of solutions are found...


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: It can be said to deal with Virtue regardless of Truth...


On the site you can choose any country from the list on the left margin of the site and see the graph.


Some of the countries I chose to compare:






Geert Hofstede Cultural Dimensions of Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, Individualism versus Collectivism, Masculinity versus Femininity, and Long Term Orientation.

* Description for each of Hofstede´s Dimensions listed below



* Description for each of Hofstede´s Dimensions listed below


SOURCE: http://www.geert-hofstede.com/geert_hofstede_ressources.shtml* Description for each of Hofstede´s Dimensions listed below



* * *





Edited (10/8/2009) by mltm
Edited (10/8/2009) by mltm

2.       barba_mama
1629 posts
 08 Oct 2009 Thu 12:36 pm

All the international business or international relations students or workers on this forum have been thrown to death with Hofstede For those who are interested, an alternative is the Inglehart values map. A more easy peasy map that can put a bunch of countries in just one image. In this cultural measure, Turkey is closer to Indonesia then to Armenia!

3.       Elisabeth
5732 posts
 08 Oct 2009 Thu 04:09 pm

It is rather striking how similar the US and the UK are...even as compared to other "western" countries....maybe the Brits are just as bed as us Amerikans then?

4.       _AE_
677 posts
 08 Oct 2009 Thu 04:11 pm


Quoting Elisabeth

It is rather striking how similar the US and the UK are...even as compared to other "western" countries....maybe the Brits are just as bed as us Amerikans then?


 Well...bed but not QUITE as bed

5.       Elisabeth
5732 posts
 08 Oct 2009 Thu 04:14 pm


Quoting _AE_



 Well...bed but not QUITE as bed


 That´s only because we are SLIGHTLY more manly than the UK!

6.       barba_mama
1629 posts
 08 Oct 2009 Thu 04:30 pm

Well, it´s not THAT striking...common history, anglo-saxon culture...

7.       raindrops
267 posts
 11 Oct 2009 Sun 11:59 pm

different layers in your own culture have different values and priorities

w/out knowing them you would not be able to deal with them either


similar layers in different cultures could have more similarities than different layers of one culture.

Edited (10/12/2009) by raindrops

8.       libralady
5152 posts
 12 Oct 2009 Mon 02:47 pm

I´ve got a Geert Hofstede book, Cross Cultural Communication Shy

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