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What are Geert Hofstede's 5 Cultural Dimensions?

Geert Hofstede

 
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In the 1980ies Geert Hofstede discovered 5 fundamental dimensions of national cultures that can be seen to illustrate different values in different national cultures. This discovery was made through utilizing factor analysis techniques on samples drawn from the multinational corporation IBM.

 

The dimensions found by Geert Hofstede can be used to illustrate which values lie deeply embedded in people from different cultures. These values may have consequences for how people in different cultures behave, and how they will potentially behave in a work related context.

 

The five values found by Geert Hofstede are:

 

  1. Power Distance
  2. Uncertainty Avoidance
  3. Masculinity vs. Femininity
  4. Individualism vs. Collectivism
  5. Long vs. Short Term Orientation

Power Distance

In cultures with low power distance, people are likely to expect that power is distributed rather equally, and are furthermore also likely to accept that power is distributed to less powerful individuals. As opposed to this, people in high power distance cultures will likely both expect and accept inequality and steep hierarchies.

                                           

Uncertainty Avoidance

Uncertainty Avoidance is referring to a lack of tolerance for ambiguity and a need for formal rules and policies. This dimension measures the extent to which people feel threatened by ambiguous situations. These uncertainties and ambiguities may e.g. be handled by an introduction of formal rules or policies, or by a general acceptance of ambiguity in the organizational life.

The majority of people living in cultures with a high degree of uncertainty avoidance, are likely to feel uncomfortable in uncertain and ambiguous situations.

People living in cultures with a low degree of uncertainty avoidance, are likely to thrive in more uncertain and ambiguous situations and environments.

 

Masculinity vs. Femininity

These values concern the extent on emphasis on masculine work related goals and assertiveness (earnings, advancement, title, respect et.), as opposed to more personal and humanistic goals (friendly working climate, cooperation, nurturance etc.)

The first set of goals is usually described as masculine, whereas the latter is described as feminine. These goals and values can, among other, describe how people are potentially motivated in cultures with e.g. a feminine or a masculine culture.

 

Individualism vs. Collectivism

In individualistic cultures people are expected to portray themselves as individuals, who seek to accomplish individual goals and needs. In collectivistic cultures, people have greater emphasis on the welfare of the entire group to which the individual belongs, where individual wants, needs and dreams are often set aside for the common good.

 

Long vs. Short Term Orientation

Long-Term Orientation is the fifth dimension, which was added after the original four dimensions. This dimension was identified by Michael Bond and was initially called Confucian dynamism. Geert Hofstede added this dimension to his framework, and labeled this dimension long vs. short term orientation .

The consequences for work related values and behavior springing from this dimension are rather hard to describe, but some characteristics are described below.

 

Long term orientation:

§      Acceptance of that business results may take time to achieve

§      The employee wishes a long relationship with the company

 

Short term orientation:

§      Results and achievements are set, and can be reached within timeframe

§      The employee will potentially change employer very often.

 

 

 

Geert Hofstede has made scores for the following countries:

 

The scores of each country can be found on Geert Hofstede's webpage www.geert-hofstede.com

 

Country

Arab World

Argentina

Australia

Austria

Austria

Bangladesh

Belgium

Brazil

Bulgaria

Canada

Chile

China

Colombia

Costa Rica

Czech Republic

Denmark

East Africa

Ecuador

El Salvador

Estonia

Finland

France

Germany

Greece

Guatemala

Hong Kong

Hungary

India

Indonesia

Iran

Ireland

Israel

Italy

Jamaica

Japan

Luxembourg

Malaysia

Malta

Mexico

Morocco

Netherlands

New Zealand

Norway

Pakistan

Panama

Peru

Philippines

Poland

Portugal

Romania

Russia

Singapore

Slovakia

South Africa

South Korea

Spain

Surinam

Sweden

Switzerland

Taiwan

Thailand

Trinidad

Turkey

United Kingdom

United States

Uruguay

Venezuela

Vietnam

West Africa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
Date Created: 2009-09-16
Posted by: Admin
 
 
 

Related resources:

What are Fons Trompenaars Cultural Dimensions?
Edgar H. Schein's Model of Organizational Culture
National Culture Vs. Organizational Culture
Reference(s)
 
Culture's Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions and Organizations Across Nations
Hofstede, Geert; (2001); Sage Publications
Cultures and Organizations, Software of the Mind: Intercultural Cooperation and its Importance for Survival
Hofstede, Geert; (1991); McGraw-Hill
Culture's Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values
Hofstede, Geert; (1980); Sage
Keywords:
Online MBA, Online MBA Courses, Geert Hofstede, Cultural Dimensions, Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, Masculinity and Femininity, Individualism and Collectivism, Long and Short Term Orientation

 


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