Hofstede cultural dimensions


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Presentation by Robert Braden, Brian Deeb and Trevor Davisson. The title describes the presentation, as our International Business professor said at the beginning of the semester "You will succeed or fail based upon understanding cultures in international business." Aside from the cultural dimensions, additional criteria was comparing the US dimensions to the following countries: Australia, Hong Kong, France, Colombia and Morocco.

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  • However, there may well be some interesting application of the sixth dimension to the international work place.  For example, indulgent cultures place more importance on freedom of speech and personal control while in restrained cultures there is a greater sense of helplessness about personal destiny.  In workplace this is likely to have an impact on how willing employees are to voice opinions and give feedback.  In cultures that are perceived as placing a greater importance on personal happiness and freedom, employees may be more likely to leave an organization when they are not happy in their role.
  • The fundamental issue addressed by this dimension is the degree of interdependence a society maintains among its members. It has to do with whether people´s self-image is defined in terms of “I” or “We”. In Individualist societies people are supposed to look after themselves and their direct family only. In Collectivist societies people belong to ‘in groups’ that take care of them in exchange for loyalty.
  • A high score (masculine) on this dimension indicates that the society will be driven by competition, achievement and success, with success being defined by the winner / best in field – a value system that starts in school and continues throughout organisational behaviour. A low score (feminine) on the dimension means that the dominant values in society are caring for others and quality of life. A feminine society is one where quality of life is the sign of success and standing out from the crowd is not admirable. The fundamental issue here is what motivates people, wanting to be the best (masculine) or liking what you do (feminine).
  • This ambiguity brings with it anxiety and different cultures have learnt to deal with this anxiety in different ways.  The extent to which the members of a culture feel threatened by ambiguous or unknown situations and have created beliefs and institutions that try to avoid these is reflected in the UAI score. At 29 Hong Kong has a low score on uncertainty avoidance.  Adherence to laws and rules may be flexible to suit the actual situation and pragmatism is a fact of life. The people in Hong Kong are comfortable with ambiguity; the Chinese language is full of ambiguous meanings that can be difficult for Western people to follow. They are adaptable and entrepreneurial.  
  • Hofstede cultural dimensions

    1. 1. HOFSTEDE’S CULTURAL DIMENSIONS Brian Deeb, Robert Braden & Trevor Davisson ECNM 478.43 January 15, 2014
    3. 3. GEERT HOFSTEDE Internship in 1947 which included a trip to Indonesia British girl, experienced culture shock for the first time in England Joined IBM in 1965 PhD in social psychology cum laude in 1967 from the University of Groningen (Netherlands)
    4. 4. 6 CULTURAL DIMENSIONS http://geert-hofstede.com/ind
    5. 5. MASCULINE/FEMININE (MAS) · What motivates people: wanting to be the best (masculine) or liking what you do (feminine). · High Score on MAS falls on the Masculinity side of this dimension. Represents a preference in society for achievement, heroism, assertiveness and material reward for success. Society at large is more competitive. · Femininity, stands for a preference for cooperation, modesty, caring for the weak and quality of life. Society at large is more consensus-oriented. http://geert-hofstede.com/index.php
    6. 6. Uncertainty avoidance (UAI) · How a country or society handles the fact that the future or situations can be unpredictable or unclear: should we try to control the future or just let it happen? · The uncertainty avoidance dimension tells the degree in which citizens of a society feel apprehensive or nervous with uncertainty and ambiguity and have created beliefs and institutions to specifically protect against it. · Countries that possess a strong UAI have strict codes of belief, laws, and behavior and are unaccepting of different behavior and ideas. There is a strong emotional need for rules. · Weak UAI societies maintain a more relaxed attitude in which practice counts more than principles. More “care-free”; accepts inherent ideas; not threatened by change or different ideas. http://geert-
    7. 7. LONG VS. SHORT TERM ORIENTATION (LTO) Long-term orientation exists when you are focused on the future. You are willing to delay short- term material or social success or even shot-term emotional gratification in order to prepare for the future. If you have this cultural perspective, you value persistence, perseverance, saving and being able to adapt. Short-term orientation exists when you are focused on the present or past and consider them more important than the future. If you have a short-term orientation, you value tradition, the current social hierarchy, and fulfilling your social obligations. You care more about immediate gratification than long-term fulfillment. • http://geert-hofstede.com/index.php
    8. 8. INDULGENCE VS. RESTRAINT (IDV) Indulgence stands for a society that allows relatively free gratification of basic and natural human drives related to enjoying life and having fun. Restraint stands for a society that suppresses gratification of needs and regulates it by means of strict social norms. • http://geert- hofstede.com/index.php
    9. 9. INDULGENCE VS RESTRAINT (IDV) International work place Freedom of speech in indulgent cultures Helplessness in restrained cultures • http://geert-hofstede.com/index.php
    10. 10. POWER DISTANCE (PDI) • Degree to which less powerful people accept & expect that power is distributed unequally • Hierarchical order created in which people have a place or status • Score of >50 means people are more accepting of a hierarchical order • Score of <50 seek equalization of power, pursue inequalities • http://geert-hofstede.com/index.php
    11. 11. INDIVIDUALISM VS. COLLECTIVISM (IDV) • A society’s ability to create and rely upon a social framework that supports each respective person • Score of >50 is a looser social framework • Score of <50 is a tighter social framework with people looking after each other • http://geert-hofstede.com/index.php
    12. 12. MOROCCO/US
    13. 13. MOROCCO/US CONTINUED Power Distance: 70 - hierarchical society; people accept the power structure and demand no justification. Inherent inequalities reside in Morocco. Individualism: 25 – Collectivistic society. Large groups of family, extended family, or extended relationships. Very high sense of loyalty. Masculine: 53 – Tends to lead more towards masculinity features. Very male dominated society. Living wills, divorce issues, wives needing permission to work. Vast majority of males do work. Uncertainty Avoidance: 68 – Morocco has a very high preference for avoiding uncertainty. Strict religious laws but just introduced a democratic government and a constitution. Sharia law. Long-Term Orientation : N/A – No score for Morocco yet. • http://geert-hofstede.com/index.php
    14. 14. FRANCE/US • http://geert-hofstede.com/index.php
    15. 15. FRANCE/US CONTINUED Power Distance: 68 –Very formal interactions with managers. Semi-Presidential government but a member of the Socialist party is currently President of France. Individualism: 71 – Very high – favor individual and private opinions. Worried about immediately family only and do not belong to groups. Autonomy is favored in the work place. Masculine: 43 – Relatively feminine country. Securite Sociale; only work 35 hours per week; majority get 5 weeks of holiday per year; cares for its quality of life than work. Material signs of success not very visible. Uncertainty Avoidance: 86 – One of the highest UAI scores out of all countries. Planning is favored. Education and academia world are extremely important. Structured life of school, college, and work. Long-Term Orientation : 39 – Short-term orientated society. Great respect for their tradition. Focus on quick results in business (Quarterly results). Sensitivity to social trends and more immediate gratification. • http://geert-hofstede.com/index.php
    16. 16. How about Hong Kong with Long-term short –term orientation? • http://geert-hofstede.com/index.php
    17. 17. HONG KONG LONG VS SHORT TERM CONTINUED With a score of 96 Hong Kong is a highly long term oriented society in which persistence and perseverance are normal. Relationships are ordered by status and the order is observed. People are thrifty and sparing with resources and investment tends to be in long term projects such as real estate. Traditions can be adapted to suit new conditions. • http://geert-hofstede.com/index.php
    18. 18. HONG KONG LONG VS SHORT TERM CONTINUED The long term orientation dimension is closely related to the teachings of Confucius and can be interpreted as dealing with society’s search for virtue, the extent to which a society shows a pragmatic future-oriented perspective rather than a conventional historical short-term point of view. • http://geert-hofstede.com/index.php
    19. 19. WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? Knowing about a person's cultural time orientation - whether they're short-term orientated or long- term orientated - is crucial information in management and in negotiations because it plays a large factor in motivation. Organizations and managers who know the time orientation of their employees will be able to fashion appropriate motivating incentives that align with their orientations, such as a bonus - a short-term incentive - or an additional contribution to an employee's retirement fund, which is a long-term orientated incentive. Cultural time orientation is also a crucial bit of information in cross-cultural negotiations as illustrated in the example below. • http://geert-hofstede.com/index.php
    20. 20. SUMMARY Long-term orientation versus short-term orientation is one of five cultural dimensions identified by Geert Hofstede. Cultures demonstrating a long-term orientation emphasize preparation for the future, while cultures demonstrating a short-term orientation are more concerned with short-term gratification. Understanding a culture's time orientation will help organizations, managers and negotiators effectively understand the incentives and motivations of people and organizations. • http://geert-hofstede.com/index.php
    21. 21. HONG KONG INDULGENT/RESTRAINT Indulgent/Restraint In a place like Hong Kong with a high restraint, you can expect for employees not to voice their opinions and not give feedback. Another interesting facet to this dimension is around attitudes to customer service. In indulgent cultures such as in the USA the expectation is that customer service representatives visibly demonstrate their ‘happiness’ with a smile and friendly demeanor. However, in Hong Kong you may not see this, this might be deemed as inappropriate and unnatural. • http://geert-hofstede.com/index.php
    22. 22. HONG KONG POWER DISTANCE Power distance This dimension deals with the fact that all individuals in societies are not equal – it expresses the attitude of the culture towards these inequalities amongst us. Power distance is defined as the extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and organisations within a country expect and accept that power is distributed unequally. At 68 Hong Kong has a high score on PDI – i.e. a society that believes that inequalities amongst people are acceptable. The subordinate-superior relationship tends to be polarized and there is no defense against power abuse by superiors. Individuals are influenced by formal authority and sanctions and are in general optimistic about people’s capacity for leadership and initiative. • http://geert-hofstede.com/index.php
    23. 23. HONG KONG INDIVIDUALISM At a score of 25 Hong Kong is a collectivist culture where people act in the interests of the group and not necessarily of themselves. In-group considerations affect hiring and promotions with closer in-groups (such as family) are getting preferential treatment. Whereas relationships with colleagues are cooperative for in-groups they are cold or even hostile to out-groups. Personal relationships prevail over task and company. Communication is indirect and the harmony of the group has to be maintained, open conflicts are avoided. • http://geert-hofstede.com/index.php
    24. 24. HONG KONG MASCULINITY At 57 Hong Kong is a somewhat masculine society –success oriented and driven. The need to ensure success can be exemplified by the fact that many will spend many hours at work. Service people (such as hairdressers) will provide services until very late at night. Another example is that students care very much about their exam scores and ranking as this is the main criteria to achieve success or not. • http://geert-hofstede.com/index.php
    25. 25. HONG KONG UNCERTAINTY AVOIDANCE The dimension Uncertainty Avoidance has to do with the way that a society deals with the fact that the future can never be known: should we try to control the future or just let it happen? • http://geert-hofstede.com/index.php
    26. 26. AUSTRALIA/US • http://geert-hofstede.com/index.php
    27. 27. • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RuoXH2fB
    28. 28. COLOMBIA BOURDAIN • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t92RzINw96
    29. 29. COLOMBIA/US • http://geert-hofstede.com/index.php