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English cultures and organizations software of the mind


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English cultures and organizations software of the mind

  1. 1. CULTURES AND ORGANIZATIONS SOFTWARE OF THE MINDManagement summary by Eva van Wijngaarden Management summary of ‘Cultures and Orga- nizations, Software of the Mind‘ by Geert Hofstede, Gert Jan Hofstede and Michael Minkov People are being born into a existing culture. The first values a Differences in national culture child are taught are the family values. The teaching of cultural values is continued in the classrooms, and later at work and in Countries have different cultures. As much as products all over society. The six cultural dimensions described by Hofstede are: the world, look alike, this does not mean that cultures are start- power distance, individualism versus collectivism, masculinity ing to look alike. Topics in the Chinese version of Cosmopolitan versus femininity, uncertainty avoidance, long-term orientation magazine are fundamentally different than the topics in the versus short-term orientation and indulgence versus restraint. Dutch edition. This management summary will discus the influ- These cultural dimensions influence organizations and thinking ence of cultural differences on management of organizations. about organizations. This is the subject of the next paragraphs. You can find information on the six cultural dimensions exten- sively discussed by Hofstede in the appendix at the end of this summary. Three charts which show how different countries Pyramids, machines, markets score on the different dimensions are also included. The reader of this summary is advised to start with the appendix before and families: types of organi- continuing reading. The rest of the summary will focus on the zations in different countries influence of culture on organizations. Organizational culture is called culture but mainly consists out of practices, the outer three layers of the onions. The cultural val- The concept culture ues of the employees are mostly formed before they enter the workplace in their early twenties. The cultural values of an Culture is defined as: ‘The collec- organization can look in a small or large sense be similar to the tive programming of the mind national cultural values. Recruitment of personnel can make that that distinguishes the members certain national cultural values are in a more or less degree of a group or category of people represented in the organization. The employee enters the from others.’ Culture is taught en organization with an already existing set of values. The practices has different levels. The levels of the organizations are a result of the values of the employees. can be compared to the layers of These practices are relatively easy to change since they are an onion. The level of values is more superficial. The practices are shaped when entering the the core of culture. It is the deep- organization, in contrast to the values which are shaped since est, subconscious level. Higher early childhood. Two cultural dimensions are particularly impor- levels consist out of practices tant for organizations. The organizational structure always has that express the cultural values. two questions to answer. First, who has the power to to do These practices are more super- what? Second, what rules or procedures will be followed to ficial and more subject to change. attain the desired ends? The answer to the first question is 1
  2. 2. influenced by cultural norms of power distance. The answer to rity, a person seeks safety in an organized group, 3 belonging-the second question is influenced by cultural norms about un- ness, need for friendship, love and positive social relationships,certainty avoidance. The combination of these two dimensions 4 esteem, a need for recognition, appreciation and respect,results in four different organizational typologies matching the 5 self-actualization. At the top of the hierarchy are individualcultural norms. The typologies are: pyramids, machines, markets needs, corresponding with the American culture but not corre-and families. sponding with the culture of collectivistic countries. In collectivis-Pyramid: the pyramid-organization suits a culture with large tic cultures satisfaction of group needs would be more importantpower distance and a strong need for uncertainty avoidance. than satisfaction of individual needs. Another simple illustration isFrance and Russia are examples. When you give students of the fact that the Chinese language does not have a word for thesuch countries a case of an organization in trouble because of individualistic word ‘personality’. The Chinese equivalent wouldtwo managers who have a conflict, their diagnosis would be to be the collectivistic word ‘ren’ which is always connected tolet the manager at the level above the two battling managers, someones social heritage. When a manager is wondering aboutresolve the conflict. Solutions are to be found at the top of the how to manage and reward his team, he needs to be aware oforganization. the impact of cultural norms and choose an instrument com-Machine: the machine-organization suits a culture with small plementary to those norms. This would enhance the chance ofpower distance and a strong need for uncertainty avoidance. success tremendously.Germany and Israel are such examples. A good organizationfunctions like a well oiled machine. In the same case as pre- Cultural norms can differ fundamentally. Such cultural gaps aresented earlier, the diagnosis would be that the responsibilities of hard to overcome, even if on recognizes the differences. Theythe conflicting managers aren’t properly described. Better pro- are impossible to overcome if on doesn’t recognize them. Inter-cedures would be the solution. national adventures such as acquisitions and mergers areMarket: the market-organization suits a culture with small helped with a cultural analysis before take off. This can reducepower distance and a weak need for uncertainty avoidance. unnecessary losses and increase the chance of success.England and Denmark are such examples. In the same case thediagnosis would be that there is a human relations problem. Thetwo conflicting managers would have to take a class to learn The elephant and the storkhow et resolve such conflicts in a constructive manner. Prefera-bly they take the class together. Better relations is the solution to A study by Hofstede shows that there are six categories of cul-the problem. Hierarchy or procedures aren’t the answer. tural practices which can be defined when studying organiza-Family: the family-organization suits a culture of great power tional culture. These practices are not correlated with the culturaldistance and weak uncertainty avoidance. China and India suit dimensions. The six categories of practices are:the profile. In the same case the owner-boss would be asked tosolve the problem. Tradition replaces procedures and authority is 1. Process oriented versus results orientedfound at the top. 2. Employee oriented versus job oriented 3. Parochial versus professionalA well known set of typologies are the five configurations of 4. Open system versus closed systemMintzberg. In his description he didn’t take cultural norms into 5. Loose versus tight controlaccount. When you place the typologies on the axes of power 6. Normative versus pragmaticdistance and uncertainty avoidance, you find that the configura-tions translate well to the cultural setting of the organization. Process oriented versus results oriented: in a process ori- ented culture focus is on the use of resources, in a results ori- ented culture focus is on achieving the goal. In process oriented cultures people perceive themselves are risk avoiding, experi- encing every day as being the same as the previous day, and putting limited effort into their work. In result oriented cultures people feel comfortable in unknown situations, give maximum effort, and every day is a new change for a new challenge. These practices are strongly correlated with the ratio labour costs versus material costs. Labour intensive organizations are more results oriented and material intensive organizations are more process oriented. Employee oriented versus job oriented: in an employee ori- ented culture people feel that there is consideration for personal problems, that the organizations feels responsible for job satisfac- tion and that important decisions are being made by groups or committees. In job oriented cultures people experience a heavy workload and that there employer is only interested in the job and not in the employees. Scores on this dimensions are often the result of inheritance of the founding fathers of the organization and of the way management has dealt with previous crisis. The di- mension is correlated with how management is evaluated. When management is evaluated based on an external norm, such as profitability in a certain market segment, the organization tends to score more job oriented. When management is evaluated based on an internal norm, such as budget realization, the organizationAs preferred organizational configurations fit the cultural setting tends to score more employee oriented.of a country, so do management theories and psychological Parochial versus professional: in a parochial culture peopleinsights. A good example is the hierarchy of needs of Maslow. In identify strongly with the organization. In a professional culturethe theory of Abraham Maslow, a born and raised American, the people identify with their profession. In parochial cultures workhierarchy of needs is: 1 physiological needs, 2 safety and secu- values correspond with personal values outside of the 2
  3. 3. workplace. When hiring new personnel, attention is paid to a cul- Managing (with) Organizational Culture according to tural fit with the organization and if one is competent for the job at Hofstede hand. Employees don’t look far ahead, they expect the organiza- • Is a task for top-management that cannot be delegated tion to do that for them. In the professional culture private life is • Demands both power and expertise strictly separated from professional life. People are hired only • Should start with cultural diagnosis based on professional competence. People look far into the fu- • Demands strategic choices ture. The higher the level of education, the more likely it is that - Is present culture matched with strategy? there is a professional culture. - If not, can strategy be adapted? Open system versus closed system: in an open system peo- - If not, what change of culture is needed? ple experience the organization and its members to be open for - Is this change feasible - do we have the people? new members and outsiders. Almost anyone would fit into the - What will be the costs in management attention and money? organization, people feel right at home. In a closed system people - Do the expected benefits outweigh the costs? find the organization and its embers closed, also towards her own - What is a realistic time span for the changes? members. Only a specific type of person would fit into the organi- - If in doubt, better change strategy anyway zation. It takes a long time to feel at home. - Different subcultures may demand different approaches Loose versus tight control: in a loose culture people don’t • Create a network of change agents in the organizations worry about costs, meetings run late and people make jokes - Some key people at all levels about work and the organization. In a tight culture people are cost - If key people start others will follow aware, people are punctual, and little jokes are made about work - Can resisters be circumvented? or the organization. Sarcasm is unusual and there is a strict dress • Design necessary structural changes code. The looseness of the organization is often reflected in the - Opening or closing departments internal communication. Do or don’t they address controversial - Merging or splitting departments or tasks topics, are there taboos? Is or isn’t there room for open debate? - Should groups or individuals be moved? Normative versus pragmatic: this dimensions concerns the - Are tasks matched with talents? attitude towards customers. In a normative culture people see it • Design necessary process changes as the responsibility of the organization to apply rules strictly, pro- - Eliminating or establishing controls cedures are more important then results, people view themselves - Automating or eliminating automation as highly ethical and honest. In a pragmatic culture focus is on - Establishing or cutting communication links satisfying the customers needs. Results are important and in ethi- - Replace control of inputs by control of outputs? cal situations people arent dogmatic, they are pragmatic. • Revise personnel policies - Reconsider criteria for hiring Organizational cultures can be characterized by describing how - Reconsider criteria for promotion an organization ‘scores’ on different dimensions. This culture must - Is human resource management up to its new task? be seen however as a unified whole, as a so called ‘Gestallt’. It is - Design timely job rotation therefor useful to compare organizations as, for instance, animals. - Be suspicious of plans to train others Is the organization an elephant or a stork? By visualizing the - The need for training has to be felt by the trainees them- gestallt it becomes clear which transformations are within reach selves and which are not. Every intervention must gradually reshape the • Continue monitoring development of organizational culture gestallt. Through gradual evolution the culture can change. A - Persistence, sustained attention cultural revolution is only possible by destroying existing cultural - Periodically repeat culture diagnosis capital. This is rarely to be desired. Eva van Wijngaarden Allround Management Consultant. Specialiseer in and passionate about culture. The message of Geert Hofstede is as simple as it is powerful. When in search of suitable management theories always keep in mind the cultural background and check if the theory is applicable in ones own cultural setting. Applying a management theory without cultural awareness can lead to unexpected problems. Suitable culture interventions can only be designed with respect for the current cultural values and with full understanding of the new appropriate culture. They must fit within the Gestalt of the organization and reshape the gestalt where necessary. Hofstedes cultural dimensions enable you to look beyond your own cultural paradigm and see and appreciate other points of view. 0 0 3 1 6 5 3 5 3 1 2 8 4 | w w w . c l t r . n l | i n f o @ c l t r . n lCC L L T T R R || CC u u l l t t u u r r e e i i nn C C o o n n t t r r o o l3 l
  4. 4. POWER DISTANCE The extend to which the less powerful members of institutions and organizations within a country except and accept that power is distributed unequallySmall power distance Large power distanceGeneral qualificationsInequality among people should be minimized Inequality among people is expected and desiredLess powerful people and more powerful people should be interdependent Less powerful people are emotionally polarized between dependence and counterde- pendenceFamilies and relationshipsParents treat children as equals Parents teach children obedienceChildren treat parents and older people as equals Respect for parents and older people is a basic lifelong virtueEducationTeachers expect initiatives from students in class Teachers should take all initiatives in classTeachers are experts who transfer impersonal truths Teachers are gurus who transfer personal wisdomStudents treat teachers as equals Students treat teachers with respectEducational policy is focused on secondary schools Educational policy is focused on universitiesOrganizationsLess educated persons hold more authoritarian values than more educated persons More and less educated persons show equally authoritarian authoritarian valuesHierarchy in organizations means an inequality of roles, established for convenience Hierarchy in organizations reflects existential inequality between higher and lower levelsDecentralization is popular Centralization is popularThere is a narrow salary range between the top and the bottom of the organization There is a wide salary range between the top and the bottom of the organizationThere are fewer supervisory personnel There are more supervisory personnelManagers rely on their own experience and on subordinates Managers rely on their superiors and on formal rulesSubordinates expect to be consulted Subordinates expect to be told what to doThe ideal boss is a resourceful democrat The ideal boss is a benevolent autocrat, or a ‘good’ fatherSubordinate-superior relations are pragmatic Subordinate-superior relations are emotionalPrivileges and status symbols are frowned upon Privileges and status symbols are normal and popularThe state and the societyThe use of power should be legitimate and follow criteria of good and evil Might prevails over right: whoever holds the power is right and goodSkills, wealth, power and status need not go together Skills, wealth, power and status should go togetherLarge middle class Small middle classAll should have equal rights The powerful should have privilegesPowerful people try to look less powerful Powerful people try to look as powerful as possibleScandals mean the end of a political career Scandals are covered upPower is based on formal position, expertise and ability to give rewards Power is based on tradition or family, charisma and the ability to use forceThe way to change the political system is by changing the rules (evolution) The way to change the political system is by changing the people at the top (revolution)There is more dialogue and less violence in domestic politics There is less dialogue and more violence in domestic politicsPluralist governments based on the outcome of majority votes Autocratic or oligarchic governments based on co-optationThe political spectrum shows a strong center and weak left and right wing The political spectrum, if allowed to exist, shows a weak centre and a strong left and right wingIdeasReligion and philosophy express equality Religion and philosophy express hierarchyPolitical theories focus on how to divide the power Political theories focus on the struggle for powerManagement theories are focused on the role of the employee Management theories are focused on the role of the manager 4
  5. 5. INDIVIDUALISM VERSUS COLLECTIVISM Individualism pertains to societies in which the ties between individuals are loose: everyone is expected to look after him- or herself and his or her family. Collectivism as its opposite pertains to societies in which people from birth onward are integrated into strong, cohesive in-groups, which throughout people’s lifetime continue to protect them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty.Collectivistic IndividualisticGeneral qualificationsPeople are being born into extended families or other in-groups that continue protecting Everyone grows up to look after him- or herself and his or her immediate (nuclear) familythem in exchange for loyaltyHarmony should always be maintained and direct confrontations avoided Speaking one’s mind is a characteristic of an honest personValue standards differ for in-groups and out-groups: exclusionism The same value standards are supposed to apply to everyone: universalismHigh-context communication prevails (few words are necessary because people share a Low-context communication prevails (much words are necessary because people don’tsimilar group context and know what isn’t said) share a similar group context and don’t know what isn’t said)Trespasses lead to shame and loss of face for self and group Trespasses lead to guilt and loss of self-respectOpinions are predetermined by the group Everyone is expected to have a private opinionCollectivist interests prevail over individual interests Individual interests prevail over collectivist interestsIdentity is derived from the identity of the group You create your own identityFamily and relationshipsChildren learn to think in terms of ‘we’ Children learn to think in terms of ‘I’Adult children live with parents Adult children leave the parental homeResources should be shared with the family Individual ownership of resources, even for childrenEducationThe purpose of education is learning how to do The purpose of education is learning how to learnStudents speak up in class only when sanctioned by the group Students are expected to individually speak up in classOccupational mobility is lower Occupational mobility is higherDiplomas provide entry to higher-status groups Diplomas increase economic worth and/or self-respectOrganizationsThe employer-employee relationship is basically moral, like a family link The employer-employee relationship is a contract between parties in the labour marketHiring and promotion take employee’s in-group into account Hiring and promotion decisions are supposed to be based on skills and rules onlyEmployees are members of in-groups who will pursue the interest of the in-group Employees are ‘economic persons’ who will pursue the employer’s interest if it coincides with their self-interestManagement is management of groups Management is management of individualsDirect appraisal of subordinates spoils harmony Management training teaches the honest sharing of feelingsIn-group customers get better treatment (particularism) Each customer should get the same treatment (universalism)Relationships prevail over tasks Tasks prevail over relationshipsSociety and politicsState has dominant role in the economic system State has a restrained role in the economic systemLow per capita GNI High per capita GNIPrivate life is invaded by group(s) Everyone has a right to privacyLower human rights rating Higher human rights ratingLaws and rights differ per group Laws and rights are supposed to be the same for allIdeasPatriotism is the ideal Autonomy is the idealHarmony and consensus in society are ultimate goals Self-actualization by every individual is an ultimate goalIdeologies of equality prevail over ideologies of individual freedom Ideologies of individual freedom prevail over ideologies of equality 5
  6. 6. MASCULINITY VERSUS FEMININITY A society is masculine when emotional gender roles are clearly distinct: men are supposed to be assertive, tough, and focused on material success, whereas women are supposed to be more modest, tender and concerned with the quality of life. A society is called feminine when emotional gender roles overlap: both men and women are supposed to be modest, tender and concerned with the quality of life.Femininity MasculinityGeneral qualificationsRelationships and equality of life are important Challenge, earnings, recognition and advancement are importantBoth men and women are supposed to be modest Women are supposed to be modestBoth men and women can be tender and focus on relationships Women can be tender and focus on relationshipsKeep it small and simple, easy does it Big is beautiful, more is better, the faster the betterSympathy for the weak and the losers Sympathy for the strong and the winnersPeople and relationships are important Money and matter are importantFamily and relationshipsFathers and mothers deal with facts and feelings Fathers deal with facts, mothers with feelingsParents share earning and caring roles Father earns, mother caresBoys and girls play for the same reason Boys play to compete, girls play to be togetherBoys and girls are allowed to cry, but neither should fight Girls cry, boys don’t, boys fight, girls don’tEducationThe average student sets the norm The best student sets the normBad study performance isn’t a disaster Bad study performance is a disasterStudents underestimate themselves (modest) Students overestimate themselves (ego)Friendly teachers are most appreciated Brilliant teachers are most appreciatedStudy and work are chosen based on interest Study and work are chosen based on career perspectiveBoys and girls choose the same studies Boys and girls choose different studiesOrganizationsWork to live Live to workManagement as ménage, intuition and consensus Management as manège, decisive and aggressiveEmphasis on equality, solidarity and quality of life Emphasis on pay by performance, competition between colleagues and achievementsResolution of conflicts by compromise and negotiation Resolution of conflicts by letting the strongest winRewards are based on equality Rewards are based on equityCareers are optional for both sexes Careers are compulsory of men, optional for womenHumanization of work by contact and cooperation Humanization of work by job content enrichmentSociety and politicsWelfare society ideal; help for the needy Performance society ideal; support for the strongThe needy must be helped The strong must have opportunitiesPermissive society Corrective societyThe environment must be preserved; small is beautiful The economy should continue growing; big is beautifulGovernment spend relatively large amount on developmental aid Government spend relatively small amount on developmental aidGovernment spend relatively small amount on military arms Government spend relatively large amount on military armsInternational conflicts must be resolved by negotiation and compromise International conflicts must be resolved by power display or forceRelative large number of women in politics Relative small number of women in politicsImmigrants should integrate Immigrants should assimilateMore voters view themselves in the left wing More voters view themselves in the political centerIdeasDominant religions give equal roles to both sexes Dominant religions stress the male prerogativeWomens movement focused on equal division of tasks Womens movement focused on access for women in territories previously preserved for men 6
  7. 7. AVOIDANCE OF UNCERTAINTY The extend to which the members of a culture feel threatened by ambiguous or unknown situationsWeak avoidance of uncertainty Strong avoidance of uncertaintyGeneral qualificationsUncertainty is a normal feature of life, and each day is accepted as it comes The uncertainty inherent in life is a continuos threat that must be foughtAggression and emotions should not be shown Aggression and emotions may at proper times and places be ventedLow stress low anxiety High stress high anxietyComfortable in ambiguous situations and with unfamiliar risks Acceptance of familiar risks; fear of ambiguous situations and fear of unfamiliar risksWhat is different is curious What is different is dangerousFamily and relationshipsLenient rules for children on what is dirty and taboo Strict rules for children on what is dirty and tabooFamily life is relaxed Family life is stressfulEducationStudents are comfortable with open-ended learning situations and concerned with good Students are comfortable in structured learning situations and concerned with the rightdiscussion answersTeachers may say ‘I don’t know’ Teachers are supposed to have all the answersResults are attributed to a person’s own ability Results are attributed to luck or circumstancesTeachers involve parents Teachers inform parentsOrganizationsWork hard only when needed There is an emotional need to be busy and an inner urge to work hardThere should be no more rules then necessary There is an emotional need for rules, even if they will not workTime is a framework for orientation Time is moneyLow stress , feeling of well being Much stress, feeling of anxietyPrecision and punctuality must be taught Precision and punctuality come naturalBetter at innovation, worse at implementation Worse at innovation, better at implementationMotivation by achievement and esteem or belonging Motivation by security and esteem or belongingEntrepreneurs are relatively free from rules Entrepreneurs are constrained by existing rulesMore job hopping, better work-life balance Less job hopping, worse work-life balanceTolerance for ambiguity and chaos Need for precision and formalizationFocus on decision process Focus on decision contentTop managers are concerned with strategy Top managers are concerned with daily operationsSociety and politicsFew and general laws or unwritten rules Many and precise laws and unwritten rulesIf laws cannot be respected, they should be changed Laws are necessary even if they can’t be respectedCitizens are competent towards authorities Citizens are incompetent towards authoritiesCitizen protest is acceptable Citizen protest is unacceptableCitizens trust politicians, civil servants and the legal system Citizens are negative towards politicians, civil servants and the legal systemFast result in case of appeal to justice Slow result in case of appeal to justicePositive attitude towards young people Negative attitude towards young peoplePeople are interested in politics People aren’t interested in politicsFewer civil servants have law degrees More civil servants have law degreesBelief in generalists and common sense Belief in experts and technical solutionsHuman rights: nobody should be persecuted for his or her beliefs More religious, political and ideological intolerance and fundamentalismIdeasOne’s religions truths cannot be imposed on others In religion there is only one Truth and we have itIn philosophy and science there is a tendency toward relativism and empiricism In philosophy and science there is a tendency toward grand theoriesScientific opponents can be personal friends Scientific opponents cannot be friends 7
  8. 8. SHORT-TERM ORIENTATION VERSUS LONG-TERM ORIENTATIONLong term orientation stands for fostering of virtues oriented toward future rewards - in particular, perseverance and thrift. Short term orientation stands for the fostering of virtues related to the past and present - in particular, respect for tradition, preservation of ‘face’ and fulfilling social obligationsShort-term orientation Long-term orientationGeneral qualificationsSocial pressure toward spending Thrift, being sparing with resourcesConcern with social and status obligations Willingness to subordinate oneself for a purposeConcern with ‘face’ Having a sense of shameRespect for tradition Respect for circumstancesEfforts should produce quick results Perseverance, sustained efforts toward slow resultsFamily and relationshipsLiving with in-laws is a source of trouble Living with in-laws is normalOld age is an unhappy period but starts late Old age is a happy period and starts earlyPreschool children can be cared for by others Mothers should have time for their preschool childrenChildren get gifts for fun and love Children get gifts for eduction and developmentDissatisfaction with one’s own contributions to daily human relations and to correcting Satisfaction with one’s own contributions to daily human relations and to correcting injusticeinjusticeHumility is for women only Humility is for men as well as womenEducationTalent for theoretical, abstract sciences Talent for applied, concrete sciencesStudents attribute success and failure to luck Students attribute success to effort and failure to lack of itWeaker mathematic and science results for fourteen-year-olds due to less efforts Stronger mathematic and science results for fourteen-year-olds due to harder workOrganizationsMain work values include freedom, rights, achievement and thinking for oneself Main work values include learning, honesty, adaptiveness, accountability and self-disciplineLeisure time is important Leisure time is unimportantFocus on the ‘bottom line’ Focus on market positionThis years profits are important Profits in ten years are importantManagers and workers are psychologically two camps Owner-managers and workers share the same aspirationsMeritocracy, reward by abilities Wide social and economic differences are undesirablePersonal loyalties vary with business needs Investment in lifelong personal networksSociety and politicsProud of my country Learn from other countriesSmall savings quote, little money for investment Large savings quote, funds available for investmentAppeal of fundamentalism Appeal of pragmatismAppeal of folk wisdom and witchcraft Appeal of knowledge and educationIdeasThere are universal guidelines about what is good and what is evil What is good and what is evil depends on circumstancesConcern with possessing the Truth Concern with respecting demands of VirtueMatter and spirit are separated Matter and spirit are integratedIf A is true, then its opposite B must be false If A is true, its opposite B can also be truePriority is given to abstract rationality Priority is given to common senseThere is a need for cognitive consistency Disagreement does not hurtAnalytical thinking Synthetic thinking 8
  9. 9. INDULGENCE VERSUS RESTRAINTIndulgence stands for a tendency to allow relatively free gratification of basic and natural human desires related to enjoying life and having fun. Restraint reflects a conviction that such gratification needs to be curbed and regulated by strict social norms.Indulgence RestraintGeneral qualificationsHigher percentage of happy people Lower percentage of happy peopleHigher appreciation of free time Lower appreciation of free timeThrift is not very important Thrift is importantLess moral discipline More moral disciplinePositive attitude CynicismA perception of personal life control A perception of helplessness: what happens to me is not my own doingFamily and relationshipsIn countries with well educated people, higher birthrates In countries with well educated people, lower birthratesFamily life is satisfying Family life is less satisfyingLoose gender roles Strict gender rolesSmiling as a norm Smiling is suspiciousFriends are important Friends are less importantSociety and politicsLoose society Strict societyFreedom of expression is important Freedom of expression is not a primary concernMaintaining order in the nation is not given a high priority Maintaining order in the nation is considered high priority 9
  10. 10. NederlandSmall power distance: to address someone on an informal title suchas ‘jij’ and ‘jou’ is expected and desired. Politicians are easily accessible.Bosses are like anyone else. Celebrities are admired for staying ‘so ordinary’.Individualistic: to have your own opinion is important. ‘And what doyou think?’ is a very common question. Group pressure is for high schoolstudents, after high school time has come to find out what suits you as anindividual.Feminine: men and women are equal. Men can cry but should not fight.Women can have careers and can be politicly active. Children are taken todaycare when they are three months old.Weak uncertainty avoidance: immigrants have been welcome for along time and could expect a curious, positive attitude from the dutch.Parents are being involved by teachers, job hopping is the standard for theyounger generation and precise and accurate employees are scares.Long term orientation: this is shown in politics. Long term relation-ships are being developed through developmental aid and military peacemissions. Budgeting is another strong suit of dutch politics. Debts are incontrol.Indulgence: in spite of a restrictive budget policy in politics, the averageconsumer has no problem buying a flat screen television on credit. 10