Culture and Its Dimensions

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Culture and its Primary Dimensions
Christina Neal
West Virginia State University

CULTURE AND ITS PRIMARY DIMENSIONS
Culture is a learned set of assumptions, values, and beliefs that members of a group have accepted and that affect human behavior (Michael A. Hitt, 2012). It’s the characteristics of a group of people, defined by their language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music, and art. The United States is now largely populated by immigrants, so the culture surrounding us is ever-changing (Zimmermann, 2012). There are four different dimensions of culture: power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism vs. collectivism, and gender focus.

Learning about different cultural values is critical to the outcome of human behavior and interaction. There are four dimensions of culture: power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism versus conservatism, and gender focus (Michael A. Hitt, 2012). Power distance is the extent to which people accept power and authority differences among people. It characterizes the extent to which people accept differences among themselves (Michael A. Hitt, 2012). Power distance describes the inequality that exists among people, societies, businesses, countries, coworkers, and so many more. There are two levels: high and low (Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions). People who have a high power distance have an unequal distribution of power and understand ‘their place’. A high power distance characterizes people who are associated with centralized organizations, strong hierarchies, and large gaps in compensation, authority, and respect. A low power distance describes people who feel that the power is shared and well dispersed; they feel equal to others. Low power distances characterize people associated with a ‘flatter’ organization where supervisors and employees are considered basically equal (Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions). According to Geert Hofstede, people from the Philippines, Venezuela, and Mexico have the highest...
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