Topics: Geert Hofstede, Cross-cultural communication, Thailand Pages: 12 (3532 words) Published: October 22, 2014

1.1Background of Thailand

Thai government is more often referred to Thailand in English or in the original language “Mueang Thai”, is a Southeast Asia country located nearby Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia. Thai government was formerly known as Siam until May 11, 1949. The word “Thai” means “freedom” in Thai language. However, minority of Chinese ethnic in Thailand is still using Siam name. Thailand is a constitutional monarchy country and had never been colonized. The king is the leader of the country. Thailand has 77 provinces which are grouped into 5 parts, North, Northeast, East, South and Center. Bangkok is capital city and center of business.

The estimate population in Thailand as at October 2013 is 67.1 million. The majority ethnic groups are Thai which cover 89%, followed by Chinese ethnic and Malay ethnic. According to last census (2000), 94.6% of Thais are Buddhist from Theravada tradition. Muslims are the second largest religious group in Thailand with 4.6%. Other smaller portion religious are Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Judaism. Thai language is their official language but they are also many other regional languages. English is widely taught in schools.

Thailand involves in several industries namely agriculture, forestry and fishing, industry and manufacturing, tourism, banking and finance, services and energy. However, the main industries are agricultural and tourism. Paddy is the most important crop in the country. Thailand is the major rice exporter in the world. Other agricultural commodities produced in significant quantities include fish and fishery products, tapioca, rubber, grain and sugar. Industrial exports of processed food such as canned tuna, pineapples and frozen shrimp are increasing as well. Tourism contributes significantly to Thailand’s economy. There are several popular tourist destinations like Phuket, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Bangkok and Surat thani. Other than the attractive places, famous Thai cuisine like Tom Yam Koong where the different and special taste like spicy and sour is one of the favourite dish for foreigner around the world.

1.2Hofstede’s Value Dimension

Each country’s cultures are different from one another. In order to identify the classification of culture and simplify the concept of cross culture management, Geert Hofstede conducted a study and established the impact of societal culture or national culture on the community. The study was done based on the 116,000 IBM employees in 40 different countries. In this study, Hofstede identified four value dimensions that vary across the countries. Hofstede’s dimension of culture is widely used for identifying and explaining the different implication of cultures towards the society.


2.0Power distance

According to Hofstede (1980), power distance refers to the acceptance of power distributed unequally among the community and society. Power distance index (PDI) is measured through high and low characteristics. A high PDI score indicates that the society is ready and willing to accept unequal distribution of power whereas low PDI score indicates that power is shared equally among members. Refer to the above Hofstede’s cultural dimension graph, Thailand scores 64 PDI out of 100. This is considered high scoring and show that hierarchical system is acceptable in Thailand society. There are few elements for high PDI culture like centralized decision-making, strong hierarchical levels, power and status and also obedient to higher level or ranking people.

2.1Centralized decision-making

Hofstede (2001) classified Thailand as high power distance culture in which the relationship between superior and subordinates are built unequally. Hallinger (2003) stated that decision and instruction are always made by people with higher position or authority. For example, in school, students will listen...
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