Hofstede's Five Dimenstions

Topics: Geert Hofstede, Cross-cultural communication, Argentina Pages: 6 (1635 words) Published: April 21, 2011
Video Assignment

Hofstede’s Framework of Five Dimensions to a Specific Culture Hall’s four Dimensions of High and Low Context Cultures

Bill Dunning

Management 637 Comparative International Management


This paper applies Hall and Hofstede’s cultural frameworks to two video’s that involve doing business in foreign countries. Hofstede’s five dimensions of culture are Power Distance, Individualism and Collectivism, Uncertainty Avoidance, Career Success/Quality of Life (Masculinity and Femininity) and Confucian Dynamism. Hall’s four dimensions of high and low context frameworks to culture are Relationship, Time, Communication and Space. Each video is analyzed for behaviors and statements that correspond to Hall and Hofstede’s frameworks to culture. Video One: Doing business in Singapore

Singapore’s three (3) million people live in a country about the size of Chicago but they yield a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that nearly equals that of the United States. Although Singapore has no natural resources and imports everything, they add value to those imports and export a third of them. Singapore’s oil refining capacity ranks third in the world. Backed by a business friendly government, Singapore attracts major businesses in finance, manufacturing, transportation and communication making Singapore the business hub of Southeast Asia. Hofstede’s Five Dimensions

1. Power Distance
Singapore’s culture reflects those of its descendants from three countries: China, Malaysia and India. There is a strong emphasis on social order. Formality and the associated power-distance is high between locals and elders but not as important between younger members and Multi-National Corporations. Meetings are between equals. A CEO should never dispatch a middle manager to meet with an executive of another company. Bosses make decisions and expect them to be delivered. 2. Individualism and Collectivism

Collectivism runs rampant in Singapore yet they are still somewhat individualistic in terms of being task oriented. Many generations will live together and sacrifice individual freedoms for economic success. Emphasis is on families in both business and family life. The boss acts like the father of the business. The Interest of the group comes before the individual. 3. Uncertainty Avoidance

Uncertainty avoidance or risk avoidance is noted as being very weak in figure 2-9 of our text but it doesn’t seem that Singapore people really fear the future. In fact, most people in Singapore value the future and are motivated by money. However, it is harder to delegate to workers in Singapore. They are not used to having authority. Fear of making mistakes and losing face makes many Singapore workers very cautious. A goal of management is to put them at ease from making mistakes. 4. Career Success and Quality of Life (Masculinity and Femininity) There is somewhat of a mixed bag between Masculine and Feminine attributes in career success and quality of life. Singapore is big on mastering job related elements but is also focused on quality of life as evidenced by their many discussions on travel and dining. Singapore is huge on relationships. Relationships must be built before business can be conducted. How are relationships built in Singapore? Dining is a big relationship builder in Singapore, especially lunch. Long lunches are common and business is never discussed until after dessert. Chit chat includes discussions on travel, sports, especially soccer and golf, cars, shopping and eating. After the meal, to show satisfaction, a little bit of food is left on the plate. Women are more attuned with quality of life yet are still relatively advanced in the workforce. Most are in administrative or manufacturing positions. However, some women are starting to enter management positions in business. 5. Confucian Dynamism.

The stability of society in Singapore is somewhat based...
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