Hofstede’s Culture Dimensions

Topics: Cross-cultural communication, Geert Hofstede, Culture Pages: 10 (2979 words) Published: February 9, 2012
Business report

Due to different countries have different cultures. When the company wants to co-operate with international companies, one important point is, the company must understand the characteristics of the cultural differences. Cultural issues are key factors of company success and failure. Culture differences can have important effects on companies operating in another country. (Deresky, 2006) from this report will choice China, U.S. and Britain. Hofstede’s culture dimensions are basic framework to analyse the culture differences between China and U.S. and Britain. It the most popular theories and used by many national culture. Hofstede (1980) developed five cultural dimensions: (1) power distance; (2) individualism versus collectivism; (3) uncertainty avoidance; (4) masculinity versus femininity; (5) long term orientation. Another cultural framework developed by Edward Hall (1976). He mentions high- context and low-context cultural factors. Moreover, Hall focuses on communication in his cultural model. Trompenaars also note diversity cultures model.

The purpose of this report is to examine various cultural factors of the differences between three countries. It related to cross-cultural negotiation. The first part use Hofstede five dimensions theory to analysis the cultural differences. The second part is using Edward Hall high and low context to analysis the cultural difference. Third part uses Fon Trompenaars theory to analysis. Finally, it provides some suggestions to manage culture differences between China, America, and Britain.

Culture differences between China, America and Britain
In order to better cooperate with national companies, need understand the effects of culture differences between China, America and Britain, Chinese negotiation styles in particular, it polar opposite approaches to American and Britain negotiation styles. These differences are more likely to lead to problems. It is necessary to analyse three countries' cultures. Hofstede’s culture dimensions includes: power distance, individualism versus collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity versus femininity, long versus short-term orientation.

|Countries |PDI |IDV |MAS |UAI |LTO | |China |80 |20 |66 |40 |118 | |US |40 |91 |62 |46 |29 | |Britain |35 |89 |66 |35 |25 |

Figure 1: Source from Geert Hofstede
According to figure describes the scores for long-term orientation, China has long term orientation occupy the highest ranking, which is the most obvious. Meanwhile, the scores for long-term orientation between America and Britain are almost equal. The scores for Uncertainty avoidance and Masculinity versus femininity between three countries are very similar, but the figure show the power distance that china ranked on the high side, while America and Britain scores are low. It indicates some difference in these countries. In addition the scores for Individualism versus collectivism in China are lower than another two countries. Thus, the following analysis focuses on four culture dimensions: (1) Power distance; (2) Individualism versus collectivism; (3) Uncertainty avoidance; (4) Masculinity versus femininity; (5) long versus short-term orientation.

• Power distance (PDI)
Power distance was proposed by Hofstede (1980) it measures interpersonal unequal of social status, it’s a common phenomenon. As well as Power distance defined as “the degree to which the less powerful members of institutions and organizations expect and accept that power is distributed unequally”. (Hofstede, 1991) To better describe and compare...
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