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Hofstede Dimension For China Vs USA

By wilsonteoonetwo Aug 03, 2015 1219 Words
1. Using China and United States as National Culture Level:


Power Distance Index
Uncertainty Avoidance Index
Long-Term Orientation
United States

Power distance is defined as the extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and organisations within a country expect and accept that power is distributed unequally. For China, PDI is high at 80 and it means China is a society that accepts inequalities amongst people: The subordinate-superior relationship tends to be distinctive and there is no defense against power abuse by superiors. Individuals are influenced by formal authority and decision

Individuals are generally optimistic about superior’s capacity for leadership and initiative. People should not have aspirations beyond their rank.

For United States, PDI is fairly low at 40 and this can be attributed to the American advocate of liberty and justice for all where there is clear emphasis on equal rights in all aspects of American society. Power is widely shared. The organisation’s hierarchy is established for convenience where superiors are accessible and managers rely on individual employees and teams for their expertise.  Both managers and employees expect to be consulted and information is shared frequently.  At the same time, communication is informal, direct and participative to a degree. Individualism is the degree of interdependence a society maintains among its members. It has to do with whether people´s self-image is defined in terms of “I” or “We”. In Individualist societies people are supposed to look after themselves and their direct family only. In Collectivist societies people belong to ‘in groups’ that take care of them in exchange for loyalty. For China, IDV is low at 20 and it means China is a highly collectivist culture where people act in the interests of the group and not necessarily of themselves. Hiring and promotions are influenced by ‘in-group” considerations in providing preferential treatment to related member. Employee commitment to the organization is low.

Relationships with colleagues are cooperative for in-groups
Relationship with colleagues are cold or even hostile for out-groups. Personal relationships prevail over task and company.

For United States, IDV is high at 91 and it means United States is a highly individualistic culture where people act to look after themselves and their direct family only. The society is loosely-knit in which people look after themselves and their immediate families only and should not rely (too much) on authorities for support.  American Expats hardly develop deep friendships.

Americans are expected to be self-reliant and proactive. Hence, they are used to doing business or interact with people they don’t know well. For hiring and promotion, they are based on merit or one’s performance rather than by relationship of “in-group”.

Masculinity: A high MAS means that the dominant values in society are competition, achievement and success, with success being defined by the winner. A low MAS (feminine) means that the dominant values in society are caring for others and quality of life. The quality of life is success. The main difference between masculine and feminine is the former is being motivated by the desire of being the best while the latter is being motivated by the desire of liking what one do.

For China, MAS is fairly high at 66 and this means China is a masculine society that is success-oriented/ driven. This is evidenced by the fact that many Chinese will sacrifice family and leisure time for work: Examples service people will work very late at night;

Migrated farmer workers will leave their families behind in faraway places in order to obtain better work and pay in the cities. Chinese students care very much about their exam scores and ranking. For United States, MAS is also fairly high at 62. This can be explained by the combination of its high MAS and very high IDV where Americans generally show their masculine drive individually. American’s behaviors are based on the shared values that people should “strive to be the best they can be” and that “the winner takes all”. Hence, Americans tend to show off one’s success as the motivator Many American assessment systems are based on precise goal setting because American employees like to show how well a job they did. American adopts a “can-do” mentality that there is always the possibility to do things in a better way

Uncertainty avoidance: refers to the extent to which the members of a culture feel threatened by unknown situations and have created beliefs and institutions to try to avoid these. For China, UAI is low at 30 and this means that the Chinese are comfortable with ambiguity. the Chinese language is full of ambiguous meanings that can be difficult for Western people to follow. Chinese are adaptable and entrepreneurial

pragmatism is a fact of life for Chinese
adherence to laws and rules may be flexible to suit the actual situation

For United States, UAI is fairly low at 46 and this means that Americans do not require a lot of rules and are willingly to accept new and innovative ideas and to try something new. Uncertainty is tolerated in the belief that it will facilitate innovation. Americans tend to be more tolerant of ideas or opinions from anyone and allow the freedom of expression.  Pragmatism (Long Term Orientation): For pragmatic society or society with long term orientation, thrift and efforts are encouraged in education as a way to prepare for the future. For normative society or society with short term orientation, time-honoured traditions and norms are preferred.

For China, LTO is high at 87 and this means the society has a very pragmatic culture/ orientation. The Chinese believe that truth depends very much on situation, context and time. The Chinese are adaptive to adjust traditions to changed conditions The Chinese has strong propensity to save and invest, and perseverance in achieving results.

For United States, LTO is low at 26 and this means the society has a very normative culture. Americans tend to analyse new information to check whether it is true. Thus, the culture doesn’t make most Americans pragmatic, but this should not be confused with the fact that Americans are very practical, being reflected by the “can-do” mentallity mentioned above. American businesses measure their performance on a short-term basis, with profit and loss statements being issued on a quarterly basis. This also drives individuals to strive for quick results within the work place.  Indulgence: refers to the extent to which people try to control their desires and impulses, based on the way they were raised. When culture/ society is of weak control, it is indulgent (indulgence). When culture is of strong control, it is restrained (restraint).

For China, Indulgence is low at 24 and this means that the society is restrained where cynicism and pessimism are prominent. Chinese or restrained society does not emphasis on leisure time and satisfaction of their desires. Chinese have the perception that their actions are restrained/ controlled by social norms, and that indulging themselves is incorrect

For United States, Indulgence is high at 68 and this means that the society is indulgent where Americans work hard and play hard. Drug addiction is high in United States

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