Understanding Hofstede’s 5 Cultural Dimensions
Geert Hofstede devoted over a decade to researching cultural differences and developed an internationally recognized model of cultural dimensions. There are five main dimensions of culture that serve as a guide to understanding intercultural communications, business, and effective social exchange. The five dimensions are Power Distance, Individualism, Masculinity, Uncertainty Avoidance, and Long-Term Orientation and were developed to provide a method to strategizing cultural interactions. Power Distance PD-
Power Distance is the first of Geert Hofstede’s Five Cultural Dimensions. Power Distance refers to the extent in which the less powerful people of a society accept the unequal distribution of power. Societies with a high degree of Power Distance accept whatever inequalities there might be as the norm, while ones with a lower degree consider themselves equals. Societies with the lowest degrees of Power Distance will not tolerate an unequal distribution of power. The Power Distance Dimension is primarily based upon the question, “How frequently are employees afraid to express disagreement with their managers?”(Orr p.5) Individualism versus Collectivism (IDV)-
Individualism and Collectivism define the opposite ends of this dimension; Individualism referring to ones lack of need for communal bonds, while Collectivism describes a society with strong familial responsibility and community relationships. An individualistic society feels little responsibility towards one another and everyone one attend solely to their own business (Rinne p.130). Masculinity versus Femininity (MAS)-
Masculinity and Femininity are used to distinguish whether a society stresses achievement, competition, and assertiveness over nurturing, cooperation, and fluid gender roles. Holfstede’s own definitions for Masculinity and Femininity are as follows: “Masculinity stands for a society in which social gender roles are clearly distinct: Men are supposed to be assertive, tough, and focused on material success; women are supposed to be more modest, tender, and concerned with the quality of life” while “Femininity stands for a society in which social gender roles overlap: Both men and women are supposed to be modest, tender, and concerned with the quality of life.”(Hofstede p.297) Uncertainty Avoidance (UAI)-
Uncertainty Avoidance deals with a societies comfort level regarding the future and the unknown. Cultures with a high UAI feel more comfortable with rigid structure, tend to avoid differences, prefer structure, and feel anxious about the unknown. While cultures with a low AUI are more informal, more accepting of change, less concerned with the details, and are more likely to accept risk( Litvin p.30). Long-Term Orientation (LTO)-
Early on referred to as “Confucian Dynamism”, Long-Term Orientation pertains to how a society values its long held traditions and values versus more contemporary traditions and values(Hofstede p.496). In countries with a high LTO score family is the basis of society with the parents and men holding the authority. The members of the society are expected to show respect, act modestly, and never to bring shame upon one’s self or family. A low LTO score would indicate that a society does not value tradition as it does creative expression and individuality. Comparison Countries
The 2014 World Cup was held in Brazil from June 12 through July 13, bringing cultures from all around the world together for one purpose. Ultimately Germany won the tournament and took home the Cup. Comparing these two countries there are stark differences between the scores in Power Distance, Individualism and Long-Term Orientation indicating a vast difference in cultural norms relationships, and even game strategy. COUNTRY ONE: Brazil
Power Distance PD-
A strong Power Distance score of 69 indicates an acceptance of inequalities and an expectance of respect for the elderly, bosses,...
Hofstede, G. (2001). Culture 's consequences: Comparing values, behaviors, institutions, and organizations across nations (Revised/Expanded ed., p. 297). Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.
Orr, L.M., & Hauser, W.J. (2008). A Re-Inquiry of Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions: A Call for 21st Century Cross-Cultural Research. Marketing Management Journal, 18(2), 1-19
Litvin, S.W., Crotts, J.C., & Hefner, F.L. (2004). Cross-Cultural Tourist Behaviour: A Replication and Extension Involving Hofstede’s Uncertainty Avoidance Dimension. International Journal of Tourism Research, 6(1), 29-37 doi:10.1002/jtr.468
Rinne, T., Steel,G., & Fairweather,J.(2013). The Role of Hofstede’s Individualism in National-Level Creativity. Creativity Research Journal, 25(1), 129-136. Doi:10.1080/10400419.2013.752293
Hofstede, G., & Minkov, M. (2010). Long- Versus Short-Term Orientation: New Perspectives. Asia Pacific Business Review, 16(4), 493-504. Doi:10.1080/1360238100363709
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