Hofstede on Culture

Hofstede on Culture

Culture is expressed by Handy as being: 'the way we do things around here'. This means the sum total of the belief, knowledge, attitudes, norms and customs that prevail in an organisation.

This page looks in more detail at Hofstede's ideas on corporate culture.

Hofstede's cultural dimensions

Hofstede looked for national differences between over 100,000 of IBM's employees in different parts of the world, in an attempt to find aspects of culture that might influence business behaviour.

He found five traits or cultural dimensions:

Individualism (vs. collectivism)

Individualism (vs. collectivism) - looks at the extent to which people are integrated into groups. Some cultures are more cohesive than others. e.g. Anglo Saxon cultures are generally more individualistic than the collectivist cultures of South America.

Uncertainty avoidance index

Uncertainty avoidance index - deals with a society's tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity - e.g. France and Japan use bureaucracy to reduce uncertainty because they dislike it.

Power distance index

Power distance index - the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions (like the family) accept and expect that power is distributed unequally. e.g. In South American societies, differences in power were tolerated more than in North European cultures.

Masculinity (vs. femininity)

Masculinity (vs. femininity) - a masculine culture is one where the distinction between the roles and values of the genders is large and the males focus on work, power and success (e.g. in Japanese culture) whereas in feminine cultures such as Finland, the differences between the gender roles is much smaller.

Long term orientation

Long term orientation (based on Confucianism dynamism) - values associated with Long Term Orientation (e.g. China) are thrift and perseverance; values associated with Short Term Orientation (e.g. Germany) are respect for tradition, fulfilling social obligations and protecting one's 'face'.

Other writers on culture

 Please click on the following for further details:

Created at 6/20/2012 4:01 PM  by System Account  (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time : Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London
Last modified at 11/13/2012 2:21 PM  by System Account  (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time : Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London

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culture;Hofstede;Individualism;collectivism;Uncertainty avoidance;Power distance index;Masculinity;femininity;Long term orientation;Confucianism dynamism

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