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Cultural Dimensions

Cultural Dimensions

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Hofstede's cultural dimensions theory is a framework for cross-cultural communication. The original theory proposed four dimensions along which cultural values could be analyzed: individualism-collectivism; uncertainty avoidance; power distance (strength of social hierarchy) and masculinity-femininity (task orientation versus person-orientation). Independent research in Hong Kong led Hofstede to add a fifth dimension, long-term orientation, to cover aspects of values not discussed in the original paradigm.


Related models: Big FiveCore Quadrants van Ofman Whole Brain Model van Herrmann Color Theory of ChangeCultural Dimensions (Hofstede) Leary's RoseSix Thinking Hats (De Bono)Social Styles (Wilson)Belbin

$6.50

Cultural Dimensions Hofstede - Cartoon

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Background

 

Hofstede's cultural dimensions theory is a framework for cross-cultural communication. Hofstede developed his original model as a result of using factor analysis to examine the results of a world-wide survey of employee values by IBM in the 1960s and 1970s. The theory was one of the first that could be quantified, and could be used to explain observed differences between cultures.

The original theory proposed four dimensions along which cultural values could be analyzed: individualism-collectivism; uncertainty avoidance; power distance (strength of social hierarchy) and masculinity-femininity (task orientation versus person-orientation). Independent research in Hong Kong led Hofstede to add a fifth dimension, long-term orientation, to cover aspects of values not discussed in the original paradigm. In the 2010 edition of Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind.  Hofstede added a sixth dimension, indulgence versus self-restraint, as a result of co-author Michael Minkov's analysis of data from the World Values Survey. Further research has refined some of the original dimensions, and introduced the difference between country-level and individual-level data in analysis.

Hofstede's work established a major research tradition in cross-cultural psychology and has also been drawn upon by researchers and consultants in many fields relating to international business and communication. It continues to be a major resource in cross-cultural fields. It has inspired a number of other major cross-cultural studies of values, as well as research on other aspects of culture, such as social beliefs.

Related models: Big FiveCore Quadrants van Ofman Whole Brain Model van Herrmann Color Theory of ChangeCultural Dimensions (Hofstede) Leary's RoseSix Thinking Hats (De Bono)Social Styles (Wilson)Belbin

 

 

Dimensions of national cultures

  • Power distance index (PDI): "Power distance is the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions (like the family) accept and expect that power is distributed unequally." Cultures that endorse low power distance expect and accept power relations that are more consultative or democratic. People relate to one another more as equals regardless of formal positions. Subordinates are more comfortable with and demand the right to contribute to and critique the decision making of those in power. In high power distance countries, less powerful accept power relations that are more autocratic and paternalistic. Subordinates acknowledge the power of others simply based on where they are situated in certain formal, hierarchical positions. As such, the power distance index Hofstede defines does not reflect an objective difference in power distribution, but rather the way people perceive power differences.
  • Individualism (IDV) vs. collectivism: "The degree to which individuals are integrated into groups". In individualistic societies, the stress is put on personal achievements and individual rights. People are expected to stand up for themselves and their immediate family, and to choose their own affiliations. In contrast, in collectivist societies, individuals act predominantly as members of a lifelong and cohesive group or organization (note: "The word collectivism in this sense has no political meaning: it refers to the group, not to the state"). People have large extended families, which are used as a protection in exchange for unquestioning loyalty.
  • Uncertainty avoidance index (UAI): "a society's tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity". It reflects the extent to which members of a society attempt to cope with anxiety by minimizing uncertainty. People in cultures with high uncertainty avoidance tend to be more emotional. They try to minimize the occurrence of unknown and unusual circumstances and to proceed with careful changes step by step planning and by implementing rules, laws and regulations. In contrast, low uncertainty avoidance cultures accept and feel comfortable in unstructured situations or changeable environments and try to have as few rules as possible. People in these cultures tend to be more pragmatic, they are more tolerant of change.
  • Masculinity (MAS), vs. femininity: "The distribution of emotional roles between the genders". Masculine cultures' values are competitiveness, assertiveness, materialism, ambition and power, whereas feminine cultures place more value on relationships and quality of life. In masculine cultures, the differences between gender roles are more dramatic and less fluid than in feminine cultures where men and women have the same values emphasizing modesty and caring. As a result of the taboo on sexuality in many cultures, particularly masculine ones, and because of the obvious gender generalizations implied by Hofstede's terminology, this dimension is often renamed by users of Hofstede's work, e.g. to Quantity of Life vs. Quality of Life.
  • Long term orientation (LTO), vs. short term orientation: First called "Confucian dynamism", it describes societies' time horizon. Long term oriented societies attach more importance to the future. They foster pragmatic values oriented towards rewards, including persistence, saving and capacity for adaptation. In short term oriented societies, values promoted are related to the past and the present, including steadiness, respect for tradition, preservation of one's face, reciprocation and fulfilling social obligations.
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Related models: 

-   Big Five

 -   Core Quadrants van Ofman

 -   Whole Brain Model van Herrmann

 -   Color Theory of Change

 -   Cultural Dimensions (Hofstede)

 -   Leary's Rose

 -   Six Thinking Hats (De Bono)

 -   Social Styles (Wilson)

-    Belbin

 

 

Source: wikipedia