Gerard Hendrik Hofstede (born 3 October 1928, Haarlem) is an influential Dutch organizational sociologist, who studied the interactions between national cultures and organizational cultures. He is also conducted perhaps the most comprehensive study of how values in the workplace are influenced by culture.
Geert Hofstede analyzed a large data base of employee values scores collected by IBMbetween 1967 and 1973 covering more than 70 countries, from which he first used the 40 largest only and afterwards extended the analysis to 50 countries and 3 regions. In the editions of GH's work since 2001, scores are listed for 74 countries and regions, partly based on replications and extensions of the IBM study on different international populations.Subsequent studies validating the earlierresults have included commercial airline pilots and students in 23 countries, civil service managers in 14 counties, 'up-market' consumers in 15 countries and 'elites' in 19 countries. From the initial results, and later additions, Hofstede developed a model that identifies four primary Dimensions to assist in differentiating cultures: Power Distance - PDI, Individualism - IDV, Masculinity - MAS, andUncertainty Avoidance - UAI. This research gives us insights into other cultures so that we can be more effective when interacting with people in other countries.
Geert Hofstede added a fifth Dimension after conducting an additional international study with a survey instrument developed with Chinese employees and managers. That Dimension, based on Confucian dynamism, is Long-Term Orientation- LTO and was applied to 23 countries.
These five Hofstede Dimensions can also be found to correlate with other country, cultural, and religious paradigms.
Five Hofstede Dimensions
Power Distance Index (PDI) that is the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions (like the family) accept and expect that power is distributed unequally. This representsinequality (more versus less), but defined from below, not from above. It suggests that a society's level of inequality is endorsed by the followers as much as by the leaders. Power and inequality, of course, are extremely fundamental facts of any society and anybody with some international experience will be aware that 'all societies are unequal, but some are more unequal than others'.
Individualism (IDV) on the one side versus its opposite, collectivism, that is the degree to which individuals are inte-grated into groups. On the individualist side we find societies in which the ties between individuals are loose: everyone is expected to look after him/herself and his/her immediate family. On the collectivist side, we find societies in which people from birth onwards are integrated intostrong, cohesive in-groups, often extended families (with uncles, aunts and grandparents) which continue protecting them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty. The word 'collectivism' in this sense has no political meaning: it refers to the group, not to the state.
Masculinity (MAS) versus its opposite, femininity, refers to the distribution of roles between the genders which is anotherfundamental issue for any society to which a range of solutions are found. The IBM studies revealed that (a) women's values differ less among societies than men's values; (b) men's values from one country to another contain a dimension from very assertive and competitive and maximally different from women's values on the one side, to modest and caring and similar to women's values on the other. Theassertive pole has been called 'masculine' and the modest, caring pole 'feminine'. The women in feminine countries have the same modest, caring values as the men; in the masculine countries they are somewhat assertive and competitive, but not as much as the men, so that these countries show a gap between men's values and women's values.
Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI) deals with a society's...
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