Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions
Dr. Geert Hofstede conducted perhaps the most comprehensive study of how values in the workplace are influenced by culture. From 1967 to 1973, while working at IBM as a psychologist, he collected and analyzed data from over 100,000 individuals from forty countries. From those results, and later additions, Hofstede developed a model that identifies five primary dimensions to differentiate cultures. They are discussed below:
1. Power Distance (PD): This dimension relates to the degree of equality/inequality between people in a particular society. A country with a high PD score both accepts and perpetuates inequalities between people. An example of such a society would be one that follows a caste system and in which upward mobility is very limited. A low PD indicates that a society does not emphasize differences in people’s status, power or wealth. Equality is seen as the collective aim of society and upward mobility is common.
2. Individualism: This dimension focuses on the degree to which a society reinforces individual or collective achievement and interpersonal relationships. If a country has a high Individualism score, this indicates that individuality and individual rights are dominant. Individuals in these societies tend to form relationships with larger numbers of people, but with the relationships being weak. A low Individualism score points to a society that is more collectivist in nature. In such countries the ties between individuals are very strong and the family is given much more weight.
3. Masculinity: This dimension pertains to the degree societies reinforce, or do not reinforce, the traditional masculine work role model of male achievement, control, and power. A high Masculinity score indicates that a country experiences a higher degree of gender differentiation. In such cultures, males tend to dominate a significant portion of the society and power structure. A low Masculinity score means a society has a...