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Hofstede's Five Key Dimensions

Describe the Report for Hofstedes Cultural Dimensions Theory.

The worldwide and inter-cultural interactions have become a different field of study and research last few decades. The significance of understanding the relations and communication between people from the different background has grown further as the planet has become a global village. The combination of culture, communication and business have made the world more dynamic. The real success of businesses in today's globalized market is appreciating the cultures of the people with whom they are doing business. Due to this reason, research on cultural importance related to work persists in demonstrating prominence in industrial as well as organizational research (Ho Wang and Vitell 2012).

Geert Hofstede, a professional in the field of communication between corporate cultures and national cultures, stated that the order of feeling, thinking and acting are founded since the late childhood. These orders are a part of national cultural diversities that are evident in a culture's choice of ritual, values, and symbols. He has researched in this field for many years to understand the influence of these cultures on a person's behavior. Through his investigation into this area, he has been able to establish five different dimensions of in communications based on cultural differences. It would not be an overstatement to state that Hofstede aided in creating the subject of comparative intercultural research. The philosophy of Hofstede’s cultural aspects represents a structure that focuses cross-cultural interaction that was conceived by Geert Hofstede (Hofstede 2013).

Hofstede performed possibly the most thorough research of how ethics and principles at the workplace get dominated by culture. When Hofstede was designated as a psychologist at IBM from 1967 till 1973, he collected and evaluated statistics from above 100,000 employees belonging to forty different nations. From those outcomes and further inclusion, Hofstede established a model which identified four principal aspects to distinguish cultures. He further included a fifth aspect known as Long-term Outlook. The earliest theory which Hofstede purported talked about of four issues to be correct power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism versus collectivism, and masculinity versus femininity. After carrying out private research in Hong Kong, he incorporated a fifth aspect, which he termed as long-term versus short-term orientation, to illustrate value dimension which was not the component of the fundamental philosophy. Another time, he developed additional element, the sixth aspect, indulgence vs. self-restraint (Wilbur 2013).

Hofstede’s research acts as the basis for further exploration in cross-cultural psychology, encouraging numerous researchers to examine various facets of global communication and business. These elements established by Hofstede demonstrate the deeply rooted ideals of varied cultures. These ethics and principles influence people with unique cultural backdrop behave, as well as the method they would likely act when they are positioned in a working situation. Given below is a brief overview of the various dimensions developed by Hofstede (Bakir et al. 2015).

Power Distance

Power Distance

Aforementioned element describes the degree to which representatives that are weak in a civilization agrees to as well as assumes that the allocation of authority happens unevenly.

Uncertainty Avoidance

This element that explains the degree to which individuals in the society is not comfortable in the midst of uncertainty as well as ambiguity.

Individualism vs. Collectivism

The center point of aforementioned part is related to the issue of whether individuals possess a propensity of being left isolated to take care of them or wish to stay in a compactly interwoven association.

Masculinity vs. Femininity

Manliness entails a culture’s inclination towards decisiveness, bravery, accomplishment as well as significant reward for getting victory. In contrast, womanliness symbolizes an affinity towards humility, collaboration, caring for the feeble and quality of life.

Long-Term vs. Short-Term Orientation

Enduring orientation illustrates the inclination of a culture towards seeking righteousness. Interim orientation relates to those cultures which are robustly having an inclination towards the founding of the complete reality.

Indulgence vs. Restraint

This dimension emphasizes on the level to which cultures can implement domination over their desires and impulses.

Geert Hofstede states that culture is our intellect’s joint indoctrination that distinguishes among one group of individuals and affiliate of another faction. The word ‘group’ may mean countries, ethnicities, religions, areas within or across nations, sexual category, associations, or profession.

It represents disparity which is outlined from below instead from above. This is actually the level to which societies and organizations recognize power difference.

The following features characterize societies with greater power distance:

  • Oppression in headship;
  • Power which is central;
  • Condescending methods of administration;
  • Numerous levels of chain of command;
  • Acknowledgment of entitlements which comes along with power;
  • Various administrative staff;
  • Anticipation of authority disparity as well as discrimination.

A society that comprises of smaller power distance has the following features:

  • Consultative otherwise participative approach of management;
  • Decision-making authority as well as responsibility decentralized;
  • Horizontal organizational arrangement;
  • Administrative staff minor in proportion;
  • Interrogating the authority;
  • Shortfall of acknowledgment;
  • A preference regarding social equality;
  • Awareness of rights (Lian Ferris and Brown 2012).

This dimension relates to the level to which all affiliates belonging to particular culture are proficient in dealing with forthcoming insecurities without undergoing hassle.

Mentioned below are the features of weak risk avoidance:

  • Assumption of risk;
  • Litheness;
  • Forbearance toward contrary behaviors and beliefs.

High uncertainty avoidance is characterized by the aspects stated below:

  • Propensity to prevent risk;
  • Organizations which comprises of large variety of uniform processes, written policies, and apparently outlined arrangements;
  • Active prerequisite for agreements;
  • Value for authority;
  • Prerequisite for consistency underlining the importance of planning;
  • Nominal or no acceptance for variants;
  • Promotions by age or seniority (Minkov and Hofstede 2014).

Individualism sets next to its contrary collectivism describes the degree to which people are oriented toward the rest in groups.

Individualist societies are differentiated by:

  • Nurturing a lawful relation which focuses on the basics of exchange. Such societies engross into the computation of gain or loss before engaging in the behavior.
  • Attention on oneself or maximum extremely dear ones, further relates to developmental relations and own needs, goals, and interests.
  • The importance of self-enjoyment over duties and societal customs.
  • Self-reliance plus value autonomy, as well as placing of self-centeredness above mutual concern.
  • Disagreement is considered as a trait.
  • The belief that they possess distinctive beliefs (Cho et al. 2013).

Collectivist societies are differentiated by:

  • Behavior as per societal standards which are laid down for preservation of communal accord amongst group members;
  • Taking into consideration the broader collective concerning connotation of their acts;
  • Dispersal of resources and willingness to sacrifice individual interest-bearing in the wit communal interest;
  • Supporting some in-groups;
  • The heightened concern in regards to group members. They demonstrate aggression toward other group members;
  • Importance on accord with chain of command within group;
  • Control of actions as well as the assistance of group standards (Taras et al. 2014).

Masculinity in addition to femininity focuses on sentimental role sharing amongst genders that again happen to be a principal subject various societies.

Following are the features that a masculine society demonstrates:

  • Apparently different gender responsibilities;
  • Compassion has modest otherwise no implication;
  • Males are anticipated to be robust as plus aggressive as well as a focus on physical accomplishments;
  • Greater significance is linked together with expertise of job, people, and nature;
  • Wittiness, intellects, compassion, qualities are considered ideal unique attributes of a boyfriend by any woman; (Arrindell et al. 2013).
  • Knowledge, prosperity, and well-being are deemed desired essential qualities of a husband by any woman.

Following are the characteristics that a feminine culture possesses:

  • Overlying of societal gender responsibilities;
  • Males and females are anticipated to be gentle, humble, as well as concentration on value of life;
  • Focus on transcendental perspectives of prosperity;
  • Ideal attributes in husbands and boyfriends are alike (AlAnezi and Alansari 2016).

This dimension is backed by Confucius resentment. Following are the aspects of life as per the philosophies of Confucius are evident:

  • Uneven relations existent amongst individuals guarantees the strength of culture;
  • All societal associations possess its example in the lineage.
  • Righteous actions involve conduct given to other people in an identical way like an individual likes to be taken care of oneself (Venaik Zhu and Brewer 2013).

Uncertainty Avoidance

The following characteristics are highlighted by  long-term orientation (High Confucian Values):

  • An innovative and vibrant mindset;
  • Focus on relationship sequence based on status, and adherence to the order;
  • Active relationship with economic development;
  • Preference for interrelatedness symbolized in compassion towards societal acquaintances.

The following features differentiate the short-term orientation (Low Confucian values):

  • Adaptation to both present as well as the past;
  • Emphasis on regards for rituals and customs;
  • A moderately stagnant, more conservative mentality;
  • Focus on steadiness; (Brauer 2013).

Indulgence vs. restraint emphasizes on contentment. A culture that follows tolerance creates space in favor of the reasonably boundless satisfaction of natural as well as fundamental individual determination related to accommodating in pleasure and relishing life. The property of self-control portrays a society which restrains need fulfillment and attempts to manage it by the way of stern social standards (Beugelsdijk Maseland and Hoorn 2015.).

Many scholars including Hofstede himself have tried to employ these five-dimensional metrics and implement it to measure cultural orientations from a person instead of a group organizational management viewpoint. This metric has not been conducted on the individual level indicated by low dimensional dependability and jumbled factor analyses. These studies discovered the feeble association between cultural orientation from a different level as compared to the country or group level. Many researchers suggested there was a requirement of additional study to understand better how people from another regions or countries react in a different way to organizational management (Minkov and Hofstede 2012).

Attempts have been made to remodel scales which could evaluate cultural values from an individual instead of group perspective; however, these endeavors have established to determine the dimensions independently instead of collectively, but worries about the loss of uni-dimensionality with each person's scale persist to be a concern with respect to validity (Dartey-Baah 2013).

Various other critics of Hofstede’s work on culture within organizations suggest that Hofstede’s study of culture in education, and particularly higher education, is restricted in part due to the affinity to classify students’ population into larger groups. Hofstede presented an explanation of culture and the method to measure culture. His investigation illustrated that difference in cultural is significant. Instead of applying their organizational culture in which they operate, Managers of global organizations works as per the country's values. Employees with distinctive national cultures work in parallel manner, thus decreasing the likelihood of discord (Venaik and Brewer 2013).

Hofstede's model offers managers of multicultural relationshps an instrument to facilitate them in understanding differences in behaviour and value. His design contradicts that a single array of values is commonly valid by substantiating that there are numerous means of configuring organizations. An organization's broader cultural and social environment in addition to its technology establishes the degree of administration and centralization. When Hofstede's foremost findings were condemned by Asian researchers, he included time orientation as the quinary aspect thus provoking suspicions about if the classification itself was meticulous (Beugelsdijk Maseland and Hoorn 2015). Culture is far more intricate and complicated to be employed as a forthright organizational transformation control (Le and Wejrot 2016).

Individualism vs. Collectivism

The work and inputs that Hofstede has made in the field of organizational culture has covered several decades and still stay applicable. Leaders in organizations would be careful in trying to comprehend how the cultural backdrop and diversity of their employees influence organizational performance. This is important within large scale organizations into a universal realm, but organizations smaller in size could also significantly derive benefits from putting into practice Hofstede’s cultural dimensions into their training, leadership, and implementation programs. It has been noted that international groups might hold the benefit of possessing diverse, improved, plus probably still more innovative thoughts that unite mutually like a straight product of comprising culturally and racially distinct teams devise as well as create superior valued thoughts on more uniform teams (Vitell Nwachukwu and Barnes 2013).

Another implication to comprehend the influence and character of Hofstede’s work is to identify how countries may have employed the organizational model to brand and market itself in a global market. For instance, countries like the United States could make products and promote those products to attract customers in a world market like in Taiwan and Japan. In these countries where employees and leaders emphasize on performing and succeeding as a group, as an instance, countries like the United States could take benefits of this social management method to promote and brand products for their organizational improvements.  Not just that but hiring and training leaders who had experience of this kind of corporate management practice can predict adequately for companies throughout the globe which are seeking for a particular type of inspiration and establish within their organization (Samaha Beck and Palmatier 2014).

Managers throughout the world are consistently confronting the defiances pitched from the universal interdependence of marketplace and the HR departments within the organizations are not an exemption. While a universal society reins, HR management is not complicated because each person has a common idea of appropriate, immoral as well as expected actions. Nevertheless, when group members approach from diverse cultural backdrops or the experiences of the team and manager differ, it may lead to severe misapprehensions (Moran Abramson and Moran 2014). Given below is a scrutiny of how culture reigns over various major elements of HR management.

Recruitment– The description of a superior candidate varies as per the cultures. Individuals who articulate strong views are forthright and poised and they are considered good candidates in individualist male societies. Moreover, in collectivist female societies, humble and ‘soundly associated candidates are superior ones. In view of this, placing as an organization in the United States (high level of masculinity) is relatively diverse from performing such in the Netherlands and the Scandinavian nations (low on masculinity) (Thomas and Peterson 2014).

Masculinity vs. Femininity

Goal Establishment– In the Netherlands,Germany, the UK, the United States and various minor power distance cultures, goals are discussed, whereas in high power distance cultures like Italy and Belgium, targets are established by higher management (Laroche 2012).

Training– In societies with high power distance, there is mentor based learning, whereas in cultures with low power distance it is more interactive and learner based.

Assessment– The majority of appraisal methods are established in the UK or the USA, countries which have high individualism and lower power distance. Therefore, according to these countries, the appropriate technique of performance development is straight and truthful response. Nevertheless, it does not considers that in nations having high power distance and collectivist cultures, straight feedback is observed as impertinent and dishonorable (Jackson 2014).


Organizational management and culture in international corporations have been researched by Hofstede. He is recognized for his inputs to this field. Hofstede is considered as the principal authority, best acknowledged for his efforts on work-relevant values within cultures. His work identified ways in which cultural groups influence behaviors differently in an organization or society encompassing subjects such as economics, education, health, and politics. In today's management culture, institutions would be prudent to have leadership not only recognize but also understand the significant impact of culture on the values, beliefs, and decision making of its leaders and employees alike.

Hofstede developed a five-dimensioned Cultural Dimensions Theory premised on the five dimensions namely Power Distance, Individualism, Uncertainty Avoidance, Masculinity, and Long Term Orientation, which often acted as the basis of cross-cultural research and application. The above mentioned aspects discussed values linked to nationwide cultures whose might is seen in the community arrangements in which they exist. In the recent years numerous additional scholars and academicians have attempted to use Hopstede’s metric and utilize it in determining cultural familiarization from a person instead of a group organizational management viewpoint. However, this metric has not held at the individual level when compared to the work with groups and suggests it requires further investigation to comprehend better how people from separate nations or areas reacts in different manner to management of organization.

Meanwhile, prospect research linked to Hofstede’s work may incorporate an evaluation of two aspects. The first is impact of gender, if any, since it relates to leadership and culture inside a international organizations. Second is the impact if at all, of culture on industry specialized groups dissimilar to the IBM employees.

Long-Term vs. Short-Term Orientation

Hofstede’s research on organizational culture continues to bear significance even now as internationally, and teams might possess the benefit of having diverse, superior, and possibly even additionally innovative thoughts that combines as an upfront product of comprising culturally and ethnically diverse teams brainstorm and create superior quality imaginations over more consistent groups. Further, countries that hire and train leaders who have had exposure to this type of organizational management experience may be better positioned to be more competitive in a global market that requires integration of the needs and diverse expectations of the international customer.


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