(Practical) Usages and Application of Hofstede's theory

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Cultural Dimensions > Best Practices > (Practical) Usages and Application of Hofstede's theory

(Practical) Usages and Application of Hofstede's theory
What are the application areas of Hofstede's theory, how can the theory be applied?

Applications of Hofstede's Theory
Catherine M. Bing, CEO, United States, Member
We use the Hofstede model in M&A integration, cultural due diligence, leadership development, web site/HR processes/collateral materials analysis (cultural audits), global talent development, talent potential analysis, global team and team leader development and of course a wide variety of training programs.
Cultural differences potentially impact all aspects of business interactions... Even customer service. See Marieke Demooj's work for implications in advertising.

Application Areas of Hofstede
If you think about it, there are lots of areas and levels where Hofstedes cultural dimensions model can be applied:
- Concretising / discussing any (vague) culture.
- Comparing current versus future (desired) cultures
- Comparing cultures of countries / regions
- Comparing cultures of companies / divisions / departments
- Managing multicultural teams
- Analysing / coaching behavior of managers or leaders.

Intercultural Communication Aspects in Communities of Practice (CoPs)
MARTIN Christian, Consultant, France, Member
Communicating between cultures is not always easy. They say: "Americans and British people are divided by the same language". I felt the same when I was living and working in the French speaking part of Switzerland. I know a little about Hofstede's Theory, a little more about CoPs and how they should be "animated" or moderated, and I'd like to dig into the combination of the two: applying Hofstede's theory to moderation of CoP in an intercultural setting. Any ideas about this (both in theory and practice)?

Hofstede Theory Into Practice
Catherine M. Bing, CEO, United States, Member
I'd be happy to share a bit of a book I am in the process of writing called "Many Cultures, One Team; Build Your Cultural Repertoire". Just contact me. Or send me specific questions and I'll try to answer them. Perhaps you can teach me about CoP as well. Cass.

How can the Hofstede's Model be Used Beyond Starting a Discussion?
Ulrich Schweiker, Director, Germany, Member
@Catherine M. Bing: when you answer "we use the model..." that does not really help, since "use" is very superficial: for what do you use it... To start a discussion?... To trigger some thoughts to start with...?... Just to initiate a general talk about something...?... Since you do not know a country or nation specific joke to start with - as an alternative to the model?
In other words: I like the model to start a conversation, but when I want to understand someone who is acting in a specific organizational situation in a given company's division at a specific time the dimensions cannot be more than a starting point: it soon becomes a mixture of individual's personal background (education by parents, schools, relevant others…), colleagues, preferences and dislikes, situational demands, shared understanding of needs and values, etc.

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