Cultural Dimensions

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According to Geert Hofstede, there is no such thing as a universal management method or management theory, valid across the whole world. Even the word 'management' has different origins and meanings in countries throughout the world. Management is not a phenomenon that can be isolated from other processes taking place in society. It interacts with what happens in the family, at school, in politics, and government. It is obviously also related to religion and to beliefs about science.

The five Cultural Dimensions of Hofstede

Cultural Dimensions

The cultural dimensions model of Geert Hofstede is a framework that describes five sorts (dimensions) of differences / value perspectives between national cultures:

  • Power distance. The degree of inequality among people which the population of a country considers as normal.

  • Individualism versus collectivism. The extent to which people feel they are supposed to take care for, or to be cared for by themselves, their families or organizations they belong to.

  • Masculinity versus femininity. The extent to which a culture is conducive to dominance, assertiveness and acquisition of things. Versus a culture which is more conducive to people, feelings and the quality of life.

  • Uncertainty avoidance. The degree to which people in a country prefer structured over unstructured situations.

  • Long-term versus short-term orientation. Long-term: values oriented towards the future, like saving and persistence. Short-term: values oriented towards the past and present, like respect for tradition and fulfilling social obligations.

To understand management in a country, one should have both knowledge and empathy with the entire local scene. However, the scores of the unique statistical survey that Hofstede carried out should make everybody aware that people in other countries may think, feel, and act very differently from yourself, even when confronted with basic problems of society. Any person dealing with Management or Strategy is well advised to constantly remember the lessons from Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions Theory. Human beings have a deceiving tendency to think and feel and act from their own experiences, especially when they work internationally.


Book: Geert Hofstede - Cultures Consequences : International Differences in Work-Related Values

Book: Geert Hofstede - Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind

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Forum discussions about Cultural Dimensions (Cross Cultural Management). Below you can ask a question about this topic, share your experiences, report a new development, or explain something.

topic Doing Business in Asia | Understanding Chinese Culture
Asia’s rapid rise to economic prominence marks the beginning of a trend that will increase in the future. The Chinese economy, the second largest in the world, is currently attracting more direct inve...
Comments33 comments
topic Hofstede vs. Hampden-Turner
Does anyone know the difference between Hofstede's cultural model and Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner’s Seven Cultural Dimensions....
topic From Universalism to Poly-Culturalism
There used to be 2 paradigms of organizational culture:The first is UNIVERSALISM, a belief in colorblindness and uniformity in the treatment of all people, by suppressing any individual cultural chara...
Comments24 comments
topic Cross Cultural Communication
For my research in intercultural communication inside organizations, I am looking for cultural differences between western (better Italian) and eastern Europe, in particularly in Poland, Serbia and Cr...
Comments1 comments
topic The Influence of Culture on Employee Motivation and Performance
I am interested in how culture influences (employee) motivation and performance. Colleagues, can you help me out to appreciate what cultural traits (religion, formal and informal socialisation practi...
Comments2 comments
topic Country Scores for Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions + Compare Countries
A very good way to understand the Framework & put it into perspective & practice is provided at the following webpage. It provides for a thorough insight into cultures and behaviour trends which may b...
Comments2 comments
topic Supply Chain Partners' Cultural Differences
I am trying to find out how cultural differences between supply chain partners can influence the overall performance of the chain. Any ideas or recommended materials?...
Comments1 comments
topic Importance of Respect in Various Cultures
I believe RESPECT for authority, age, position, has blurred and decreased - over time, sometimes because people have proven themselves unworthy of respect. Some cultures retain greater respect for ad...
topic Sharing Knowledge in Multicultural Teams
Sharing knowledge (tacit and learned) between human beings from any part of the world with a simple and sincere converstation can eliminate differences on ways of thinking. Because a total agreement c...
Comments1 comments
🔥 Multiculturals in Multicultural Teams
People are always saying diversity matters. As a powerful tool for creative work, culturally diverse groups are becoming increasingly common. However, simply assembling a multicultural team doesn't al...
Comments3 comments
topic In-depth Explanation Dimensions of Hofstede
Hofstede gave five dimensions to help explain the culture of the country they can also be applied to organization with little modifications. The five dimensions are: 1. Small vs Big Power Distance: y...
Comments1 comments
topic Seven Dimensions of Culture (Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner)
Model of National Culture Differences. Fons Trompenaars is a Dutch author and consultant in the field of cross-cultural communication. His books include: Riding the Waves of Culture, Seven Cultures o...
topic Croatia Cultural Analysis
Has anyone done a cultural analysis on Croatia using Hofstede? Thanks...
topic The Value of Cultural Differences: what Matters?
Cultural differences can be sources of value to the firm. But what differences matter? Management is about increasing shareholders' value, which can be very shortsighted as far as culture, not finance...
Comments1 comments
topic Cultural Dimensions in Management Styles
Hofstede's 5 dimensions to me determine whether a society is masculine or feminine. Our management style is determined by which type of society in which we function; feminine or masculine. I may be w...
Comments2 comments

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🥇 (Practical) Usages and Application of Hofstede's theory
What are the application areas of Hofstede's theory, how can the theory be applied?...
Comments5 comments

🥈 Critique of Hofstede
Does anyone know where to find good academic articles critisising Hofstedes cultural analysis? Any particular models and/or authors?...
Comments4 comments

🥉 I Need Another Model!!!
Hi. I am doing a contrast and comparison between Hofstede's model and another... I need to find another model to compare to... Please help me!...
Comments6 comments

topic Examples of Hofstede Five Dimensions
Can you please provide some examples of comparison between Toyota and General Motors or any two similar companies in relation to Hofstede's five dimensions of culture? Thanks...
Comments4 comments

topic Are Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions still Valid?
Hofstede cultural dimensions are over 30 years old. Are they still valid.. that can be questioned....
Comments8 comments

topic Dimensions of Hofstede Applied on a Company
Is it possible to use the Model by Hofstede on a company? What I am looking for is a model to give insight in how a company currently works, the company culture. I might add some other things to the ...
Comments4 comments

Expert Tips

Advanced insights about Cultural Dimensions (Cross Cultural Management). Here you will find professional advices by experts.


Pitfalls and Best Practices in Managing Multicultural Teams

Multicultural Teams
Brett, Behfar and Kern describe 4 common problem areas in managing multicultural teams: 1. Direct vs indirect communica...

Negotiation in Middle Eastern and Western countries

Cultural Dimensions, A Practical Example
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Implications of Cultural Differences on Accounting

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Internationally recognized accounting standards, e.g. US-GAAP and IAS/IFRS, have not been adopted worldwide due primaril...

Critical Considerations when Applying Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions to Organizations and Individuals

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Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions are often used to compare nations and cultures, but his dimensions are also used for orga...

Hofstede's 6th Dimension: Indulgence versus Restraint

Analysing Cultural Differences
There actually is already a 6th dimension identified by research and included in the most recent edition of "Culture and...

Cultural Differences in Workplace and Office Design

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It's interesting to see how cultural differences are also playing a role in the way offices are being arranged. In an ar...

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Professor Hofstede adviced that we have to educate our children in such a way that they understand that people from othe...
Information Sources

Various sources of information regarding Cultural Dimensions (Cross Cultural Management). Here you will find powerpoints, videos, news, etc. to use in your own lectures and workshops.


East vs West

Humorous Comparison
16 Asian and Western behaviors and concepts compared via funny pictures....

Influence of Cultural Dimensions on Consumers > CSR

Corporate Social Responsibility
Paper by Geoffrey Williams and John Zinkin explores the relationship between attitudes to corporate social responsibilit...

Management Across Cultures: Managing in a Global Context

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Cultural Dimensions, Cultural Differences
An explanation of: - The Nature of Culture - Cultural Values and Folkways - Sub-cultures and Change - How Cultures V...

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Globalization, Global Business
Presentation about doing business in a global world and highlights the importance of cultural diversity and global etiqu...

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Cultural Differences, Cultural Intelligence, Cross-Cultural Teams, Company Culture, Hofstede
Cultural differences can be an asset rather than a liability to a team if carefully managed and other people are approac...

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Presentation about organizational behavior in an age of globalization. The presentation includes the following sections:...

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Decision-making, Bias
Paper by Justin D. Levinson and Kaiping Peng. Behavioral economic research has tended to ignore the role of cultural dif...

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Bradford Brochure

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Explanation Dimensions
Presentation lecture by M.W. Visscher from The Hanze Hogeschool Groningen shows the dimensions of Hofstede. Contains que...

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Cultural Dimensions Diagram

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