Site Loader
Rock Street, San Francisco

What is civilization? In the simplest form civilization can be defined as “ the manner a group of people prefer to act. ” & lt ; Donald. T Tosti ( Jan 2007 ) Performance Management, Vol. 46, Issue 1, pg 21.PDF available & gt ; . Broadly it can be said that “ effects of civilization are witnessed or manifested in employee attitude and behavior, such as communicating, leading, public presentation, motive and satisfaction ” towards a peculiar work/task. & lt ; Flora Chiang ( 2005 ) , International Journal of Human Resource Management, Routledge, PDF available & gt ; .Today, due to globalisation, it has become necessary for companies to set up and keep their ain corporate civilization, which would back up their schemes for a longer clip. The development of a peculiar merchandise is non merely affected by the procedure of fabrication but besides the attitude & A ; behavior of the employees or people involved straight or indirectly in that merchandise. One of the biggest challenges for modern-day international concern leaders is to guarantee that the employees of the company have a common attitude towards the company, and therefore its merchandises, so that they can lend towards the successful execution of the company scheme and make a good trade name image of the company in the consumer’s/customer ‘s head. Making a strong corporate civilization is one of the ways to pull a common attitude in the employee ‘s behavior. To make a strong corporate civilization it is necessary to understand the ways in which civilizations can be measured. To function this intent, Kluckhohn & A ; Strodtbeck ( 1961 ) and Hall ( 1976 ) attempted to place the classs by which civilization can be described. But the most successful theory boulder clay day of the month has been the Hofstede ‘s Model on civilizations ( 1980 ) . In this paper we will get down with a bird ‘s oculus position of the Hofstede ‘s theoretical account and so:

seek to understand why the theoretical account is biased and dated with regard to its dimensions

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

discourse the extent to which modern-day international concern executives can use this theoretical account to the current concern kineticss.

In 1980, Hofstede introduced the first version of his theoretical account depicting the research comparing work related values across different subdivisions and constitutions of IBM. The theoretical account was of quantitative nature and based on informations accumulated from 50 different states and three parts. & lt ; Richard Mead & A ; Tim Andrew: International Management, April 2010, Edition 4, p35 & gt ; . Using this theoretical account, Hofstede proposed the being of four ( subsequently five ) dimensions that influence values and therefore civilization ( Refer Table 1 ) .

Table 1:


Power Distance

mode in which persons accept and expect the degrees of hierarchy


Uncertainty Avoidance

tolerance to uncertainness


Individualism vs. Collectivism

grade of belongingness to a group ( s )


Masculinity vs. Femininity

Career chances – carnival or unfair?


Long Term vs. Short Term Orientation

Hofstede ‘s theory of Confucianism

Mention: Mead R. & A ; Andrews T. ( 2010 ) International Management, 4th edition, West Sussex: John Wiley & A ; Sons Ltd.

How far Hofstede ‘s theoretical account biased & A ; dated:

Hofstede ‘s theoretical account is being criticized – after its first publication ( Goodstein, 1981 ; Hunt, 1981 ; Robinson, 1983 ) and in the last few old ages ( Baskerville-Morley, 2003 ; 2005 ; Holden, 2002 ; McSweeney, 2002 ) .

There are 3 chief parametric quantities under the critic:

1. Method of surveying:

Hofstede ‘s study contained members of merely one American company ( IBM ) and its subordinates, worked in a individual industry ( Mead and Andrews, 2010 ) . Peoples recruited by IBM, belonged chiefly to the middle-class and were trained internationally. The industry for which they worked ( high-tech or computing machine ) , was n’t typical for the clip, when the study was conducted.

All the respondents holding worked for IBM shared a individual monopolistic ‘organizational civilization ‘ within every IBM subordinate. ‘As they were matched on an ‘occupational ‘ footing, each matched group besides shared a common occupational civilization ‘ . ( McSweeney, 2002 ) This may intend that these members do non portion the same cultural features as the other members of state, because they are non the bulk, but a minority of the whole state.

Another point is that the size of study varied from state to state. Like, more than 1000 of respondents were in 6 states and less than 200 respondents in 15 states ( McSweeney, 2002 ) .

Furthermore, sources knew in progress about the study and expected that the company leaders may utilize its consequences to develop new systems for taking disciplinary steps. This creates an component of biasness in the manner the study was answered by the employees. The employees might hold responded with a position to determine the consequences in the coveted mode than reacting it in a natural manner. Questionnaire responses may be considered as prejudice, besides because “ disposal of the study and the ownership of its consequences were IBM ‘s and some of the questionnaires were completed within groups and non separately ” ( McSweeney, 2002 – p.103 ) –

2. Theoretical logic of surveying:

Culture in the study was reviewed as portion of province national boundary lines, but civilization group and group, populating within one province, are non the same, because determinations about national boundary lines are more political than cultural ( Baskerville-Morley, 2003 ) . Homogeneity premise was criticised as there are besides important difference across group within any individual state ( immense 1s, like Russia, China, India and besides little 1s like Belgium and Switzerland ) or within individual civilization ( mainstream civilization and subcultures ) ( Mead and Andrews, 2010 ) . Besides people, born in one state and grown in other, behave themselves in different manner.

As McSweeney ( 2002, p.93 ) argued:

“ By the term national civilization Hofstede means the civilization of a state or province and non needfully of a state. For illustration, although the province ‘Great Britain ‘ is composed of at least three states – England, Scotland and Wales – Hofstede treats it as a individual entity with a individual ‘national ‘ civilization. ”

The same state of affairs is, for illustration, with Canada and its French-speaking Quebeq or with south provinces of the USA, where bulk of people speak Spanish.

In Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner ‘s ( 1997 ) work it was noticed that working environment may order theoretical accounts of behaviour, and they can differ really much from respondents ‘ theoretical accounts in personal lives and households. However, Hofstede ‘s findings about a civilization were made on a footing of values and penchants of respondents in their field of work. In add-on, the chief object of Hofstede ‘s research was respondents ‘ sentiments, non their behaviour.

As Hofstede ‘s theory was more west-oriented ( particularly before the 5th dimension – ‘Confucian dimension’- reflecting Asiatic civilizations was designed ) built-in Western prejudice may look ( Mead and Andrews, 2010 ) .

Gelfrand, Triandis and Chan ( 1997 ) while analyzing individuality, Bolshevism and dictatorship have found that individuality and Bolshevism may use in one civilization at the same clip.

3. Limits of usage of Hofstede ‘s theoretical account:

Decades have passed since the first Hofstede ‘s study was conducted. Therefore, his indexes have become outdated. ( Sondergaard, 1994 ; Holden 2002 ) As universe has changed and developed fast, traditions are acquiring weaker and knowledge spreads off faster. Therefore, civilization does n’t stay the same excessively.

Hofstede ‘s research consequences are largely about corporate civilization of IBM itself than about civilization of a state. Thereby, his theoretical account applies more for big companies, than for little 1s.

Culture itself is much more complex phenomenon than Hofstede ‘s theoretical account of first four and subsequently five, dimensions. His theoretical account is really inactive and it is largely about a civilization at a peculiar clip than civilization in general ) . The universe today has become far more similar. People ‘s civilizations change while they are interacting and one civilization influences other.

Power Distance ( PD )

This Dimension of Hofstede defines “ the extent to which the less powerful members of organisations and establishments ( like the household ) expect and accept that power is distributed unevenly ‘ ( Hofstede, 1991: 28 ; Hofstede & A ; Peterson, 2000: 401 ) .

It analyses how the inequalities in society and workplace are impacting the national civilization. Basically, Hofstede tries to turn out that the states with lower power distance ever seek to cut down the uncertainnesss and they do accept the differences in the societal and organisational apparatus while the states with the wider power distance accepts the difference where higher functionaries tend to take the determinations on their ain and the rich gets an easy entree to all the societal services.

One of the statements over Hofstede ‘s theoretical account is that, this dimension is now out-dated as decennaries have passed since its origin in 1980. Hofstede argues that “ aˆ¦aˆ¦the cross-cultural results were based on centuries of indoctrination, recent reproductions have supported the fact that civilization will non alter nightlong ” ( Hofstede 1998, 481 ) . But it should be noted that he has arrived at his cross-cultural study by developing a Power Distance Index merely for 50 states during the 1970s. Therefore, if the same Power Distance Index is calculated for 195-200 states today with “ quickly altering planetary environments, internationalization and convergence ” ( Michael Jones, 1997 ) , there will be broad disparity with the consequences pre-achieved.

Uncertainty Avoidance ( UA )

This Dimension is defined as ‘intolerance for uncertainness and ambiguity ‘ ( Hofstede, 1991: 113 ; Hofstede & A ; Peterson, 2000: 401 ) .

Uncertainty Avoidance analyses the extent to which people are cognizant or socialised in digesting the unpredictable hereafter. Hofstede argues that the members of civilizations where demand to avoid uncertainness is low – experiences lower degrees of occupation emphasis and tenseness ; frailty versa in civilizations where the demand to avoid uncertainness is high. Those with a lower UA are comfy with a pre-organized on the job apparatus but people within the higher UA degrees prefer to do determinations of their ain. ( Mead R. & A ; Andrews T. ( 2010 ) A A International Management, 4thA edition, West Sussex: John Wiley & A ; Sons Ltd. )

In one of the documents, Galit Ailon has brought to detect that racial discrimination/inequality was non covered under Power Distance dimension and redefined as Uncertainty Avoidance. For case: in South Africa, due to apartheid, a really high power distance-with regard to racial discrimination-existed. Besides, all the respondents to Hofstede ‘s theoretical account were Whites. In malice of this, both South Africa and Great Britain achieved a reasonably low power distance mark. ( Galit Ailon, 1980 ) . In an effort to explicate this point of view Hofstede argues “ Even swayers like the British, who practiced democracy and lower power distance society at place, did non pattern equality between themselves and the colonial populations… . The Power Distance Index decidedly does non mensurate tolerance toward other races, faiths, and so on ; this is instead a affair of Uncertainty Avoidance ” ( Hofstede, 1980:129 ) . Therefore, it becomes apparent that there were some prejudices in Hofsede ‘s considerations of uncertainness turning away every bit good as power distance ;

Hofstede himself admits that the study was managed by seting to utilize confined and preset reply pools. He besides admits that out of 66 states where the study was conducted, informations from merely 40 states was used for analysis “ for grounds of stableness of informations ” ( Hofstede, 1980: 54 ) and therefore avoid the existent complexnesss refering to the research ( Galit Ailon, 1980 ) . It seems as the value of ‘uncertainty turning away ‘ has played a important function in organizing the basicss of Hofstede ‘s research. ( Galit Ailon, 1980 )

Individualism vs. Collectivism ( IC )

This dimension defines ‘the extent to which persons are integrated into groups ‘ ( Hofstede, 1991: 51 ; Hofstede & A ; Peterson, 2000: 401 ) . In this theoretical account, it is non merely a step of whether people of certain civilizations preferred to work entirely instead than work in groups, but besides pointed out the grade of social/community integrating. Harmonizing to this dimension, civilizations which are more individualist ( and less leftist ) would emphasize single individuality and frailty versa in the more leftist ( and less individualist ) civilizations ( Richard Mead & A ; Tim G. Andrew, 2009 ) .

Persons are non so polarized. In world individualist civilizations are ever self-interested, greedy, and leftist being person for group-interest ( Jeffrey T. Polzer, 2002 ) . In individualist civilizations people have their personal ends and aspirations. To accomplish these aspirations they associate themselves to groups of people. Their relationship with such groups is superficial. ( David C Thomas, 2008 ) . One peculiarly good illustration of this is politicians who want to be in a group of militants of a powerful party. Humden-Teurner and Trompenaars ( 1997 ) have brought up an of import unfavorable judgment against Hofstede that if person is an individualist he or she can non be a leftist. Possibly some people who seem really individualistic at work, nevertheless, are still collectivized with their household and friends. It is hard to divide these dimensions clearly. Despite the cultural background people normally demonstrate a mix of socially incorporate behaviour. Thomas ( 2008: 62 )

Hofstede besides claimed that engineering transportation is hindered by leftist civilizations. For case, through Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan these four leftist civilizations, which labeled leftist by Hofstede, can integrate Western engineering unusually ( Kedia & A ; Bhagat, 1998 )

The Individualism vs. Collectivism can besides be found in most theoretical accounts of cultural analysis. ( Mead & A ; Andrews, 2009 ) . It is hard to specify civilizations being individualistic or collectivized, as some economic and history factors besides affect the civilization. Shkodriani and Gibbons conducted a research in 1998 on Individualism and Collectivism based on Hofstede ‘s theoretical account helps account for the consequence. The research is roll uping responses refering societal integrating from Mexican and American pupils. Harmonizing to Hofstede ‘s theoretical account, those pupils in Mexico would be more collectivized than pupils in America in their relationships. The consequence showed significantly higher Bolshevism among the Mexican pupils than among American pupils, which back uping Hofstede ‘s theoretical account still utile ( Shkodriani, 2001 ) .

Masculine vs. Feminine ( MF )

Masculinity-Femininity ‘assertiveness and fight versus modestness and caring ‘ ( Hofstede, 1991: 82-3, 1998b ; Hofstede & A ; Peterson, 2000: 401 ) . Hofstede uses the footings “ masculine ” and “ feminine ” in proficient senses. He claims that in the more masculine civilizations sex functions are aggressively differentiated. On the other manus, sex functions are less aggressively distinguished in the more feminine civilizations, and both genders have more equal entree to the same occupation at all degrees ( Richard Mead & A ; Tim G. Andrew, 2009 ) . Masculinity is normally defined as a state of affairs where the values in a society are success, money, and concern, and Femininity is clarified as society holding values such as contemplation for others and the quality of life ( Hofstede, 1984: 176 ; Hofstede & A ; Bond, 1984: 419-420 ) . This dimension and sentiment is debatable in several ways. For one thing, it will make a masculine prejudice in their responses ( Orr, 2008 ) . IBM employed largely males at the clip of study is one such illustration. What is more, this sentiment were built upon dated gender functions, many people perceived the term “ Masculinity-Femininity ” in the study as being male chauvinist ( Chiang, 2005 ) .

In most of the civilizations, today, the concern universe has changed and females portion a well larger infinite in the concern scenarios. It is a error to establish our positions on wide generalisations about the features of work forces and adult females as such stereotypes are frequently inaccurate. Hofstede should hold changed the rubric of this dimension from “ Masculinity-Femininity ” to “ Career Success/Quality of life to avoid perplexity. ( Alder 1997 )

Long term vs. Short term Orientation

Long term V short term orientation otherwise known as Confucian Dynamism was introduced by Hofstede and Bond in 1991. It was the consequence of a survey which was an effort to suit the uncertainness turning away dimension into the Asiatic civilization ( Hofstede, 1991 )

Hofstede did n’t get at this 5th dimension from the IBM questionnaire but with aid of questionnaire developed by M. H. Bond. Hofstede says that people with long term orientation tends to value actions sing the hereafter effects while the people from short term orientation gives importance to past or show while actions are valued

CalaA?s ( 1992: 213 ) claims, while stand foring an effort to rectify the cultural prejudice, the 5th dimension is simply presented as an add-on to the original four and does non take to a re-examination of their implicit in logic. Besides he argues that this add-on to the cultural dimensions is subordinated to the Western Dichotomy. As a consequence the inferior ranking of the Western civilization is recast.

Answering Question

Even though Hofstede ‘s theoretical account has been criticised by many research workers, there are still many people who refer to his work as the map to near, what they call, the national civilization ( Latifi, 2006 ) . As a consequence they expect to derive basic thought and anticipation on civilization behavior for concern surveies ( Kook et al, 2008 ) . Since his research determination had been launched in 1980, it was non merely an qui vive in the field of Human Resource Management but besides of broad usage in other concern patterns for illustration, Marketing, Decision Making and Organization ‘s scheme planning. Whatsoever facets, there must be some advantages on his determination that could get the better of prejudices and outdated.

In concern patterns, there are rather a figure of managers who appreciate Hofstede ‘s determination. They find it is a really utile and impressive research where he creates the conceptual spring by comparing at cross-culture degree, which somehow suitably explain the state of affairs from their past experiences ( Hoppe, 2004 ) . Those directors see as the groundbreaking survey by quantified this type of research and do a comparing ( Bing. 2004 ) .

Several applications are based on Hofstede ‘s model. For case ; ITAP International, a concern adviser house, has adapted this theoretical account to into their pattern both for their employee and their clients in many countries in order to be more understanding and develop good competence in concern patterns. Bing ( 2004 ) besides saw the theories as a great cardinal apprehension to other concern prosecuting cross-broader dealing, like Merger & A ; Acquisition of houses, Joint Venture, and Multinational Company etc. In add-on, there is an analysis shows that British Airways ( Britain based ) and Sabena Airlines ( Belgium Based ) design their web pages harmonizing to the theory of Uncertainty turning away by utilizing difference degree of complexness. The British, who have low evaluation of Uncertainty turning away, incorporate more complex content than the Belgium ‘s web page.

How much could International Managers rely on Hofstede ‘s model? The inquiry on his truth has been risen for concern executives and other relevant members since there are groundss from other researches proving on the theoretical account ‘s cogency and dependability show that the world is non ever in consistency with Hofstede ‘s theoretical account ( Blodgett et al, 2008 ) . The trials were on assortments of scrutiny group, such as US and New Zealand MBA pupils and Iranians etc. , which seemingly belong to the different society position apart from his original beginnings. And that could be one of the factors driving consequences into incompatibility. Those argue researches remind concern executives of how to utilize the tool expeditiously.

First of the things directors should maintain in their head is that “ a cosmopolitan measuring tool which can be adopted by every facet does non be ” ( Chiang, 2005 ) . Therefore ; Hofstede ‘s theoretical account might non be able to stand for all character in a certain civilization. In some peculiar subdivision of a civilization, there could be a large difference between the world and his consequence, while some other group could incorporate similar consequence with Hofstede ‘s. Second, people do alter over the period of clip. Globalization and convergence are some of the critical factors of civilization versions, which quickly integrated civilization to one another. As a consequence there is significantly risen figure of Conglomerate houses as the record taken by WTO ( 2008 ) in the past three decennaries. Those figures could bespeak the mark of transitivity from civilization to civilization.


As to a modern-day execution, we grant that Hofstede ‘s survey has contributed greatly in understanding the assorted civilizations in comparing at national degree in a better manner, more or less giving a basic orientation of each national norm and value. And those do his theoretical account valuable as a one of the cardinal theories of all time made even today. However ; it will be appropriated merely by the user ‘s carefully application to their peculiar aims and be cognizant of the restraints that are involved within his survey. Furthermore, those five dimensions might non be plenty to measure a civilization, some other of import influences such as political, value and mindset etc. , ( Ailon, 2008 ) should besides be considered at the same clip. Together with in-depth survey for their peculiar research countries in order to acquire the most accurate consequence before doing any determinations.

Post Author: admin


I'm Percy!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out