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Hofstede ‘s theoretical account is good known as a important criterion to separate different civilizations in the field of concern. With the rise in globalisation of concerns, many people are working with, or managing, persons and groups from civilizations other than their ain. Due to many unfavorable judgments of Hofstede ‘s cultural theoretical account, this paper has analysed, to an extent, the effectivity of Hofstede ‘s theoretical account in the current concern scenario. The paper has critically evaluated the theoretical account ‘s five dimensions on the footing of two chief facets i.e. the biasness and the cogency with regard to clip. First, this paper analyses the impact of subcultures within a national district and how Hofstede ‘s theoretical account ignores that facet. The study has explained, with the aid of illustrations, how within a state there are different subcultures which impacts people ‘s personality and behaviour. The theoretical account can be said outdated since some states are no more in being and there are some states that did non be at the clip of the study. The figure of respondents that were surveyed by Hofstede is besides an issue as it was n’t in any peculiar form or balance. Furthermore, Hofstede used a individual company as a base of his study for the civilizations of the universe. The study has put frontward unfavorable judgments on Hofstede ‘s theoretical account and has concluded that his theoretical account still might be utile to directors on a really basic degree, depending on the intent of use, but it may non be of any usage at all in the close hereafter. Sing these jobs, suggestions have been made on how civilization could hold been analyzed by Hofstede or how it can be studied for the hereafter.

Table of content

Executive Summary

Table of contents

Table of figures

1 Introduction 1

2 HofstedeA?s Methodology 2

3 Critical Analysis of HofstedeA?s Model 3

3.1 National Culture vs. Sub-culture 3

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3.2 Geographical Location 4

3.3 Language and Number of Respondents 6

3.4 Single Entity 7

3.5 Cultural Evolution 8

3.6 Validity of the Surveys 9

4 Decision 9

5 Recommendations 11

Appendix 12

Bibliography 16

Table of figures

Table 1: Comparison between Australia and Indonesia in HofstedeA?s theoretical account 4

Table 2: Working yearss lost in industrial differences per 1000 employees 8

Relevance of Hofstede ‘s Model in the Current Scenario

In the beginning of our assignment, we want the reader to understand deductions of civilizations along with Hofstede ‘s points and methodological analysis. Following this, we will measure critically the statements made by Hofstede and his research methodological analysis. Finally, we will province our decision and some recommendations about future cultural research.

“ Culture is more frequently a beginning of struggle than of synergism. Cultural differences are a nuisance at best and frequently catastrophe. ” ( Hofstede, no day of the month ; cited in Itim, 2009, a ) .

1. Introduction

There is no cosmopolitan definition of civilization. Harmonizing to Hornby ( 2009 ) , civilizations are “ imposts and beliefs, art, manner of life and societal organisation of a peculiar state and group ” . From the statement, we understand that there are several things that affect civilizations. Culture plays an of import function in understanding people traits. Peoples from different parts have different ways of life ; this includes concern. Therefore, it is of import to understand the traits of people from different civilizations in order to do concern more effectual and efficient.

A Dutch research worker, Geert Hofstede ab initio came up with a cultural theoretical account in which he continued to develop ( Mead and Andrews, 2010 ) . This theoretical account was attained by administering questionnaires to IBM employees in 66 different states. The study was conducted in 1967 and 1973 ; and he came up with four chief dimensions ( McSweeney, 2002, a ) .

Power Distance

It is the extent to which people can accept and anticipate the unequal distribution of power.

Uncertainty Avoidance

It is to mensurate how people from different states can digest ambiguity and eventuality.

Individualism vs. Collectivism

It is the degree whether people in a peculiar state are more likely to be associated with a group or more individualists.

Masculinity vs. Femininity

It is the categorization of people shacking in peculiar state as to whether they are more focussed on success or on harmoniousness and peace.

But so subsequently on Hofstede came up with a concluding dimension:

Long term orientation vs. Short term orientation

Not as normally used as the earlier dimensions, it considers temporal orientation towards life ( Mead and Andrew, 2010 ) .

This assignment will now critically measure whether “ Hofstede ‘s theoretical account is dated and biased and to what extent it is of usage to the modern-day concern executives ” .

2. Hofstede ‘s Methodology

Hofstede ‘s cultural theoretical account is widely used for transverse cultural research by international companies and corporations ( Jones, 2007 ) . As mentioned above, Hofstede distributed 117,000 questionnaires to IBM employees from 66 different states. Initially, the questionnaires were made in English but so due to translation jobs, the questionnaires were later translated into local linguistic communications. Hofstede involved merely one company – IBM- which he called ‘HERMESA? as IBM was non comfy with its individuality being made populace. The research was done on employees entirely from gross revenues and marketing sections of IBM. The ground why Hofstede chose IBM as the individual company was because of homogenous corporate and occupational civilization ( McSweeney, 2002, a ) . Harmonizing to Hofstede IBM has a strong corporate civilization and the intent of his study was to analyze the traits, features, and behaviours of people from different states ( Hofstede, 2001 ) . He fundamentally relates a choice of social features ( for illustration, GNP, economic growing, latitude of the capital metropolis, population size ) to each of the four indices. His chief method of usage was the stepwise arrested development. Finally he uses his ecological findings to foretell single behaviour ( Robinson, 1983 ) .

3. Critical Analysis of Hofstede ‘s Model

Many research workers have argued on Hofstede ‘s methodological analysis and findings. In the undermentioned paragraphs some illustrations of unfavorable judgments will be evaluated.

3.1 National Culture vs. Sub-culture

Hofstede argues that every national population portions common civilization despite of admiting that it is non the lone civilization or entirety of civilizations. Culture is territorially alone ( McSweeney, 2002, a ) . For illustration: India and China are really huge states which have many subcultures depending on the geographical locations. Hofstede has taken these states as a individual entity, which means that every Indian and Chinese, irrespective of which portion of the state they come from, have similar civilizations, which is non right. He besides considers Great Britain as a individual entity, whilst it is really comprised of different states. Does this mean that people from England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have individual national civilization? Surveies have shown that compared to these three states, Wales has the most diverse population in footings of persons born outside the state. ( Drinkwater and Blackaby, 2004 ) . This influences persons ‘ personal traits. From these points, we can province that Hofstede is biased, as he considered the state as a individual entity irrespective of different parts within the state.

To beef up the above statement, O’Leary and Levinson ( 1991, as cited in Baskerville, 2003 ) stated that civilization can non be equated with states. For case in Africa 98 different civilizations exist in 48 states, whereas Western Europe has 81 identified civilizations in 32 states. In North America, 147 native civilizations are recognized. Wildavsky ( 1989, as cited in Baskerville, 2003 ) besides mentioned that civilizations are non states and there are many different civilizations within the same state.

3.2 Geographic Location

As a consequence of globalisation and promotion in engineering, Hofstede ‘s theoretical account is dated. Nowadays, people have become more nomadic. Hofstede theoretical account fails to place those people ; for illustration: people who were born in Indonesia but spent most of their lives in Australia. This can be black for international directors as people from Indonesia and Australia have different civilizations and behaviours. Harmonizing to the theoretical account, Australians are really individualist, masculine and have low power distance whereas Indonesians are really collectivized, feminine and have high power distance ( refer table 1 ) ( Brewster et. al. , 2007 ) . Reliance entirely on Hofstede ‘s theoretical account may mislead international directors in working with forces of such nomadic backgrounds.

Table 1: Comparison between Australia and Indonesia in HofstedeA?s theoretical account

( as cited in Jones, 2007 )

Another illustration is Hitler who was born in Austria and moved to Germany as an grownup. Harmonizing to Hofstede, Austria has really low power distance and high on uncertainness turning away ( Brewster et. al. , 2007 ) . However, Hitler was really dominant individual by nature and he believed in the thought of absolutism ( McSweeney, 2002, a ) . Hitler ‘s personality was contrary to the Austrian civilization.

Another instance where Hofstede has ignored this facet is that people in Hong Kong and the bulk of people in Singapore are Chinese, but Hofstede explains their power distances utilizing different accounts. The higher power distance values for Hong Kong and Singapore are because of the fact that they were a portion of the British settlement. The British did non pattern equality values between themselves and the colonized population ( Yeh, 1988 ) .

The theoretical account is out-dated because it still has Yugoslavia, whereas in present universe the state does non be any longer. The state has been divided into Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Slovenia, Kosovo, Croatia and Macedonia. Besides, the study was conducted when Germany was still split up into two different states ( Cahill, 2007 ) .

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have been ignored in Hofstede ‘s cultural research and are still treated as a forecourt of Russia. Many publications consider them as a common block, non merely because of their geographical propinquity and location but besides because they were all a portion of Russia when the research was held. A really little figure of bookmans focus on cultural differences among former Soviet-Union provinces and/or CIS ( Commonwealth of Independent States ) states ( Vadi and Meri, 2005 as cited in Huettinger, 2008 ) . Latvia looks due wests to Sweden and Germany, to go on its traditional ties ( Maning and Poljeva, 1999 as cited in Huettinger, 2008 ) . Hofstede has noted that the national civilization of a peculiar state is the dominant mental plan, which is prevailing ( Romm and Hsu, 2003 as cited in Huettinger, 2008 ) . Several surveies have proven that states are important cultural establishments on their ain ( Smith and Peterson, 2005 as cited in Huettinger, 2008 ) . Hofstede besides defines civilization as, “ the corporate scheduling of the head which distinguishes one group or class of people from another ” ( Hofstede and Hofstede, 2005 as cited in Huettinger, 2008 ) . We can clearly see that Hofstede ‘s theoretical account is dated sing this facet, and possibly even biased, as he considers them as one civilization whereas he might non hold had anyone from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in his surveies.

The Chinese are really proud and loyal people. Their truenesss lie with their households and less so to non-family organisations. The Japanese, nevertheless, do non hold any jobs with switching their truenesss from their household to their work topographic point. Therefore, even though both Chinese and Nipponese have low individuality, the systems are really different. From a societal or the houses ‘ position, the Chinese are really individualistic. Which are in contrast to Hofstede ‘s findings for Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore, where the bulk of people populating are besides originally Chinese ( Chen and Chieu, 1984 as cited in Yeh, 1988 ) . Furthermore, even the significance of the word “ family ” is rather different between Japan and China. Chinese people face jobs when they have to demo their truenesss to the company and their household at the same clip, whereas this struggle does non be in Japan. Hofstede ‘s statement is that Mao Zedong ‘s anti-individualistic or pro-collectivistic ethos is grounds of the deeply rooted Chinese tradition. This on the reverse was one of the grounds why MaoA?s Cultural Revolution failed. The tradition of the household coming foremost is profoundly rooted in the Chinese society ( Yeh, 1988 ) , where Hofstede ‘s surveies have non considered the Chinese bulk states holding any ties with China.

3.3 Language and Number of Respondents

Initially, there were jobs in understanding the questionnaires as it was written in English. However, subsequently the questionnaires were translated into the relevant local linguistic communications and redistributed, once more to the same employees of the ‘HERMES company to carry on the study once more. Differences in interlingual rendition of linguistic communication can be minimized but non wholly eliminated, as some words can non hold the exact same significances in the local linguistic communication. For illustration: the word “ accomplishment ” is hard to be translated, and was hence avoided ( Hofstede, 2001 ) . He used 362 directors with different backgrounds from 30 different states to react to the questionnaires. Whilst the directors received and answered the questionnaires in their ain native linguistic communications so as to avoid mistranslation in construing the information. The consequence was similar to the consequence of questionnaires written in English ( Hofstede, 2001, 2002 ) . However, the figure of respondents stand foring a state is little. .

The usage of questionnaires had besides been doubted. Hofstede used 117,000 questionnaires for 66 states. A big figure of respondents itself does non vouch the cogency of the consequence, as the mean figure of respondents he obtained per state is non statistically important so as to be brooding of a whole state. Out of 66 states merely six states have respondents more than 1000 ; others were less than 200. This Numberss are excessively little to stand for a state ( McSweeney, 2002, a ) .

Harmonizing to McSweeney ( 2002, a ) , the study covered 66 states but Hofstede merely used informations obtained from 40 states. But if we look at Hofstede ‘s theoretical account, he has used 53 states in the tabular array ( Brewster et. al. , 2007 ) . Therefore, should the informations for the 13 states mentioned in the theoretical account be questioned?

3.4 Single Entity

The study was conducted on a individual company, IBM ; and the information which he used for his analysis was based on responses from marketing plus gross revenues executives. Hofstede argued that it was deliberate. Hofstede believes that by this, he will acquire informations from people who has homogenous corporate and occupational civilization ; hence, the difference he gets was due to national civilization. Based on Hofstede ‘s statement, we can state that every German mechanic has the same occupational civilization with every Grecian mechanic ; which might non be true. Hofstede besides has ignored dissenting, multiple, and emergent civilizations in organisation which are plausible to happen due to local fortunes. The study should hold involved people with different backgrounds and different companies ; as IBM lone trades with the service industry. For illustration: tennis nines, political parties, pupils, fabricating companies should be considered. This is besides pointed out by Tan and Chee ( 2005 ) as people are exposed to different heritages, imposts, faiths and traditions which are profoundly embedded within them ( as cited in Huettinger, 2008 ) . Hofstede did non distinguish these diverse groups.

3.5 Cultural Development

Ten old ages after his first publication, Hofstede agreed that there are ‘considerable differences ‘ in civilization among different units within the same organisation ( as cited in McSweeney, 2002, a ) . This means that over the old ages, civilizations evolve and there are differences in occupational civilization within a company and its subordinates. Therefore, Hofstede ‘s research was biased, as merely those from the selling and gross revenues section were surveyed.

Table 2: Working yearss lost in industrial differences per 1000 employees ( one-year norms )

( McSweeney, 2002, B )

The tabular array shows that masculine states have become more feminine and frailty versa. The universe is now meeting due to globalisation ; individuality and Bolshevism orientation can co-exist in every person depending on the state of affairs. The state of affairss will act upon the orientation, for illustration: importance of the affair, urgency, etc. ( Browaeys and Price, 2008 ) . We can state that Hofstede theoretical account is outdated, as civilizations do alter over the old ages.

Hofstede ‘s theoretical account uses a quantitative method which, among other things, is characterized by its carefully selected sample dwelling of a group of knowing white in-between category work forces working for the same company and sharing indistinguishable or similar businesss. The job with this sample as a norm for national civilization is that it misleads one to believe that Hofstede perceives of civilization as equally-distributed among work forces and adult females. However, as has dedicated one of his five dimensions to gender and build his theoretical account on a bipolar differentiation between maleness and muliebrity, this is clearly non the instance. On the contrary, his masculinity/femininity dimension ( MAS ) shows that he has a really clear and distinguishable apprehension of the differences between maleness and muliebrity, which he takes advantage of for his building of national civilizations. Hofstede argues that work forces, as a general regulation, will be more achievement-oriented and adult females more care-oriented. Hofstede ‘s premise raises several inquiries ; for illustration, for what ground ( s ) were adult females excluded from his study and his building of civilization ( Moulettes, 2007 ) ?

3.6 Validity of the Surveys

The cogency of the studies can be questioned. Hofstede used questionnaires as his methods of study and sent them to different states. Hofstede can non vouch that the individual who filled the questionnaires is really his mark respondents. For illustration, the mark respondents might be busy or loath to make full the questionnaires and may alternatively depute the undertaking to their subsidiaries. Questionnaires were besides chiefly about the workplace and hence, can non be related to specify a national civilization ( McSweeney, 2002, a ) .

There are many factors that may hold affected the respondents and the manner they complete the questionnaires which have non been taken into consideration. Besides, that the respondents had non been told about the intent of the questionnaire and hence they might non hold been able to make full the questionnaire with the earnestness or the attitude required or expected and assumed by Hofstede.

4. Decision

This paper has provided a critical rating of Geerts Hofstede ‘s ground-breaking work on cross-cultural differences. In the field of international concern, cross-cultural struggle can ensue in includes international concern activities, concern direction failure and stalled concern dialogues. Understanding diverse cultural values is an indispensable success factors in international concern activities. Cultural values and differences are a polar issue in international concern for all stakeholders. Influenced by political relations, society economic sciences and engineering, cultural values are invariably germinating, and therefore it is logical that cultural theories should be updated and re-evaluated over clip.

Now to reason and come up with an reply to “ HofstedeA?s theoretical account is dated and biased and, as such, is of no usage to the modern-day international concern executive. How far do you hold? ” We can non state that Hofstede ‘s theoretical account is wholly uneffective as we can non quantify the affair. However, he should be appreciated for his part work in this field. HofstedeA?s theoretical account might be valid in past decennaries when the universe was less globalized.

International concern executives may utilize the theoretical account to look into cultural differences and how different civilizations impact on international concern. Hofstede ‘s research consequences represent a sensible starting point, nevertheless it is outdated and biased for the current international concern scenario.

As such, we should use the theoretical account with cautiousness, since these consequences are non really accurate. International directors should non to the full depend on the theoretical account for the simple ground that Hofstede uses a mere generalisation, and immense multinationals can non travel into a market merely on the footing of a simplification. He besides claimed that his research on IBMA?s employees can be used as a benchmark for all sorts of people around the universe, without sing other companies, social nines, etc.. Furthermore, he thinks that his proposal is still up to day of the month due to the fact that he did non work on it if even states subsequently separated.

The universe today is now meeting to hold a planetary civilization. In the close hereafter, Hofstede ‘s theoretical account may be of no usage at all. In decision, HofstedeA?s cultural theoretical account is dated and biased.

5. Recommendations

Study of civilization should non be based on national district but it should be on parts. As we discussed there are many sub-cultures within a national civilization. As the universe is globalising quickly, it is indispensable to hold a cultural theoretical account that is invariably updated to reflect these alterations caused by globalisation. The study should besides affect people from diverse scope of societal and employment categories so as to be more representative of a civilization. China, an emerging economic ace power, has non been considered by HofstedeA?s five dimensions. Therefore we would urge that the Chinese market needs to be considered in future research more exhaustively.

Appendix 1

HofstedeA?s: Individualism vs. Collectivism

( as cited in Brewster et. al. , 2007 )

Appendix 2

HofstedeA?s: Power Distance

( as cited in Brewster et. al. , 2007 )

Appendix 3

HofstedeA?s: Uncertainty Avoidance

( as cited in Brewster et. al. , 2007 )

Appendix 4

HofstedeA?s: Masculinity vs. Femininity

( as cited in Brewster et. al. , 2007 )

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