Is the Hofstede Framework a Useful Aid in Understanding Cultures and Sub-cultures?

Date:  2021-06-15 02:54:42
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The Hofstedes framework, developed by Geert Hofstede, is a framework used in the organization and identification of international cultures. The framework is widely used in psychology, management programs, marketing, and sociology. For instance, it is usually used to understand workplace diversity in organizations. It helps to develop a better work environment for people from diverse cultures or subcultures and geographical backgrounds. In international organizations, communication among the various cultures is essential to achieve success (Wild, J., & Wild, K., 2015). Since organizations vary regarding values, culture, and environment, the application of the framework would help them to avoid communication barriers and conflicts among its workforce.

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According to Lee and Carter (2012), Hofstedes framework is the most influential approach to cross-cultural analysis and utilizes six value dimensions that best interpret the behaviors, attitudes, and values of diverse cultures. Power Distance Index (PDI) dimension determines the magnitude of inequality accepted by people of different power levels. A high PDI score represents an acceptance of unequal distribution of power in the society and people become aware of their particular roles and positions. On the other hand, a low PDI indicates that the people recognize that power should be shared equally. Individualism versus Collectivism (IDV) dimension points out the strength of ties among the society members (Christiansen, 2015). A high IDV score represents weak ties among the members of different subcultures and also distance themselves from actions or decisions made by others. A low IDV score means that the members have common interests in large groups in the community.

Masculinity versus Femininity (MAS) dimension that identifies the role distribution between men and women. Masculine environments exhibit the assertive behavior of men while in a feminine society, the women show modesty towards other members (Hofstede, G. H. & Hofstede G., 2001). This dimension would help create a balance of the two so as to reduce the gap between men and women. Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI) dimension identifies how people deal with anxiety. According to MindTools.com (2017), some people attempt to control their actions while other are more relaxed when engaging in risky behavior. Pragmatic versus Normative also referred to a long-term orientation where members focus on being value thrift while the normative society has respect to religiosity and nationalism. Finally, the Indulgence versus Restraint (IVR) dimension which is based on individuals emotions. It helps to identify a restrained culture where individuals have little leisure time and would probably have pessimistic behaviors.

References

Christiansen, B. (2015). Handbook of Research on Global Business Opportunities. IGI Global.

Hofstede, G. H., & Hofstede, G. (2001). Culture's consequences: Comparing values, behaviors, institutions and organizations across nations. Sage.

Lee, K., & Carter, S. (2012). Global marketing management: Changes, new challenges, and strategies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

MindTools.com. (2017). Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions. Understanding Different Countries. [Online]. Available from: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_66.htm. [Accessed: May 14, 2017].

Wild, J. J., & Wild, K.L. (2015). International business: The challenges of globalization (8th ed.). Don Mills, Ontario: Pearson Education.

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