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Emily Wilson

on 19 August 2014

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Geert Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions Framework
First developed in 1965 - founded personnel research department at IBM Europe
Developed four dimensions of national culture:
Uncertainty avoidance
Power distance
Masculinity vs Femininity
Individualism vs Collectivism
and later... Confucian dynamism
(long term/short term orientation)
Fons Trompenaars'
Western European business and management backgrounds.
Questionnaires found very specific differences between cultures
Developed a model built around seven core dimensions...
Origins, limitations and summary of Hofstede's Cultural Framework
Origins, limitations and summary of Trompenaar's 'Seven Dimensions of Culture' Framework
Class discussion (so listen up!)
1. Relevancy
Criticise use of a survey - not an appropriate instrument

2. Bipolarisation and Stereotypes
Assumes people of different cultures
have inherent qualities.
Reinforces a stereotyped view of other cultures
3. National divisions
Distinguishes cultures through the use of national borders.
Culture is fragmented throughout countries.
4. Political Timing and Influences
Study was conducted in the 1980s. Sensitively affected the results.
Sample data is lacking and may also be biased.
5. Too few dimensions
More research should be conducted in this area.
Additional dimensions should be added.
6. Out-dated
Data collected is too old to be of any value in modern society.
Rapidly changing global environments.
Cross-cultural outcomes were based on indoctrination
why Hofstede?
Culture is the collective programming of the mind that
distinguishes one group or category of people from another
Hofstede's framework influenced Trompenaar's seven
Trompenaars’ framework lacks the necessary academic
Hofstede’s notion that individualism sufficiently depicts
numerous elements contained within
Trompennars’ framework

Why Trompenaars?
Culture is the way in which a group of people solves problems
Learned a great deal from Hofstede
You Decide
Which culture model do you prefer and why?
Seven Core Dimensions
1. Universalism versus particularism
2. Individualism versus collectivism
3. Neutral versus emotional
4. Specific versus diffuse
5. Achievement versus ascription
6. Attitudes to time
7. Attitudes to the environment
"What distinguishes people from one culture compared with another is where [one’s] preferences fall"
Trompenaar's Limitations
Fails to recognise the influence of personal characteristics on behaviour.
Generalizes a society or culture
Forming of stereotypes
Distinguishes differences between cultures, but does not provide recommendations on how to work with specific cultures
Model will fail to work in a culture that is vastly different to European culture
Framework covers seven keys topics, however it is hard to say that the model is fully complete
Companies should acknowledge the differences between the cultures in which they operate
Full transcript