Cultural Profile; Hofstede's 5 Dimensions

Topics: Culture, Cross-cultural communication, Geert Hofstede Pages: 6 (2020 words) Published: February 27, 2013
One of the main influences that shapes people's traits is culture. Culture can be seen as unwritten rules of how we do particular things different from one human group to another and therefore culture separates groups of people (Geert Hofstede). This applies to all kind of groups, such as national, but also organizational. In this assignment I will investigate to what extent the results of my personal cultural profile match the profile of my domestic culture (Dutch) using the 5 dimensions model (Hofstede, Hofstede and Minkov, 2010). Next to that I will discuss if the results of my cultural profile present me well, according to my opinion. After graduating, I would like to work in Spain, for a Spanish company, therefore I will also be using this assignment to investigate how my cultural profile matches the Spanish one. Characterizations of organizations are reflected in organizational processes, thus culture can also be seen in organizational processes. This is important for when I start working as a manager in Spain, because a different culture causes different policies and procedures, systems, planning and control, communication and decision-making processes (Schneider and Barsoux, 2003). The 5 dimensions will help me to find these differences between my own culture and the Spanish culture. My cultural profile

When a business is operating in one than more country, the fundamental management tasks, such as planning and organizing, are the same for each country. However, managers will experience much more difficulties when performing management on an international scale, due to differences in the economic, political and sociocultural environment between countries (Daft, Kendrick and Vershinina, 2010). Concerning the sociocultural environment, each nation has different "shared knowledge, beliefs, values, as well as the common modes of behaviour and ways of thinking among members of a society" (Daft et al., 2010, p. 137). A manager deals with people and in order to be successful internationally, a manager should realize that people come with a different background, provided by their culture (Hofstede, 1994). Many definitions of culture have appeared, however one of the most used definitions is the one developed by the cross-cultural expert, Geert Hofstede, who defines it as “the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one category of people from another” (Hofstede, 1994, p. 1). To get a handle on local cultures a manager has to understand the differences in social values. This can be done by using the five dimensions of national value systems that influence organizational and employee working relationships (Daft et al., 2012).

Power distance “indicates the extent to which a society accepts the unequal distribution of power in institutions and organizations" (Schneider and Barsoux, 2003, p. 87). According to my cultural profile I score relatively high on this dimension (see figure 1), which would mean that I prefer to work in organizations where there are many levels of hierarchy and a high proportion of supervisory personnel and where the process of decision-making is centralized. Also a good relationship with my supervisor would be very important and I'm sfraid to express any disagreement with him. This is not in line with the Dutch culture, because the power distance is a lot lower in Dutch organizations and although the Spanish culture has a higher score on this dimension, it is still a lot lower than the score of my cultural profile (see figure 2). Spanish organizations are hierarchical and there is more respect for each other than in Dutch ones, for example, critique about ones manager is not tolerated and you don't start a discussion with your manager. So when working there as a manager I should be conscious of the fact that my employees don't provide me with negative feedback and search for little signals in order to discover the real problems. In my opinion my real...
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