Culture in the Work Place

Topics: Geert Hofstede, Sociology, Individualism Pages: 2 (306 words) Published: June 3, 2013
Hill_chapter_3 Culture and the Workplace

Hofstede's Model

Probably the most famous study of how culture relates to values in the workplace was undertaken by Hofstede. As part of his job as a psychologist working for IBM, Hofstede collected data on employee attitudes and values for over 100,000 individuals. This data enabled him to compare dimensions of culture across 40 countries. Hofstede isolated four dimensions that he claimed summarized different cultures--power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism versus collectivism, and masculinity versus femininity.

Hofstede's power distance dimension focused on how a society deals with the fact that people are unequal in physical and intellectual capabilities.

The individualism versus collectivism dimension focused on the relationship between the individual and his or her fellows.

Hofstede's uncertainty avoidance dimension measured the extent to which different cultures socialized their members into accepting ambiguous situations and tolerating uncertainty.

Hofstede's masculinity versus femininity dimension looked at the relationship between gender and work roles.

Hofstede created an index score for each of these four dimensions that ranged from 0 to 100. He averaged the score for all employees from a given country. This data tell us that Western nations such as the United States, Canada, and Britain score high on the individualism scale and low on the power distance scale. At the other extreme are a group of Latin American and Asian countries that emphasize collectivism over individualism and score high on the power distance scale. Japan is a country with a culture of strong uncertainty avoidance and high masculinity. Sweden and Denmark stand out as countries that have both low uncertainty avoidance and low masculinity (high emphasis on "feminine" values).

So, Hofstede studied how culture relates to values in the workplace. Howstede isolated four dimensions that he claimed summarized...
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