The Geert Hofstede Cultural Dimension Business Essay
This chapter is divided into two sections. The first section defines culture, its importance in international business and the various cultural dimensions for working globally. The next section describes the culture of India and U.K. and reviews the impact of culture on the working of Hilton Hotel Group in both the countries. Finally, it ends with a brief summary. CULTURE
Hofstede (2003) defines culture as “the collective programming of mind that distinguishes the members of one human group from another.” It is evident that people from diverse environment can misunderstand each other. When two people interact in an organization, culture characterizes their behavior and attitude towards others. When a company plans to start a business in abroad, employees with good communication skills and with the ability to adapt into new environment are chosen to travel and interact with people of various cultures and nationalities. (Mead, 1992) This table shows the division of world’s population according to Region, Language and Religion which are the major aspects of determining ones culture. Taylor (1870) defines culture as “that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, customs, and other capabilities acquired by man as a member of society”. Culture plays a very important role in business. All civilizations have its own cultural elements like language, religion, values, attitude, customs, education, aesthetics and social institutions. (Czinkota, 2007) Culture passes from one generation to the other, however it can vary from one group to the other. Every society has its own point of view and opinion about various situations; however, it acts as a barrier to communication. (Daniels, Lee and Sullivan, 2004)
Geert Hofstede, a much known professor carried out the study of impact of culture on individuals at a workplace. It took him six years to complete this study as it consists of interviews of more than 100,000 employees from 70 countries. According to Hofstede 2004, “the UK has 35 points in power distance, 89 in individualism, 66in masculinity, 35 in uncertainty avoidance and 25 in long term orientation”. Power Distance – According to Hofstede, 2004, “Inequality exists in every culture; however the extent to which less powerful members of the society agree to the inequality differs from one culture to the other. Power distance is related to the different solutions to the basic problem of human inequality” High power creates less communication amongst the bosses and employees whereas when the power is low, employees communicate more with their superiors for the decision making purposes. Individualism vs. collectivism- Individualism is defines as the capability of a human being to only take care of himself or his family where as collectivism describes a group of people who look after each and every member of that group. (Hofstede, 2004) These two dimensions describe the individualist or collectivist culture of a human being. Masculinity vs. Femininity - The third dimension is one of the most dominating factors of a culture. Countries where men are considered to be more strong and tough and women are considered to be more delicate and soft follow masculine culture where as countries where men and women are considered equal in terms of strength and tenderness follow feminine culture. (Hofstede, 2004) Uncertainty Avoidance - It is the level to which an individual can accept sudden changes and situations. Companies which have the tendency to admit unpredicted circumstances and dislike uncertainty have high uncertainty avoidance score culture whereas countries which take things as they come and are prepared for any change at any point of time have low uncertainty avoidance score culture. (Hofstede, 2004) Long term vs. short term orientation - The fifth dimension known as the Long term vs. short term orientation was discovered quite later...
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