Cultural dimensions in business life: hofstede’s indices for latvia and lithuania 1.1 Introduction
The journal chosen, written by Mark Huettinger (2008), applies Geert Hofstede’s five cultural dimensions (power distance, individualism, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance and long-term orientation) to both the Lithuanian and Latvian cultures, from the perspective of their similarity to the cultures in Estonia and the Scandinavian countries. This research paper then uses the scores obtained from the application of Hofstede’s indices to Sweden to calibrate the Lithuanian and Latvian values to the existing Hofstede database.
The reason this journal was chosen was due to the fact that it documents the application of Hofstede’s dimensions to Latvia for the first time. This was something which the group found quite interesting. In addition to this, we were aware that there had been a lot of criticism of Hofstede’s framework and therefore we would like to critique Huettinger’s (2008) research to discover its limitations.
2.1 A Critique of Hofstede’s Framework
Although the purpose of Huettinger’s (2008) research is not to critique but to develop upon Hofstede’s framework, Huettinger (2008) recognizes that Hofstede’s study, whilst one of the most widely recognized pieces of research among scholars and practitioners in terms of identifying and measuring the dimensions of culture, is widely criticized and subject to intense debate.
On theoretical grounds, Hofstede’s framework is mainly challenged on the internal validity and labeling of the dimensions, interpretation of culture and its recent application (Chiang, 2005: Huettinger, 2008). Sweeney argues that four or five dimensions do not give sufficient information about cultural differences (Hofstede, 2002) and in this regard the dimensions are limited as they are restricted to the study of work-related values, which are not the same as national values (Sorge, 1983: Chiang, 2005: Ghemawat and Reiche, 2011). Hofstede (2002) agrees and believes that additional dimensions should continually be added to his original framework. In terms of Hofstede’s labeling of his five dimensions, there is much deliberation amongst Hofstede’s critics, many believe that, for example, the term masculinity-femininity may be perceived as being a sexist classification and Adler (1997) has suggested that this title be changed in order to avoid a misunderstanding (Chiang, 2005). Furthermore, Westwood and Everett (1987) suggest that power distance may be observed as a poor indication of inequality (Chiang, 2005).
Researchers have argued that a survey is not an appropriate instrument for accurately determining and measuring cultural disparity and furthermore Sweeney (2000) implied that Hofstede’s ‘sampling was flawed, being sparse and unevenly distributed’ (Jones 2007, p.6). For example, the differences between men and women, which vary from country to country, are a source of the greatest cultural conflict, particularly when analysing masculinity and femininity, power distance, individualism and collectivism (Orr & Hauser, 2008), however, Hofstede focused on IBM who employed mostly males at the time of the survey. Nonetheless, at the time when Hofstede delivered his framework, there was very little work on culture and Hofstede’s research was just what scholars and the marketplace required (Søndergaard, 1994).
Many researchers have critiqued and replicated Hofstede's work and applied his dimensions to various contexts, however they were unable to confirm Hofstede’s study. For example, by using Hofstede’s dimension as a foundation, Trompenaars (1993) created his own dimensions, which he believed to be superior as it could overcome the difficulties associated with Hofstede’s dimensions (Orr and Hauser, 2008). Also, more recently the Globe study conducted by House et al. (2004) identified nine dimensions of national culture that are based on Hofstede’s original framework (Brewer &...
References: Main Journal:
Huettinger, M (2008) Cultural dimensions in business life: Hofstede’s indices for Latvia and Lithuania, Baltic Journal of Management, 3 (3), 359-76
Jones, M.L. (2007) Hofstede - Culturally questionable? [Online] available: http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1389&context=commpapers [accessed 15th November 2012]
Kolman, L., Noorderhaven, N.G., Hofstede, G
Najera, M. (2008) Managing Mexican Workers: Implications of Hofstede 's Cultural Dimensions, Journal of International Business Research, 7 (2) 107-26. Available Emerald Insight [Accessed 14th November 2012]
Søndergaard, M. (1994) Hofstede 's consequences: A study of reviews, citations and replications, 15 (3) 447-56. Available Business Source Complete [Accessed 13th November 2012]
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