Influence of National Cultures on Personality in the Light of Hofstede's Theory of Cultural Dimensions and Implications in Business Settings

Topics: Geert Hofstede, Cross-cultural communication, Big Five personality traits Pages: 3 (1049 words) Published: February 6, 2012
Oskar and Jack Yufe, born in 1934 in Trinidad and parted at six months old, were raised in different countries and cultures by their separated parents. Their father was Jewish, their mother German Catholic. Jack, a white Jew, was brought up by his father among blacks in Trinidad and later became an officer in the Israeli Navy. Oskar was raised Catholic by his mother and grandmother in Switzerland, heavily influenced by the Nazi regime. Meeting for the first time at twenty-one, they found each other’s political and religious views intolerable. Brought back together again in 1970s by Professor Bouchard of the University of Minnesota, the two are still struggling with the ideological and ethnic circumstances that have defined their personalities. In another study on two monozygotic twins of Korean origin separated at birth co-authored by Nancy Segal of California State University and University of Minnesota, in which one of the twins was raised in South Korea by her own parents and the other in U.S. by an adoptive family, the twins scored similarly on general IQ, psychoticism and lie scales, but differently on extraversion and neuroticism scales. According to Dr. Segal, while hardwired physical and physiological characteristics such as height, weight and eye color are influenced about 90 percent by genes, personality traits, social attitudes and political tendencies are shaped fairly equally by genes and environment. As children, we usually accept our family environment and our neighborhood sub-culture as the norm. Thus, a product of both heredity and environment, an individual’s personality also depends upon circumstances in which it developed. Each culture has its own distinctive way of conduct and largely affects the shaping of personality. For instance, Americans are found high in independence and individualism while Indians are found to be more interdependent and collectivist. From this perspective, Geert Hofstede’s Theory of Cultural Dimensions (whose five...
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