Intercultural Communications

Topics: Cross-cultural communication, Geert Hofstede, Dimension Pages: 7 (1327 words) Published: August 23, 2014

International and Intercultural Communication
International and Intercultural Communication
July 27, 2014

International and Intercultural Communication
International and Intercultural Communications have been of great interest to the Hofstede Centre for many years. In fact Geert Hofstede’s dimensions of culture have been the most widely disseminated of all theories. Hofstede’s five cultural dimensions are, “1) Power Distance, 2) Individualism or Collectivism, 3) Masculinity-Femininity, 4) Uncertainty Avoidance, and 5) Short or Long Term Orientation.” (Donald Baack, 2012, Chapter 2.4). “Professor Geert Hofstede conducted one of the most comprehensive studies of how values in the workplace are influenced by culture. He analyzed a large database of employee value scores collected within IBM between 1967 and 1973. The data covered more than 70 countries, from which Hofstede first used the 40 countries with the largest groups of respondents and afterwards extended the analysis to 50 countries and 3 regions.” (The Hofstede Center, n.d.). In the next few pages I will compare the similarities and differences in scores between the countries of Croatia and Slovenia in relation to Hofstede’s five cultural dimensions as well as provide a scenario involving two organizations, one located in each country and their business practices relating to the different cultural perspectives. In the dimension of Power-Distance Croatia scores high with a score of 73 which means the people accept a hierarchical order in which everybody has a place and which needs no further justification. In this type of society people expect to be told what to do and this is accepted as the norm. (Hofstede Centre, n.d.). Slovenia also scored high in the dimension of Power-Distance with a score of 71. What this displays is two of the former eastern European countries, are very similar in their societal beliefs in hierarchal order and the populace was still routed in a culture where subordinates do as they are told by the boss and the boss is an autocrat in the bigger sense. In the second of the five cultural dimensions Individualism or Collectivism, Croatia scored 33 which are considered a collectivistic society. “This is manifest in a close long-term commitment to the member 'group', be that a family, extended family, or extended relationships. Loyalty in a collectivist culture is paramount, and over-rides most other societal rules and regulations. The society fosters strong relationships where everyone takes responsibility for fellow members of their group. In collectivist societies offence leads to shame and loss of face, employer/employee relationships are perceived in moral terms (like a family link); hiring and promotion decisions take account of the employee’s in-group, management is the management of groups.” (The Hofstede Centre, n.d.). Slovenia, had a score of 27 is also considered a collectivistic society just like we saw in Croatia. Once again the two bordering countries are nearly identical in their collectivist societies. Our third dimension of Masculinity-Femininity resulted in a score of 40. With this score they are considered a relatively feminine society. Feminine societies focus on the theory of work to live. In a feminine society it is also common for managers to seek consensus. Even with such a disparity in scores and Slovenia’s’ score of 19 on this dimension, they too are considered more of a feminine society. Like the culture of Croatia they work to live and the people value things like equality, solidarity and pleasure in their working lives. “Conflicts are resolved by compromise and negotiation. Incentives such as free time and flexibility are favored. Focus is on well-being, status is not shown.” (The Hofstede Centre, n.d.). The fourth dimension of Uncertainty Avoidance resulted in a score of 80 signifying a very high preference for avoiding uncertainty. As stated in the Hofstede report, “Countries...

References: Baack, D., Management Communication, 2012. Retrieved from
Mind Tools Ltd, 1996-2014. Retrieved from
The Hofstede Centre, National Cultural Dimensions, n.d. Retrieved from
The Hofstede Centre, National Cultural Dimensions, n.d. Retrieved from
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