Is the Legacy of Greet Hosftede’s Work on Cross-Cultural Management Still Relevant to Managers in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry?

Topics: Hotel, Hilton Hotels, Hilton Hotels Corporation Pages: 11 (3001 words) Published: January 2, 2013


Is the legacy of Greet Hosftede’s work on Cross-Cultural Management still relevant to managers in the Hospitality and Tourism industry?1


Critical Analysis of Cultural Management in the Global Hospitality sector :3

Relevance of Greet Hosftede’s “four dimension” theory in the hospitality sector:5

Illustration: Business Performance Management of Hilton hotels Corp7



Is the legacy of Greet Hosftede’s work on Cross-Cultural Management still relevant to managers in the Hospitality and Tourism industry?


Around two millennia ago, Aristotle concluded that the disparity he observed in cultures of people inhabiting in warm climates, whom he portrayed as intellectual but not very daring as contrasting to population of cold climates, whom he graded as courageous but not so clever. From then till now, more thorough study by different researchers has led to the evolution of varied theories and models in context to the differences in the cultures. This disparity can be observed or may go unnoticed in nationwide cultures, folk’s cultures, corporation cultures, and functional cultures (i.e. sales/finance/marketing). In these constantly expanding global surroundings these differences need to be dealt with in order to succeed, particularly for the multinational organizations that employ people from around the globe fir their international operations.

A glimpse of different theories on Cross Cultural Management

a) Hofstede and his "five dimensions" theory: Hofstede had attempted to evaluate how staff in diverse national contexts reacted at the following four theoretical dimensions:

• Power Distance
• Uncertainty Avoidance
• Individualism vs. Collectivism
• Masculinity vs. Femininity
• Time Orientation

The conclusion of his analysis is that the staff in the similar country wide context has alike approach towards these four dimensions. Dissimilarities only arise between dissimilar national contexts (Fleming & Soborg, 2009).

b) High Context versus Low context cultures theory (Edward T. Hall): The universal terms "high context" and "low context”, initially made popular by the legendry Edward T. Hall are used to elaborate the larger picture of cultural differences between societies.

“High context” talks about societies in which people have personal and closer knit relations for a long period of time. Many characteristics of cultural actions are clarified because most members are aware about the intentions and expectations from each other because of enough familiarity. The immediate family could be one significant instance of a high context environment.

On the contrary, “Low context” talks about societies in which people tend to have many links that may be for a particular cause or purpose and may not last very long. Differing from “High Context” talks, in these societies, it is required to be explicit in detail about one’s intentions or expectations because there is a lot of ambiguity about the other person’s behavior and intention. Moreover the link has been established for a particular cause. (Beer, 2009)

c) Fons Trompenaars model of seven dimensions: Along with Charles Hampden-Turner, Fons Trompenaars created a model of disparity in national cultures. This model comprises seven dimensions, which are expected to throw light on how people in varied cultures of different countries interact with each other. The seven dimensions are mentioned herewith:

• Universalism vs. particularism (What is most important - rules or relationships?) • Individualism vs. collectivism (Do we function in a group or as individuals?) • Neutral vs. emotional (Do we display our emotions, or do we hide them?) • Specific vs. diffuse (Do we handle...

References: • Baum, T., Dutton, E., Karimi, S., Kokkranikal, J., Devine, F., & Hearns, N. (2007). Cultural diversity in hospitality work. Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, 14 (3), 229 - 239.
• Beer, J. (2009). Culture at work. Retrieved from
• Chen, Y. C., Wang, W. C., & Chu, Y. C. (2011). A Case Study on the Business Performance Management of Hilton Hotels Corp. International Business Research, 4.
• Fleming, D., & Soborg, H. (2009). ITIM International. Retrieved from
• Gamio, M., & Sneed, J. (1992). Cross-Cultural Training Practices and Needs in the Hotel Industry. Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, 15, 13-26.
• Gong, Y. (2008). Managing Cultural Diversity in Hospitality Industry. UNLV Thesis,Dissertations,professional papers, capstones .
• Hiltonworldwide. (2010). Hilton Worldwide Signs Its Largest Multiple Hotel Management Project in China with Leading Real Estate Company, Shimao Group.
• Mallinson, H., & Weiler, B. (2000). Cross-cultural Awareness of Hospitality Staff: An Evaluation of a Pilot Training Program. Australian Journal of Hospitality Management.
• Mohsin, A. (2006). Cross Cultural Sensitivity in Hospitality: A Matter of conflict or Understanding.
• Trompenaars, F., & Charles Hampden-Turner, C. (2009). What are Fons Trompenaars ' Cultural Dimensions? Retrieved from
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