Mcsweeney vs. Hofstede

Topics: Cross-cultural communication, Geert Hofstede, Culture Pages: 3 (954 words) Published: June 13, 2008
Geert Hofstede was born in 1928 in Netherlands. He obtained his Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering and a doctorate in Social Psychology. He is a professor Emeritus of Organizational Anthropology and International Management of the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands. Geert Hofstede is well known for providing a theoretical framework that attempts to analyze the relationships between organizational actions and cultural beliefs. In 1965, he worked at IBM as a trainer in the international Executive Development Department. It was there at IBM he conducted his research. He collected information and analyzed data from over 100,000 individuals from forty different countries. From the results, Hofstede developed a model that identifies four primary dimensions to differentiate cultures. Geert Hofstede added a fifth dimension after conducting an additional international study with a survey instrument developed with Chinese employees and managers. Brendan McSweeney is one of the many that argued against Hofstede’s findings. McSweeney is a full professor and the Director of research at the department of accounting, finance and management at the University of Essex, England. McSweeney insisted that Hofstede’s findings were all assumptions and that these assumptions are all flawed and therefore makes his national cultural descriptions invalid and false. In my opinion, you can’t base culture and behavioral attributes on findings from just one company, over 100,000 people and forty different countries compared to the billions of people in the world. The fact that one person acts a certain way under certain circumstances does not mean that others from the same country act the same way. I agree with Brendan McSweeney.

Although Geert Hofstede’s model of Cultural Dimension can be of great use when it comes to general analyzing of a country’s culture, there are a few things one has to keep in mind. First would be that the average of a country does not relate to the...
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