Relevance of Hofstade's Dimensions in Relation to Intercultural Communication

Topics: Geert Hofstede, Cross-cultural communication, Fons Trompenaars Pages: 5 (1816 words) Published: December 16, 2012

Discussion about the relevance of Hofstede’s dimensions in relation to analyzing intercultural communication

Albert Carbó Benavent
Nils Simon Andre Gonzales
1. Introduction
2. The main part: your analysis.
2.1- Power distance
2.2- Individualism vs. collectivism
2.3- Masculinity vs. Femininity
2.4- Uncertainty avoidance
2.5- Long vs. short term
3. Conclusion
4. List of references

Nowadays, depending in which part of society you belong to, you will accept more one or another type of way to communicate. Hofstade has separated intercultural communication in five different types of dimensions: power distance, individualism-collectivism, masculinity vs. femininity, uncertainty avoidance and long term-short term. Each and every culture is different, that’s why each of these dimensions fit more within one country or another. That’s why, with this assignment, what we want to know is, if Dr. Hofstade is correct by separating the ways of communicate in nowadays society in five different dimensions, or could we avoid or add any new type that would fit in more properly? To get to know that, we will have to analyze his dimensions within intercultural communication, and in our case, we will focus on the relevance of these 5 types of dimensions in intercultural communication in Spain towards the rest of the world. 2- The main part: our analysis

2.1- Power distance (Albert Carbó Benavent)
The power distance measures the extent to which members of a society accept the unequal distribution of power. It is the degree of closeness or separation between managers and employees in the decision-making processes and governance. Traditionally it is believed that legitimately administrators have the right to exercise power and decision making. The cultures with a lot of power distance accept the inequalities of power and status as natural. Those individuals who possess power tend to keep and defend it. The level of sharing of power is low and usually separated as maximum as possible for those individuals who don’t possess. A culture, which has low power distance, perceives social inequalities as unfair and artificial. Those who have power and authority tend to hide it, minimizing the differences between themselves and their subordinates. In the case of Spain, a high power distance is accepted, mostly because the financial crisis has made the citizens believe in higher status individuals to change the situation of the country. On the other hand, countries such as Denmark, as a well-established country it is, its power distance is low because citizens believe that have the right to be heard and can stand out by their own. What we’ve noticed is that in most of the wealthy developed countries is that the power distance is low as individuals do not depend as much as a higher figure than in a undeveloped countries, mostly because of the existence of middle class and higher education. 2.2- Individualism vs. collectivism (Albert Carbó Benavent) This dimension refers to the degree to which a society values personal success, goals, autonomy and privacy over group loyalty. Individualists are less linked to social and group activities, looking more for themselves and their families. Collectivists, on the contrary, become more integrated into the group. The collective interests prevail over individual security and hierarchy. Communication and contact is deeper. There are also more collaboration and sense of belonging to the group. Thereby, in an individualism culture, an individual explains his success to his ability and poor performance to external causes, such as bad luck or situation. In collectivist countries, on the contrary, incur modesty, attributing the success to external causes and failures to personal causes. Countries in the extreme collectivism are Turkey, Greece, Portugal, African countries, China and most of South America. Extreme individualist...
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