What are the dimensions of culture described by Hofstede? What are the managerial implications of these dimensions? How do they compare to the findings of Trompenaars and the GLOBE project team?

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pnrjulius eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I've made a table briefly summarizing Hofstede's five original dimensions, one of which is sometimes called "Long-Term Orientation" and other times called "Pragmatism" (and they may not actually be quite the same thing). There is also a sixth introduced by later research, called "Indulgence Versus Restraint". My table provides a brief summary of the characteristics of cultures with high and low levels of each dimension, as well as applications to management in that culture and an example of a culture that exemplifies each extreme.

Hofstede's basic framework has held up remarkably well as a paradigm for cultural research, though later findings have challenged some of his initial ideas.

Aside from some name changes ("Masculinity" to "Gender Egalitarianism"), GLOBE's main change was to separate out "Individualism" into "Institutional Collectivism" versus "In-Group Collectivism", and add "Assertiveness", "Performance Orientation" and "Humane Orientation".

Trompenaars made more substantial changes, keeping "Individualism Versus Collectivism", but reshaping the other dimensions into "Universalism Versus Particularism" (similar to "Institutional Collectivism"), "Neutral Versus Affective" (which captures some aspects of both "Uncertainty Avoidance", "Masculinity", and "Long-Term Orientation"), "Specific Versus Diffuse" (which captures some aspects of "Indulgence Versus Restraint", but also "Long-Term Orientation"), and "Achievement Versus Prescription" (which actually takes on some of what was previously under "Individualism").

Trompenaars and GLOBE looked at managers, while Hofstede looked at employees. All three research programs aggregated to the level of countries, ignoring differences in region or individual personality.

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