Presentation on theme: "Hofstede -- Cultures and Organizations"— Presentation transcript:
1 Hofstede -- Cultures and Organizations Chapter 1:Levels of CulturePart B
2 Putting Hofstede in Perspective: Different Conceptions of Culture Culture as mental perceptions/worldview. . . as principles of design/refinement. . . as artifacts (human-made objects). . . as complex pattern of interlocking institutions, practices, contexts (history, economics, race, class, gender, etc.). . . as communicative practices of making meaningWhich conception is central for Hofstede?
3 Hofstede’s “values” Mental perceptions: Social psychology Unlike many intercultural business texts. . .Do’s and Taboos Around the WorldKiss, Bow, or Shake HandsHofstede focuses on internal “mental programming,” underlying cultural value dimensions that explain many differences in external behavior patterns.He identifies 5 such dimensions . . .
4 Comparing National Cultures: The Core Dimensions Power DistanceIndividualism-CollectivismUncertainty AvoidanceMasculinity and Femininity+ Confucian Dynamism (from Bond)
5 Power DistanceSubordinates’ expectations of the social distance between subordinates & superiorsHigh-PD countries:subordinates tend to be afraid of their bossesbosses tend to be paternalistic and autocratic.Low-PD countriessubordinates more likely to challenge bossesbosses tend to use a consultative management style.
6 2. Individualism-Collectivism Degree to which individual autonomy is valued over group cohesionIndividualistic cultures:people are expected to look out for themselves.Group ties are more voluntary, temporary.Collectivist cultures:strong personal and protective tiesbased on loyalty to the group during one’s lifetime and often beyond (patterned after family ties).
7 3. Masculinity-Femininity Degree to which the culture leans toward masculine values or feminine values.What do you suppose these would be?IBM study: Typically feminine values in employment:Good working relationship with supervisorsCooperative environmentLiving area desirable to themselves and familiesJob securityTypically masculine values in employment:high opportunity for earningsrecognition when doing a good job,opportunity for advancementchallenging work -- sense of accomplishment.
8 4. Uncertainty Avoidance Avoidance of uncertainty (strong to weak aversion/avoidance)Strongly UA cultures:People tend to perceive unknown situations as threatening, and so avoidWeakly UA cultures:Feel less threatened by unknown situationsMore open to innovations, risk, change, etc.
9 Long-term vs. Short-term Orientation A.k.a. Confucian Dynamism (dimension uncovered in Asian data)Two different ways of seeking well-being:Long-term orientation (saving for future):persistence and perseverance toward goals; thriftiness; a respect for hierarchy in relationshipsShort-term orientation (giving for future):preserving social stability and personal reputation; favors and gifts as investments; respect for tradition
10 Note on nature of “values” in Hofstede’s dimensions Values = the desirable in a culture’s worldview,Not the desired!What’s the difference?
11 Windows into cultural perception Where do we find cultural meanings/values (besides responses to questionnaires)?Hofstede: Symbols, Heroes, RitualsWhat else?Artifacts (physical objects, structures)Stories!!! (folktales, fables, urban legends)Context of heroes (and anti-heroes)Look at a couple tonight (a bit later)
12 Layers of culture (levels or types) within each individual What different types/layers of culture?These include:Organizational/corporateSocial class (w/ education and occupation)Generational cultureGender culture (Deborah Tannen)Regional, ethnic, religious, linguistic-groupNational
13 Many levels means complexity “The mental programs from these various levels are not necessarily in harmony. In modern society they are often partly conflicting: for example Conflicting mental programs within people make it difficult to anticipate their behavior in a new situation.” (p )
14 (Over)simplifying matters: Hofstede chooses to focus on culture at the national level as a means to help us understand/predict individuals’ behavior.Nation-states – a recent phenomenonProblems/limitations with this unit of analysisWhy did Hofstede choose national level? What arguments can support its use?
15 Assessing HofstedeAccording to John Bing (“Hofstede’s Consequences”), how influential is Hofstede’s work?What are some values/benefits of applying Hofstede to the studied of business and organizations in globalized environment?Caveats and critiques
16 Cultural Relativism? Is everything relative? “Cultural relativism does not imply normlessness for oneself, nor for one’s society.”“It does call for suspending judgment when dealing with groups or societies different from one’s own. One should think twice before applying the norms of one person, group, or society to another.” (p. 7)
17 Promoting Cultural Change? “Even after having been informed, the foreign observer is still likely to deplore certain ways of the other society.”What to do, then, in globalized economy?“In these postcolonial days, foreigners who want to change something in another society will have to negotiate their interventions. Again, negotiation is more likely to succeed when the parties concerned understand the reasons for the differences in viewpoints.” (p. 7, 1st ed.)