- Term Papers, Book Reports, Research Papers and College Essays

Dimensions of National Culture by Hofstede’s

Essay by   •  February 16, 2019  •  Course Note  •  1,500 Words (6 Pages)  •  89 Views

Essay Preview: Dimensions of National Culture by Hofstede’s

Report this essay
Page 1 of 6


Hofstede's cultural dimensions theory is a framework for cross-cultural communication, developed by Geert Hofstede. It describes the effects of a society's culture on the values of its members, and how these values relate to behavior, using a structure derived from factor analysis.


Power Distance is the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions (like the family) accept and expect that power is distributed unequally. This dimension is thought to date from the advent of agriculture, and with it, of large-scale societies. Until that time, a person would know their group members and leaders personally. This is not possible where tens of thousands and more have to coordinate their lives. Without acceptance of leadership by powerful entities, none of today's societies could run.


Individualism is the extent to which people feel independent, as opposed to being interdependent as members of larger wholes. Individualism does not mean egoism. It means that individual choices and decisions are expected. Collectivism does not mean closeness. It means that one "knows one's place" in life, which is determined socially. With a metaphor from physics, people in an individualistic society are more like atoms flying around in a gas while those in collectivist societies are more like atoms fixed in a crystal.


Masculinity is the extent to which the use of force in endorsed socially. In a masculine society, men are supposed to be tough. Men are supposed to be from Mars, women from Venus. Winning is important for both genders. Quantity is important and big is beautiful. In a feminine society, the genders are emotionally closer. Competing is not so openly endorsed, and there is sympathy for the underdog. This is NOT about individuals, but about expected emotional gender roles. Masculine societies are much more openly gendered than feminine societies. The Masculinity side of this dimension represents a preference in society for achievement, heroism, assertiveness, and material rewards for success. Society at large is more competitive. Its opposite, Femininity, stands for a preference for cooperation, modesty, caring for the weak and quality of life. Society at large is more consensus-oriented.


Uncertainty avoidance deals with a society’s tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity. Uncertainty avoidance has nothing to do with risk avoidance, nor with following rules. It has to do with anxiety and distrust in the face of the unknown, and conversely, with a wish to have fixed habits and rituals, and to know the truth. 


Every society has to maintain some links with its own past while dealing with the challenges of the present and the future. Societies prioritize these two existential goals differently. Long-term orientation deals with change. In a long-time-oriented culture, the basic notion about the world is that it is in flux, and preparing for the future is always needed. In a short-time-oriented culture, the world is essentially as it was created, so that the past provides a moral compass, and adhering to it is morally good. Societies who score low on this dimension, for example, prefer to maintain time- honored traditions and norms while viewing societal change with suspicion.


Indulgence is about the good things in life. In an indulgent culture it is good to be free. Doing what your impulses want you to do, is good. Friends are important and life makes sense. Indulgence stands for a society that allows relatively free gratification of basic and natural human drives related to enjoying life and having fun. Restraint stands for a society that suppresses gratification of needs and regulates it by means of strict social norms. In a restrained culture, the feeling is that life is hard, and duty, not freedom, is the normal state of being.


If we explore the Bangladesh and Finland culture through the lens of the 6-D Model by Hofstede’s then we can get a good overview of the deep drivers of its culture relative to other world cultures.

[pic 1]


Finland- Finland scores low on this dimension (score of 33) which means that the following characterises the Finnish style: Being independent, hierarchy for convenience only, equal rights, superiors accessible, coaching leader, management facilitates and empowers. Power is decentralized and managers count on the experience of their team members. Employees expect to be consulted. Control is disliked and attitude towards managers are informal and on first name basis. Communication is direct and participative.

Bangladesh- Bangladesh scores high on this dimension (score of 80) which means that people accept a hierarchical order in which everybody has a place and which needs no further justification. Hierarchy in an organization is seen as reflecting inherent inequalities, centralization is popular, subordinates expect to be told what to do and the ideal boss is a benevolent autocrat


Finland- Finland, with a score of 63 is an Individualist society. This means there is a high preference for a loosely-knit social framework in which individuals are expected to take care of themselves and their immediate families only. In Individualist societies offence causes guilt and a loss of self-esteem, the employer/employee relationship is a contract based on mutual advantage, hiring and promotion decisions are supposed to be based on merit only, management is the management of individuals.

Bangladesh- Bangladesh, with a score of 20 is considered a collectivistic society. This is manifest in a close long-term commitment to the member ‘group’, be that a family, extended family, or extended relationships. Loyalty in a collectivist culture is paramount, and over-rides most other societal rules and regulations. The society fosters strong relationships where everyone takes responsibility for fellow members of their group. In collectivist societies offence leads to shame and loss of face, employer/employee relationships are perceived in moral terms (like a family link), hiring and promotion decisions take account of the employee’s in-group, management is the management of groups.



Download as:   txt (9.7 Kb)   pdf (152.8 Kb)   docx (28 Kb)  
Continue for 5 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2019, 02). Dimensions of National Culture by Hofstede’s. Retrieved 02, 2019, from

"Dimensions of National Culture by Hofstede’s" 02 2019. 2019. 02 2019 <>.

"Dimensions of National Culture by Hofstede’s.", 02 2019. Web. 02 2019. <>.

"Dimensions of National Culture by Hofstede’s." 02, 2019. Accessed 02, 2019.