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Culture and management

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  1. Hofstede's contribution
  2. The Trompenaars' contribution
  3. The Value Orientations Method from Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck
  4. Hall's High-context and Low-Context Cultural framework

Hofstede?s contribution concerning "Culture differences" is so important that his main theories must be presented in this essay. Geert Hofstede?s work resulted from a large scale research program (through questionnaires) involving 160 000 employees from the IBM Corporation in 40 countries. The author identified four dimensions of culture (linked to national cultural difference): power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism and masculinity. He also used indexes to measure the different levels in each dimension and studied cultural differences at different levels: general norm, family, school, and workplace. I will focus my essay on the workplace level, which is the most important one for future managers. Power distance: it is "the extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and organizations within a country expect and accept that power is distributed unequally" . The PDI (Power Distance Index) allows measuring this degree and permits to compare several countries.

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