Hofstede's Model Analysis

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Hofstede‘s model Geert Hofstede is a social science researcher and Professor of Organizational Anthropology and International Management in The Netherlands. He developed a sophisticated framework for cross-cultural communication, relating individual’s behavior to cultural values and norms depending on their home country (Geert-hofstede.com, 2014). His findings are based on quantitative results from two large scale surveys conducted with IBM employees in sales and marketing in 1963 and 1973. To substantiate his conclusions, Hofstede conducted several other cross-national studies to confirm and enhance his framework. “A total of some 90 significant and independent correlations” have been found and published in his 1980 book (p. 1358, Hofstede 2002). His model is widely used in management disciplines and training programs around the globe. He claims to have achieved a true paradigm shift in social science. Hofstede measured and compared country scores on initially four, later five cultural dimensions. According to these dimensions: power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism vs. collectivism, masculinity vs. femininity, long-term vs. short-term orientation, countries can hierarchically be ordered on compared (Geert-hofstede.com, 2014). Hofstede conceptualizes national culture with several distinctive attributes. Culture to him is territorially unique and nationally shared according to a national tendencies deducted from the survey results. Also, national culture to him is implicit, core, systematically, enduring, meaning it does not change over time, and determinate. Hofstede regards characteristics as identifiable and consequences as predictable (McSweeney 2002). Lastly, he looks at culture “as ‘mental programming’, as ‘s... ... middle of paper ... ...nts. Criticism on the validity and replicability remain unanswered and McSweeney concludes his position with a statement of “failure of scholarship”. He thus condemns Hofstede’s research and does not grant him reliability as a researcher in general for his “extreme, singular, theories” (p. 1370, McSweeney, 2002a). He insists that Hofstede’s findings and assumptions are too flawed to have produced valid and reliable results. Points of consent and disagreement As the proceeding analysis and summary shows, McSweeney and Hofstede hardly agree on any point. Both researches have a very different stance towards research, especially in social science. With Hofstede being a little more open towards flaws, as long as the big picture makes sense and adds value to social science research. McSweeney on the other hand is very strict about research methodology and assumptions.
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