When your company engages in global marketing, your promotional efforts have to appeal to consumers in different cultures. Geert Hofstede collected cultural data starting in the s and by had established six cultural dimensions that define national value systems and the attitudes of individual consumers in those countries. For your marketing to be effective, you have to customize your marketing approach to take these attitudes into account.
Emphasis on reciprocation of gifts, favors, and greetings; Negative association with economic growth. Restraint The dimension of indulgence vs. A society that practices indulgence makes room for the comparatively free gratification of natural and basic human drives pertaining to indulging in fun and enjoying life.
The quality of restraint describes a society that holds back need gratification and tries to control it through stringent social norms. Arab, African, Asian and Latin countries have a higher score with regards to power distance index while Germanic and Anglo countries possess a lower score.
For instance, Guatemala has a score of 95 while Israel scores 13 with a very low power distance, whereas the United States stands somewhere in between with a score of So far as the individualism index is concerned, a substantial gap exists between Eastern and less developed countries on one hand and Western and developed countries on the other.
While Europe and North America are highly individualistic, Latin America, Africa, and Asia score very low on the individualism index with strong collectivist values. Highest uncertainty avoidance scores are possessed by Latin American countries, Japan as well as Eastern and Southern Europe.
The score is lower for Chinese, Nordic, and Anglo culture countries. For instance, Germany has a higher uncertainty avoidance index with a score of 65, compared to Sweden, which scores only Nordic countries exhibit low masculinity, with Sweden and Norway scoring 5 and 8 respectively.
Again, Anglo countries, Japan, and European countries such as Switzerland, Austria and Hungary have high masculinity scores. However, often there is a failure to manage the project effectively due to existing cultural differences between local communities and foreign engineers. This case study of one such project in Eastern Ghanasupervised by a British engineer and project manager, explores some of the critical issues that can arise in a cross-cultural project.
The engineer expected the community to express their opinions regarding the sanitation and water project, including the procedure of the project, the design or any other facet that the community wanted to discuss. It was also noticed during the project that if individuals ever voiced their opinions, they preferred not to express opinions that conflicted with what others had expressed.
For instance, on a particular occasion, the engineer asked the opinions of two women in a family. After the first shared her opinion, the second woman, who was younger, was asked to share hers, but she refused to do so.
Instead, she said that her mother the other womanhad already spoken. In another case, the engineer approached a woman, who had some problems in walking, for her opinion. In the village, she happened to be the only lady with this problem, so her opinion was sought in order to customize the design for water collection and sanitation systems accordingly.
However, this lady was reluctant to voice any opinion regarding this, as she felt that her own well-being was not so much significant considering the entire group. However, when the other women of the community were asked, one suggested a flat design so that the lady with the walking problem could collect her water easily.
At the start of the project, the engineer could more or less comfortably organize the work schedule and ensure good progress.
Many members of the community lent helping hands. However, when the project was drawing to an end, the chief showed a temporary loss of interest due to two reasons. First, his mother had died and he was arranging for the funeral.
Second, he had an affair with a girl in a neighboring village and was more inclined to meet her than perform his duties. When the community members started returning to work, they seemed lethargic, and the engineer found it very difficult to complete the project within the stipulated deadline.
Explanation of the issues based on Hofstede dimensions: The community is from a culture that exhibits high power distance index, wherein subordinates are accustomed to abide by what their seniors tell them to do rather than following more democratic ways.
On the contrary, the engineer came from a culture where the power distance index is low, with flatter power structures, wherein the authority and subordinates worked on more or less equal terms. The community is more collectively oriented, whereas the engineer belonged to a culture that is more individualistic.4 How would you evaluate yourself on each of Hofstedes dimensions 5 Assume you from ACCOUNTING at University of Indonesia.
Using Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions as a starting point, you can evaluate your approach, your decisions, and actions based on a general sense of how the society might think and react to you.
Of course, no society is homogenous and there will be deviations from the norms Hofstede found, however, with this as your guide you won't be going in blind. Understanding Cultures & People with Hofstede Dimensions September 4, Understanding Cultures & People with Hofstede Dimensions; Pin Share Pocket.
Share. Shares. The theory of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions constitutes a framework revolving around cross-cultural communication, which was devised by Geert Hofstede. According to Hofstede, his five dimensions of national cultures, which are based on values, are not suitable for comparing organizations within the same country (Hofstede, ).
Hofstede considered these two different fields of study, with national cultures belonging to anthropology and organizational cultures to sociology (Hofstede, ). The Hofstede model of national culture consists of six dimensions.
The cultural dimensions represent independent preferences for one state of affairs over another that distinguish countries (rather than individuals) from each other.
Why you should never use Hofstede to assess cultural differences. Published on June 16, Each of us have many different identities. If you use Hofstede's dimensions you end of with isolated.