Management Hofstedes Cultural Dimensions
by
William Newburry
  • LAST REVIEWED: 18 October 2016
  • LAST MODIFIED: 28 January 2013
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199846740-0069

Introduction

Geert Hofstede’s seminal 1980 book, Culture’s Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values, along with its 2001 reissue and expansion and related journal articles, is without question the most influential work on culture in the field of international management. The two versions of the book alone have been cited over 9,000 times in the Web of Science Database and over 33,000 times by Google Scholar. Related articles and books that reiterate and expand upon his original exposition of his four cultural dimensions have been cited thousands of times more. While his work is not without criticism, as will be noted later in this bibliography, it has nonetheless stood the test of time, and Google Scholar citation patterns suggest that Hofstede’s collective work has been cited as many times between 2007 and 2012 as it has since its original publication. Hofstede defined culture as “the collective programming of the mind that distinguishes members of one group from another” (Hofstede 2001, cited under National Culture; p. 1). Researchers have modeled national culture assuming that societies vary along specific cultural dimensions. While there are many cultural frameworks, some of which will be summarized in a subsequent section, Hofstede’s original four cultural dimensions—Power Distance, Individualism versus Collectivism, Masculinity versus Femininity, and Uncertainty Avoidance—remain among the most used. A fifth cultural dimension, Long-Term Orientation, was added later, based on subsequent research in China with Michael Harris Bond.

National Culture

Geert Hofstede has produced a prolific amount of work in the area of national culture. Listed below are a few of his major books and articles on the subject of national culture. Hofstede 1980a, the original edition of Culture’s Consequences, presents the results of Hofstede’s original study. Hofstede 2001, the book’s second edition, is a substantial revision and extension of his original work. Hofstede 1980b, in Organizational Dynamics, was the first journal article to present his cultural framework and, as such, is one of his most-cited articles. Hofstede 1983, an overview of his cultural research, was recognized with the Journal of International Business Studies Decade Award. Hofstede 1993 is notable for bringing the cultural limits of management theories to a broad audience, and Hofstede 1994 reiterates and extends the ideas within Hofstede 1993. Hofstede and Bond 1984 is noteworthy in its ability to replicate the original Hofstede national cultural dimensions within a student sample from nine Asian countries.

  • Hofstede, Geert. Culture’s Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values. Cross-Cultural Research and Methodology 5. Beverly Hills CA: SAGE, 1980a.

    E-mail Citation »

    This is Hofstede’s original seminal work, which presents the results of his original study that develops his four-dimension framework for examining national culture: power distance, individualism versus collectivism, masculinity versus femininity, and uncertainty avoidance.

  • Hofstede, Geert. “Motivation, Leadership, and Organization: Do American Theories Apply Abroad?” Organizational Dynamics 9.1 (1980b): 42–63.

    DOI: 10.1016/0090-2616(80)90013-3E-mail Citation »

    Published around the same time as his seminal book, this is the first journal article to present and describe Hofstede’s four original dimensions of national culture. Available online by subscription.

  • Hofstede, Geert. “The Cultural Relativity of Organizational Practices and Theories.” Journal of International Business Studies 14.2 (Autumn 1983): 75–89.

    DOI: 10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8490867E-mail Citation »

    This article was the winner of the Journal of International Business Studies Decade Award, which recognizes the article, from each year, that has had the greatest influence in the following decade. Available online by subscription.

  • Hofstede, Geert. “Cultural Constraints in Management Theories.” Academy of Management Executive 7.1 (February 1993): 81–94.

    E-mail Citation »

    This article discusses how management theories are commonly written from a US (or Western) perspective, and how many such theories would differ if cultural differences between countries were considered. It also contains a good summary of Hofstede’s original four cultural dimensions in addition to the added dimension of long-term orientation. It is one of Hofstede’s most-cited articles and is available online by subscription.

  • Hofstede, Geert. “Management Scientists Are Human.” Management Science 40.1 (January 1994): 4–13.

    DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.40.1.4E-mail Citation »

    This frequently cited article describes how the national culture of a country influences the management process within organizations operating in the national environment, ultimately influencing the management scientists who theorize about these organizations. Hofstede’s national cultural dimensions affect a society’s implicit models regarding what organizing means, as well as affecting scholars’ research questions and theories. Available online by subscription.

  • Hofstede, Geert. Culture’s Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions, and Organizations across Nations. 2d ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2001.

    E-mail Citation »

    This is the revised second edition of Hofstede’s original seminal work on national culture. It presents substantial new material reviewing studies using the original four cultural dimensions, while also adding the dimension of long-term orientation.

  • Hofstede, Geert, and Michael H. Bond. “Hofstede’s Culture Dimensions: An Independent Validation Using Rokeach’s Value Survey.” Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 15.4 (December 1984): 417–433.

    DOI: 10.1177/0022002184015004003E-mail Citation »

    This article correlated data collected within a prior study (“Human Values in Nine Countries,” by S. H. Ng, A. B. M. Akhatar, P. Ball, et al., in Diversity and Unity in Cross-Cultural Psychology, edited by R. Rath, H. S. Asthara, D. Sinha, and J. B. H. Sinha [Lisse, The Netherlands: Swets and Zeitlinger, 1982], pp. 196–205), among students in nine Asian and Pacific countries, to Hofstede’s original data and found that each of Hofstede’s dimensions can be found with the five factors identified by Ng and colleagues’ data. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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