Cultural Differences Are Nuisance At Best And Often A Disaster

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INTRODUCTION GLOBAL DIMENSIONS OF CULTURE "Culture is more often a source of conflict than of synergy. Cultural differences are nuisance at best and often a disaster." - Dr. Geert Hofstede Dr. Hofstede performed a comprehensive study of how values in the workplace are influenced by culture. In the 1970’s, as a Dutch researcher Dr. Geert Hofstede, collected and analyzed data from 116,000 surveys taken from IBM employees in forty different countries around the world. From those results, Hofstede developed a model that identifies four primary dimensions of differentiate cultures. These include: Uncertainty Avoidance (UA), Masculinity-Femininity (MAS), Individualism-Collectivism (IND), Power and Distance (PD). After a further study of the Asian culture by researcher Michael Bond in 1991, Hofstede added a fifth dimension in his theory, Long- and Short-term time orientation (LTO), also referred to as the Confucian Dynamism. His research has framed how cultural differences can be used in professional business transactions. Geert Hofstede 's dimensions analysis can assist the business person in better understanding the intercultural differences within regions and between countries. Cultural differences between countries have strong effects on individual personality and behavior, as well as on organizational culture (Hofstede 2001). These differences can be a significant barrier for an international business leader. Failure to understand and adapt to these differences may
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