Hofstede's Five Dimensions

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Geert Hofstede was born in 1928 in the Netherlands. He had an interesting life pretty much filled with cultural shocks. Around his twentieth birthday, he decided to leave his native Netherlands and go to explore other places in the world. He went to do an internship as an assistant ship’s engineer in Indonesia; this was his first time out of the country and it proved to be his first cultural shock. Being immersed in a completely different culture, he was keen to observe and compare the cultural differences between the Netherlands and his new host country. Following his work experience in Indonesia, he followed his heart – a girl – to England, where he experienced his second cultural shock. This greatly influenced his career path, and led…show more content…
He found that negotiating with the Chinese as a race was frustrating, as their long-term vision hindered them from making rapid decisions within an urgent timeline. Many criticisms have been voiced about Hofstede’s “Five Cultural Dimensions”, many “irritated, condescending, or ridiculing reviews (e.g. Cooper, 1982; Roberts & Boyacigiller, 1984)”. These comments were not the only, or the harshest, of the reviews Hofstede received – his most frequent and negative critique is Brendan McSweeney, PhD, and his most serious and noteworthy critique is Nigel Holden. Professor B. McSweeny criticises the fact that Hofstede’s work relies on fundamentally flawed assumptions. One of Hofstede’s assumptions for example is: “every micro-location is typical of the national”. This assumption is built on the hypothesis that there is a “uniform national culture”, based on findings gleaned from a group of people working at IBM. McSweeney puts this assumption in doubt, claiming that this does not reflect a proper representation of the supposed “national uniformity”. McSweeney pertains that Hofstede’s surveys cannot be used to measure culture, because they are unsuitable and fundamentally flawed. He says that we would need a “leap of faith” to believe that Hofstede actually identified the cultures he studied. Hofstede based his research on nations as units of analysis, which was not the most appropriate in
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