Professor Geert Hofstede, a well-known Dutch social psychologist, has devoted most of his life in a very comprehensive study of worldwide cultural differences and how the culture will influence the values in the workplace.
He analysed a large database of employee values scores collected by IBM, between 1967 and 1973, covering more than 70 countries, from which he first used the 40 largest only and afterwards extended the analysis to 50 countries and 3 regions. The study continues covering more and more countries and regions.
Hofstede defines culture as “the collective programming of the mind distinguishing the members of one group or category of people from others”.
He and his research fellows Gert Jan Hofstede and Michael Minkov have written some books to discuss and explain about his cultural studies, including:
- Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind, Third Edition (Business Skills and Development)
- Culture′s Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions and Organizations Across Nations
- Masculinity and Femininity: The Taboo Dimension of National Cultures (Cross Cultural Psychology)
- Cross-Cultural Analysis: The Science and Art of Comparing the World′s Modern Societies and Their Cultures
Hofstede's research team have developed the 6-dimensions model of national culture, deriving each dimension of a country by comparing many other countries in the world.
The 6 dimensions are:
- Power distance - the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions (like the family) accept and expect that power is distributed unequally.
- Individualism vs. Collectivism - which people feel independent, as opposed to being interdependent as members of larger wholes.
- Masculinity vs. Feminility - the extent to which the use of force in endorsed socially.
- Uncertainty avoidance - deals with a society’s tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity.
- Long-time orientation - deals with resistance to change.
- Indulgence - about the good things in life.
The URL of the said website is:
Interestingly, you will find out cultural differences exist among countries that are close with each others, such as Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.
In fact, cultural differences also exist among China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, which their society are all Chinese majority - supposingly should have a lot of common in culture.
And here is the comparison among India, Bangladesh and Pakistan...