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Essay on culture power distance

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Five Factors of Individual and Cultural Differences

4 Pages 1102 Words November 2014

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Geert Hofstede's five major cultural dimensions were analyzed in the context of American culture. Statistics were provided by a data set, collected by the Hofstede Centre. An essay authored by Alison Kirkness, a Senior Lecturer at the Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand, provided further explanation of each cultural dimension. Finally, I was able to explore the cultural dimensions of Puerto Rico, where my mother's family is from, with information from research completed by the Linguistic Differences vs. Learning Disabilities Project. All evidence was supported by the course text, Organizational Behavior: Human Behavior at Work (13thed) by John W. Newton. With the research I found, I was able to interpret my own experiences with different perspectives of the five major cultural dimensions and how they have influenced my own perspective.

Growing up a woman in America is a challenge in and of itself but having to combat that on top of being both Puerto Rican American and African American is a whole different struggle. Maturing into adulthood, for me, meant learning to balance the warring cultural differences in my own household, in school, and finally in the workforce. I had to learn to understand and accept diversity, which meant having to accept different individuals' cultural values of individualism / collectivism, power distance, and uncertainty avoidance, masculinity, femininity and time orientation. Although I do not agree with someone's cultural norms, I take their perspective into account and try to compromise with them; it is not a difficult task for me to work with an individual whose values and ideals are different from mine.
The United States is a very individualistic country (The Hofstede Centre). It is a nation that values civil rights and independence (Newstrom 439). The American dream is to get a college education, have a career, and be able to support oneself and one's family. This value was taught ...

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Geert Hofstede - UK Essays

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Researchers have applied Hofstede's categorization of national cultural traits not only in studies of ‘average’ employee samples, from which the categorization was originally obtained, but also to élite senior executives, and even to firms, on the assumptions that top management teams (i) are culturally homogeneous with average employees and (ii) directly reflect cultural characteristics in strategic decision-making. Such assumptions are questioned by research finding that country sub-populations are culturally heterogeneous and that individuals' cultural characteristics are moderated by organizational and task contexts.

Defining "culture"

Culture has been called "the way of life for an entire society." As such, it includes codes manners, dress, language, religion, rituals, norms of behavior and systems of belief.[2]
Various definitions of culture reflect differing theories for understanding — or criteria for evaluating — human activity

.More recently, the United Nations Economic, Social and Cultural Organization UNESCO (2002) described culture as follows:

"... Culture should be regarded as the set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of society or a social group, and that it encompasses, in addition to art and literature, lifestyles, ways of living together, value systems, traditions and beliefs".

Geert Hofstede’s Value Survey Module is designed for measuring culture-determined differences between matched samples of respondents from different countries and regions.

Prof. Geert Hofstede conducted the most comprehensive study of how values in workplace are influenced by culture.

Geert Hofstede analyzed a large data base 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. In the editions of GH’s work since 2001, scores are listed for 74 countries and regions, partly based on replications and extensions of the IBM study on different International populations.


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