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Working in diverse teams
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4 Hofstede’s dimensions of culture

In the 1970s, Geert Hofstede looked at national cultural differences (Figure 3) between IBM employees working across 64 countries. The result of his decade of research led to the identification of four dimensions of cultural difference. Hofstede later added in a further two dimensions, but for the purposes of this discussion you will concentrate on his first four.

Described image
Figure 3 A sample of nationalities

Hofstede felt that if any differences were seen between IBM employees in these countries, then this would be down to national cultural differences and not the result of working culture, as they were all working for the same organisation.

The four original dimensions of cultural difference identified by Hofstede were: power distance index, individualism versus collectivism, masculinity versus femininity and the uncertainty avoidance index. You will look at each of these in turn next.