4.5 Your cultural dimension score
shows each of the 64 countries with the scores recorded for power distance index, individualism versus collectivism, masculinity versus femininity, the uncertainty avoidance index, as well Hofstede’s fifth variable, long-term orientation, which you do not need to consider at this stage. Look at this table now before completing Activity 4.
Activity 4 Applying the Hofstede index to yourself
Hofstede scored each country on a scale of 0–100 for each dimension.
How do you feel you would score on the Hofstede index? Have a look again at the four categories and consider the kind of score you would expect to give yourself. Would you, for example, expect your score to be high or low on the power distance index?
Take a guess at what you would expect your score to be and type this value into Table 1 below. Next use the tool on the Hofstede website to see the value that this variable has for your country and consider how accurate this feels as a representation of you.
Table 1 The Hofstede index
|Hofstede’s cultural dimension||Your estimate of your own score||Your country’s score|
Power distance index
Individualism versus collectivism
Masculinity versus femininity
Uncertainty avoidance index
How did you find that? Did your estimate of your cultural dimension scores bear any relation to the values of those variables for your country? There is no right or wrong answer here and if you find that your view of yourself differs greatly from the score for your country, then this is worth remembering.
While data like this can provide us with information that might be useful when applied to a general population, you do need to be aware that not everyone will fit into this mould. There may even be regions within a country that differ markedly from that country’s average.
Hofstede’s model can only be used as a general guide to understand the differences in a culture. It is not fixed and the person you are working with may well be the exception to the rule for their country.
Next you will look at ways of communicating depending on the cultural norms of a society, based on Hofstede’s dimensions of culture.