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The effect of this dimension can be measured in a number of ways. Countries with high-uncertainty-avoidance cultures have a great deal of structuring of organizational activities, more written rules, less risk taking by managers, lower labor turnover, and less ambitious employees.

Low-uncertainty-avoidance societies have organization settings with less structur- ing of activities, fewer written rules, more risk taking by managers, higher labor turnover, and more ambitious employees. The organization encourages personnel to use their own initiative and assume responsibility for their actions.

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Individualism We discussed individualism and collectivism in Chapter 2 in reference to political systems. Individualism is the tendency of people to look after themselves and their immediate family only.35 Hofstede measured this cultural difference on a bipolar continuum with individualism at one end and collectivism at the other. Collectivism is

GLOBE (Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness) A multicountry study and evaluation of cultural attributes and leadership behaviors among more than 17,000 managers from 951 organizations in 62 countries.

power distance The extent to which less powerful members of institutions and organizations accept that power is distributed unequally.

uncertainty avoidance The extent to which people feel threatened by ambiguous situations and have created beliefs and institutions that try to avoid these.

individualism The political philosophy that people should be free to pursue economic and political endeavors without constraint (Chapter 2); the tendency of people to look after themselves and their immediate family only (Chapter 4).

collectivism The political philosophy that views the needs or goals of society as a whole as more important than individual desires (Chapter 2); the tendency of people to belong to groups or collectives and to look after each other in exchange for loyalty (Chapter 4).

 

 

Chapter 4 The Meanings and Dimensions of Culture 131

the tendency of people to belong to groups or collectives and to look after each other in exchange for loyalty.36

Like the effects of the other cultural dimensions, the effects of individualism and collectivism can be measured in a number of different ways.37  Hofstede found that wealthy countries have higher individualism scores and poorer countries higher collectivism scores (see Table 4–2  for the 74 countries used in Figure 4–4 and sub- sequent figures). Note that in Figure 4–4, the United States, Canada, Australia, France, and the United Kingdom, among others, have high individualism and high GNP. Con- versely, China, Mexico, and a number of South American countries have low indi- vidualism (high collectivism) and low GNP. Countries with high individualism also tend to have greater support for the Protestant work ethic, greater individual initiative, and promotions based on market value. Countries with low individualism tend to have less support for the Protestant work ethic, less individual initiative, and promotions based on seniority.

Masculinity Masculinity is defined by Hofstede as “a situation in which the dom- inant values in society are success, money, and things.”38  Hofstede measured this

masculinity A cultural characteristic in which the dominant values in society are success, money, and things.

Table 4–2 Countries and Regions Used in Hofstede’s Research

Arabic-speaking Ecuador Panama countries (Egypt, Estonia Peru Iraq, Kuwait, Finland Philippines Lebanon, Libya, France Poland Saudi Arabia, Germany Portugal United Arab Great Britain Romania Emirates) Greece Russia Argentina Guatemala Salvador Australia Hong Kong Serbia Austria (China) Singapore Bangladesh Hungary Slovakia Belgium Flemish India Slovenia (Dutch speaking) Indonesia South Africa Belgium Walloon Iran Spain (French speaking) Ireland Suriname Brazil Israel Sweden Bulgaria Italy Switzerland French Canada Quebec Jamaica Switzerland German Canada total Japan Taiwan Chile Korea (South) Thailand China Luxembourg Trinidad Colombia Malaysia Turkey Costa Rica Malta United States Croatia Mexico Uruguay Czech Republic Morocco Venezuela Denmark Netherlands Vietnam East Africa New Zealand West Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Norway (Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia) Pakistan Sierra Leone)

Source: From G. Hofstede and G. J. Hofstede, Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind, 2nd ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2005).

 

 

132 Part 2 The Role of Culture

dimension on a continuum ranging from masculinity to femininity. Contrary to some stereotypes and connotations, femininity is the term used by Hofstede to describe “a situation in which the dominant values in society are caring for others and the quality of life.”39

Countries with a high masculinity index, such as the Germanic countries, place great importance on earnings, recognition, advancement, and challenge. Individuals are encouraged to be independent decision makers, and achievement is defined in terms of recognition and wealth. The workplace is often characterized by high job stress, and many managers believe that their employees dislike work and must be kept under some degree of control. The school system is geared toward encouraging high performance. Young men expect to have careers, and those who do not often view themselves as failures. Historically, fewer women hold higher-level jobs, although this is changing. The school system is geared toward encouraging high performance.

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