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Maznevski and Peterson (1997) reiterated that culture is important in the provision of an individual's first impression. Studies have indicated that national culture has a lot of influence on the perceptions of individuals, their behaviors as well as their beliefs as noted by Harrison and Huntington (2000) and Hofstede (2001).In order to fully understand the various cultural dimensions; we present Hofstede's cultural dimensions in the next section.
Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions
This theory is based on the work of Hofstede (1980) in his landmark study that involved a focus group derived from IBM employees. He derived a total of four dimensions namely; Individualism, Uncertainty Avoidance Index, Masculinity as well as Power Distance Index. An additional dimension called the Long-Term Orientation (LTO) was later added.
Individualism Vs Collectivism
Individualism denotes the strength of the bond that exists between individuals within a given society. Companies and countries having high individualism are noted to have a dispersed form of link between its people. These companies or countries usually have no form of interpersonal relationships and there is a low distribution of various responsibilities among families, close friends as well as colleagues. There is a high regard for privacy with time as well as freedom being valued by the people.
Individuals with low levels of individualism form bigger as well as stronger levels of group unity. These individuals have a strong focus on the improvement of their skill sets.
Uncertainty Avoidance Index
This refers to the degree in which persons within a given society feel or perceive to be threatened by the unknown/uncertainties. Countries with a high score of Uncertainty Avoidance Index tend to shy away from risky/uncertain situations as much as possible. A lower level means a higher amount of risk tolerance.
Masculinity Vs Femininity
This refers to the degree to which a given society abides by the values, norms as well as traditions of the male as well as female roles. These societies have a distinction in the roles played by different gender groups and these distinctions have an influence on the decisions made in the family as well as community. Countries having a high level of Masculinity Vs Femininity
Index tends to be led by men as the breadwinners and sole providers. The men in these societies are therefore expected to be tougher and stronger than the women.
Power Distance Index
The power distance index denotes the degree to which inequality is tolerated, recognized as well as generally accepted by the individuals possessing as well as lacking power. A high score denotes an unequal distribution of power.
This index demotes the extent to which a given society treats both the long and short-term traditions as well as values.
It is therefore important for every country with multinational operations to effectively institute the cross-cultural management practices in order to prevent possible conflicts in its dealings. Proper cross-cultural management is important in creating proper communication within agiven organizational setting.
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