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Organizational Culture

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In his research, Geert Hofstede came up with a systematic framework that composed of the dimensions of organizational culture to assess different cultures. He argued that people differ across the world and there are certain dimensions of values that they sanction. By closely investigating and analyzing the world’s values and cultures, he was able to gather the above data. These cultural dimensions are collectiveness, indulgence, power distance, uncertainty avoidance and masculinity.

Collectiveness is said to take place when individuals are incorporated into groups so as to work together and help one another in their activities. Unlike individualism, in which an individual is expected to stand on his/her own and his/her personal achievements matter a lot in the society, collectiveness is a group business. The second dimension, which is indulgence, occurs when there are no strict norms in the society and ‘pleasure-seeking’ behaviors are allowed. Anyone can do as he/she wishes.

Power distance is the dimension in which power itself is expected to be distributed equally regardless of formal positions in the society. Uncertainty avoidance is the act of proceeding only with careful changes in the society so as to minimize the occurrence of unusual and undefined circumstances. And finally, masculinity involves the distribution of roles between genders. Masculine cultures give men more powerful roles as compared to women.

The Hofstede’s model is a very important tool as it clearly defines the differences in cultures and thus, explains how to behave towards others by understanding their cultures. This model is applicable in international affairs whereby different people interact in businesses or negotiations. The limitation of this model is that it relies on its own assumptions and reasoning, as there is no other literature on psychology or anthropology that mentions this model.

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