An Analysis of Geert Hofstede's Culture's Consequences
Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutes and Organizations across Nations
The Dutch anthropologist Geert Hofstede is recognized as a pioneer in the fields of international management and social psychology – and his work is a perfect example of the ways in which interpretative skills can help solve problems and provide the foundation for strong thinking and understanding both in business and beyond.
Hofstede’s central achievement was setting up an efficient interpretative framework for understanding the cultural differences between one country and another. Working for the international computing company IBM in the late 1960s, Hofstede noted that such cultural differences had huge consequences for international organizations. Up until then, while many inside and outside of business recognized the importance of these differences, little had been done to define precisely what cultural difference was and in what areas of life it was expressed. Hofstede’s insight was that if one could interpret and define the dimensions of cultural difference, it would be possible to measure them and act accordingly.
From a vast survey of IBM’s employees in several countries, Hofstede originally defined five dimensions of culture: every society could be rated for each dimension, providing a useful guide to the kinds of cultural differences at play. As ever, good interpretative skills provided the basis for better understanding.
Table of Contents
Ways in to the text
Who is Geert Hofstede?
What does Culture's Consequences Say?
Why does Culture's Consequences Matter?
Section 1: Influences
Module 1: The Author and the Historical Context
Module 2: Academic Context
Module 3: The Problem
Module 4: The Author's Contribution
Section 2: Ideas
Module 5: Main Ideas
Module 6: Secondary Ideas
Module 7: Achievement
Module 8: Place in the Author's Work
Section 3: Impact
Module 9: The First Responses
Module 10: The Evolving Debate
Module 11: Impact and Influence Today
Module 12: Where Next?
Glossary of Terms
People Mentioned in the Text
Katherine Erdman is a visiting scholar in anthropology and archaeology at the University of Minnesota.