Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions (China and Germany) Essay

Gerard Hendrik Hofstede ( born October 2. 1928 in Haarlem ) is a Dutch expert in cultural surveies [ GHW ] . Hofstede ( 1980 ) surveyed 88. 000 IBM employees working in 66 states and so ranked the states on different cultural dimensions. His research resulted in four dimensions ( power distance ; individuality versus Bolshevism ; uncertainness turning away ; and maleness and muliebrity ) . In the beginning. China was non included in this survey but subsequently Bond and Hofstede looked at Chinese values. From this research they included a 5th cultural value dimension called: long-run versus short-run orientation [ SKR ] .

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Power Distance Index ( PDI )

The Power Distance index shows how less powerful persons accept and expect an unequal distribution of power. High power distance means that power is unevenly distributed ; low power distance means that power is more equally distributed [ TIP ] . Harmonizing to Geert Hofstede’s 5 dimensions China is located in the higher ranking at 80. That means that this society “believes that inequalities amongst people are acceptable” [ GER ] . The Power is centralised and the direction is bossy. The subordinate-superior relationship tends to be cleaved and “there is no defense mechanism against power maltreatment by superiors” [ GER ] . This means that “people are less willing to dispute authorization which is likely due to old communism beliefs which still have a strong influence on people’s behaviour” [ SKR ] .

Directors expect subsidiaries to obey them. Subordinates automatically show regard and know that they have to gain their regard. They besides expect to be told what to make. Therefore societal interactions are formal. In general we can state that the Chinese are “optimistic about people’s capacity for leading and initiative” [ GER ] . The general attitude of the Chinese is that you should non carry through any responsibilities beyond your rank [ GER ] . In category I have noticed that the position of the instructor has to be respected and privileges are expected. To listen to a different illustration: In China it is really common that the workers should come 15 proceedingss earlier to a meeting and the director with the most power is ever five to fifteen proceedingss subsequently. That shows that the directors enjoy more privileges. I was able to detect that the conformity of the hierarchy is maintained really purely.

Individualism versus Collectivism ( IDV )

This index shows the extent to which persons are integrated into groups or non [ TIP ] . In societies with a high IDV index peculiarly single rights are protected: self-government. I experience and personal duty are of import. In a collectivized civilization with a low IDV-index contrast. the integrating dominates in any sort of webs. The squad spirit is much more characteristic of such a civilization [ GHW ] . Harmonizing to Geert Hofstede China is located in the lower ranking at 20. “In leftist civilizations such as China. people work together in groups and frequently put the demands of that group in front of their ain personal wants” [ SKR ] . They portion duty. The Chinese who are making concern tend to remain with the same spouses and providers to maintain trueness and non decline relationships [ SKR ] .

In China the community had ever the precedence. Tian xia Wei tam-tam said the ancients – under the sky everything serves the community. In the Confucian influenced societal system everyone expects from the single subordination. self-denial and willingness to do forfeits in order that the household and province can profit from it. Individualism is a term which has ever had a negative intension in China. because people associated it with egoism. The Chinese prefer a holistic thought. An illustration. if a Chinese writes his reference down he will get down with the state. so the metropolis and the street and at the terminal his ain name. The traditional Chinese medical specialty is a premier illustration for holistic thought.

Each disease is ever seen in the context of the whole organic structure. Collectivism promotes harmoniousness. In China people focus on harmoniousness and eschew the direct confrontation. Harmony is achieved by giving “face” to others and avoiding losing your ain “face” . When I talked to my Chinese friend “David Zhang” and asked him about his survey he will get down in Germany. he told me that this was a household determination. Of class. it was his wish but without the consent of the household he could ne’er analyze abroad. Even if he had the money for it he would non make so. because his household is much more of import to him.

Masculinity / Femininity ( MAS )

This MAS index shows the look of the dominant values that are established in both sexes. Hofstede ranks to the female values of attention. cooperation and modestness. As masculine values ??Hofstede defines competitory preparedness and assurance. A high MAS index shows a laterality of “typically male” values. a low MAS index shows a laterality of “typically female” values [ GHW ] . ??According to Geert Hofstede China is located in the higher ranking at 66. It is more a masculine society – a society which is success oriented. You can see it on the fact that many of the Chinese sacrifice their leisure clip to work [ SKR ] . I have noticed that stores are unfastened until really tardily at dark. Officially. presents adult females enjoy the same rights as work forces in the workplace. The Communist Party in China has made attempts to set both genders on about the same degree.

Anyway traditional Confucian thought does non suit easy with this term of gender equality. It seems to be a spot dry that the liberalization policies of the last decennary might hold turned around many of the progresss made by adult females under the prevailing conditions of the hardline governments. Through the traditional values it is the male childs who have strong penchants. The work forces own most of the power and duty although there is a high degree of credence between genders in China [ SKR ] . Unfortunately. adult females in executive places enjoy a low grasp. There are successful adult females in all Fieldss. they are among the victors of the economic reforms. but besides among the also-rans. If the economic state of affairs in the mills is hapless and staff is reduced. they are the first to be fired. If high school fees are excessively high. it is normally the girl. who leave school and has to travel to work [ BUC ] .

Uncertainty turning away ( UAI )

The UAI index shows a society’s tolerance for uncertainness and ambiguity. Cultures with a high UAI. want to avoid the uncertainness and are characterized by many uncommitted Torahs. policies and security steps. Members are emotional and nervous. Cultures which are tolerant to accept uncertainness have a few regulations that are mutable and therefore be given to relativism. The members are phlegmatic and expect from their environment non to demo feelings [ GHW ] . Harmonizing to Geert Hofstede China has a low mark of 30 on uncertainness turning away. China has a high grade of credence of uncertainness. This society does non seek to take control of the hereafter. and hence China’s society is non afraid of unanticipated state of affairss [ SKR ] . The Chinese consider written and unwritten agreements doubting.

Contracts should be structured so that there is still the possibility to alter the contract afterwards. The Chinese are really flexible. In instance of struggle. a wise man is used. which takes attention of the jobs of both households alternatively of traveling to tribunal. Uncertainty turning away agencies for the Chinese first: What does my foreman desire? If he agrees with my thoughts. so I can set it on. But I do non surely know if he will wish my thoughts. I instead non inquire him so I better delay for instructions. In this instance. I can make no wrong. because the director is responsible for all determinations. therefore the uncertainness is resolved. I could detect that the Chinese remain unagitated when unanticipated state of affairss occur. They do non acquire upset about the state of affairs. They can rapidly accept the state of affairs and accommodate their milieus.

Long-run or short-run orientation ( LTO )

This LTO index “deals with the issue of virtuousness. Long-run civilizations value thrift and doggedness ; short-run civilizations value tradition. the fulfillment of societal duties and protecting one’s ‘face’ or honor. A long-run orientation is associated with East Asian countries” [ TIP ] . Harmonizing to Geert Hofstede China has a high mark of 118. Hofstede analysed that China has the highest ranking of all states in long-run orientation. It is 30 % higher than the Asiatic norm mark. China is a state with a strong long-run orientation. It can be seen from the fact that China preferred a long-run development and indirect enforcement schemes [ SKR ] .

Harmonizing to the Chinese manner of believing it is non the shortest path that leads to the finish but the more hard way. Therefore the Chinese can manage complex state of affairss without a batch of emphasis neither they let push themselves through clip. The key for the Chinese is to construct up strong. dependable. permanent relationships. Before any determination is met there must be gained a certain sum of trust. Obviously this takes longer to complete a concern trade. They do non like to hotfoot into things [ SKR ] . Once you build up the trust and a strong relationship you can trust on it. This civilization is marked by trueness and regard. If you are willing to keep this relationship you can swear your full life on Guanxi.

Comparison between China and Germany

As you can see there are a few differences between Germany and China. In contrast to China the power is decentralised. The German civilization is marked by a low power distance and the subsidiaries expect to be consulted every bit good as they expect to offer their thoughts to the directors. Flashing back to my work experience I can state that I frequently had to take enterprise. Often people are confronted with the proverb: “think by yourself” . The other difference is that the direction and subsidiaries respect each other and handle one another as peers. Usually it is as described. but there are of class exclusions. In most instances. nevertheless. I have had the experience that I had a good relationship to my foreman. Compared to China. Germany has a extremely individualistic society. Personal duty. independency. self-government and I-experience are extremely valued in Germany. A drawn-out stay abroad is much respected. It shows that you can independently fulfil undertakings.

Companies wish to hold workers with international experience due to turning globalisation. That individuality counts. can besides be seen in the fact that you set your name foremost when composing an reference. This is wholly different to China where you put the state at first as I have already mentioned. Harmonizing to Hofstede Germany and China have the same MAS index. Mostly it is the work forces who hold the most of the power. I have noticed adult females acquire more and more credence in the adult male dominated concern universe. For illustration we now have a adult female ( Angelika Merkel ) as Chancellor of the Exchequer and non a adult male. I can see more and more adult female taking portion in higher places. Therefore I would rate Germany at 55 because there is no uncertainty about the increasing credence of adult females. Another illustration shows that a women’s quota should be introduced in Germany. which includes that at least 10 % of adult females should sit in the top direction.

Furthermore Germany is a state full of bureaucratism. We have Torahs for about everything. insurance companies are supposed to protect us and the establishments should modulate everything conceivable. We want to hold everything controlled in order to command the hereafter. Therefore we make contracts and so we act consequently. This is wholly different to the Chinese Culture where people like to maintain the possibility to alter things afterwards. The highest difference between China and Germany is the LTO index. Unlike China. Germany is more short-run oriented. Directors in Germany attempt to do high net incomes in no clip. We put truth and straightness before diplomatic negotiations. Furthermore I have noticed that German employers are impatient because they want to acquire fast consequences.


Unfortunately. I could non look into if I would distribute as much points as Hofstede because there was excessively less clip to do an intensive probe. However. I found out through treatments and research that Hofstede was reasonably accurate with his premises. Furthermore. I want to advert a twosome of unfavorable judgments of his survey. The chief point is listed by critics that the drawn samples were non representative. So in the original survey ( 1967-1972 ) information were used from a planetary study made by IBM.

Therefore. it is unsure whether the system really worked out steps of national civilizations or instead differences in corporate civilization between the states. Furthermore. Hofstede’s attack ignores differences within a state. The theoretical account treats a state as a homogenous province of persons who all portion the same value system. This is in most instances incorrect. In add-on. unfavorable judgment of the cogency of the points was practiced [ 4 ] . Hofstede cites no theoretical justification for the choice of points. House and other people criticizes in peculiar the failure to separate between values ??and behaviour. This is debatable because negative values ??and behaviour are linked.

Beginning Material:

[ TIP ]
Geert Hofstede. Culture’s Consequences: Comparing Valuess. Behaviours. Institutions and Organisations across Nations ( Topographic point: Corwin Press. 2001 ) . hypertext transfer protocol: //www. tiplady. org. uk/pdfs/LEA502-5-culturalissues. pdf

[ GER ]
The Hofstede Centre:
hypertext transfer protocol: //geert-hofstede. com/china. hypertext markup language
[ SKR ]
Hofstede comparing of Germany and China:
hypertext transfer protocol: //www. Google. de/url? sa=t & A ; rct=j & A ; q= & A ; esrc=s & A ; source=web & A ; cd=1 & A ; cad=rja & A ; ved=0CDgQFjAA & A ; url=http % 3A % 2F % 2Fbuinternationalmanagement. wikispaces. com % 2Ffile % 2Fview % 2FHofstede % 2Bcomparison % 2Bof % 2BGermany % 2Band % 2BChina. physician & A ; ei=vDRYUb6mKo7EswaMoICQAg & A ; usg=AFQjCNHgjNwXhFqhxu015my2P3qIqIftMQ & amp ; sig2=MGY08eJFzKV1E–Q6iME-w & A ; bvm=bv. 44442042. d. Yms [ GHW ]

Geert Hofstede
hypertext transfer protocol: //de. wikipedia. org/wiki/Geert_Hofstede
[ BUC ]
Der China Knigge ; Yu-Chien Kuan. Petra Haring-Kuan ; September 2006 ISBN: 978-3-596-16684-8
Persons I have talked to:
David King ( Banker / Chinese )
David Zhang ( Student / Chinese )
Primel ( Chinese Girl who surveies German )
Kim Lao ( Chinese Business Man / employed by an American company ) Lio ( Student / Chinese )


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