Hofstedes Dimensions Comparison Essay

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Compare And Contrast Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions Of Australia And One Other Country

For any international organization, it is of enormous significance to understand cultural differences and make good use of them in the global context. National culture may be thought of as the values, beliefs, perceptual orientations, and norms typical of the members of a particular society (Trompenaars, 1997). Management techniques inconsistent with national culture can lead to conflict between multinational corporations (MNCs) and its employees and, perhaps the broader society. Comparative studies of national culture across a large number of countries are limited because of the significant costs associated with data collection. A study by Geert Hofstede, using data collected in around 60 countries in the late 1970s, remains influential despite controversy over his methodology and interpretation of the findings. Through insight into a culture perspective, the essay analyzes the role and impact of culture on International Human Resource Management (IHRM). It starts by comparing the cultural dimensions of Australia and China, and then deals with the methodological and limitations of Hofstede's research process, as well as the application of the findings to the human resource management function.

Hofstede's model of cultural traits identifies five dimensions of culture that assist to explain why people from various cultures behave the way they do. Through the comparison of Chinese and Australian culture using the cross-cultural dimensions: power distance (PDI), uncertainty avoidance (UAI), masculinity (MAS), individualism (IDV), and long-term orientation (LTO); an insightful view into the differences and similarities of the cultures can be obtained. By exploring these differences and similarities from an IHR perspective, strategies aimed at achieving organizational goals can be better achieved.

The first national culture dimension to be identified is the measurement of power distance. In countries with high power distance like China (PDI of 80), individuals are more likely to accept differences in authority or inequality. Management is inclined to be dictatorial, with their subordinates remaining faithful and obedient to them at all times. On the contrary, in Australia with a relatively low PDI of 36 (ITIM International, 2003), individuals place more emphasis and value on independence. Harrison (1995) suggests that "societies with low PDI are characterized by the norm value that inequalities between people should be minimized, and, to the extent that hierarchies exist in such societies and their organizations, they exist only for administrative convenience".

Schuler, Dowling, & De Cieri's (1993) framework of SIHRM proposes that factors endogenous to the firm such as organization structure, are important influences on IHR strategy and practice....

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Compare and contrast Hofstede's cultural dimensions of Australia and China.

2665 WordsAug 5th, 200811 Pages

Mismanaging cultural differences can render otherwise successful managers and organisations ineffective when working across cultures. As stated byOsland (1990, p. 4) ``The single greatest barrier to business success is the one erected by culture''. Hofstede (1983) defines culture as "the mental programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one human group from another" (Hofstede 1983 p. 25). Through the comparison of Chinese culture and Australian culture using Hofstedes five cross-cultural dimensions: power distance, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity, individualism, and long-term orientation an insightful view into the differences and similarities of the cultures can be obtained (Chong & Park 2003). Human Resource Management…show more content…

Performance appraisals generally involve two-way communications which is not embraced by Chinese culture as the large power distance found in China indicated that to challenge authority of superiors is not considered appropriate for subordinates (Huo 1995). Therefore when conducting a performance appraisal in China it is expected that the evaluated will be more subjective. A straight forward form of appraisal would be better received and employee participation should not be forced.

Of significant interest is Australia's high individualism ranking of 90 (ITIM International 2003) . High Individualism implies a society believes that people should largely remain independent from groups, and that people should have a self-concept of being an independent individual rather than a dependent member of a group(Harrison 1995). In comparison China ranked extremely low with a score of 20 in the individualism ranking (ITIM International 2003). This is as a result of the society fosters strong relationships where everyone takes responsibility for fellow members of their group with an emphasis on a Collectivist society as a result of the Communist rule (Hofstede 1980). As a result of the different stance of each culture on individualism human resource activities such as compensations and benefits will need to be approached in a different way. In Australian rewards are geared towards pay for performance which motivates the individual to stand out

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