Culture self identity and work

Culture self identity and work

Where exactly is the problem Critically evaluate Hofstede and his national culture theory

National culture has been defined in hundreds of ways Erez and Early 1993 but the most widely utilized dimensions of culture are the five presented by Hofstede Crotts and Erdmann 2000 Hofstede is the pioneer in this field and his national cultural theory is so famous that it is a milestone in this field

Hofstedes national culture theory has been developed and perfected though these 30 years However ever since the theory was published the critiques of his theory have never stopped

This article will critically evaluate Hofstedes national culture theory in three areas Hofstedes personal experience data collection from IBM and his theorys findings on national culture In the personal experiences section I explore how the limitation of his experience could affect the results of his study and also include the example of the Cold War and the reunification of Germany In the data collection section I critique the questionnaire on professional originally for IBM time limitation the data was oldfashioned and sampling only one companys male employees small number of sample grounds In the section on theory building I argue that the theory may not be reliable due to the insufficient data He also made many of other assumptions Finally I give several examples of change namely that our life has been influenced by the internet in different ways that China has become an economic centre and that many change in government policies have affected peoples way of life Furthermore culture change never stopped in China

Main debate
Personal experiences
Limitation of personal experiences

Born in Haarlem the Netherlands in 1928 Geert Hofstede earned his Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from Delft Technical University During the period between 1965 and 1971 he worked for IBM and launched a questionnaire about its different subsidiaries all over the world This formed the basis for his national culture theory After Hofstede left IBM he became a professor at various international management schools including IMD Lausanne INSEAD Fontainebleau and the European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management Brussels It was at this time that he completed his analysis of the IBM employee survey database leading to his definition of four dimensions of national culture and publication of his 1980 a influential book Cultures Consequences ITAP international Hofstede 1980 a Hofstede Homepage Powell 2006

Hofstede had plenty of experience in both working and studying However this is not enough if one wants to create a theory that is suitable for every national culture all over the world First he had a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering not anthropology or a related field It is different field and may impact or mislead his thinking about culture Second he was born in the Netherlands and before 1980 when Hofstede was doing research for his book he only stayed and worked entirely in Europe How can he totally understand the culture of other counties on different continents How can he distinguish between capitalism and communism He can only truly understand culture in Europe because he was born there and worked there Whereas he would have difficulty understanding other cultures because he had not been there This could be a big gap if he only analysis the questionnaire not been to other countries himself And even now he only has been to several countries outside of Europe What about the rest of countries Can he totally understand the culture in Africa and Latin America The answer is obviously not Even after staying in a country for several years people may still be unable to fully understand its national culture
Cold War and Germany
The Cold War may have had special influence on European countries culture During the Cold War Western European countries only had a good relationship with US and Eastern European countries had a good relationshi

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