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Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind. By Geert Hofstede Presented by: Natalie Balaziuk, Beth Roszkowski, Michelle Yeager. Hofstede ’ s Background. Born in Netherlands in 1928 Founded and managed the Personnel Research Department of IBM Europe

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cultures and organizations software of the mind

Cultures and Organizations:Software of the Mind

By Geert Hofstede

Presented by:

Natalie Balaziuk, Beth Roszkowski, Michelle Yeager

hofstede s background
Hofstede’s Background
  • Born in Netherlands in 1928
  • Founded and managed the Personnel Research Department of IBM Europe
  • Co-founder of IRIC (Institute for Research on Intercultural Cooperation
  • Most cited non-American in the field of Management in the US Social Sciences Citation Index
software of the mind 101
Software of the Mind 101
  • Hofstede’s intent
  • Mental Programs: Software of the Mind
  • Three levels of Mental Programs
  • What does this mean?
  • Memory and Forgetting (Knowledge Structures)
IBM Study

Conducted in 1974

IBM employees-50 countries and 3 multicountry regions

National Cultures


IRIC Study

Conducted 1985-1987

20 organizational units in 2 countries

Organizational Culture


dimensions of national culture
Dimensions of National Culture
  • Power Distance
  • Individualism vs. Collectivism
  • Masculinity vs. Femininity
  • Uncertainty Avoidance
  • Confucian Dynamism (Long-term orientation vs. Short-term orientation)
power distance
Large Power Distance

Employees afraid of bosses

Depend on their bosses

Large emotional distance

Small Power Distance

Approach and challenge bosses

Bosses consult with staff

Small emotional distance

Power Distance
individualism vs collectivism

Interests of the individual outweigh the interests of the group

Individual is independent

One must look after himself/herself


Interests of the group outweigh the interests of the individual

Group is one’s identity


Individualism vs. Collectivism
individualism vs collectivism ranking

Personal time





Physical conditions

Use of skills

Individualism vs. Collectivism (Ranking)
masculinity vs femininity

Social gender roles are defined

Men are assertive & tough

Women are modest & concerned with quality of life

High difference between the genders


Social gender roles overlap

Men and women are both modest & concerned with quality of life

Little difference between genders

Masculinity vs. Femininity
masculinity vs femininity ranking








Living area

Employment security

Masculinity vs. Femininity (Ranking)
uncertainty avoidance
Uncertainty Avoidance
  • Strong uncertainty avoidance vs. Weak uncertainty avoidance
  • Uncertainty avoidance  Risk avoidance
  • Unique coping mechanisms
  • Stress among men and women
confucian dynamism
Confucian Dynamism
  • AKA- long-term vs. short-term orientation
  • 5th dimension revealed through another study- Chinese value survey (CVS)
  • Administered to 100 students in 23 countries
  • Findings of study
  • Related to economic growth
confucian dynamism ratings
Long-term orientation


Ordering relationships by status and observing this order


Having a sense of shame

=High economic growth

Short-term orientation

Personal steadiness and stability

Protecting one’s “face”

Respect for tradition

Reciprocation of greetings, favors, and gifts

=Less economic growth

Confucian Dynamism (Ratings)
iric study
IRIC Study
  • IBM vs. IRIC
  • National Values vs. Organizational Practices
  • Organizational Practices as “Communities of Practice”
dimensions of organizational practice
Dimensions of Organizational Practice
  • Process-Oriented vs. Results-Oriented
  • Employee-Oriented vs. Job-Oriented
  • Parochial vs. Professional
  • Open System vs. Closed System
  • Loose Control vs. Tight Control
  • Pragmatic vs. Normative
practical implications of iric findings
Practical Implications of IRIC Findings
  • Structural Changes
  • Process Changes
  • Personnel Changes
  • Cultural Training

Well reviewed

Hofstede succeeds in his main goal

Timely publication of Culture’s Consequences


Limits of study

Sweeping generalizations

Western bias

IRIC study-criticisms

  • Where do you think the United States ranks among the five dimensions of national culture?
  • Do you think national values can change over time?
  • What are the practical implications of these findings?
  • Do you think that increasing globalization and advancements in technology will lead to a narrower spectrum of national values?
  • Is it possible for someone to identify with more than one national culture?
sources consulted
Sources Consulted:

Bing, John W. (2004). Hofstede’s consequences: The impact of his work on consulting and business practices. Academy of Management Executive, 18 (1), 80-87.

Hofstede, Geert. (1991). Cultures & organizations: Software of the mind: Intercultural cooperation and its importance for survival. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Hofstede, Geert. Geert Hofstede about himself. (n.d.) Retrieved November 2004 from

Hoppe, Michael H. (2004). An interview with Geert Hofstede. Academy of Management Executive, 18 (1), 75-79.

International Business Center. Geert Hofstede. (n.d.) Retrieve November 2004 from

sources consulted cont
Sources Consulted (cont.):

Kieser, Alfred. (1994). Book reviews. Organization Studies, 15 (3), 457-461.

Mintu, Alma T. (1993). Cultures and organizations. Journal of International Business

Studies, 23 (2), 362-366.

Mumford, Alice. (1992). Cultures and organizations. Industrial & Commercial Training, 24 (2), vi-vii.

Søndergaard, Mikael. (1994). Research note: Hofstede’s consequences: a study of

reviews, citations, and replications. Organization Studies, 15 (3), 447-456.

Torrington, Derek. (1992). Book reviews. Employee Relations, 14 (3), 71-72.

Triandis, Harry C. (1993). Reviews on cultural phenomena. Administrative Science

Quarterly, 38 (1), 132-135.