Arguing That Hofstedes Model Is Outdated And Obsolete Essay

Hofstede theoretical account is a well-known cultural theoretical account in the universe for many decennaries as Greet Hofstede is a innovator who has done the research sing cultural variegation and differences. In his dimension, there are four plus one cultural index stated which are Individualistic, Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, Masculinity and Long-term Orientation ( Hofstede G. , 1973 ) . This theoretical account seems to give some cognition foundation to people who do non hold any basic apprehension about cultural differences and it is besides widely spread theory which is used in assorted Fieldss of survey particularly concern and direction. However, Hofstede dimension tends to be considered as dated and prejudice.

This essay treatment will be based upon the inquiry How far do you hold that Hofstedes theoretical account is dated and biased and, as such, is of no usage to the modern-day international concern executive.

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Given below are the undermentioned grounds to our agreement/disagreement with Hofstedes theoretical account


There are critical grounds to reason that Hofstedes theoretical account is dated and may be unsuitable to the modern-day international concern environment. The first ground is globalisation the broadening geographical inter-linkages of merchandises, markets, houses and production factors, with a big part of each derived, generated, or available in more states and parts harmonizing to Papaconstantinou, G. ( 1995 ) .

Due to the statistics from UNCTAD ( United Nations Conference on Trade and Development ) , figure of companies invest overseas and transnational companies ( MNCs ) operate worldwide are continually increased for decennaries which may reflect in higher figure of immigrants and expatriate workers. Besides, each concern organisation has its ain civilization promoted and inevitably workers should accommodate themselves to organisational civilization for case encouraging teamwork, affecting in determination devising or keeping relationship. Most of these companies operate globally, the organisational civilization patterns are accordingly about the same. Furthermore, planetary merchandises such as McDonalds, Starbucks, Coca-Cola and denims besides influence peoples life styles. One such illustration is when Burgers become diet in many states around the universe non merely merely in Western states. We now have a construct of planetary consumers, which are more cognizant about the handiness of assorted options in the markets. Obviously, the civilizations are converged and go similar from one and another, which are a complete contrast from the yesteryear.

Another key factor which quickly stimulates this tendency is beforehand engineering for case cyberspace, e-mail, and social-network. Harmonizing to the universe cyberspace users statistic, there is an important addition of internet users ; 380.3 per centum in 2000-2009 and 444.8 per centum in 2000-2010 ( web ref.1 ) . Since cyberspace is accessible everyplace and all contents are available on-line such as manner, music and films so it is the most distinguishable and easiest agencies of cultural exchange. Therefore, the cyberspace waiters may straight or indirectly absorb other different civilizations from what they have seen or heard and may copy those norms. For illustration, independent and individualistic images of Western people are positively present on cyberspace, these may appreciated and motivated immature Chinese to be individualist who prefer freedom life style and seek for self-achievement ( Guangrong R. , 1998 ) . As a consequence people tend to value things likewise because of globalisation and progress engineering.

The 2nd ground is the new coevals of the sample states ; those who were born after 1973, were non taken into history of Hofstedes research. During the past 30 old ages this new coevals is now going the effectual work force of the states and can reflect the alterations occurred in the society. One of import driver which should be considered is instruction. Mentioning to the Institute of International Education, U.S. Department of States Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs study Nov. 2007, figure American pupils study abroad increased by 8.5 per centum and tend to continually increase every twelvemonth. Furthermore, there are many spouses universities in Asia generate Asialearn plan for abroad pupils who want to analyze and see Asiatic civilizations. Consequently, there are higher Numberss of pupils who explore and adapt to new civilization. Therefore, this stimulates the civilizations exchange in the planetary environment and so bit by bit invokes civilizations to unify.

In add-on, the educational system besides influences people behaviours. Globalization affects instruction by altering the functions of pupil and instructor and bring forthing a displacement in society from industrialisation to an information-based society and this consequence reflects on civilization and consequence in a new signifier of cultural imperialism ( Chinnammai, 2005 ) .

To give you a clear illustration, Child-Centered Systemi by Dewey J. , 1963 ; system which encourage pupils to believe by themselves, take part in group and be more confident to discourse with instructor in category, are continually promoted in Thai educational system since 1978 ( net ref.2 ) . This can straight impact the new coevals of Thai in power distance facet. As an Asiatic state, Thailand is perceived as a high power distance state and senior status are really of import and widely practised in society ( Rowley & A ; Warner, 2007 ) . However, the Child-Centered System tends to take down the power distance between pupils and instructors which was rooted in Thai civilization for centuries. Furthermore, people graduated from international school or international university tends to hold different value, norms and behaviours from those who study in ordinary schools for illustration ; less or no senior status system in international school because the course of study and learning methods of those international establishments are largely based on American or British educational system.

The 3rd ground to reason against the Hofstedeis dimension is alterations in family construction. Harmonizing to UN study about demographic and societal tendencies impacting households in the South and Central Asia part ( De Silva, I. 2003 ) , in the recent old ages there is an increasing figure of atomic household due to the economic status in Asia. This may uncover that near relationship between familyis members are worsening in Asiatic society and besides the civilization may be no longer exceed from coevals to following coevalss any longer. Surprisingly, individual family, loan parent, cohabitating twosomes, diminution in birthrate rate and hold matrimony tendency are besides greater every twelvemonth in many states such as Bangladesh, Kazakhstan and the Anglicized based states. ( De Silva, I. 2003a ) . Besides, there is another considerable tendency of womeni altering function, as they tend to concentrate more on self achievement including higher instruction, higher rank place and calling success ( De Silva, I. 2003b ) . This may be implied that nowadays adult females tend to hold more maleness feature and are practising more independent life style than the yesteryear.

The last ground is, Hofstede ‘s research was based in studies between 1967 and 1973. During that period, the economic and political status in most of the states, which are mentioned in his research, was a batch different than presents. By and large:

i?? In North America, the United States and Canada were to the twilight of the postwar prosperity, when an economic lag became visibly evident in the early 70 ‘s ( Web Ref. 7 ) .

i?? In South America, Brasil had a dramatic growing after a five twelvemonth stagnancy period, Argentina was under a fast-pace development through developmentalism tactics when Mexico had a strong but unstable economic public presentation with jobs in financial direction and the investings ( Victor Bulmer-Thomas, 2003 ) .

i?? Europe was under an Industrial diminution. Great Britain ‘s growing was fighting and the lb ‘s devaluation ( 1967 ) was the 2nd after 1949 ( Cairncross, Alec:1992 ) , ( Nicholas Woodward, 1995 ) . Germany, holding serious jobs with the industrial diminution, was doing attempts to steer an economic policy ( Federal German Budget Legislation 1967 ) , ( Web Ref. 3 ) . Merely France was go throughing through a flourishing period ( Web Ref. 4 ) .

 In Asia, India was in a post-war period ( with China-1962, with Pakistan-1965 ) and a currency devaluation in 1966 ( Devika Johri & A ; Mark Miller ) . Japan was in a post-war rebuilding, with a great industrial development by mid-60 ‘s ( Alfred K. Ho, 1968 ) . In Singapore, despite of the troubles faced by the separation from Malaysia in 1965, it ‘s economic system moved upwards through many policies and investings ( Web Ref. 5 ) and South Korea was in the morning of a rapid industrialisation, through an outward-looking scheme adopted in the early 60 ‘s ( Web Ref 6 ) .

As can be seen, the alterations in political and economic environment taking topographic point in the above states. It can be concluded that the concern environment has wholly changed from the period of the study to the present concern scenario. Furthermore, Hofstede ‘s theoretical account will non be applicable in present concern environment due to the alterations until today.

Globalization, progress engineering, altering instruction system, new coevals, smaller family construction, different functions of adult females and period of carry oning research seem to be the important replies why Hofstedes dimension is dated and inappropriate for international concern application since many civilizations become more similar and people independently choose to act in the manner they want.


Harmonizing to McSweeney, there are some restrictions of Hofstedes methodological analysis. He states that Hofstede is doubting and can supply information about full national civilizations. We will now reexamine the research method of Hofstedes theoretical account besides in this portion we are traveling to discourse about Hofstedes method of carry oning research and his manner of over premise and mere hypothesis.

Method of carry oning research

First, Hofstedei findings are from a individual company i?? IBM, and his sources worked with a individual industry the information engineering industry. Although this study covered all workers, the informations used by Hofstede to build national cultural comparings were mostly limited to response from marketing-plus-sales employees ( McSweeney, 2002 ) . Furthermore, because all of the respondents worked for IBM, and the consequence of organizational culture were individual and same ( McSweeney, 2002 ) . Therefore, it can be argued that the background and values of IBM workers are a considerable little group i.e. they can non cover holistically the different perceptual experiences of assorted states. ( Mead and Andrews, 2009 ) .

Second, due to the research conducted in a individual industry with a individual company, the type of sample involved in this research is similar. Although these employees were from different states, the consequence of organisation civilization is the same on them ( McSweeney, 2002 ) . What is a civilization In an organisation, culture can be defined as a manner of analyzing and working mundane ( Martin, 2002 ) . Morgan provides us with a basic apprehension of organisational civilization: “ The set of beliefs, values, and norms, together with symbols like dramatized events and personalities that represents the alone character of an organisation, and provides the context for action in it and by it. ” ( Morgan, 1997, p.41 ) . In add-on, Hofstede high spots that the type of IBM civilization is alone and unvarying within the organisation ( cited in Risberg, 1999 ) . As a consequence, it can be argued that the consequence of the organisational civilization on the IBM employees is really limited and similar.

The 3rd job of his methodological analysis is the method of questionnaire is non effectual. McSweeney ( 2002 ) states that administration of the study and the ownership of its consequences were IBM ; some of the questionnaires were completed within groups and non individually ( McSweeney, 2002, p.103 ) . Besides, McSweeney ( 2002 ) explained that some employees of IBM were under a perceptual experience that their directors might supply more schemes on the footing of the study consequences. Consequently, harmonizing to McSweeney statements, there are two chief questionable points in the IBM questionnaires. The first 1 is each state has different manner of replying inquiries, due to this study covered 66 states.

For case, the consequence of traditions and civilization in Asia is profound ( Littlewood, 1999 ) , Asiatic people tend to reply inquiries giving more weightage to the theory facet every bit good as their replies are based on their perceptual experiences. In contrast, the westerners are face-to-face, their replies tend to be based on what they think is factual instead trusting on the theory. Hofstede besides displays that the general sum per state was little ( Hofstede, 1980a ) . McSweeney ( 2002 ) critiqued that his research covered 66 states, but the concluding information and consequence were from merely 40 states. Harmonizing to the information from the IBMi??s study, it is undeniable that samples of this research are truly non homogenous.

Furthermore, the sample size in each state was different. Merely in a few European states and in Japan, the respondents were over than 1000. In most of the states they were less than 200 in sum for both studies ( Mc Sweeney, 2002:94 ) . This inequality makes the research more accurate for merely a few states. That means that the information of the research are unevenly weighted. When a statistical analysis has to take topographic point, the informations have to be collected in a similar manner, for all the parties ( sample range-extent-quality ) . The questionnaires were answered by the employees of a peculiar company who would wish to take portion and non by Hofstede ‘s pick of separate classs of people. That ‘s obvious from the big differences of the sample size in each state. That means that the sample was non heterogenous plenty, in footings of population distribution, age diverseness, behavior, attitudes and perceptual experiences. Hence, the informations were non plenty to qualify a whole state through these. It would be more accurate to mention to Hofstede ‘s research as an IBM survey of that period.

Harmonizing to Taras, Steel, Kirkman ( 2010:27 ) ,

i??In footings of conceptualisation of civilization, Hofstedei??s ( 1980a ) multidimensional theoretical account may non adequately capture the complete phenomenon of civilization, because a remarkable focal point on cultural values mostly ignores other facets of civilization. Furthermore, at the person and national degrees, civilization may non be every bit stable as Hofstede believed it was So,  … as Hofstedei attack has a figure of conceptual and methodological restrictions that can pollute informations and present a systematic error.i??

Hofstede ‘s Dimensions are beliing with each other

The add-on of the 5th dimension identified by the Hofstede might hold boosted the strength of his national civilization theoretical account. However an intense scrutinising of survey from which Hofstede mined the farther dimension Chinese value survey by the Chinese civilization connexion group ( CCC: Chemical bond, 1988 ) -reveals that on of this 5th dimension is debatable. That survey recognised one of Hofstedeis 4th dimensions-Uncertainty turning away ( UA ) -as irrelevant to Chinese population and accordingly demoted UA from being a world-wide dimension of national civilization to a non-universal dimension. None of the CVS facets were correlated with UA. If Hofstede regards the CCC survey to be valid he should non hold added the 5th dimension to his old one time. He should besides hold downgraded UA in his theoretical account. If, alternatively Hofstede regards the CCC survey as unsound he should non hold attached the 5th dimension.However the job was? Hofstede wants it both ways.

The punctilious scrutiny of the research reveals that it relies on, basically flawed premises. Hofstedei??s Model involves four vital premises upon which his measurings are based. Though it is reasoned that premises are all flawed and that therefore his national cultural accounts are invalid and deceptive but these premises are critical in the sense that they are indispensable for the chance of his designation claims.

Hofstede refer in multiple cases, to the common characteristics, the common traitsi ( 1991:19 ) of the dwellers of a peculiar state. Thus a alone national civilization is assumed to be separately carried out by everyone in state merely like A.J.P Taylor stated that The job with Hitler was that he was German .He assumed that The information of IBM was commendably restricted to the workplace merely, while other sections of national population which includes- the waged and the unwaged, full-time pupils, the freelance, portion clip pupils, the retired, place workers, and others – were non taken into consideration. So, Brenden McSweeney ( University of Essex ) a review while knocking his research, maintaining all the flawed premises in his head, contends, that Hofstede ‘s undertaking is i??a ill-conceived effort to mensurate the unmeasurablei?? .


Hofstedeis theoretical account predicts what most people would make in everyday state of affairss, in other words it provides us with some basic apprehension of how a individual would act in a peculiar civilization. Leti’s say for illustration an American, who has ne’er worked in a Chinese based organisation and has no experience in working with Chinese people, will hold some general thoughts about how the Chinese work civilization operates. We can state this by looking into one of the dimensions of Hofstede such as power distance: in which he has mentioned how civilizations cope with social inequality. Cultures with narrow power distance such as USA will seek to cut down differences and work out jobs via audience and support whereas their opposite numbers ( China ) will make the opposite i.e. promote differences and follow bossy and paternalistic type leading manner.

Now lets assume the old illustration of the American traveling to work for a Chinese based company, if he/she has looked upon Hofstede theoretical account so he/she will hold a certain mentality of how things run about in China. We do non state that the American should be wholly guided by the theoretical account but it does assist. In China, differences in power is indicated when people come for a meeting and the junior forces may get much before clip so has to demo regard to his seniors. The American may happen this difficult to accept but when they become cognizant about this they are psychologically prepared to confront this inequality. If the American has to set up and implement a direction construction so it is really of import for him to cognize the important differences in assorted civilizations. ( Mead and Andrews, 2009 )


As stated above there are a figure of grounds why we agree that Hofstedei theoretical account is dated and biased. It can non be used by an international concern executive merely because they can non be applied in the current international concern environment for a figure of factors, such as, work related values are non similar in the international concern context. To illation we would wish to province that Hofstedei’s dimensions are outdated due to alter in engineering, globalisation from an international concern position, emerging tendencies in different civilizations.

Another ground to reason that Hofstedes dimensions are biased is that the method of carry oning research is based upon one industry and one company, similar types of sample involved in carry oning research, assorted disagreements in the questionnaire, extended period of carry oning research ( alterations in economic conditions ) , disproportional sample size used to analyse informations. Hofstede has relied more on premises and hypothesis thereby making a paradigm wall around his theoretical account to protect his theory.

In contrast Hofstedes theoretical account can be used in some parts of the concern environment such as it provides concern executives with some signifier of basic apprehension. When an international concern executive enters into a foreign civilization everything seems different from the place environment. Using Hofstedes cultural dimensions as a mention point he/she can measure the attack to be taken, the determinations to be made, the actions to be executed in a really general sense for that cultural environment. No civilization is homogeneous and there will be divergences in existent life concern environment from Hofstedes cultural findings, nevertheless, with the usage of Hofstedes model the concern executive can hold a foresight about how things may work in the foreign environment. It becomes less intimidating for him/her as he/she gets a much needed encouragement of assurance and security from analyzing the cultural theoretical account.


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