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Hofstede’s first dimensions (1980) to analyze the distance or how countries differ from one another were four constructs: uncertainty avoidance, power distance, individualism and masculinity. The data that was used from his early work did contribute in enhancing the global studies about distance, particularly regarding the empirical analysis. His approach was appealing for different reasons: he emphasized that the flows of information are based on cultural and cognitive differences, hence the uncertainty factor and the difficulty of foreign expansion. His dimensions also offered a specific set of cultural indicators for quite a significant number of countries at the time. The forty countries that he selected were measured according to his dimensional approach. However, this approach to cross-national distance was solely relying on the cultural dimension of a country, failing to grasp the globality of a country’s dynamics.
Consequently, his findings may be lacking in terms of ambiguity and may prove to be conflicting. Additional dimensions seemed to be required for a more comprehensive and accurate understanding of distance that goes beyond the only cultural aspect. His work has been completed over the years, adding two more dimensions – Indulgence versus Restraint and Long-term orientation versus Short-term orientation – and a wider range of countries for his analysis. Regardless of the actual findings and the accuracy of the model, Hofstede’s dimensions and his global work have been the basis for international research on the topic of cross-national distance.
Following the work of Hofstede, Shalom H. Schwartz released his own perception of a culture model in six dimensions under three major pairs. (Schwartz, 1994)
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