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Hofstede’s Dimensions of Cultural Differences

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Table of contents

  1. Individualism vs. Collectivism
  2. Masculinity vs. Femininity
  3. Long Term vs. Short-Term Orientation

The word “culture” may seem similar but can be described in many different ways depending on which part of the world, this is due to how people behave in their community and organization. When using the findings from Hofstede’s study of the Cultural Differences it can be noted that this can assist a company like Huawei, China, apply dimensional changes to their management style in order to be able to effectively transition into a new cultural environment such as Australia, Mexico and Germany. In order for Huawei, China to be able to expand some of their overseas operations in needs to be able to recognize the similarities and differences in the five dimensions from one country to another.

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Hofstede’s dimensions of Cultural Differences involve:

  • Power Distance
  • Collectivism vs. Individualism
  • Uncertainty Avoidance
  • Masculinity vs. Femininity
  • Long Term vs. Short-Term Orientation

This dimension is described as being the“’extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and organizations accept the power that is distributed unequally (Hofstede B, Independent Validation, P. 419).”

Individualism vs. Collectivism

On one side the individualism is defined as the society which people are believed to be looking after themselves including any of their immediate families unlike the collectivism dimension whereas people belong to collectivities where they are in charge for looking after them in exchange for loyalty.

The third dimension is described as the extent in which a society may feel threatened or intimated when it comes to uncertain situations that result in needing to create such beliefs in order to help try to avoid such situations.

Masculinity vs. Femininity

Masculinity is when status is easily achieved due to material objects, success and money. Where femininity is the complete opposite being described as more to do with feelings that can be seen as a dominant feature and status such as caring for others and quality of life.

Long Term vs. Short-Term Orientation


Cultural Profile

China is the third largest country in the world with a population of 1.38 billion people (2016). The first Chinese migration started in 1827, when a number of Chinese Laborers were employed to work in the pastoral industry before a number more came to join the Gold rush later in the 1870’s. When


Cultural Profile:

    • Power Distance

In Australia this hierarchy is established for the society’s convenience, superiors are always accessible and managers tend to rely a lot on their individual employees and teams for their skills and expertise. All though there is a difference in roles and responsibility between a manager and their employees it goes without saying that both positions receive the same respect as another when it comes to consulting and frequently sharing information. Communication is seen to be informal, direct and participative. Unlike Australia, China believes that inequalities amongst people are acceptable and that one shall not have targets outside their rank.

    • Collectivism vs. Individualism

Australia is a highly individualist culture. A majority of these individuals tend to look after themselves and their immediate families. When it comes to being in a workplace a number of employees are believed to have the skills to be able to demonstrate initiative and self-reliant. While Australia can be considered as a more individualism society, The Chinese society is more attentive as a group let alone themselves.

    • Uncertainty Avoidance
    • Masculinity vs. Femininity

Australia can be considered as a “masculine” society as this is because their values are to win and be the best they can be. When it comes to accomplishments Australian’s can come across as proud individuals when such things are achieved which allows for promotions, and hiring opportunities when it comes to the workplace. When it comes to“masculinity” the Chinese also can be considered as they go beyond as their only difference between Australia is that they will sacrifice family and leisure priority’s to work.

  • ong Term vs. Short-Term Orientation


Cultural Profile:

    • Power Distance

Germany is highly spread out and supported by majority of the middle class, when it comes to control and leadership as a society it is disliked and tend to be challenged.

    • Collectivism vs. Individualism

In Germany the society is more of an individualist one compared to China being more of a collective society. Germans tend to focus more on their small families such as parent-children relationship rather than like Australia and China where they focus more on their families and extended family as a whole.

    • Uncertainty Avoidance
    • Masculinity vs. Femininity

Germans can be considered as a more “masculine” society similar to China but when it comes to status Germany’s like making a statement with the purchases such as; cars, watches and technical devices. The Chinese society is the opposite as they would prefer to invest this sort of income into the family, business and so forth.

    • Long Term vs. Short-Term Orientation

Germans are realistic when it comes to challenges such as the ability to familiarize themselves into a new tradition, and strong tendency to save and invest at times similar to the Chinese society.


Cultural Profile:

    • Power Distance

Similar to China, Mexico is considered as a hierarchical society where the society accepts their rank in the hierarchy they fall into.

    • Collectivism vs. Individualism

Mexico and China are both a collective society where every individual takes responsibility for fellow members of their group.

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    • Uncertainty Avoidance
    • Masculinity vs. Femininity

Like China, Mexico is considered as a masculinity society with values of fulfilling a successful life when it comes to the workplace.

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