Importance+of+Hofstedes+study+of+cultural+dimensions+to+the+field+of+crosscultural+communication

Importance+of+Hofstedes+study+of+cultural+dimensions+to+the+field+of+crosscultural+communication
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No.儿一12

T玎垤E EDUCATIoN

一些垫!二一

November-December 2008

Importance of Hofstede’s study of cultural dimensions to the field of

CrOSS—CUItUraI communication

周斌

Abstra【ct:ln 1980.Culture’s Consequences:International

versus

Dmrences

versus

in

Work—Related Value8 showed Geert Hofstede’s study of five

cultural dimensions:individualism

versus

collectivism,masculinity

essay

femininity。power distance,uncertainty avoidance and

as

lon芽1erul

the

shor|.—1em

orientation

to

lire.This

discusses this

theory’s weakness and usefulness

well

as its importance

to

cmBs—

cultural communication that will give readers these five cultural dimensions is

better understanding about this cultural dimension.It concludes that Geert Hofstede’s study of

to

starting point

the beginners

to

know about this field and the

to

government offices

even

can

establish

economic policies according

Key words:Geert

to

the specific culture.It is really

useful research

the field of

cross--cultural

communication.

Hofstede:cuhural dimensions:rmss—cultuTal communication

中图分类号:G644.5文献标识码:A文章编号:1672—8181(2008)11~12—0093-02

Greet Hofstede,a Dutch survey about cultural value in 66 countries from 1967

management

more than

researcher,has made

whole story.It is

were

as

not

representative.Secondly,Hofstede's data which

to

100,000 employees of IBM

was

collected more than 40 years

are

ago

is

seemed叫t_—弋“L-da把now. changing.For

example。in orientation

to

1973.The result Differences in into

showed in Culture’

cultures

not

still,they

are

always

Consequences:International

1980.where it

was

Work-Related Values

cuhural

to

Hofstede’s

cultural

dimension,China’s

lon旷—tem

in

deftned

four

extent

dimensions:

ranking the highest 0f all countries survey which means that the

Chinese prefer

to

individualism versns

collectivism--the

into groups,

which individuals versus and

saving money,but

in today’s

society,船lots of tendency

to

are

integrated

masculinity

versus

people in China influenced by the closely

to

West

and have the

to

be

femininity-...assertiveness and competitiveness

caring,power distance--the members of organizations and

extent to

madesty

less

the¥horP’’-teTm orientation

life.A

to

recent.survey

which the the

institutions(1ike

distributed and

powerful family)expect and

uncertainty 1987。

indicates that

57%of Chinese young people dare

consume with

tomorrow's money,and

want to

only 48%of respondents said”they donl

debt

accept

that

power

is

unequally,

be troubled

by

issue.”(Guang dong News,2003).

family debt ratio has Shanghai

avoidance一一intolerance

for uncertainty

ambiguity.In

Interestingly,the survey also reveals that

reached 122 percent

another cultural dimension study named Chinese Value

was

translated from 50 male and 50

Chinese into different languages and female students respectively in 23

Survey(CVs) answered

countries

and

155

percent in

Beijing and

respectively.However,in

the short--term l 1 5 percent in with the

the United Stated which is categorised into

by

orientation.tIle average personal debt ratio was only

around the 5 continents,then it

became

the fifth cultural dimension:

to

2003(Guang dong

development

News,2003).nis

in

is because along values

are

long—-tem

values

as

versus

8hon—-te珊orientation

will

life,which includes

the

economic

China,people’s

thrift,hard work,keeping face and ordering relationships. essay discusses

changing,especially

the young people,many of them

even

reject

the

(McSweeney。2002).This

weakness and usefulness cultural communication

aB

this theory’s

to

traditional values that

to

well鹊its

will

importance

the

the

c瑚r

better

they

held

onto

in the

past.Thirdly,according

state

Hofstede’s research,the culture is consistent with the nation cultures follow political boundaries.However,there

one

that

give

Feaders

and

are often

in

understanding about this cultural dimension. After the result of Geert Hofstede's study of cultural dimension

various forms of cultures exist in

country,then if the

polities

country changes,will

the cultures there changes,too?As McSweeney

was published,the dispute

there

ale

on

this research

has always existed.And

(2002,cited

the

from

Conner,1978)points that“nations”may fissure,

combined,expand,or contact.An

four main arguments about it.Firstly,culture-level studies

an

coalesce,combine,be

this is

example西

1997,is it

must include

adequately representative range of currently existing

were

integration

of Hong

Kong

into

China in

nations。though the data people in small,and example,in

collected

from

more in each

than

100,000

believable that what Kong is also

true

was measured in the IBM subsidiary in Hens

66 countries,the that for some

average CORntries

number

it

country

was

for the entire Chinese nation?Also,the IBM unit in

was

even

minuscule,for 103

Pakistan,despite of

its

large

population,only

Taiwan was also surveyed,and there were some radical differences between the national culture dimensions measurements for each of

these"nations’and

none

employees of that countries were surveyed,and in merely 58

Singapore,even

of the four dimensional

et

scores

were

similar

respondents

have

completed

the

2002).Such

whole

small number of people’s view

survey(McSweeney, cannot represent the

some

(McSweeney,2002.cited from Paik

a1.,1996).Then

after Taiwan’

integration

to

China,which

region’s

value represents the whole

not

nation’s

standpoint,especially

data comes from

in

multi--cultural

and

even

nation of China?It

seems tllat Hofstede’s results do

take

this

countries.Also,the single have

single

industry

dimension into consideration.Finally,there is 山e

some cultural bias in

is consistent

8,8

company,IBM,which has a strong corporate culture and may affected the employees’values.So,one company cannot tell the

research.Because

tlle

research

team

of

as

the the

Americans

and Europeans,the

questions

asked

well

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