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Professor Geert Hofstede conducted one of the most

comprehensive studies of how values in the workplace are


influenced by culture. He defines culture as the collective
programming of the mind distinguishing the members of one
group or category of people from others.
There are six (6) dimensions to the study. They are:

1. Power Distance Index


2. Individualism versus Collectivism
3. Masculinity versus Femininity
4. Uncertainty Avoidance Index
5. Long-term Orientation versus Short-term Orientation
6. Indulgence versus Restraint
This dimension expresses the degree to which the less powerful
members of a society accept and expect that power is distributed
unequally.

Example: In Indian context, when a very senior level manager


takes a decision, a lower level employee does not differ to that
even if it is wrong. Where as, in USA this is not the case.
So, India has a very high power distance index and USA has a
low power distance index.
This dimension talks about being individual or thinking as a part
of a group, culture or organisation.

Example: while working in a company when an individual thinks


only about himself and not for the organisation, its individualism.
However, when he thinks a part of the company he will act
differently, like for a better opportunity, for an individualistic
person he will go for it but a group member will reject the offer
and stay back.
The Masculinity side of this dimension represents a preference
in society for achievement, heroism, assertiveness and material
rewards for success. Society at large is more competitive. Its
opposite, femininity, stands for a preference for cooperation,
modesty, caring for the weak and quality of life.

Example: The Japanese or the Indian culture is a feminine


culture where as the USA or the UK culture is more aggressive
or masculine one.
The Uncertainty Avoidance dimension expresses the degree to
which the members of a society feel uncomfortable with
uncertainty and ambiguity.

Example: during a meeting in India, there's a cultural tendency


for team members to make the safest, most conservative
decisions, despite any emotional outbursts. Where as , in USA it
will be the opposite. So, India has a high Uncertainty avoidance
index where as in USA its high.
This dimension talks about the determination of goals in a
short term period or a long term period, which again is a
reflection of the groups culture, history etc.

Example: The people of USA believe in the STO process. They


want quick results. Where as in case of the Indian Culture we
believe the LTO process. When we do something we plan for a
longer period of time. Like, USA people may like to trade intra-
day in shares but Indians may like to go for holding shares for a
longer period.
Indulgence stands for a society that allows relatively free
gratification of basic and natural human drives related to enjoying
life and having fun. Restraint stands for a society that suppresses
gratification of needs and regulates it by means of strict social
norms.
Example: Sun Pharmaceuticals started with a one-room in Bagree
Market at Calcutta. Today it is India's No.1 pharma company even
acquired the giant company Ranbaxy. This is a classic example of
Indulgence towards gaining competitive advantage. Contrarily,
East India Pharmaceuticals preferred to remain contended having
consolidated with their traditional product-mix with very little
initiative to launch any block-buster product whatsoever. This is a
classical example of Restraint.
So, from the discussion we can conclude that culture has a
great impact on an organisation and its workers and through
this model or framework we can determine what culture the
organisation is following.