Critiques on Hofstede’s Studies

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Submitted By KCsayshey
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Critiques on Hofstede’s studies
On Dimensions – Hofstede puts his five dimensions in binary pairs that polarize one over each other. However, people and cultures are not static, you cannot draw a clear line between each pairs or between West and East. Culture itself is dynamic and diverse and it changes over time. Behavior changes when you are in different settings (environments or people). Therefore, putting dimensions in opposite pairs is not accurate and not sufficient.

Besides, his study was conducted 40 years ago, which is out-dated. He proposed to add the 6th dimension in 2010 - Indulgence versus Restraint (IVR), which measures the importance of leisure and happiness, feeling of life control and freedom of expression. This dimension captures the values of our generation better than the rest. We are born in an age where most people do not have to worry about their basic living. We have more financial freedom towards life. IVR therefore becomes a critical measure.

On Hofstede’s Understanding of Cultures – Hofstede introduced the 5th dimension - Long Term Orientation in 1991 in an attempt to fit the uncertainty avoidance dimension into Asian culture. In my opinion, high LTO in Asia is mainly driven by institutions and wealth of the society instead of the Confucianism culture. Most of the Asians countries have a low tax rate comparing to the West, therefore, a long-term financial planning is essential to gather wealth. Besides, insufficient retirement welfare and low living standard motivates Asians to be long term orientated and careful with their spending. Instead of living life in the moment, spending every penny earned or loaned for short-term entertainment, Asians tend to picture their life in a bigger, longer landscape. However, I do agree with Hofstede that the recent Asian business success is reflected by high LTO. Given an example: the battle in…...

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