Critically analyze the work of Hofstede dimensions of national culture and evaluate its relevance in the way different organizations are structured today. The work of Hofstede five dimensions of national culture have gained great significance in today’s world where competition and survival has become highly difficult. Culture plays an important role in today’s highly competitive environment because people belonging to different cultures are merging together for their individual as well as organizational objectives (Gannon, 2009).
Understanding the five dimensions of national culture of Hofstede helps organizations to understand the significance of culture so that they can develop business strategies accordingly and manage workforce effectively. The first dimension is based on small vs. large power distance which emphasizes upon: the autocratic and democratic power relations. Traditional organizations were autocratic where the control of the management and decision-making was under the upper management with no or minimum power t the subordinates.
But today, as the market environment has become highly global and requires the input of every employee as human resource is now considered the real asset of an organization, it emphasizes upon the small power distance for achieving success. Successful organizations have broaden their scope and adapted to the changing global environment where flexibility in the organization can only be achieved through small power distance to allow every individual to take responsibility of work and achievement of both individual as well as organizational objectives.
Secondly, individualism vs. collectivism implies that cultures that follow individualism are where individuals are independent to make their own decisions for their individual growth and success whereas in collectivist cultures, individuals are bund to act together within a group whether family or work group and take decisions that have an interest for every group member.
Today, when national wealth and economic well being of the societies are rising, the trend towards individualism has increased and allows individuals to be more creative and responsible for achieving their goals with determination and lead to the achievement of log term goals. Then, the third dimension is based on the masculine and feminine cultures in the society which helps to identify the attributes of individuals where M culture shows the quantity of life though competition, ambition, wealth, material belongings and assertiveness, while the F culture shows the quality of life through relationships and values.
Today, organizations aim to achieve a combination of both cultures so that objectives can b achieved successfully in the long run. Now, the fourth dimension is regarding weak or strong uncertainty avoidance that is how individuals and societies respond to uncertainties and unforeseen situations in the future. The cultures with weak uncertainty avoidance are basically the risk takers and innovative to meet the dynamic market environment through innovative and unique ideas.
Lastly, it is the long term and short term orientation, where individuals either work for long term objectives or short term objectives. The recent global trends have shown that organizations that are long term oriented have a stronger position in the market and are capable of dealing with contingencies and uncertainties effectively (Luthans, 2003).
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