Hofstede And Trompenaars’ Work Dimension

Globally, people are getting smarter intellectual they communicate and intermingling with each other now in recent years then they were in the mid twentieth century. By the advanced technology people enhanced their interaction gradually. Today’s international business people must think globally to spread their production and sales. Nowadays it is a big opportunity for managers to working in global market. However, the major challenging issues managers facing is that living and working in cultures altogether different from their own. Managers frequently define culture as the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of a human group from another. The 21’st is the century of the global world, this statement is well supported by evidences and experiments. In fact, upon the current globalised environment, it is remarkable the need for international interaction and culture communication, better human coordination and cooperation for the effective practise of management theories. The cultures of different countries are becoming more interconnected and business activities have become worldwide. Nevertheless, it is very important to understand that despite the increasing connections among countries and geographic expansion of corporation, it does not mean that culture differences are disappearing.

This essay is all about how global managers working in different culture from their own and how company prepare their managers by using Hofstede and Trompenaars work dimension to work in the new market. This essay will gradually highlight the key factors of cultural diversity and also Hofstede and Trompenaars framework.

There are literally hundreds of different authors provided definition of culture and culture dimension, among those there are two most famous authors Hofstede and Trompenaars who explained it very clearly and incredibly understandable.

According to Hofsted culture as, “software of the mind” that guides us in our daily interaction. Hofstede (1994) categorized four cultural dimensions which he tested by research over 50 countries and after that he added the fifth orientation in 1996 which are: power distance, individualism, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity, time orientation. There are another cultural framework was developed by Trompenaars, he thrive Hofstede’s work. Trompenaars explore questionnaires to over 15,000 managers from over 28 countries, both developed and lesser-developed. According to Trompenaars (1994) theory of culture; “Culture is the way where group of people solves the problem”. This method of problem solving is apprehensive with three important issues: relationship with others, time and the environment. He has also identified seven more cultural dimensions which are resultant to these three issues and evocative of Hofstede cultural dimension: universalism versus particularism, individualism versus collectivism, neutral versus emotional, specific versus diffuse, achievement versus ascription, sequential versus synchronic, internal versus external control. [Morism.J 2009]

According to Hofstede (1998), Power distance illustrate as power full boss, who is main head of the company or family. In large power distance countries like, France, Spain, Asian, Latin America and African countries, they get frightened of their bosses. But in small power distance countries like UK, Us and the Europe, they are more likely to challenge bosses. For example of Bangladesh compare to UK, power full bosses are in Bangladesh are quite demanding they give ordered to employees instead of requesting. Employees are not allowed express their suggestion on any matter where boss are still exists, they are bound to listen and agree with the boss. The culture been like this from the beginning and no one can change this culture, it does not matter if managers come from different country to work in the global company and want to work with their own way, the company will not accept him to stay for long time. On the other hand in UK it’s totally opposite they can communicate easily make eye contact share people opinions take advice they always work head to head with each other.

Company have to prepare their managers by giving training about particular countries origin, customers demand, new market and they also have to understand their values, religion, way of living style and mostly language. Managers have to take a risk to understand customer’s choice; enhancing material cost could affect customers easily for that they have to take wise decision while there in new market. Managers need to provide every little help to customer to know more about their needs, young generation choice and so on. Training will help them to understand and co-up with the different culture.

Individualism versus collectivism explicate individualistic people are more focus on own decision making rather than grouping. Business is important for them than family. They are devoted their life for only work. This kind of culture people makes business with a company rather than with a person. They are likely to adopt new ideas, belief in innovation and always try new things. Hofstede found that the highest individualistic societies are such as UK, Canada, Australia, Denmark and US they motivate and give priority their own perspective by doing right jobs, fulfil their needs. As an example British are self-motivated person; they use their inner edict to make decisions. Collectivism is about grouping within the families or work place. They beliefs that group come first. Compare to British people Japan culture people are pretty much lower in collectivism. He also found some countries very high in grouping and less individualistic such as Japan, Indonesia and Pakistan and some South American countries. When they work as a whole group and achieved the goal as whole they take it as their strength. Team work makes better than best. In japan they greeting and introduce them self by telling their name and the company as well. [Hofstede 1991]

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The companies have to give distinct ideas to the managers for new market. Suppose a UK manager working in Japan and applying his individualistic working style in there rather than working as group. For Japan it’s more important to work as group so for that it will be very difficult for the UK manager to coup with other associates. Before joining in the new market company must trained managers to give knowledge about that country culture of living and working style. It is easier who are multicultural who understand and respect other cultural values.

Uncertainty avoidance Hofstede exemplified this as “the extent to which the members of a culture feel threatened by uncertain or ambiguity situations. The feelings conveyed through nervous, stress and on predictability: a need for written and unwritten rules”. [Wall.S, Rees.B 2004]. In countries with low ranking uncertainty avoidance, people give the impression to be easy going. However in high ranking countries, people are easy-to-read and emotional. People get stressed in low uncertainty situation.

Masculine versus Feminine In some countries where masculinity appears most in the job sector rather than feminists. Still in some Asia country side villages women’s are not allowed to go out and seek for job, they are only job is to look after they family inside the home. As Hofstede theory countries which is high in masculinity are confidence, success and money where in feminine countries are like more good in building relationship, caring, accommodating. For example Japan has a masculine culture with 95 on the scale of Hofstede (1994) and in UK pretty much lower but still quite high 66 and feminist in Netherland 14. Suppose UK based company want to send their female managers to Japan to work on new project. The manager is highly skilled on their field and motivated person. Japan culture is high in masculinity for that feminist managers will be in problem to face them, there will be more conflict to understand each other culture rather than adjusting. For the managers it will be very tough to co-operate and work with them. (Jackson.T 1993)

First of all UK companies have to survey Japan’s market by sending one or two executive in there to comprehend their culture, living standard, the way of working style. They have to find out more about there will be any issues if they send any female managers or the country is full of man power. Also they can also recruit a manager from their own origin where manager will be much comfortable to work and understand their needs to do success in business.

Long term Orientation In some cultures people think of long term orientation and its found in some countries like China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan. This countries people focused on long term future they think of at least from now till after five or ten years. Hofstede (1991) define this as “dealing with a society’s search for virtue”. The short term orientation is opposite to long term here people think of only present-day and immediate gratification of needs. The short term orientation countries are Bangladesh, Pakistan and Philippines. Short term planning countries always face owed money from other countries. For example one of the Japan companies want to do business in Bangladesh where these people plan for only current day and for one year they cannot run the business in their way. That would be not easier to make them realize or push them to make plans for long period. The culture has been like that for so long as short term planer. The Japan Company have to recruit a manager who is plan for short term and who has ability to adopt different culture instantly only that way they can run an organization. [Wall. S, Rees. B 2004]

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Again, Trompenaars (1994) discussed cultural theory dimensions designed to guide managers in organizations through these entire seven dimensions where two dimensions are overlaps with Hofsted’s: individualism versus collectivism and achievement versus ascription which is similar to Hofstede masculine versus feminine. Through these seven dimension Trompenaars segregate culture of nation. [Morism.J, 2009]

Universalism versus particularism it’s explore rules based culture where people are bound to do all their work under regulation and guidelines. They thing if they follow rules and can maintain it properly they will easily can maintain relationship. On the other hand particularism culture express relationship and bonding among people and work. In this dimension rules are mist, they give importance to relationship more than ordering and make them uncomfortable. Even in the work place they maintain a friendship relation between employee and others. For example, British are universalism culture. Their agenda goes through rules and regulation, as earlier it motioned that British is also a individualistic culture and they are the head of the company or family, they want to rule all over the world. In Japan they are particularism in nature they have rules and laws which help them to go in right direction. They love to work in friendly environment and they work as collectivist. If British company want to joint venture with Japan’s company there will be a little conflict in-between two companies, however British manager comes to work in Japan and follow their own perception and want everything under rules and regulation they can’t make very good business, because the culture is more about make good relationship. The British company have to send someone who can adopt cultural change or they can also get someone who’s local in Japan in that way it will be easier to sustain a business. [Trompenaars 1994]

Individualism versus collectivism as it is already explained by Hofstede earlier and Trompennars has also explored it in the same way. Individual’s culture people are the head of the family and company. These people always follow their own rules and perception; they work alone, make decision by their own. On the other hand collectivism is all about group work. These cultures people always give priority to the family. These culture managers do their work as a team. [Jackson.T, 1993]

Neutral versus emotional neutral culture peoples don’t display their feelings openly. These culture peoples are more like strict and straightforward. They obey their rules and regulation, they are not biased if someone crime they will get punished. However, in an emotional culture it is totally opposite to neutral culture. These people show their feelings to everyone. For example, UK is the neutral cultures suppose a multinational company want to merge with one of the Bangladeshi company and that country is full of emotion culture. The multinational company managers they don’t show feelings while they are in Bangladesh in different culture from them the co-workers will not get easy and hard to understand. If someone from the company does something wrong the neutral culture manager will definitely sack them. On the other hand Bangladeshi managers on the same situation he will not sack the person he will give disciplinary on the first stage. For this situation company have to train the managers before they come to country, they should know the culture of organization and peoples too. If they want to do business they have to make sure that in emotional culture they have to show emotion they just can’t be so strict and open. [Trompenaars 1994]

Specific versus diffuse specific characterized by direct communication, social life is very open to others. Culture of specific dimension People has clear eminence between work and personal life. They keep private their private life. Countries of specific culture are Denmark and UK. However, diffuse characterized by indirect communication, indirect communication does not say what is really meant. In these culture people has no clear eminence between work and personal life. Japan and Russia are diffuse culture country.

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For example, British managers come to work in Japan organization and showing direct attitude to all the subordinates, even they are not allow to go for a fag without taking permission of the head. Where in Japan they are diffuse culture and have greater consideration of others. British Company should not send someone who has very aggressive attitude and can’t match with newly culture. For them it would be good to select someone who is multi skilled and accept different challenges.

Achievement versus ascription as theory of Trompenaars (1994), a person perhaps judge on achievements proficient or based on status and experience. Achievement culture status originates from the employee what they achieved and accomplished at work. Country like USA, Germany, and Finland are achievement culture. In ascription culture employee status like who they are? They know from birth, age, gender, families and reputation. In these cultures even though the person is well educated and qualified for the job, they will not take them, they will look for gender, experience people. How good a person at work that is not important for in ascription culture. Country like India and china are ascription culture. New Market Company have to be aware of this culture if they sending a manager in one of these country they have trained their manager and must to recruit young manager for India and China. They have to be like them the way they derives their culture in the organization.

Sequential versus synchronic appearance of sequential time view as people do 1 thing step by step at a time it is mainly focuses on how people organize time. On the other hand synchronic culture based on parallel and does several things at a same time. According to Trompenaars time either as a straight line with a sequence of different events or as a circle where the past and present are together with future opportunities. China surrounded by synchronic culture, they always overhead one to another. Moreover in Spain, Italy, Denmark and Sweden are sequential culture. For example if one of the organizations from china wants to merge their business with Spain they have to be aware of synchronic culture of china. If they send a manager who is part of sequential culture to live with synchronic culture there will be a conflict in between two countries. Managers have to get trained and need to know about time management.

Internal versus external control this dimension highlights differences in personal originates. Internal oriented culture shows dominated attitudes, their focus on their own groups and all and feel discomfort in change situation. External oriented cultures are friendly, caring, valuing harmony focus on their colleagues. For example of USA, at the work place generally boss asks the employees personal relationship and show curies to know all information about her because they are open minded and belongs to external culture. Moreover in Germany there cultures are internal. They even don’t allow touching their car. For those managers perceptions have to be clear while they work in culture like internal and external.


The main idea of the study was to give the vision of different culture managers, to adjust them in new market companies. Many global managers suffering from physical and emotional discomfort in a completely new environment where there not use to with the new origin. When they move on to a new place they think it will be easy to work with own culture and values, but once they entered they get culture shock which expresses the lack of direction, the feeling of no knowledge about what or how to do things in a new environment and also what is appropriate or inappropriate. For managers it is crucial to understand the other culture, behaviour, values, beliefs and religion, language and also how the government and political system have affected the life their citizens. The major things manager should follows before join a different culture from their own are 1) Training, 2) Recruitment and selection 3) Observation. The company have to give training the managers about the country culture and the organization, if the countries require for the manager to join within a week and possibly don’t have enough time to give training, they also can recruit and select managers from local area from the same country. That will help them to make their business to go for long term. If does not happen too companies should suggest managers to observation the culture first and then adopt it.

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