Skip to main content

Introduction to Intercultural Management

The 6-D Model

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”.

The application of this research is used worldwide in both academic and professional management settings.

As mentioned above, the model consists of 6 dimensions: 
 
Power Distance (PDI): High PDI indicates a high acceptance of power being distributed unequally within a society; hierarchy is needed rather than just a convenience. Low PDI societies put emphasis on the importance of equal rights, as opposed to the importance of privileges of the more powerful.
 
Individualism (IDV): In individualist societies (high IDV), there is a strong sense of “I”, meaning that one’s personal identity is distinct from others’. In collectivist societies (low IDV), there is a strong sense of “we”, illustrating a mutual practical and psychological dependency between the person and the ingroup.
 
Masculinity (MAS): In masculine societies (high MAS), the dominant values are achievement and success. In feminine societies (low MAS), the emphasis is on modesty, caring for others and quality of life. In masculine societies, you live to work; in feminine societies, you work to live.
 
Uncertainty Avoidance (UAI): High UAI indicates a need for predictability and structure, often in the form of written and unwritten rules. In low UAI societies, uncertainty is considered normal and each day is taken as it comes.

 
Long-Term Orientation (LTO): Long-Term Oriented societies focus on perseverance and thrift, while Short-Term Orientation (low LTO) emphasizes respect for tradition and the fulfilling of social obligations. In high LTO societies, the only non-changing rule is that the world is always changing.
 
Indulgence (IVR): Indulgent societies (high IVR) reflect a positive attitude and the view that one can act as one pleases. In contrast, in restraint societies (low IVR) gratification of needs are regulated by strict social norms and leisure is of lesser importance.