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Hofstede Cultural Dimensions Essay

India is a vast country known for its diversified culture and traditions. The unique characteristic of India is its “unity in diversity”. In India Relationships and feeling plays a larger role in decisions. Indians tend to take larger risks with a person whose intentions they trust. Thus, one’s credibility and trustworthiness are critical in negotiating a deal. Indians are ‘polychronic’ people, ie they tend to deal with more than one task at the same time. Indians are cautious in accepting a new idea or proposals. The information about who has implemented it or who has proposed it has a major influence on the decision about a new idea.

One of the most significant culture influences on Indian culture is that of hierarchy. For example, only the owner or the most superior person of a company will make business decision. Even if you are dealing with a manager, they will always go to the boss for a final decision.

Hofstede’s Research on National culture:

Power Distance (77): Power Distance describes how a society deals with the inequalities in power that exists among people. Societies characterized by high power distance are relatively indifferent to inequalities and the gap between powerful and weak is maximum. By contrast, in societies with low power distance the gaps between the powerful and weak are minimal.

In India most of the people belongs to the middle class category. So the upper category people control most of the decision making and buying power. In Organizations, the degree of centralization of authority and autocratic leadership determines power distance. The social structure of organizations in India is based on superior – subordinate relationship. Once the hierarchy is establishes, juniors yield to seniors on every conceivable occasion. For example, they standup when the boss enters the office, speak humbly and politely.

India has to change a lot in this dimension. Even though they are many politicians caught in scams like 2G scams, still they are not arrested beacuse of there power and corruption. I wish India will become a low power distance country very soon.

Individualism/Collectivism (48): This dimension is based on the extent to which individuals value personal independence or group membership. Individualist culture values personal goals, independence and privacy. Collectivist culture is showing the loyalty to groups. Members of the collectivist society are expected to subordinate their individual interests for the benefit of their in- groups ie, family or organization.

Hofstede classified India as dominant on the collectivism dimension. In Organizations, people work as a team rather than individual. Employees are seen as hard working, as loyal to the company and highly motivated to do new things.

Masculinity/Femininity (56): Masculine cultures tend to value competitiveness, ambitions and accumulation of wealth. Feminine cultures emphasize nurturing roles, interdependence among people and taking care of less fortune people.

Indians are more focused on career and earning money as well as they takes care for others. In workplace employees help each other’s instead of emphasize their work. Hofstede classified India as Masculinity country. However, the culture in organizations is more feminine. That means there is a slight preference for achievements and material success.

Uncertainty Avoidance (40): The extent to which people can tolerate risk and uncertainty in their lives.

People in India do not accept or deal with ambiguous or risky situations. Recently, with the raise of literacy rate among the people, some section of the people is taking risk by engaging in entrepreneurial activities without thinking about the job security. Gradually people will adapt or encourage new innovations and accept the different approaches in dealing with the situation.

Long-term/Short-term orientation (61): It denotes the degree to which people and organizations defer gratification to achieve long-term success. In India people and organization with a long-term orientation culture tend to take the long view to planning and living. With this long-term orientation India has experienced a remarkable economic growth while most of the western countries experienced an economical downfall.

Indulgence/Restraint: Indulgence denotes the society that allows the free expression of thoughts and allows the gratification of needs related to enjoying life and having fun. Restraint denotes the regulation of the gratification of needs by means of strict rules or norms. In India everyone has a right to express and live freely as they like. In organizations even though employees can express their ideas or thoughts they have to be approved by top level people to bring them in to action.


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