Relationship between uncertainty avoidance and power distance

relationship between uncertainty avoidance and power distance

Proceedings of th The 27 International Business Information Management Association Conference May , Milan, Italy ISBN: Power distance is defined as the extent to which the less powerful members of This difference is a reflection of the higher score of the US on Uncertainty The dimension Uncertainty Avoidance has to do with the way that a society deals with . Hofstede's cultural dimensions theory is a framework for cross-cultural communication, uncertainty avoidance; power distance (strength of social hierarchy) and Further research has refined some of the original dimensions, and introduced the difference between country-level and individual-level data in analysis.

A low score Feminine on the dimension means that the dominant values in society are caring for others and quality of life. A Feminine society is one where quality of life is the sign of success and standing out from the crowd is not admirable. The fundamental issue here is what motivates people, wanting to be the best Masculine or liking what you do Feminine.

relationship between uncertainty avoidance and power distance

The score of the US on Masculinity is high at 62, and this can be seen in the typical American behavioral patterns. This can be explained by the the combination of a high Masculinity drive together with the most Individualist drive in the world. In other words, Americans, so to speak, all show their Masculine drive individually.

The British, however, have the same culture in this respect.

Hofstede's cultural dimensions theory

The question, therefore, should be: In other words, in both societies we find the same drive, but Americans show it up-front whereas the British will take you by surprise. This American combination reflects itself in the following: Many white collar workers will move to a more fancy neighborhood after each and every substantial promotion. As a consequence, we see a lot of polarisation and court cases.

Uncertainty Avoidance The dimension Uncertainty Avoidance has to do with the way that a society deals with the fact that the future can never be known: This ambiguity brings with it anxiety and different cultures have learnt to deal with this anxiety in different ways.

The extent to which the members of a culture feel threatened by ambiguous or unknown situations and have created beliefs and institutions that try to avoid these is reflected in the score on Uncertainty Avoidance. The US scores below average, with a low score of 46, on the Uncertainty Avoidance dimension. As a consequence, the perceived context in which Americans find themselves will impact their behaviour more than if the culture would have either scored higher or lower.

Thus, this cultural pattern reflects itself as follows: There is a fair degree of acceptance for new ideas, innovative products and a willingness to try something new or different, whether it pertains to technology, business practices or food.

Americans tend to be more tolerant of ideas or opinions from anyone and allow the freedom of expression. At the same time, Americans do not require a lot of rules and are less emotionally expressive than higher-scoring cultures. Those with a culture which scores high, on the other hand, take a more pragmatic approach: The United States scores normative on the fifth dimension with a low score of This is reflected by the following: Americans are prone to analyse new information to check whether it is true.

This may concern issues such as abortion, use of drugs, euthanasia, weapons or the size and rights of the government versus the States and versus citizens.

relationship between uncertainty avoidance and power distance

This increase is also evident in some post-Soviet republics such as Russia. American businesses measure their performance on a short-term basis, with profit and loss statements being issued on a quarterly basis. In he published Culture's Consequences, [4] a book which combines the statistical analysis from the survey research with his personal experiences.

In order to confirm the early results from the IBM study and to extend them to a variety of populations, six subsequent cross-national studies have successfully been conducted between and Covering between 14 and 28 countries, the samples included commercial airline pilots, students, civil service managers, 'up-market' consumers and 'elites'. The combined research established value scores on the four dimensions for a total of 76 countries and regions.

In Michael Harris Bond and colleagues conducted a study among students in 23 countries, using a survey instrument developed with Chinese employees and managers. The results from this study led Hofstede to add a new fifth dimension to his model: In the scores for this dimension have been extended to 93 countries thanks to the research of Michael Minkov who used the recent World Values Survey.

Finally, Minkov's World Values Survey data analysis of 93 representative samples of national populations also led Geert Hofstede to identify a sixth last dimension: A higher degree of the Index indicates that hierarchy is clearly established and executed in society, without doubt or reason.

A lower degree of the Index signifies that people question authority and attempt to distribute power. These in-groups are laced with undoubted loyalty and support each other when a conflict arises with another in-group. Societies that score a high degree in this index opt for stiff codes of behavior, guidelines, laws, and generally rely on absolute truth, or the belief that one lone truth dictates everything and people know what it is.

A lower degree in this index shows more acceptance of differing thoughts or ideas. Society tends to impose fewer regulations, ambiguity is more accustomed to, and the environment is more free-flowing.

In feminine societies, they share modest and caring views equally with men. In more masculine societies, women are somewhat assertive and competitive, but notably less than men. In other words, they still recognize a gap between male and female values.

relationship between uncertainty avoidance and power distance

This dimension is frequently viewed as taboo in highly masculine societies. A lower degree of this index short-term indicates that traditions are honored and kept, while steadfastness is valued. Societies with a high degree in this index long-term views adaptation and circumstantial, pragmatic problem-solving as a necessity. A poor country that is short-term oriented usually has little to no economic development, while long-term oriented countries continue to develop to a point.

This dimension is essentially a measure of happiness; whether or not simple joys are fulfilled. On the other hand, Anglo and Germanic countries have a lower power distance only 11 for Austria and 18 for Denmark. For example, the United States has a 40 on the cultural scale of Hofstede's analysis. Compared to Guatemala where the power distance is very high 95 and Israel where it is very low 13the United States is in the middle.

Germany scores a high UAI 65 and Belgium even more 94 compared to Sweden 29 or Denmark 23 despite their geographic proximity. However, few countries have very low UAI.

Masculinity is extremely low in Nordic countries: Norway scores 8 and Sweden only 5. In contrast, Masculinity is very high in Japan 95and in European countries like Hungary, Austria and Switzerland influenced by German culture. In the Anglo world, masculinity scores are relatively high with 66 for the United Kingdom for example.

relationship between uncertainty avoidance and power distance

Latin countries present contrasting scores: However, there are less data about this dimension. There are even less data about the sixth dimension. Correlations of values with other country differences[ edit ] Researchers have grouped some countries together by comparing countries' value scores with other country difference such as geographical proximity, shared language, related historical background, similar religious beliefs and practices, common philosophical influences, identical political systemsin other words everything which is implied by the definition of a nation's culture.

For example, low power distance is associated with consultative political practices and income equity, whereas high power distance is correlated with unequal income distribution, as well as bribery and corruption in domestic politics.

Individualism is positively correlated with mobility and national wealth. As a country becomes richer, its culture becomes more individualistic. Another example of correlation was drawn by the Sigma Two Group [10] in They have studied the correlation between countries' cultural dimensions and their predominant religion [11] based on the World Factbook On average predominantly Catholic countries show very high uncertainty avoidance, relatively high power distance, moderate masculinity and relatively low individualism, whereas predominantly atheist countries have low uncertainty avoidance, very high power distance, moderate masculinity, and very low individualism.

Coelho found inverse correlations between rates of specific kinds of innovation in manufacturing companies and the percentage of large companies per country as well as the employment of a specific kind of manufacturing strategy.

The national culture measure of power distance is positively correlated with the ratio of companies with process innovation only over the companies with any of the three types of innovation considered in the country determinant of correlation: Hence in countries with higher power distance, innovative manufacturing companies are somewhat more bound to resort to process innovations.

The quantification of cultural dimensions enables us to make cross-regional comparisons and form an image of the differences between not just countries but entire regions.

For example, the cultural model of the Mediterranean countries is dominated by high levels of acceptance of inequalities, with uncertainty aversion influencing their choices. With regard to individualism, Mediterranean countries tend to be characterized by moderate levels of individualistic behavior. The same applies to masculinity.

Country Comparison - Hofstede Insights

Future orientation places Mediterranean countries in a middle ranking, and they show a preference for indulgence values. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. November Learn how and when to remove this template message "Culture is at times at the interface of a source of conflict, but it is increasingly synergistic in our current and future social contract. Cultural differences are a nuisance at best, sometimes a disaster, but always present like the air we breathe.