Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind, Third Edition: Software of the Mind: Intercultural Cooperation and Its Importance for Survival (BUSINESS SKILLS AND DEVELOPMENT)
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It ends with ‘‘in recent millennia, evolution has pressed toward enlargement of the moral circle, but we are not done yet.
Based on statistical analysis of a large body of data, he suggests that culture may be understood according to six principal components: "power distance", "individualism x collectivism", "masculinity x femininity", "avoidance of uncertainty", "long-term orientation" and "indulgence x restraint".
This should be required reading for anyone planning to live overseas or anyone who deals with internationals. What is it that continues to drive people apart when cooperation is so clearly in everyone's interest?
It’s written in a simple language and broken down into very understandable bits so even someone without much previous knowledge (like me) can have a pleasant read.In any of the countries mentioned, how can Hofstede say that he can form a view of the whole cultural situation based on a handful of IBM middle managers? The book then proceeds to present the four dimensions of culture that he identified as a result of a massive survey he conducted on IBM employees in 72 countries in 1968 and again in 1972. As a second generation Nikkei Canadian, and a long term ex-pat, cultural influences and regional idiosyncrasies have fascinated me ever since I could remember. INDULGENCE/RESTRAINT: Indulgence stands for a tendency to allow relatively free gratifications of basic and natural human desires related to enjoying life and having fun, whereas restraint reflects a conviction that such gratification needs to be curbed and regularised by strict social norms. The first chapter (chapter 7) argues that management theories are always limited to the culture of the creator.
The scope of these disciplines varies from the individual to the small group to the society to international affairs. Geert Hofstede, PhD, is professor emeritus of Organizational Anthropology and International Management at Maastricht University, The Netherlands. This book is interesting, but the author tends to essentialize and naturalize cultural and national identity, ignoring the fact that there are usually more differences within groups than there are between them.Expect long stretches of this, with lots of jargon, and a maddening tendency of theirs to expect readers to memorize the acronyms they use for various cultural indicators. I am very interested in cross-cultural differences at various levels, in organizations but also in families and education. Just a heads up: the book spends a great deal of space simply describing their methodology in gathering and interpreting data. But I understand studies like this were made to moralize the late-last centuries wealth extraction of poorer ‘developing’ countries (one could list the infamous activities that the sponsor and ‘exemplar’ IBM has been involved in); really some of the least ‘objective’ ‘uncertainty-avoidant’ feel-good schemes for a (dumb or cynical section) of the managerial/landlord (of both houses and land tracts) class.