Cultures and Organizations.
Intercultural Cooperation and Its Importance for Survival. The Software of the Mind.
New York: McGraw Hill
Power Distance Index (PDI)
that is the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations
and institutions (like the family) accept and expect that power is distributed unequally. This represents
inequality (more versus less), but defined from below, not from above. It suggests that a society's level
of inequality is endorsed by the followers as much as by the leaders. Power and inequality, of course,
are extremely fundamental facts of any society and anybody with some international experience will be
aware that 'all societies are unequal, but some are more unequal than others'.
on the one side versus its opposite, collectivism, that is the degree to which
individuals are integrated into groups. On the individualist side we find societies in which the ties
between individuals are loose: everyone is expected to look after him/herself and his/her immediate
family. On the collectivist side, we find societies in which people from birth onwards are integrated
into strong, cohesive in-groups, often extended families (with uncles, aunts and grandparents) which
continue protecting them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty. The word 'collectivism' in this sense
has no political meaning: it refers to the group, not to the state. Again, the issue addressed by this
dimension is an extremely fundamental one, regarding all societies in the world.
versus its opposite, femininity, refers to the distribution of roles between the
genders which is another fundamental issue for any society to which a range of solutions are found.
The IBM studies revealed that (a) women's values differ less among societies than men's values; (b)
men's values from one country to another contain a dimension from very assertive and competitive and
maximally different from women's values on the one side, to modest and caring and similar to women's
values on the other. The assertive pole has been called 'masculine' and the modest, caring pole
'feminine'. The women in feminine countries have the same modest, caring values as the men; in the
masculine countries they are somewhat assertive and competitive, but not as much as the men, so that
these countries show a gap between men's values and women's values.
Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI)
deals with a society's tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity; it
ultimately refers to man's search for Truth. It indicates to what extent a culture programs its members
to feel either uncomfortable or comfortable in unstructured situations. Unstructured situations are
novel, unknown, surprising, different from usual. Uncertainty avoiding cultures try to minimize the
possibility of such situations by strict laws and rules, safety and security measures, and on the
philosophical and religious level by a belief in absolute Truth; 'there can only be one Truth and we