Hofstede Cultural Value Indices - Journal of International Business Studies

Hofstede Cultural Value Indices - Journal of International Business Studies

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A framework to update Hofstede’s cultural value indices: economic dynamics and institutional stability Linghui Tang 1 and Peter E Koveos 2 1 Department of Economics, Finance, and International Business, School of Business, The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ, USA; 2 Department of Finance, Whitman School of Business, Syracuse University, Syracuse, USA Correspondence: L Tang, Department of Economics, Finance, and International Business, School of Business, The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ 08628, USA. Tel: þ 1 609 771 2240; Fax: þ 1 609 637 5129; E-mail: tang@tcnj.edu Received: 12 December 2005 Revised: 4 January 2008 Accepted: 10 January 2008 Online publication date: 22 May 2008 Abstract This study offers an update of the Hofstede cultural value dimensions. We argue that changes in economic conditions are the source of cultural dynamics, while the endurance of institutional characteristics provides the foundation for cultural stability. It is found that national wealth, measured by GDP per capita, has a curvilinear relationship with individualism, long-term orientation, and power distance scores. Relatively speaking, uncertainty avoidance and masculinity mainly reflect some rather stable institutional traditions, such as language, religion, climate, ethnic homogeneity, and legal origin, and are less likely to change over time. Journal of International Business Studies (2008) 39, 1045–1063. doi:10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8400399 Keywords: culture change; cultural framework; Hofstede; GLOBE INTRODUCTION Hofstede’s (1980, 2001) five cultural dimensions – power distance, individualism, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity, and long-term orientation – have arguably had far greater impact than other competing cultural dimensions (e.g., Kluckhohn & Strodtbeck, 1961; Schwartz, 1994; Smith, Peterson, & Schwartz, 2002; Trompe- naars, 1993). According to Kirkman, Lowe, and Gibson (2006: 286), Hofstede’s framework stands out in cross-cultural research because of its ‘clarity, parsimony, and resonance with managers’. However, despite the framework’s long-standing popularity, several studies have questioned the applicability of Hofstede’s cultural value scores (McSweeney, 2002; Schwartz, 1994; Shenkar, 2001; Smith, 2002). One major criticism is that the indices fail to capture the change of culture over time (Kirkman et al., 2006). Although institutional factors such as language, religion, and geography are important elements in defining national culture (Ronen & Shenkar, 1985), anecdotal data provide significant evidence regarding the dynamics of cultures in an increasingly integrated world. For instance, Heuer, Cummings, and Hutabaratt (1999) find that the cultural difference between US and Indonesian managers in terms of individualism and power distance has declined over time. Ralston, Egri, Stewart, Terpstra, and Yu (1999) find that rapid economic development in China since the 1970s has led to Journal of International Business Studies (2008) 39, 1045–1063 & 2008 Academy of International Business All rights reserved 0047-2506 www.jibs.net
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significant generational shifts in work values: the new generation of Chinese managers is more individualistic and embraces less Confucian value than the old generation of Chinese managers does.
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Hofstede Cultural Value Indices - Journal of International Business Studies

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