3 a study of the subsidiaries of one company cannot

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3. A study of the subsidiaries of one company cannot provide information about entire national cultures (answer: what was measured were differences among national cultures. Any set of functionally equivalent samples can supply information about such differences). 4. The IBM data are old and therefore obsolete (answer: the dimensions found are assumed to have centuries-old roots; they have been validated against all kinds of external measurements; recent replications show no loss of validity). 5. Four or five dimensions are not enough (answer: additional dimensions should be statistically independent of the dimensions defined earlier; they should be valid on the basis of correlations with external measures; candi- dates are welcome to apply). Evaluations of the implications of the theory have recently been published for psychology in Smith and Bond (1993); for organization sociology in Hickson and Pugh (1995); for anthropology in Chapman (1997). In a recent version of the research instrument (IRIC 1994), each of the five dimensions is measured by four survey questions that are intercorrelated at the country level. Psychologists sometimes have difficulty in understanding that these questions do not necessarily correlate at the individual level. They are meant to be a test of national culture, not of individual personality; they distinguish cultural groups or populations, not individuals. Organizational Cultures and Dimensions of Practices The researeh project into cross-organizational differences within the same countries (Hofstede et al. 1990) surveyed employees and managers from 20 work units in Denmark and the Netherlands. It attempted to cover a wide range of different work organizations, making it possible to assess the relative weight of similarities and differences within the range of cul- ture differences that can be found in practice. The 20 units to which access was obtained were from three broad kinds of organizations: (1) private com- panies manufacturing electronics, chemicals, or consumer goods (six total divisions or production units, three head office or marketing units, and two
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482 Geart Hofstede research and development units); (2) five units from private service com- panies (banking, transport, trade); and (3) four units from public institu- tions (telecommunications, police). Unit sizes varied from 60 to 2,500 persons. Twenty units was a small enough number to allow studying each unit in depth, qualitatively, as a separate case study. At the same time, it was large enough to permit the statistical analysis of comparative quanti- tative data across all cases. Extensive open interviews (nine per unit, a total of 180 interviews) con- tributed to (1) a qualitative picture of each unit's culture as a whole, and (2) the design of a questionnaire for the quantitative phase of the project. This included the 32 values and beliefs questions for which cross-national differences had been found, plus about 100 new questions. Some of the new questions also dealt with values; S4 new questions dealt with percep- tions of the practices in the respondents' work unit. These were formulated
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  • Spring '12
  • dr.long
  • Geeit Hofstede

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