Cultures ConsequencesCultures Consequences : International Differences in Work-Related Values (Cross Cultural Research and Methodology)
by Geert Hofstede
Paperback: 328 pages
Publisher: SAGE Publications; Abridged edition (January 1, 1984)
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.9 inches
Reviewer: A. J. Valasek (Clemmons, NC United States) -
If you need to learn about various cultures for different countries, this book is THE source. Hofstede's groundbreaking work is internationally recognized. Although the study was done in the late 1960's - early 1970's, the information is still relevant and interesting. For anyone who has to spend time in another country, they would be doing themselves a favor by getting a hold of this book. The only problem with this book is that it is not one of the easiest reads I've ever seen by far. To his credit however, he provides lots of tables and charts for the person who typically scans material. A must have for expatriates or those seeking an MBA.
Reviewer: A reader
The scope of Hofstede's study (more than 100,000 surveys in 60+ countries) has been called "vast" and "staggering": it certainly stands as the largest cross-cultural values survey in history.
More importantly, the book has changed the way that management and psychology researchers look at cross-cultural (or cross- national) comparisons. By providing four dimensions of culture (individualism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance and masculinity) and numerical scores, he has both provided a theory for differences between national cultures and a way to cross-check those differences.
It is one of the most cited works in international management (1000+ citations according to Songergaard in a 1994 article in Organization Studies).
Those with a non-academic interests (i.e., those involved in international trade) may be better off with his more readable 1991 book, Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind.
"This important book is based on a monumental study of the sales subsidiaries of a major multinational corporation which operates in 39 countries in the world. Since, in all countries, the respondents do the same work . . . and since the formal organization structure is the same everywhere, the important differences found in work attitudes and values can be ascribed to cultural differences among the countries. The author found four major dimensions for classifying cultures across the world: (i) power distance . . . (ii) uncertainty avoidance . . . (iii) individualism . . . (iv) masculinity. . . . The author also proposes some interesting theories to explain how cultures come to be as they are, which combine climate, economic development and historical process." --The Good Book Guide for Business "One of the most significant comparative organizational studies to date." --Industrial and Labor Relations Review "Important scientific books may be classified according to two types. . . . The second type includes those books which people like to have close at hand and consult for reference. There is little doubt that this book belongs to the second category." --Journal of Management Studies "What the author has done has been to analyze questionnaire results obtained in some 40 different countries, applied to employees of a large multinational American company, and to use the results for extracting dimensions along which to compare these different cultures, and then to evaluate and discuss the resulting groupings. . . . The book is full of interesting and important findings. . . . It should certainly be studied by anyone in the field." --New Society "Hofstede has produced an ingenious, careful, and richly stimulating book that will certainly be useful to all those concerned with managing multinational and multicultural organizations. . . . The book offers educators a new conceptual framework and a bank of data that will be highly useful in teaching." --Academy of Management Review "An important, sophisticated and complex monograph. . . . Both the theoretical analysis and the empirical findings constitute major contributions to cross-cultural value analysis and the cross-cultural study of work motivations and organizational dynamics. This book is also a valuable resource for anyone interested in a historical or anthropological approach to cross-cultural comparisons." --Personnel Psychology "One cannot help admiring the effort that went into this book and ending up more knowledgeable and wiser for having read it." --Contemporary Sociology "Should be read by every manager about to embark on an international or intercultural work assignment. To benefit most from his ideas requires great concentration on the part of the reader, but it is worth the effort. The manager should be able to substantially improve his (most international managers are men) effectiveness by applying his understanding of the culturally based differences in values among the firm's employees. In a classroom situation, this book would be appropriate for graduate students." --Reviews in Anthropology.