Small vs. Large Power Distance
- the extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and organizations expect and accept that power is distributed unequally. Small power distance (e.g. Austria, Denmark) expect and accept power relations that are more consultative or democratic. People relate to one another more as equals regardless of formal positions. Subordinates are more comfortable with and demand the right to contribute to and critique the decision making of those in power. In large power distance countries (e.g. China) less powerful accept power relations that are more autocratic and paternalistic. Subordinates acknowledge the power of others simply based on where they are situated in certain formal, hierarchical positions. As such the Power Distance Index Hofstede defines does not reflect an objective difference in power distribution but rather the way people perceive power differences. (...)
Individualism vs. collectivism
- individualism is contrasted with collectivism, and refers to the extent to which people are expected to stand up for themselves and to choose their own affiliations, or alternatively act predominantly as a member of a life-long group or organisation. Latin American cultures rank among the lowest in this category, while the U.S.A. is one of the most individualistic cultures.
Masculinity vs. femininity
- refers to the value placed on traditionally male or female values (as understood in most Western cultures). So called 'masculine' cultures value competitiveness, assertiveness, ambition, and the accumulation of wealth and material possessions, whereas feminine cultures place more value on relationships and quality of life. Japan is considered by Hofstede to be the most "masculine" culture, Sweden the most "feminine." Anglo cultures are moderately masculine. (...)
- reflects the extent to which members of a society attempt to cope with anxiety by minimizing uncertainty. Cultures that scored high in uncertainty avoidance prefer rules (e.g. about religion and food) and structured circumstances, and employees tend to remain longer with their present employer. Mediterranean cultures and Japan rank the highest in this category.
Long vs. short term orientation
- describes a society's "time horizon," or the importance attached to the future versus the past and present. In long term oriented societies, pragmatism, thrift and perseverance are valued more; in short term oriented societies, normative statements, respect for tradition and reciprocation of gifts and favors are valued more. China and Japan and the Asian tigers score especially high here, with Western nations scoring rather low and many of the less developed nations very low; China scored highest and Pakistan lowest.