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The investigation of differences between different cultures is a rapidly expanding topic that is still in the middle of the development of theories and frameworks. Researchers regularly offer new variants that may or may not become the accepted norm, and it is vital for a person entering the field to be able to distinguish between them and identify their weaknesses. This essay looks into Hofstede’s, GLOBE’s, and Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner’s models of cultural dimensions as well as the typical flaws that have not been addressed in contemporary methods.
Models of Cultural Dimensions
Many theorists attempt to classify cultures based on a specific set of characteristics, which are usually represented as a continuum between two extreme opposite manifestations of the trait. According to Lachner, von Saucken, Mueller, and Lindemann (2015), the reason is that most features of different traditions cannot be seen through a surface inspection and require a more thorough analysis. The model proposed by Geert Hofstede is possibly the most popular approach, including individualism, power distance, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance, long-term orientation, and indulgence (“The 6-D model”, n.d.). The GLOBE model as represented by “Cross cultural studies” (n.d.) emphasizes a slightly different set of traits: power distance, uncertainty avoidance, institutional collectivism, gender egalitarianism, in-group collectivism, assertiveness, performance orientation, future orientation, and human orientation. Lastly, “Cross cultural studies” (n.d.) names universalism, individualism, neutrality, achievement, specificity, sequentiality, and inner direction as the qualities chosen by Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner. As can be seen, each model shares a number of similarities with the rest, possibly due to their shared foundation on human traits.
Weaknesses and Improvements
The existing models are still in development due to particular deficiencies that are common across the most popular frameworks. According to “Cross cultural studies” (n.d.), the three crucial shortcomings are the treatment of culture as static, the equation of culture and national culture, and the oversimplification of the concept as a whole that leads to stereotyping. According to Eslamieh (2018), Fang has proposed a model that accounts for the first trait by imagining cultures as “oceans” that allow different values to surface throughout history, thus changing the overall functioning of the system. The second idea is contentious as, while many qualities remain the same across a single country but change among different ones, the assumption that a state only contains one distinct group is often fallacious. Lastly, Patel (2017) states that theorists resort to objectivism excessively, which leads to a simplification of the concept of culture. An approach that balances simplicity of use with a comprehensive understanding of culture is yet to appear.
Current models for culture analysis tend to concentrate on a set of dual characteristics and evaluate a nation based on its measured adherence to each of these traits. While some of them are effective and commonly used, they have a number of downsides, which stem from a desire for simplicity and quantifiability. An ideal approach would integrate the dynamic nature of cultures, the possibility of multiple cultures existing within a country, and remove oversimplification.
Cross-cultural studies: Pat 1 summary and current debates in cross cultural studies. (n.d.). Web.
Eslamieh, R. (2018). Monologism of Hofstede’s Static Model vs Dialogism of Fang’s Dynamic Model: Contradictory Value Configuration of Cultures through the Case Study of Farsi Proverbs. International Journal of Society, Culture & Language, 6(2), 32-46.
Lachner, F., von Saucken, C., Mueller, F., & Lindemann, U. (2015). Cross-cultural user experience design helping product designers to consider cultural differences. In P. Rau (Ed.), Cross-cultural design: Methods, practice, and impact (pp. 58-70). Los Angeles, CA: Springer.
Patel, T. (2017). Multiparadigmatic studies of culture: Needs, challenges, and recommendations for management scholars. European Management Review, 14(1), 83-100.
The 6-D model of national culture. (n.d.). Web.