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Faculty & Research


Management Research, International Business, and National Culture: Evaluating Hofstede and GLOBE

Why do different groups of people behave in different ways when dealing with the common challenges of human life? The answer often lies in their cultural attitudes, values, and consequent behaviours. The study of human culture has been deemed a key contribution to understanding human life for many centuries. Explanations and descriptions of cultural characteristics abound, but in the field of business, none have been more influential and warmly embraced than those developed by Geert Hofstede and the GLOBE group. These models of national culture, which characterise Japanese, Americans, French, and may other nationalities in terms of common characteristics such as collectivism, masculinity, and power distance, are most widely cited and applied in business research, teaching, and recommendations for practice. But this seminal work needs a careful reality check. The authors of this book point out a range of problems associated with the Hofstede and GLOBE national culture measures which bring into question their accuracy and usefulness in meeting the expectations of management culture researchers and students. This book explains in detail why the measures developed by Hofstede and GLOBE are of dubious validity and why they should be viewed with caution by those looking for answers to the complex questions of culture.

Emeritus Professor of Marketing