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Culture's Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions and Organizations Across Nations Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0803973244 ISBN-10: 0803973241 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 616 pages
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications, Inc; 2nd edition (April 20, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803973241
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803973244
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 7.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #363,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"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." 


About the Author

Geert Hofstede received a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Technical University at Delft and a doctorate in Social Psychology from the University of Groningen, both in his native Netherlands. His professional career includes experience as a worker, foreman, plant manager, chief psychologist on the international staff of a multinational corporation, academic researcher, director of human resources of another multinational, and university professor. He has been affiliated with IMD (Lausanne, Switzerland), INSEAD (Fontainebleau, France), the European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management (Brussels, Belguim), IIASA (Laxenburg Castle, Austria), and the University of Hong Kong. He is Professor Emeritus of Organizational Anthropology and International Management of Maastricht University, the Netherlands. He is currently a Senior Fellow of the Institute for Research on Intercultural Cooperation (of which he was a founder) and of the Center for Economic Research, both at Tilburg University, the Netherlands. He has lectured at universities and consulted for institutions and companies around the world. Dr. Hofstede’s books have appeared in seventeen languages, and his articles have been published in social science journals around the world. He is among the top 100 most cited authors in the Social Science Citation Index.


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54 of 55 people found the following review helpful By M. Beise-Zee on May 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
Although many comments have already been accumulated let me add something, since some of the reviews tend to get out of focus. Hofstede never claimed to have studied cultures in general, he studied effects of culture on work-related values. For this topic his work is still the standard. The starting point is like this: a large company like IBM tries to establish a strong corporate identity shared among all of its worldwide employees ("We are IBM" kind of thing). However, if you ask them a couple of questions about their work-related values, they answer differently. Turns out, the differences can be explained to some degree by the employee's country-of-origin, that is his or her culture. Hofstede then goes on and tries to find dimensions in order to describe the differences between cultures, - and it has to be said again and again - dimensions for "work-related values" and not for culture in general! This observation was and is tremendously important for multinational companies. It means that we are still influenced even when we work at a multinational firm by our cultural traditions and that this cannot easily be exchanged by the company's culture. Of course if you are more interested in other aspects of culture, than Hofstede's books might not the prime choice for you to study.
Hofstede's work is scientifically sound. The choice of IBM as a case is reasonable given his prime motivation. Sample sizes are impressive for all who have tried similar studies (besides, representativity is not a function of sample size but given by the radomness of the sample draw. Sample size has an effect on standard error but this can be taken into account with a test of significance). Quackery is how other people have used Hofstede's data in contexts other than work-related.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Vieuxblue on June 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The publication of the original edition of Hofstede's Culture's Consequences was, within the field of cross-cultural research, comparable to the work of Darwin in evolutionary theory. Now, with a second edition, practitioners and theorists alike have a rich quarry to mine for many years to come.
The second addition notably adds references to a number of corroborating studies that have been collected over the more or less twenty years since the first edition. As an example, Appendix 6 contains references to well over 50 statistically linked research papers from other authors. The result is the collection in a single volume of a growing body of literature in the field, work that continues to define a kind of mental geography of culture.
When I first come upon Hofstede's research in the 1980's I was immediately taken with the extraordinary relationship between his mental geographies (charted by developing ratios between his four, now five, dimensions) and the physical proximity of real countries. In other words, the countries in his dimensions tended to cluster in similar ways to how countries cluster geographically. Of course there are counter-intuitive examples (e.g., Germany), but in many of those cases, the data helps break cultural stereotypes widely held about those countries.
Hofstede's original research focused on over 115,000 questionnaires provided to the worldwide employees of IBM. The premise behind using one company worldwide is that because the company is held constant, the data that can be examined for differences that can be attributed to country cultures. If IBM employees had been compared to, for example, government workers in different countries, organizational culture would have been implicated.
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49 of 60 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
From earlier reviews it is clear that Hofstede's research claims are controversial. The reviews have been extraordinarly laudatory or have very sharply questioned the verasity of Hofstede's research. So, I decided to read the book and the journal article cited in one of the reviews. The conclusions of that article are clear from its title: B.McSweeney "Hofstede's model of national cultural research: A triumph of faith - a failure of analysis", Human Relations, 2002 Vol.55,(January) pp.89-117. Human Relations is, I know, a very highly rated scholarly journal. All articles published in it are independently refereed, so there must be some merit in McSweeney's critique! I found his article to be very clearly and carefully written and to be very convincing. Whilst looking for a copy of the article, I discovered that Hofstede had replied and McSweeney had responed. Both reply and response were published in Human Relations in November last year (Vol.55, No.11). In my view it's "game, set, and match" to McSweeney. His demonstrations in his response of the flaws in Hofstede's "validations" are I think devastating. So, my recommendation is, if you plan to read Hofstede's book make sure you also read the three articles in Human Relations: McSweeney's critique; Hofstede's reply; McSweeney's response.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By M. Ryan on May 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
In reference to the previous reviews, there is considerable critique of Hofstede's work throughout the academic community and is not the ideal place to get a feel for the value of this book. Also, the survey was not given in English around the world; it was translated into the appropriate languages and retranslated back into English just to ensure that the translation from English was accurate. However, this does not mean that other problems with the survey do not exist.
If you are seeking an understanding of what is currently known about culture and how to compare cultures, this book is essential. I don't mean that I think it is good. I mean that no reputable research on cultural values will fail to include Hofstede's work because it has been so influential, even for those who despise it. Those who agree use this to reinforce their perspectives. Those who disagree use this to frame counter-argument. It is essential.
It should be understood that this is academic literature. Only those committed to understanding the deep and complex issues associated with differences among cultures should even attempt to read thus. It is more like a reference book. I have only read probably half of it, myself. However, I learned more in that half than I have in many whole books.
For experienced readers and thinkers only.
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