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

by Geert Hofstede
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 20, 2001 0803973241 978-0803973244 2nd
Geert Hofstede has completely rewritten, revised and updated Culture's Consequences for the twenty-first century, he has broadened the book's cross-disciplinary appeal, expanded the coverage of countries examined from 40 to more than 50, reformulated his arguments and a large amount of new literature has been included. The book is structured around five major dimensions: power distance; uncertainty avoidance; individualism versus collectivism; masculinity versus femininity; and long term versus short-term orientation.

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Culture's Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions and Organizations Across Nations + Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind, Third Edition + Exploring Culture: Exercises, Stories and Synthetic Cultures
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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.


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: #538,196 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very valueable, if taken as Hofstede has meant it May 11, 2005
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
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential reference. . . . 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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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
By M. Ryan
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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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Culture traits in broad strokes November 25, 2008
I grew up speaking a minority language of a rural culture in the Netherlands. In my teenage years I became part of the hippie counterculture. Later I met my Malaysian wife (with an Iban-Tamil-Chinese cultural mix) in England, where we lived for a while. We lived or spent considerable time in a number of other countries, including the US and (mostly) Canada. In Canada we worked with First Nations people and lived for a while in a small fly-in community in the subarctic north. We studied the culture and wrote papers on aspects of the culture (qualitative research). (Perfect it was not, but it was immensely helpful.) We speak or studied a combined total of 15 languages. This is all to say, I do not have a simplistic view of culture -- I am fully aware how quickly cultural norms can change (as it did in the sixties and seventies in the West).
At every level--whether at clan level within a small Native group such as the one we worked with in Canada, whether it is at a village level in the rural setting I grew up, whether it is at urban level, whether it is at regional or provincial level, whether it is at ethnic or subcultural level, or whether it is at national or other macro-geographic regional level--we can generalize certain culture traits. This is not an exact science, but helpful nevertheless. Hofstede's research infers such generalities through the aggregate of responses from individuals (quantitative research) who all work in the same multinational company. It is just a way to analyze a glimpse of reality. (Perfect it is not, but it is immensely helpful.)
I read Hofstede's material after I had read Brendan McSweeney's full rejection of Hofstede's research, methodology and conclusion. McSweeney's article, which appeared in Human Relations Vol.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reference
I'm using this book as a reference for my organizational leadership degree completion program. It is touted as the best of its kind in one of our textbooks, and I have found it... Read more
Published 6 months ago by RG
3.0 out of 5 stars - Test it -
First neutral rating - WOW!

Here's something Hofstede and McSweeney could agree on: Let's see if Hofstede's numbers work ... Read more
Published 11 months ago by ncbluu
5.0 out of 5 stars A must to understand cultures.
If you really want to understand different cultures you must read. But only if you "really want": it is a giant book with minuscule font. Read more
Published on May 1, 2010 by E. B. Skrabe
5.0 out of 5 stars Hofstede
The folks at are great. I mistakenly ordered the book from a different supplier and found out that it would not be delivered for 10-15 days. Read more
Published on April 27, 2010 by Norma H. Herrera
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
This book was excellent for my studies. I found everything I needed to know on the subject of national cultures.
Published on September 14, 2009 by Karen Cacciattolo
5.0 out of 5 stars Culture's Consequences : Comparing values, behaviour , institutions...
Dear sir

No review as even though the product has been sent by expedited shipping on 9th april, I have not yet received it. Read more
Published on May 10, 2009 by Mark Weytjens
4.0 out of 5 stars A map to understanding culture
I am currently an expatriate in France, and have also lived in the United States, Mexico, Spain. Hofstede's book is a good guide to better understand culture. Read more
Published on November 21, 2006 by Santifrance
1.0 out of 5 stars Valuable? - Perhaps for somebody who has never had a real eye for...
Hofstede's work was and is not really helpful; perhaps fascinating for those who deal with the issues from the comfortable space of their warm home of office in a western... Read more
Published on October 8, 2005 by Expat in Asia
1.0 out of 5 stars A Train Wreck
Reading the previous reviews, several things are evident. The West Palm Beach review is nothing more than an ad hominen attack on a previous review. Read more
Published on October 31, 2004 by Nemesis
5.0 out of 5 stars A Nemisis of Knowledge
Hofstede's book is essential reading for anyone interested in cross-cultural studies. The reviewer, Nemesis (Washington D.C. Read more
Published on September 30, 2004 by Dr. R. Littrell
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