Geert Hofstede

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Geert Hofstede (born 2 October 1928 – 12 February 2020) is a Dutch social psychologist, former IBM employee, and Professor Emeritus of Organizational Anthropology and International Management at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands, well-known for his pioneering research of cross-cultural groups and organizations.


  • Power distance is defined as the extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and organizations within a country expect and accept that power is distributed unequally.
    • Hofstede (1997, p. 28) Anthony Henry (2008) Understanding Strategic Management. p. 359.

Culture's consequences: International differences in work-related values (1980)[edit]

Geert Hofstede. Culture's consequences: International differences in work-related values. Vol. 5. sage, 1980.

  • Values are a broad tendency to prefer certain states of affairs over others.
    • p. 19.
  • Culture is the collective programming of the mind distinguishing the members of one group or category of people from others.
    • p. 25; as cited in Rüdiger Pieper (1990) Human Resource Management: An International Comparison. p. 130.
  • Cross-cultural studies presuppose a systems approach, by which I mean that any element of the total system called ``culture’’ should be eligible for analysis, regardless of the discipline that usually deals with such elements. At the level of (national) cultures, these are phenomena on all levels: individuals, groups, organizations, or society as a whole may be relevant. There is no excuse for overlooking any vital factor because it is usually treated in someone else’s department at the university.
    • p. 32; As cited in Low Sui Pheng & Shi Yuquan. "An exploratory study of Hofstede’s cross-cultural dimensions in construction projects." Management Decision 40.1 (2002): 7-16.
  • Individualism implies a loosely knit social framework in which people are supposed to take care of themselves and of their immediate families only.
    • p. 45.
  • Individualism pertains to societies in which the ties between individuals are loose: everyone is expected to look after himself or herself and his or her immediate family.
    • p. 51.
  • Collectivism stands for a society in which people from birth onwards are integrated into strong, cohesive in-groups, which throughout people's lifetime continue to protect them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty.
    • p. 51.
  • All societies are unequal, but some are more unequal than others.
    • p. 137.
  • Individualism denotes the relationship between the individual and the collectivity which prevails in a given society.
    • p. 148.

Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind, 1990[edit]

Gert Jan Hofstede (1990). Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind. London: McGraw-Hill, 1990.

  • What Machiavelli did not write but what the association between political systems and citizens' mental software suggests is that which animal the ruler should impersonate depends strongly on what animals the followers are.
    • p. 81.
  • In most collectivist cultures, direct confrontation of another person is considered rude and undesirable. The word no is seldom used, because saying “no” is a confrontation; “you may be right” and “we will think about it” are examples of polite ways of turning down a request. In the same vein, the word yes should not necessarily be inferred as an approval, since it is used to maintain the line of communication: “yes, I heard you” is the meaning it has in Japan.
    • p. 106.

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