Archive for the Psychology Category

Malcolm Gladwell

Posted in Books, Culture, Psychology on 12/02/2009 by nicka77

Canadian-Jamaican sociologist who has written a couple of my favourite books – “The Tipping Point” (about the power of a movement and social change) and “Blink” (about the power of Intuition).

He has just released a new book – “Outliers” – and writes regularly for The New Yorker. I saw him speak recently in London at The Lyceum theatre and he certainly didn’t let me down – fascinating insights about cultural hardwiring and its impact on our behaviour.










Cultural Dimensions – Prof. Geert Hofstede

Posted in Culture, Psychology on 12/02/2009 by nicka77

” Culture is more often a source of conflict than of synergy. Cultural differences are a nuisance at best and often a disaster.”     Prof. Geert Hofstede











Hofstede states that the analysis and understanding of the following 5 cultural dimensions, specifically the inter-relationships across these dimensions between differing cultures, significantly aids organisations undertaking international business relations and marketing campaigns:

Power Distance Index (PDI) that is the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions (like the family) accept and expect that power is distributed unequally. This represents inequality (more versus less), but defined from below, not from above. It suggests that a society’s level of inequality is endorsed by the followers as much as by the leaders.

Individualism (IDV) on the one side versus its opposite, collectivism, that is the degree to which individuals are inte-grated into groups. On the individualist side we find societies in which the ties between individuals are loose: everyone is expected to look after him/herself and his/her immediate family. On the collectivist side, we find societies in which people from birth onwards are integrated into strong, cohesive in-groups

Masculinity (MAS) versus its opposite, femininity, refers to the distribution of roles between the genders which is another fundamental issue for any society to which a range of solutions are found. 

Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI) deals with a society’s tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity; it ultimately refers to man’s search for Truth. It indicates to what extent a culture programs its members to feel either uncomfortable or comfortable in unstructured situations. 

Long-Term Orientation (LTO) versus short-term orientation: this fifth dimension was found in a study among students in 23 countries around the world, using a questionnaire designed by Chinese scholars It can be said to deal with Virtue regardless of Truth. Values associated with Long Term Orientation are thrift and perseverance; values associated with Short Term Orientation are respect for tradition, fulfilling social obligations, and protecting one’s ‘face’.