Boost your Grades with us today!

thinking about dimensions of culture is the dichotomy of individualism and collectivism

All readings are required unless noted as “Optional” or “Not Required.”
After reading the introductory material on the home page, delve more deeply into three different typologies—or ways of classifying cultures. The module starts with a simple dichotomous typology—individualism/collectivism—expands to Hofstede’s six dimensions of culture, and rounds out with a more impressionistic framework—that of Gannon’s cultural metaphors.
Perhaps the oldest construct in thinking about dimensions of culture is the dichotomy of individualism and collectivism. It is a good place to start in understanding cultural dimensions, because it represents one of the more readily apparent characteristics of a culture—the degree to which members of a society think of themselves as individuals separate and distinct from their fellows or as a part of a group that is greater and more significant than the self.
Social scientists have studied the distinction between societies that value obligations to the group over the individual (or vice versa) for nearly 100 years. Beginning with the work of Emile Durkeim, the construct of individualism/collectivism was popularized in modern cross-cultural study largely by the work of Harry Triandis and colleagues.
What follows is an extensive review of the topic that will give you a thorough understanding of the characteristics of individualistic and collectivistic cultures and help you understand how leadership styles and practices vary between the two. In addition, the article discusses how these two orientations can disparately affect economic development, organizational culture, group dynamics, job design and rewards, conflict, and communication. Later parts of the article cover research and methodological concerns—this section is optional.
Note: Although this article was published in 1998, it still constitutes a solid review of a foundational construct in the field of cross-cultural studies. If you have trouble finding it in the library, check the Business Source Complete database after clicking on “Additional Library Resources.”
Earley, P., & Gibson, C. B. (1998). Taking Stock in Our Progress on Individualism-Collectivism: 100 Years of Solidarity and Community. Journal Of Management, 24(3): 265–304.
Hofstede’s Dimensions of Culture
Currently, the most widely used framework for classifying types of cultures is Geert Hofstede’s dimensions of culture. Hofstede, a Dutch social psychologist, once worked with IBM International, where he became interested in cross-cultural influences on work behavior. In 1980, Hofstede published his groundbreaking work, Culture’s Consequences. In this work, Hofstede proposed four cultural dimensions, each forming a bipolar continuum. He argued that cultures can be measured along these dimensions, and that differences in behavior and customs can be explained by mapping these dimensions. The original dimensions were:
· Individualism/collectivism
· Power distance (high or low)
· Uncertainty avoidance (high or low)
· Masculinity/femininity
Although his work has been criticized on methodological grounds and that his dimensions explain only a small part of the variation in behavior across cultures, it remains popular due to the value it has in helping people anticipate, understand, and interpret cultural differences. The following interactive website offers a quick overview of the original four dimensions.
Gill, C. (2017, March 23). Hofstede’s cultural dimensions and differences across cultures. Oxford University Press Blog. Retrieved from
Hofstede, G. (n.d). National culture. Geert Hofstede. Retrieved from
In the years since his first book, Hofstede has expanded his typology to include two additional dimensions. Hear him discuss his recent work in the following video:
Hofstede, G. (2013). Geert Hofstede—Recent Discoveries about Cultural Differences Key Note Speech for the 2nd Hofstede Symposium, January 2013. Retrieved from
Cultural Metaphors
Dr. Martin Gannon has developed an innovative way of thinking about and understanding cultural differences that employs a more “holistic” approach. Rather than breaking down behavior patterns into categories and using those categories to compare cultures, Gannon uses metaphors to help us understand the essence or “feel” of a culture. From Gannon (2002):
A cultural metaphor is any activity, phenomenon, or institution with which members of a given culture emotionally and/or cognitively identify. As such, cultural metaphors reflect the underlying values of a culture. Examples of national cultural metaphors include the Japanese garden, the Chinese family altar, and American football.Gannon, M. J. (2002). Cultural metaphors: Their use in management practice and as a method for understanding cultures. In W. J. Lonner, D. L. Dinnel, S. A. Hayes, & D. N. Sattler (Eds.), Online Readings in Psychology and Culture (Unit 16, Chapter 4), Center for Cross-Cultural Research, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington USA. Not required.Metaphors reflect the values and core beliefs of the society and thus enable us to grasp the underlying meaning or rationale behind the approaches to such things as negotiation, relationships between boss and subordinate, or many other day-to-day interactions. In other words, they give us a palpable sense of what happens in real-world interactions. The advantage of thinking about culture in terms of metaphor, is that it allows us to compare something quite unfamiliar with something with which we are already familiar. Take the Turkish Coffeehouse, for example:
Turkey is a very unique culture, straddling the intersection between traditional Turkish customs or ways of life and Western ideologies. Turkey embraces the old and the new, Christianity and Islam, modern cities and rural villages that have not changes in decades. The people are known for being hospitable, emotional, and devoted to rich traditions. Significantly, Turks have never been conquered by an outside civilization, but the culture’s origins can be traced to roots in the Mongul, Slav, Greek, Kurd, Armenian, and Arab societies.
Gannon chose the Turkish Coffeehouse as a metaphor for Turkish culture because in it one finds an emphasis on both Islam and secularity; an outlet for community, discourse, and recreation; a customer base reflecting a male-dominated culture; and finally coffeehouses outside of major metropolitan areas are modest— especially when compared with upscale cafes or distinguished pubs characteristic of large cities.
To learn more about cultural metaphors, how they relate to Individualism/collectivism, Hofstede’s dimensions, and other topics to be covered in later module, review Chapter 1 of Gannon’s best-selling book:
Gannon, M. J. & Rajnandini K. P. (2013). Understanding Global Cultures: Metaphorical Journeys through 31 Nations, Clusters of Nations, Continents, and Diversity. Sage: Thousand Oaks, California. Chapter 1: Understanding Cultural Metaphors .
For some brief examples of other cultural metaphors described in depth in the book, read the following review of the first edition. If you have trouble finding this in the general library search, click on “Additional Library Resources” and search the Business Source Complete Database.
Vernon-Wortzel, H., & Shrivastava, P. (1996). Understanding Global Cultures: Metaphorical Journeys Through 17 Countries. Academy Of Management Review, 21(1), 288–291.
Application: Negotiation
Understanding or misunderstanding cultural differences can have a profound effect on the successful process and outcome in negotiations. The following short article indicates how Hofstede’s dimensions can inform the best strategy to pursue when negotiating across national borders.
Ramping up your skills for cross-cultural negotiation. (2010). Leader to Leader, (56): 60–61.
Submit a 2- to 3-page proposal describing your cultural experience. Your proposal should address the following questions:
1. Intended contact culture group
a. What is the identified culture group with which you are planning to have contact? Be specific.
b. Provide a brief description of any contact you have previously had with this group.
c. Briefly explain why this target group qualifies as a culture group.
2. Intended new cultural activity
a. Briefly describe your new cultural activity.
b. Does your intended activity meet all requirements of the assignment (see expectations below)? Provide some details to justify your answer.
c. Will this activity allow you to have meaningful contact with members of the intended target culture group? Briefly explain.
d. What is the planned date, time and approximate duration of the activity?
3. General
a. Have you selected a secondary contact group and cultural activity as a backup? Please describe briefly.
b. Do you have any questions about the project? Please describe.
Assignment Expectations
Here are the requirements—or parameters—of the exercise:
1. Provides information concerning the date(s) and place where this experience will take place.
2. The selected experience should be novel . The intent of this case is to provide a kind of “lab” where you can apply your learning in a new setting.
3. The experience must be with a group or culture that is largely unfamiliar to you.
4. You should not be in a position of authority or dominance vis-à-vis the target group. For example, you should not be a customer in a restaurant, or interacting with individuals who have lower rank than you in an organizational setting. Power can influence behavior, and we want to keep power relationships in check to provide the most meaningful type of interaction.
5. The experience should allow for meaningful one-on-one contact with members of the target group. Thus it is recommended that you do not choose an impersonal spectator event such as a large festival, parade, or sporting event.
6. The experience must be a minimum of 2 hours in length to provide you with enough material for analysis.
7. The experience must not be illegal or place you at unreasonable physical or psychological risk.
8. You need to be able to provide evidence of the experience (such as photographs or a video).
9. Have a second choice experience in mind in case your first choice does not meet the above parameters and is not approved.
In this module, you will be measuring your personal cultural values and comparing it to Hofstede’s dimensions of culture for the culture in which you live. Please start by filling out the following instrument: CVSCALE: The Five-Dimensional Measure of Personal Cultural Values . Then in your weekly journal, reflect on the following questions:
CVSCALE: The Five-Dimensional Measure of Personal Cultural Values
Yoo, B., Donthu, N., & Lenartowicz, T. (2011). Measuring Hofstede’s five dimensions of cultural values
at the individual level: Development and validation of CVSCALE. Journal of International Consumer Marketing, 23 (3/4), 193–210.
See the full paper at
Please indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with each statement. There are no right or wrong answers—just give us your honest opinion.
Score 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 7 (Strongly Agree)
Score (1-7)
People in higher positions should make most decisions without consulting people in lower positions.
People in higher positions should not ask the opinions of people in lower positions too frequently.
People in higher positions should avoid social interaction with people in lower positions.
People in lower positions should not disagree with decisions by people in higher positions.
People in higher positions should not delegate important tasks to people in lower positions.
PO Total
It is important to have instructions spelled out in detail so that I always know what I’m expected to do.
It is important to closely follow instructions and procedures.
Rules and regulations are important because they inform me of what is expected of me.
Standardized work procedures are helpful.
Instructions for operations are important.
UN Total
Individuals should sacrifice self-interest for the group (either at school or the workplace).
Individuals should stick with the group even through difficulties.
Group welfare is more important than individual rewards.
Group success is more important than individual success.
Individuals should only pursue their goals after considering the welfare of the group.
Group loyalty should be encouraged even if individual goals suffer.
CO Total
It is more important for men to have a professional career than it is for women.
Men usually solve problems with logical analysis; women usually solve problems with intuition.
Solving difficult problems usually requires an active, forcible approach, which is typical of men.
There are some jobs that a man can always do better than a woman.
MA Total
Score the following from 1 (Extremely unimportant to me) to 7 (Extremely important to me)
Careful management of money (thrift)
Going on resolutely in spite of opposition (persistence)
Personal steadiness and stability
Long-term planning
Giving up today’s fun for success in the future
Working hard for success in the future
LT Total
Note: PO = Power distance, UN = Uncertainty avoidance, CO = Collectivism, MA = Masculinity, and LT = Long-term orientation
1. What did the CVSCALE reveal about your cultural values?
2. How does this compare to your own country’s values according to Hofstede’s research?
3. What other insights about cultural values have you gained from this questionnaire, the readings, and other aspects of the course so far that will be valuable to you in leading across different cultures?
The following article may be helpful to you in interpreting your results and reflecting on the insights from this assessment on leadership:
Yoo, B., Naveen D., & Lenartowicz, T. (2011). “ Measuring Hofstede’s Five Dimensions of Cultural Values at the Individual Level: Development and Validation of CVSCALE ,” Journal of International Consumer Marketing, 23 (3/4), 193–210.
SLP Assignment Expectations
· The journal is a cumulative document—you turn in all previous entries with each module,
· Include the results from the assessment in your journal.
· Each module should add 2–3 pages.
· The journal should be thoughtful and insightful, integrating learnings from the assessment with other activities in the module and course.
· The format for the journal is less formal than an academic papers (e.g. you can use the 1st person), but you should use headings to organize your thoughts and guide the reader and cite any sources where you are using information, data, or text from an outside source.
· Any references should be prepared in APA format in a combined reference list at the end of the journal.
· Your journal should be edited and error-free.
Read the following excerpt from Bolman, L.G. & Deal, T.E. (2003). Reframing organizations: artistry, choice, and leadership (3rd ed). San Francisco: John Wiley. Note the assumptions of the Human Resources Frame, as you will use these to guide the writing of your Case:
Assumptions of the Human Resources Frame
Is the workplace really this bleak across the board? Are individuals simply pawns, sacrificed to collective purposes and casually cast aside when no longer needed? Is there hope that work can ever fully engage people’s talent and energy? Such questions have intensified with globalization and the growth in size and power of modern institutions. How can people find freedom and dignity in a world dominated by economic fluctuations and an emphasis on short-term results? Answers are not easy. They require a sensitive understanding of people and their symbiotic relationship with organizations. The human resource frame is built on core assumptions that highlight this linkage:
· Organizations exist to serve human needs rather than the reverse.
· People and organizations need each other. Organizations need ideas, energy, and talent; people need careers, salaries, and opportunities.
· When the fit between individual and system is poor, one or both suffer. Individuals are exploited or exploit the organization—or both become victims.
· A good fit benefits both. Individuals find meaningful and satisfying work, and organizations get the talent and energy they need to succeed.
People want to know, ‘How well will this place fulfill my needs?’ Organizations universally ask, ‘How do we find and retain people with the skills and attitudes needed to do the work?’” (Bolman & Deal, 2003, pp. 108).
Required SourcesElaine Westbrooks’ presentation is a very good starting point from which we will begin our exploration of Bolman and Deal’s Human Resources Frame (sometimes referred to as the “Human Relations” Frame):
Westbrooks, E. (2012). Reframing organizations: The human resources frame. Prezi. Retrieved on May 4, 2014 from
Read this article by Chris Mabey, in which the merits of using the Human Resources Frame are highlighted:
Mabey, C. (2003). Reframing human resource development. Human Resource Development Review, 2(4), 430-452, Retrieved from ProQuest.
Optional – yet highly recommended – resources:
The following optional readings should be useful in your analysis of the Case:
Trahan, K. (2009). Make your company a magic kingdom. Sales & Service Excellence, 9(2), 15. Retrieved from EBSCO – Business Source Complete.
Shuit, D. P. (2004). Magic for sale. Workforce Management, 83(9), 35-40. Retrieved from EBSCO – Business Source Complete.
Human Resources (2014). The Walt Disney Company. Retrieved on May 7, 2014 from
Working Here Overview (2014). Disney Careers. Retrieved on May 7, 2014 from
Using specific examples of “human resources” or “human relations” as they are defined by Bolman and Deal, you will use the Human Resources Frame as a lens through which you will analyze the effectiveness of the Walt Disney Company.
Begin the Module 2 Case by visiting the Walt Disney Company website:
The Walt Disney Company. (2014). Retrieved on May 8, 2014 from
Then, read the following:
So just how does Mickey make magic? The following article discusses how Disney’s excellent employee performance is recognized. Note the section entitled “Disney Recognition 101”:
Ligos, M. (2009). How Mickey makes magic. Successful Promotions, 42(5), 44-47. Retrieved from EBSCO – Business Source Complete.
Case AssignmentAfter you have reviewed the contents of the Walt Disney Company website, completed the readings provided at the Background page of Module 1, and performed additional research from the library and on the internet, write a 6- to 7-page paper in which you do the following:
Using the following assumptions of the Human Resources Frame, complete an in-depth assessment of the Walt Disney Company:
· Organizations exist to serve human needs rather than the reverse.
· People and organizations need each other. Organizations need ideas, energy, and talent; people need careers, salaries, and opportunities.
· When the fit between individual and system is poor, one or both suffer. Individuals are exploited or exploit the organization—or both become victims.
· A good fit benefits both. Individuals find meaningful and satisfying work, and organizations get the talent and energy they need to succeed.
Keys to the AssignmentThe key aspects of this assignment that are to be covered in your 6- to 7-page paper include the following:
· Describe Walt Disney’s approach to human resources. Is Disney’s overall approach to human resources more or less effective relative to its ability to help the organization accomplish its stated purpose (vision, mission)? Explain.
· Using Bolman and Deal’s Human Resources Frame, analyze two or three human resources/ human relations characteristics of the Walt Disney Company. Because you cannot cover all characteristics that are related to human resources/ relations in a short paper, you will need to be selective; therefore, choose two or three characteristics that are of particular interest to you. These might include, for example the Walt Disney Company’s benefits design, its employee orientation/training programs, or its employee evaluation systems.
· For each of the human resources characteristics that you have included in your Case, discuss the extent to which that characteristic has been effective or ineffective relative to helping Disney to attain its stated purpose. Defend your answer in the context of the four (4) assumptions given above (how well do the two or three human resources/ relations characteristics you’ve identified ascribe to these assumptions – if at all)?
· Having had applied the Human Resources Frame to the Walt Disney Company, is there anything that you would you do differently? Conclude Chapter 3 of your paper by giving recommendations as to what you believe Disney should do, and explain why.
· The background readings will not give you all the answers to the Case. Therefore, you are expected to perform some research in the library, using a minimum of 3-4 scholarly sources from the library to support and justify your understanding of the case.
· Your paper must demonstrate evidence of critical thinking (if you need tips on critical thinking, is an excellent resource). Please do not restate facts – instead, be sure to interpret the facts you have accumulated from your research.
· Remember that the Module 3 Case will serve as Chapter 3 of your session-long thesis-style paper.
Assignment ExpectationsYour paper will be evaluated using the following five (5) criteria:
· Assignment-Driven Criteria: Does the paper fully address all Keys to the Assignment? Are the concepts behind the Keys to the Assignment addressed accurately and precisely using sound logic? Does the paper meet minimum length requirements?
· Critical thinking: Does the paper demonstrate graduate-level analysis, in which information derived from multiple sources, expert opinions, and assumptions has been critically evaluated and synthesized in the formulation of a logical set of conclusions? Does the paper address the topic with sufficient depth of discussion and analysis?
· Business Writing: Is the paper well-written (clear, developed logically, and well-organized)? Are the grammar, spelling, and vocabulary appropriate for graduate-level work? Are section headings included in all papers? Are paraphrasing and synthesis of concepts the primary means of responding to the Keys to the Assignment, or is justification/support instead conveyed through excessive use of direct quotations?
· Effective Use of Information (Information Literacy): Does the paper demonstrate effective research, as evidenced by student’s use of relevant and quality sources? Do additional sources used in paper provide strong support for conclusions drawn, and do they help in shaping the overall paper?
· Citing Sources: Does the student demonstrate understanding of APA Style of referencing, by inclusion of proper end references and in-text citations (for paraphrased text and direct quotations) as appropriate? Have all sources (e.g., references used from the Background page, the assignment readings, and outside research) been included, and are these properly cited? Have all end references been included within the body of the paper as in-text citations?
In the Module 2 SLP, you will write a 3- to 4-page paper in which you will apply the Human Resources Frame to the organization in which you are currently employed (or in which you have worked previously).
AssignmentThe Module 2 SLP requires that you write a 3- to 4-page paper, in which you address the following:
After giving a brief description of the organization in which you presently work – or in which you have previously worked – apply the Human Resources Frame to the organization, analyzing the effectiveness of two or three human resources/ human relations characteristics you have identified.
Keys to the AssignmentThe key aspects of this assignment that should be covered in your paper include the following:
· Briefly describe your organization – name, what it does, size (number of employees, annual revenue, relative market share, etc.);
· Choose 2 or 3 human resources activities within your organization (e.g., recruitment, evaluation, development, training, etc.); and
· Using Bolman and Deal’s Human Resources Frame as a lens, discuss the relative effectiveness of the human resources characteristics you have selected. If you were CEO of your company, what (if anything) might you do differently? Why would you make the changes you suggest?

Looking for a Similar Assignment? Our Experts can help. Use the coupon code SAVE30 to get your first order at 30% off!