Hofstede Model of Organization Culture

Organization culture refers to the various ideologies, beliefs and practices of an organization which make it different from others. The culture of any workplace decides how employees would behave with each other or with the external parties and also decide their involvement in productive tasks.

Hofstede also known as Geert Hofstede proposed that national and regional factors contribute to the culture of the organization and eventually influence the behaviour of employees in the organization.

According to Hofsteide there are majorly five factors which influence the culture of the workplace.

  1. Power Distance

    Organization A

    The power was distributed equally among all irrespective of their designations. Every individual regardless of his level in the hierarchy enjoyed equal benefits and rights.

    Organization B

    In organization B the superiors enjoyed a special treatment from the management and the team leaders were delegated more responsibilities as compared to the team members.

    Power distance index refers to the differences in the work culture as per the power delegated to the employees. There are some organizations which believe in appointing team leaders or team managers who are responsible for their respective teams and have the challenge of extracting the best out of the members. The team members also have to respect their team leaders and work as per their orders and advice.

    However in some organizations, every employee is accountable for his own performance. No special person is assigned to take charge of the employees. The individuals are answerable to none except for themselves. Every employee gets an equal treatment from the management and has to take ownership of his /her own work.

  2. Masculinity vs. Feminity

    This refers to the effect of differences in male and female values on the culture of the organization. Organizations where male employees dominate their female counterparts will follow different policies as compared to organizations where females have a major say in the decision making process of the organization. Male employees would be more aggressive as compared to the females who would be more caring and softhearted. The responsibilities also vary as per the sex of the employees. The female employees are never assigned something which requires late sittings or frequent travellings.

  3. Individualism

    There are some organizations which strongly rely on team work. Here individuals with a common interest come together and work in unison as a team. These organizations believe that the output is always more when individuals exchange their ideas, discuss things among themselves to come out with innovative ideas. In such a scenario the employees share a healthy relationship and take each other’s help when required.

    However certain organizations follow a culture where individuals do not believe in working as a single unit and prefer working individually.

  4. Uncertainty Avoidance Index

    Uncertainty avoidance index refers to a culture where employees know how to respond to unusual and unforeseen circumstances. It deals with the tolerance level of the employees in both comfortable and uncomfortable situations. Organizations try hard to avoid such situations and also prepare the employees to adjust well in all conditions.

  5. Long Term Orientation

    There are some organizations which focus on long term relationship with the employees. In such organizations people have a steady approach and strive hard to live up to the expectations of the management. Employees get attached to the organization and do not look at short term objectives. On the contrary, some organizations have employees who are more concerned with their position and image. They follow a culture where people move on in a short span of time and nothing is done to retain them. The employees are concerned only with their profits and targets and leave as and when they get a better opportunity.

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