Key Attributes of Cultural Diversity in Organisations (Power / Distance…
Key Attributes of Cultural Diversity in Organisations
Power / Distance
The extent to which less powerful members of organizations accept that power is not distributed equally. (Rowley)
Main issue is how a society handles inequalities amongst people.
Society with higher degree of power/distance have more hierarchical order.
In my organisation I would say there is a relatively high power / distance struggle. The managers make it known that they are not concerned with the staff below them. When staff raise concerns they are shut down almost immediately.
Individualism / Collectivism
Extent to which individuals are integrated into groups. (Rowley)
Societies position: whether self image is defined in terms of "I" or "we".
Are you looking out for just yourself, or are you looking out for a group of people that you are loyal to.
Definitely more of an "I" mentality at my school; everyone wants to make sure they are well taken care of and not a good group dynamic present. Staff who have been at the school right from the start tend to have more sway with management and it seems everyone is out for themselves and not the greater good of the school.
Masculine / Feminine
Administering of emotional roles between genders. (Rowley)
Masculine side: priority for achievement, heroism, assertiveness.
Feminine side: more concerned with cooperation, modesty, caring.
Working in the middle East, we are definitely in a masculine dimension. As such our school is run in this way too - the culture of the country directly impacts on the culture of the school. Male teachers are still paid more than female teachers which is seen as unfair amongst staff. Male staff are in charge of sports and PE lessons, while the female staff run bake sales. The division of work based on gender of evident.
We live in a society that still views some jobs as gender specific.
Men are "supposed to be assertive, competitive, and tough." (Hofstede, 2010)
"Women are supposed to be more concerned with taking care of the home, of the children, and of people in general." (Hofstede. 2010)
Uncertainty / Avoidance
The degree of understanding for unpredictability and ambivalence. (Rowley)
Fundamental issue: How a society deals with the fact that the future can never be certain.
In my organisation, there is a high uncertainty factor as there is not a relaxed atmosphere and everyone should be working towards the end goal all of the time and we are micromanaged constantly.
Long Term Orientation
Time line of a society. (Rowley)
It is important for every society to remember their past and to use past history when dealing with difficulties of the present as well as the future.
My organisation is a new school with the main goal being to make a profit for the owner in as quick a time as possible. I would say our school has a low score on this dimension. Focus is put on the short term gains and not a lot of thought is given to the future of the school, including retaining staff.
Hofstede, G. 2010. Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind - intercultural cooperation and its importance for survival. New York: McGraw Hill.
Rowley, Jerome. Six Sigma Green Belt—Define: Team Dynamics and Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions accessed from
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