6 Dimension of Culture

Have you heard of the 6 Dimension Model, developed by Geert Hofstede? 

In short, it divides cultural characteristics into six different dimensions, making it quite simple to distinguish one culture of a country from another. I have been introduced to his work during my studies and found it a very useful tool to get a basic overview over one country’s (business) culture and compare it to another.  

Geert Hofstede is a Dutch social psychologist who worked for IBM in over 50 nations and became an expert in intercultural relations.  

Image by Hofestede Insights

The “6 Dimension Model” convers following aspects: 

1. Power Distance (Level of hierarchical order within a society) 

2. Individualism vs. Collectivism (A society’s position on this dimension is reflected in whether people’s self-image is defined in terms of “I” or “we) 

3. Uncertainty avoidance (The degree to which the members of a society feel uncomfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity) 

4. Masculinity vs. Femininity (Masculinity represents a preference in society for achievement, heroism, assertiveness and material rewards for success. Femininity, stands for a preference for cooperation, modesty, caring for the weak and quality of life) 

5. Long- term vs. Short- term orientation (Short term cultures tend to have stronger links with its own past while long-term oriented countries deal with the challenges of the present and the future) 

6. Indulgence vs. Restraint (Degree to which a society allows relatively free gratification of natural human drives such as to enjoying life and having fun) 

Let’s jump into an example. And of course, I choose Japan. 

Japan scores on an intermediate level of 54 which is a borderline hierarchical society. In comparison to western nations Japanese are conscious of their hierarchical position and for foreigner it can be hard to adapt. Nevertheless, it is not as hierarchical as most of the other Asian cultures. 

Japanese tend to be group orientated, loyal to their employer, avoid causing disharmony and are afraid losing their face. Yet, a score of 46 is much lower compared to other Asian nations such as China or Korea. Japanese society does not have extended family system, meaning that people are not loyal to their inner group by birth and their local community. 

Japan scores 95 in Masculinity, making Japan is one of the most masculine countries in the world. Interesting is the combination with the Individualism score, meaning that there is less competitive individual behavior but a high competition between groups. 

The high level of uncertainty avoidance can be traced back that Japan is constantly living in fear of natural disasters such as earthquakes or tsunamis. Under these circumstances Japanese learned to prepare themselves for any uncertain situation. 

Japan is one of the most long- term orientated societies in the world. Japanese show a strong propensity to save and invest and think about future situations. Relationships are very important, and they take time and effort for their prosperity. 

I will go into more detail with some of the dimension and show you where they can be found in other culture aspects. For now, I think the matrix provides a good overview and a basic understanding of Japanese fundamentals. 

Furthermore, I am curious about your opinion. If you have any experience living or working in Japan, do you agree? 



7 Kommentare zu “6 Dimension of Culture

  1. Very good blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

    I’m hoping to start my own site soon but I’m a
    little lost on everything. Would you recommend starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a
    paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m totally confused ..
    Any suggestions? Kudos!

    Gefällt mir

    • Thank you!
      Comparing to other free domains I think WordPress is very good! I just went for a paid option some months ago and enjoy the benefits. Since the contract is automatically one year I suggest to start with the free version first and see how satisfied you are. Personally, I needed to see first if I am really having the time and energy to regularly post a new entry for a long period of time. Anyway I wish you good luck and of course a lot of fun starting your blog 🙂

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  2. Long time supporter, and thought I’d drop a comment.

    Your wordpress site is very sleek – hope you don’t mind me asking what theme you’re using?
    (and don’t mind if I steal it? :P)

    I just launched my site –also built in wordpress
    like yours– but the theme slows (!) the site down quite a bit.

    In case you have a minute, you can find it by searching for „royal cbd“ on Google (would appreciate
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    Keep up the good work– and hope you all
    take care of yourself during the coronavirus scare!

    Gefällt mir

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