Sunday, 29 July 2018

6 Dimensions of Cultural Model by Geert Hofstede and Organizational Behaviour & My Bengali Character

We are going to discuss the cultural dimensions theory of Psychologist Dr Geert Hofstede. It is a framework for cross-cultural communication and we will explain and compare more than 5 countries’ culture and how it influences people’s minds and organizational culture and structure. It is also relevant to the government and non-governmental organizations.  

My Bangali Characteristics & Geert Hofstede's Six Dimension of Organisational Culture Model

Power Distance (PDI) & Yes Sir!

Power Distance refers to the extent to which unequal power distribution is expected and accepts by the less powerful members of organizations in a society. What is the attitude of Bangladeshi people towards inequality? They accept and promote the hierarchical order.

Dark Side: In some institutions, the boss is always right even if he is wrong. There is little room for innovation. Many have taken slavery to the artistic level of Leonardo Da Vinci. Now some people don’t bother to lick the feet of the superior. In a civilized society, they do networking but in an uncivilized society, some people abused the concept by oiling (tel-bajii). 

Positive side: in some cases, the top-down approach works well when people need instant outcome.



The dimension defines the social bond in a country. Hofstede has classified two kinds of society as an Individualist society and a Collectivist society.

In the individualist society, people are self-centred (‘I’). People are only worried about themselves, their families and very close relatives.

In a collectivist society, people belong to groups and take care of each other. “We” is more uttered and valued than “I”.  Seniors take care of juniors and subordinates obey seniors. It is a kind of give-&-take relationship.

Dark side: people sometimes sacrifice their comfort or do something which deviates from organizational goals because of group interests.

Due to the conspiracy of the Mir Jafar Gang, the subcontinent was being exploited by the British for 200 years. Traitors have always forgotten their existence and harmed themselves, joining hands with foreigners to satisfy their interests. They are good at stabbing each other bodies.



Masculinity focuses on achievements, power, heroism and assertiveness. Big in size is beautiful and quantity is important.  Gender roles are clear, meaning that men and women take separate roles in society. For example, a male is expected to be assertive, tough, and focus on material success, whereas women are expected to be modest and tender.

In feminine society, on the other hand, both men and women value the quality of life. The gender roles are flexible and men and women do not have separate roles, and they can switch their jobs.                        

In masculine culture, we often hear -

You have to be the best or get the best CGPA. Getting a government job is considered the best option for the life. Some people show their manhood by scolding rickshaw pullers or bus conductors.

Some of us are gentlemen for the lack of opportunity! Rickshaw pullers also try to take our opportunity when they get a chance. If it rains or at night you have to pay extra to get on the rickshaw. They will ask for more money if you are a girl. We are serious about halal food but we don’t bother about halal income.

Everyone wants to be a celebrity now. But they do not want to be honest; they want to take the short cut. We have seen youngsters who want to get viral on social media do such activities that do not make any sense.

Discrimination: Is it about gender inequality or discrimination? People with power and influence always exploit the less fortunate people. People now respect powerful and rich people more than well-educated people and gentleman.

In feminine culture, - You can do wherever you want to do or you love to do!


Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI)

The dimension explains how well people in a country can cope with the unknown and anxiety. The society that wants to avoid uncertainty tends to develop more written rules, standards, and structures. They also try to avoid risk, conflicts and reach consensus.

In low uncertainty avoidance countries, a human is more comfortable with volatile and unstructured situations. Uncertainty and conflicts are considered natural and necessary. They promote creativity and individual choice, and initiatives.

One of the reasons for loving government jobs in South Asian countries is that they want stability and job security.


Long Term Orientation versus Short Term Normative Orientation (LTO)

Countries that score low (short-term) on this dimension prefer to maintain norms and traditions (time-honoured) while considering a social change with suspicion.

On the other hand, countries with high scores (long-term) encourage thrift and efforts in modern education as a way to prepare for the future taking the pragmatic approach.

In the business, the dimension is referred to as “(short-term) normative versus (long-term) pragmatic” (PRA). Sometimes, the term Monumentalism vs Flexhumility is used in the academic environment for the discussion.

Indulgence versus Restraint (IVR)

It refers to the extent to which human being try to control and manage their desires and impulses (Weak control - Indulgence & strong control – Restraint).


Societies with a high IVR score motivate relatively free gratification of individual’s drives and emotions (having fun and enjoying life). In a country with a low IVR score, more emphasis has been given to suppressing gratification and more regulation of people's behaviour.

Bangladesh is in a restrained country category.  

One of the hypocritical statements is that - Let's all get better. Let us blame ourselves not blaming them. This country is ours and faults are also mine. Let’s change. Is that so? Why should I take the blame for others?

What do you think? Feel free to comment.




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