” Studying culture without experiencing culture shock is like practicing swimming without experiencing water.” Geert Hofstede. This quote simply means that to effectively study a thing you must engage in it. He also equipped us with some cultural dimensions that will give a better understanding of countries that function or operate based on these dimensions. The six dimensions are power distance, individualism vs collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity vs femininity, long term orientation and indulgence vs restraint. Throughout this essay I will be giving a comparative analysis on Lebanon, Australia and Malaysia using individualism vs collectivism and masculinity vs femininity.
Individualism VS Collectivism
Individualism reflects a value for a loosely knit social frame work in which individuals are expected to take care of themselves. Collectivism means a tightly knit social frame work in which individuals look after one another and organizations protect their members interest.. Lebanon scored 40 which showed they have a collectivist society, because of this it can be turned into a long-term commitment to the member group whether it be family; extended family or extended relationship. Loyalty is one of the most important traits in a collectivist culture. (Cite) The interest of the family is expected to supersede those of the individual and loyalty is shown to fellow family members. Within this everyone is responsible for each other.
Australia scored 90 which is very high, so they are considered an individualistic culture. They encourage family to independent and to follow their aspirations. In Australia they feel as though corporal punishment is not the tight way of disciplining their children. They believe that withdrawing their privileges can be more effective. They teach their children to be self-reliant, self- determining and responsible for their actions. Within the business sector in the hiring and promoting phase it is said to be based upon merit or what you can do. Malaysia scored 26 so this means that it is a collectivistic society. Just like Lebanon their relationship can turn into long term commitment and that loyalty is very important. Everyone is also responsible for everyone and because of them looking out for each other they are taken care of in exchange for loyalty.
Masculinity VS Femininity
According to Hofstede, “Masculinity stands for a society in which social gender roles are clearly distinct: Men are supposed to be assertive, tough, and focused on material success; women are supposed to be more modest, tender, and concerned with the quality of life.”
“Femininity stands for a society in which social gender roles overlap: Both men and women are supposed to be modest, tender, and concerned with the quality of life.” (Hofstede (2001).
Masculine cultures tend to be ambitious and need to excel. Members of these cultures tend to polarize and consider big and fast to be beautiful. In workplaces employees emphasize their work (live to work) and they admire achievers who accomplished their tasks. Feminine cultures consider quality of life and helping others to be very important (Hideyuki SUGAWARA. (2009). Lebanon with a score of 65 which means that they are more masculine society. In the masculine countries the people live to work, meaning that they pride themselves in providing for their families. ( Cite something)
Australia with a score of 61 means that they too are considered a masculine society. But the behavior of the people whether they are in school, work or play are based upon their shared values, for them wanting to be the best. Malaysia with a score of 50 is considered to both a masculine and feminine society. It is characterized on a command structure and expects employees to obey instructions without question. But also focused on shared emotion, democratic, cooperation and communication.