Hofstede’s Five Cultural Dimensions between China and the USA

According to Pro. Hofstede’s Culture Dimension model, there are some differences between China and America. 


Firstly, based on the model, the PDI of China is 80 while America is 40. The statistics show that inequality is acceptable in China, on the contrary, Americans are more equal. I think China is better than America in this dimension. “This can be attributed primarily to the Communist rule and teachings of Confucius: stresses loyalty, respect for age and seniority, emphasis on harmony. ” (Crown) I think in China, under the high power distance system, the higher authorities can lead people to accomplish the projects in a more efficient way. Whereas, in America, the PDI is low, which means people may not obey the leaders’ orders.


Secondly, in the model, I can see China is focus on groups more than on individuals while America is a country which focus highly on individuals. There is an old Chinese saying goes that, “Union is strength.” One person’s ability is limited, but if people work on group, nothing is impossible. Chinese people like working with groups while Americans like working by person, I think with the help of group members, people can make bigger progress. 


Thirdly, both of China and America are at a high score on masculinity, it indicates that people in China and America pay much attention on competition, achievement and success. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a good thing for people to put more energy on competition, because it can help people make bigger progress and the society can develop faster.


Fourthly, China scored lower on UAI than America. “While China may not always place great emphasis on laws  (this emphasis has changed radically in the last 20 years) and the official religion is atheism, the culture expectancy placed on everyone tends to control behavior.” (Kriss, 2006) Chinese government preferred ruling the people based on morality rather than laws. I think it can help people have a better understanding of social responsibility. 


Fifthly, on the long term orientation dimension, China has a score of 118 while America has only 29. In China, people emphasis on plans. I think with a good plan, people can do things better.


All in all, I think China is better than America on this five dimensions.


Crown, R. (n.d.). Geert hofstede’s cultural dimensions: China vs. world average. Retrieved from http://web.crownrelo.com/relo/globalpassport/culture.china.html


Kriss, S. (2006, May 21). Hofstede’s five culture dimensions. Retrieved from http://www.customerthink.com/article/hofstedes_five_cultural_dimensions


MY OPINION of Pro. Hofstede’s characteristics of your country

Different country has different characteristics. Professor Hofstede studied the characteristics of different counties. I’m interested in the characteristics of China.

Firstly, according to Pro. Hofstede, the index of power distance in China is about 80. It means that in China, everyone is not equal. I agree with Pro. Hofstede. During thousands of years, people in China believed that the distance between people was vital important. They also hold the idea that the distance between people could help protect the power of the authorities. Even though Chinese people are live in a modern society, the influence of the traditional culture is still existed. In a Chinese company,  there is distance between the senior managers and the workers. An worker should obey the boss and should never blame the boss, or the worker would be fired. In my opinion, everyone is equal, I hope the power distance can be eliminated in China.


“Confident businesspeople” by Victor 1558                                                           http://www.flickr.com/photos/76029035@N02/6829325255                                   used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic                                         http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.zh

Secondly, Pro. Hufstede studied the individualism of China, and according to his research, at a score of 20, China focus on groups more than on individuals. I totally agree with Pro. Hufstede. Chinese people believe that union is strength. Chinese people like to work together, they think work in groups can make tough things become simpler. What’s more, due to the traditional culture, Chinese people pay much attention on family. Most of the Chinese people is good at cooperation, and they show great talent on working in groups.


“Modern business: Team work” by kevin dooley                                                      http://www.flickr.com/photos/12836528@N00/6861256042                                    used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Genetic                                       http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.zh

Thirdly, based on Pro. Hufstede’s research, China is a masculine society. It means that the method of judging a person is to see how successful the person is. In China, men and women are not equal. In many aspects, the male can take more advantages than the female. In China, people care much about the wealth, fame, reputation and status. If a person could own a lager amount of wealth or have a good social status, people would show great respect to that person. On one side, success-oriented can encourage people to dedicate themselves to work and make big achievement. On the other side, people devote too much time and energy on work, as a result, they don’t have time with their families or enjoy themselves.


“Men and women exchanging keys” by Victor 1558                                               http://www.flickr.com/photos/76029035@N02/6829310431                                  used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Genetic                                       http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.zh

Fourthly, China has a low score on uncertainty avoidance. From my perspective, Chinese people is not good at avoiding uncertainties. Pro. Hufstede said that Chinese companies tend to be small to medium sized and family owned. It makes sense in China. Most of the Chinese people stick to an opinion that content is happiness, so they seldom take more when they are fulfilled. Chinese people are very optimistic, they believe that men can conquer the nature. So Chinese businessmen seldom make a plan to help deal with uncertainties.

Fifthly, China is a highly long term oriented society in which persistence and perseverance are normal. I can’t agree with Pro. Hufstede any more. Chinese people believe that if you keep on, you will succeed. Chinese people never give up easily. Let me take the College Entrance Exam as an example, high school students must work very hard in China in order to get a high score in the College Entrance Exam, and then they can go to good universities. Studying up to 9 subjects at 3 years is not easy, especially during the third year, students must learn a lot of knowledge and do a lot of homework everyday. Most of the students never stop striving during the three years. The three year’s experience also makes the students become tough and strong.

The five characteristics of China drew by Pro. Hufstede are very meaningful. People can learn a lot from it.

My opinion about individualism in China

According to professor Hofstede, the degree of interdependence a society maintains among its members in China is 20, it shows that China is focus on group more than on individual. It makes sense in China.

In Chinese traditional culture, groups, especially the family, maintain a vital important role in the society. The meaning of family is a deep-rooted concept to every Chinese. Family members will get together in festivals; especially during the spring festival, the people who work thousand miles away will come back home and get together with their family members. The whole family sit together and enjoy themselves together at the end of the year, this is the meaning of Spring Festival in China. You can see, in China, people pay much attention on family.

(This photo shows that a Chinese family get together in Spring Festival)

In nowadays society, Chinese people believe that, union is strength and solidarity means victory. In 2008, Wenchuan (a city in Sichuan Province, China) encountered a serious earthquake, people  from everywhere of the nation gave a hand to help those victims pull through. Thousands of volunteer  went to the disaster area and worked together to rebuild hometown for the victims. Chinese people has a strong sense of belonging. Everyone in China can belong to one or more groups, like families, social communities, companies or parties.

(This photo shows in Wenchuan earthquake, thousands of people help the victims pull through)

In China, company managers believe in the power of group. Decisions are always made by a group of people, people will hold a brainstorming and then come up with decisions. People believe that the power of group is significant. Most of the Chinese people feel good about working in groups, because they hold the idea that the more people they work with, the easier the project would be.

(This photo shows that people work in group)

In brief, Chinese people has a strong sense of group.