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How we Work: Geert Hofstede’s 6 Cross-Organization Cultural Dimensions

In the 1980s, the Dutch cultural psychologist Geert Hofstede returned to the study of culture, but focused on an analysis of organizational practices. The authors identified six cross-organizational dimensions that separate and define organizational cultures.

Watching this video is worth 3 Management Courses CPD Points*.
(See below for more details)

The Nature of Organizations
This video is part of course module number 6.1.4
Program 6: Managing within Organizations
Course 1: The Nature of Organizations
Section 4: Organizational Culture

Other videos in this section include:
🎬 Introduction to Organizational Culture https://youtu.be/F_jEJBjE_J4
🎬 Cultural Web: Johnson & Scholes on Where Culture Originates https://youtu.be/i9hVuurBvh4
🎬 Quinn and Cameron: Competing Values Model of Organizational Culture https://youtu.be/eOnCetNa7Zc
🎬 Edgar Schein’s 3 Levels of Organizational Culture https://youtu.be/N37Foo0DOgE
🎬 National Culture within an Organization: Geert Hofstede’s 6 Cultural Dimensions https://youtu.be/eygJtngcqMs

Hofstede and his co-authors identified six cross-organizational dimensions that separate and define organizational cultures:

Process-oriented vs Results-oriented
Low risk, high efficiency vs a willingness to challenge, change, and adapt

Job-oriented vs Employee-oriented
Work-Oriented (staff feel driven to perform) vs Employee-Oriented (staff feel valued)
This is reminiscent of the distinction between Theory X and Theory Y

Professional vs Parochial
In a Professional culture, staff act differently at work, whereas in a parochial culture, they behave in similar (and probably less-formal) ways

Open systems vs Closed systems
The degree to which newcomers are made welcome and fit in quickly and easily.

Tightly versus vs Controlled
The flexibility of working practices and matters like dress, admin, and timekeeping, vs high levels of rigidity in the expectations on behavior, discipline, and work practices.

Normative vs Pragmatic
Normative cultures expect employees to follow strict rules, regulations, and procedures. Pragmatic cultures are far more easy-going as long as objectives like sales or customer service are met.

How an organization orients to these dimensions is partly a result of:
• The business or industry
• Its original national identity

Note that this work was based on research in only two countries, with a small sample of just 20 organizations. Therefore, their applicability may be limited.

Other organizational culture models share similar limitations. Here are some of the many dimensions various researchers and consultants have identified:

Organizational Effectiveness
Means-Oriented (focus on how) vs Goal-Oriented (focus on what)

Customer Orientation
Internally Driven (processes drive outside interactions) vs Externally Driven (outside interactions drive process design)

Local (workers identify with their business unit or their manager) vs Professional (workers identify with their role or skillset)

Empowered Culture
Controlled vs Empowered staff

Culture of Innovation
Stable vs innovative

Sales Culture
Service ethic vs Short-term profit

Culture of Safety
Extent of day-to-day focus on safety processes

1. Which of these cultural dimensions are most useful in describing your organization’s culture? (2 MC CPD Points)
2. And think back to other organizations you’ve worked in. How do the same dimensions highlight similarities and differences? (2 MC CPD Points)
3. If you could shift the position of your organization on one of these dimensions, to increase its performance, what shift would you make? (2 MC CPD Points)
4. And how might the organization approach making this shift? (2 MC CPD Points)

Free Resources
– CPD Tools – https://gum.co/MC-CPD
Paid resources
– Management Courses Onboarding Kit – https://gum.co/MC-ObK ($3)

– Understanding Organizations https://geni.us/oB774Do
– Images of Organization https://geni.us/hrOemEs
– Inside Organizations: 21 Ideas for Managers https://geni.us/YwwL
– Gods of Management: The Four Cultures of Leadership https://geni.us/bpPeC5

Managers Need a Basic kit to do your job well. Here are my top recommendations: https://kit.co/MikeClayton/manager-s-work-kit (the links are affiliated)

Management Courses Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Points
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Each video has two levels of MC CPD points. For this video:
– If you simply watched the video, record 3 MC CPD points
– If you also carried out all of the recommended exercises, score a total of 11 MC CPD points

Links to our book recommendations are affiliated through Amazon

#OrganizationalCulture #ManagementCourses #GeertHofstede


A Thorough Introduction to Organizational Culture [Compilation]
Introduction to Organizations: A Compilation of our Introductory Videos
What is Globalization?
Kim Cameron: Positive Organizational Scholarship
Charles Handy: Philosopher of Organizations
Edgar Schein: The Master of Organizational Culture
Harold Geneen: Data-driven Charismatic Organization
Chester Barnard: Organizations as Networks of People
Max Weber: The Father of Organizational Theory
National Culture within an Organization: Geert Hofstede’s 6 Cultural Dimensions
Quinn and Cameron: Competing Values Model of Organizational Culture
Edgar Schein’s 3 Levels of Organizational Culture
Cultural Web: Johnson & Scholes on Where Culture Originates
Introduction to Organizational Culture
Empowerment: The Organization Giving up its Power
French and Raven: Social Power Bases in Organizations
Power in Organizations: The Power of Governance
Robin Fincham: Three Levels of Organizational Power
Amitai Etzioni: How Organizations Secure Compliance
Organizational Power: What is Power?
Virtual Organizations
Brian Robertson’s Holacracy Organizational Model
The Agile Organization
Adhocracy Organizational Model
Peter Senge’s Learning Organization
The Matrix Organization Model
Charles Handy’s Triple-I Company
Charles Handy’s Federal Organization Model
Charles Handy’s Shamrock Organization
Charles Handy’s Gods of Management
Henry Mintzberg’s 4 plus 2 Organizational Types
Edgar Schein’s Two Organizational Cultures
Why do we need Organizations? Structure vs Agility
The Features of Organizations: What an Organization Needs
Organizations as Processes: Understanding an Organization as a Set of Processes
Organizations as Structures: Understanding an Organization as a Structure
Morgan’s 8 Organizational Metaphors: An Organization is Like a…
What is an Organization? – the Nature of Organizations

Mike Clayton

About Mike Clayton 

Dr Mike Clayton is a (former) Project Manager and now a management educator. Having trained thousands of people at live workshops, seminars, and conferences, he now delivers training mainly via video. He has 14 books with international publishers and runs two successful YouTube channels. He is also the founder of OnlinePMCourses.com

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