Geert Hofstede and Work-related Values Essay

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The International Journal of Human Resource Management
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A dynamic model interpreting work-related values of multi-faceted cultures: the case of Iran
Fariba Latifi Version of record first published: 17 Feb 2007.

To cite this article: Fariba Latifi (2006): A dynamic model interpreting work-related values of multi-faceted cultures: the case of Iran, The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 17:12, 2055-2073 To link to this article:

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Int. J. of Human Resource Management 17:12 December 2006 2055– 2073

A dynamic model interpreting work-related values of multi-faceted cultures: the case of Iran

Fariba Latifi
Downloaded by [UQ Library] at 04:16 19 March 2013
Abstract Among many published cross-cultural studies, Hofstede’s work in creating a five-dimension value system and drawing a world cultural map is one of the most comprehensive and cited researches. The results emerging from Hofstede’s study can be used properly only when one considers its strengths and limitations. Reviewing Hofstede’s study, this paper describes the problems associated with using the study’s results to understand Iranian work-related values. The problems are more or less common in interpreting multi-faceted cultures and Iran as a case is studied here. The main problems of Hofstede’s research, which limits its applications, pertain to its one-shot-picture, the generalization of IBM’s values, danger of falling victim to ecological fallacy, and being descriptive rather than predictive. In this paper the author presents a dynamic map and three-dimension model to overcome the problems associated with interpreting the work-related values of a country such as Iran with a multi-faceted culture. The model is based on the five dimensions (four introduced by Hofstede (1980a) and Michael Bond (Chinese Cultural Connection, 1987 added the fifth) pointed out by Hofstede (1991) and crosses the dimensions with different facets of a multi-faceted culture. This helps to deal with the problems of Hofstede’s study noted above. The model assists to interpret Hofstede’s findings for different organizations or individuals and, consequently, to avoid the ecological fallacy. It also provides a dynamic mechanism supporting following the changing trend of national cultures over time. Although the context of the current study is limited to one country, Iran, the approach employed in the study can be used for other multi-faceted cultures. Keywords Multi-faceted cultures; Iran; work-related values; dynamic model; Hofstede’s study.

Introduction The paper starts with a definition of Hofstede’s dimensions and a summary description of Iran’s profile in Hofstede’s study, then follows the model. In this model,