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Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  360 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Since its original hardcover publication in 1991, this trailblazing work has stirred a deep and wide response, selling over 100,000 copies around the world, with translations in 15 languages. Professor Geert Hofstede's 30 years of field research on cultural differences and the software of the mind helps us look at how we think - and how we fail to think - as members of gro ...more
Paperback, 434 pages
Published September 12th 2004 by McGraw-Hill (first published 1991)
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Cristina
The book gives you an insight of the cultural differences of nations and explains why behaviors/values/heroes/symbols have a certain meaning and how they start to evolve from inside the family. It is interesting to have a closer look into the "power distance" or the "avoidance uncertainty" concepts and understand how they reflect on people's mindsets and how they translate into organization's culture.

Still, I do believe the book is too long and that the author could have make it a more compact r
...more
Madalina
Mar 27, 2013 Madalina rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone, you lazy buggers
Recommended to Madalina by: Meanings and Messages textbook
This is a book about culture, not stereotypes as much as statistically verified constants. As usual, I'm going to make my case on why you should read it rather than the Wikipedia summary (oh, yes, there are a few cliffnotes on the author's cultural dimensions Wiki page)

This book represents several decades of research, all around the globe, so nothing is passed off as "but those are the (insert nationality here), they're crazy". In his worldwide interviews and surveys, Hofstede discovered certain
...more
Angelo John Lewis
I've read a lot of books about cultural differences or diversity, but Hofstede's masterwork is just on a different order than the rest. It is a research-based examination of national and organizational cultural differences across a number of domains, such as power distance differences, attitudes towards individualism and collectivism, gender cultures and several others. He then goes on to discuss implications of this research to intercultural and interorganizational encounters.

This is a must rea
...more
Nextbestthing
Both practical and theoretical, this is the only book that I know of that really describes and explains cultural differences on various levels (family, school, work...) AND on a more or less universal scale. While most other books on the matter either remain hopelessly vague, or loose themselves in academic abstractions, Hofstede really gets down to it. In parts the book might be a bit dated, but imho Hofstede's cultural dimensions are still essential in understanding cultural diversity.

In our g
...more
Irwan
In my thesis I worked with issues of multicultural collaboration in developing software. This book gave me clues on how to approach the corelation between cultural issues and the technical/organizational ones. Although highly critisized or not so popular by most researchers whom I met or with whom I shared a research group, I found this book and theory can be practical and easier to use.
Emily Crews
In the empirical tradition, this book describes dimensions elucidated through an empirical study - in this case the statistical analysis of items (from questionnaires or workshops, sorry I can't remember). The point being that the authors have used correlations of the degree of agreement between people of different nations to a set of statements, to "shake out" the dimensions they describe.

That is, they didn't start with theory, propose dimensions that they believe to exist, and then test those
...more
Allen Hamlin
This book is a thorough and useful exploration of the ramifications of culture on national and organizational differences.

In comparison to Hostede's book "Culture's Consequences", this work is intended to be more accessible and less of a professional research text. While I'm sure the author attained this aim, I still find "Cultures and Organizations" to be a very dense read: many of the best conclusions are to be found buried between tables and outlines of research surveys. Even as a mathematic
...more
Sarah
Oct 12, 2009 Sarah rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2009
This was a pretty interesting comparative perspective on culture (organizational and otherwise). It's easy to forget sometimes how the culture we're born into can influence our perspective, often in ways we're completely unaware of. And if one finds oneself engaged in pastimes such as...oh, I don't know...nation-building, it bears remembering that even something as Perfect and Flawless as American democracy can be difficult, if not downright impossible, to export to a nation or region that has a ...more
Doug
Title may sound dry, but if you, like me, find cultural differences fascinating/annoying you really must read this book, or something similar. If you have an interest in international business or politics, you really should take advantage of this field of study. I found Geert Hofstede while trying to research the cultural challenges of the NATO (American) effort in Afghanistan. This is a non-judgmental recognition of how different cultures provide for the psychological needs of human nature. It ...more
Lorette
Interesting research from the 1960is at IBM, Hofstede using factor analysis, found 4 dimensions where national values are plotted (used data from over 50 countries; that latter study, with Minkov, had data from over 90 countries). 2 more dimensions were subsequently added in the third edition of this book. The authors contend that social class has culture; corporate culture is a different animal altogether, and has different dimensions, according to the authors. Despite the "global" world we liv ...more
Mad Hab
This is a very good book.

There are a lot definitions of what culture and what values are. Most of them are in the form of romantic poetry, personal experience and feelings. What Hofstedes actually did, they quantified value systems, gave them names, dimensions and showed how values for different cultures differ ( or cultures for different cultures differ, which way you like :)). However the most important stuff to take from the book is the fact that even Western countries differ a lot. This is e
...more
Nextbestthing
Beetje een flauwe titel voor deze nieuwe (herwerkte) uitgave van Hofstedes Cultures and Organisations Software of the mind. De dimensies blijven echter essentieel voor wie enig inzicht wil krijgen in cultuurverschillen. De concrete aanpak van Hofstede blijft verfrissend in dit studiegebied waarin nogal wat boeken verschijnen met abstract academisch getheoretiseer...naast ook een hele stapel boeken die helaas niet verder komen dan enkele goedbedoelde clichés.

Dit boek zou in heel wat opleidingen (
...more
Catherine

The book offers and synthesis of Geert Hofstede's scientific model of intercultural differences. It presents the details of the 5 factors differentiating cultural values (and much more).

It is a 'short' version (560 pages) of his work, easy to read and meant for non-academics. The long and detailed version of his academic work is found in his other book "Culture consequences".

It is important to buy the last edition. Compared to the previous edition, the last edition to this date (2010) brings s
...more
Marcus Solberg
Great book! Gives a really good framework for understanding different cultures, as well as specifics for different countries.

Not sure which year I read this one.
Paul
This book is interesting, but the author tends to essentialize and naturalize cultural and national identity, ignoring the fact that there are usually more differences within groups than there are between them. Statistically speaking, it is easy to find even tiny ggregate differences between groups if the sample size is large enough; unfortunately these (usually small) statistically significant differences are translated into the media and popular culture as binary oppositions (i.e., Asians are ...more
Bill Lalonde
A very interesting book giving a lucid exposition of Hofstede's attempts at cultural quantification. Also notably it argues for observing different moralities arising from different cultural experiences, yet also contains arguments in favor of the authors' moral particularities. To be fair, this is lampshaded implicitly when calling for world citizens to learn about others' values while remaining rooted in their own.
Ad_blankestijn
The masterwork for the general public by Prof. Geert Hofstede, who with his four dimensions of culture singlehandedly laid the basis for the academic study of intercultural differences, which in its turn became the inspiration for the flourishing consultancy world of today. Everybody in this field stands on the shoulders of Hofstede. The book is a pleasure to read and highly recommended.
Jeff
I had so many questions about what it is to be human, what is environmental and what is genetic. This author takes a look at extensive data from studies from IBM which traverse the globe, and he charts patterns of human behavior. He show which countries value independence or being in groups, which are more or less hierarchical, more or less masculine or feminine, etc., etc. I love this book.
Yorgos Christoforou
One of my favourite books. A fascinating effort to quantify cultural aspects and allow the user to relativize and understand what went wrong whenever he/she hits against unexpected problems due to cultural differences.
Natalia
Oct 05, 2010 Natalia is currently reading it
Excellent reference book for anyone who works with people from other cultures or travels a lot. Hofstede and team give the reader lots to think about!
Very clearly-presented, using relevant examples, based on an extensive body of research.
I'm enjoying the European perspective on some world issues that I've mainly been exposed to from the American point of view.
Widyoseno
"culture.. a software of one's mind which differentiate one human group from others. Culture in this sense includes values"

Must-read for those who majoring in marketing and management. Those who also interested in managing cultural differences as well as planning to establish a multi-national company or negotiate with other foreign people.

Raven
I decided to read this book after its references in Malcolm Gladwell's Outliners, and am finding the level of detail interesting. I most enjoyed reading what various cultures value.
Thomas
The book explains quite well the role of cultural values in societies and organizations. A must-read for anyone involved in management or leadership in international context.
Sarah
The research was interesting, although maybe a little dated--I'm sure that it's influenced a lot of current thinking about multicultural society. Scholarly, but not too dry.
Sara Best
Very interesting approach to intercultural interaction using extensive research. It is also a good example of analysis of social science research data.
Jennifer
I'm back in school--taking Intercultural Communications--and only have time for school reading. . .other books will have to wait until Thanksgiving break!
Alan
Dated, but still interesting, especially for the "uncertainty anxiety" component which shows the big differences between Boston and Berlin.
Terry Grondahl
An insight into cultures and how our mind perceives culture. The author has done a lot of research in this area and has several books out.
Jon
A very interesting book that shows how different cultures are programmed and how we are different and how we are the same.
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Gerard Hendrik Hofstede is an influential Dutch writer on the interactions between national cultures and organizational cultures, and is an author of several books including Culture's Consequences and Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind, co-authored by his son Gert Jan Hofstede. Hofstede's study demonstrated that there are national and regional cultural groupings that affect the behav ...more
More about Geert Hofstede...
Culture's Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions and Organizations Across Nations Exploring Culture : Exercises, Stories and Synthetic Cultures Masculinity and Femininity: The Taboo Dimension of National Cultures Culture's Consequences : International Differences in Work-Related Values (Cross Cultural Research and Methodology) Uncommon Sense About Organizations: Cases, Studies, And Field Observations

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“In most collectivist cultures, direct confrontation of another person is considered rude and undesirable. The word no is seldom used, because saying “no” is a confrontation; “you may be right” and “we will think about it” are examples of polite ways of turning down a request. In the same vein, the word yes should not necessarily be inferred as an approval, since it is used to maintain the line of communication: “yes, I heard you” is the meaning it has in Japan.” 9 likes
“...which animal the ruler should impersonate depends strongly on what animals the followers are.” 3 likes
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