Hofstede's Dimensions of Cultural Differences

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Culture can be defined as the mental programme that is collective for human mind distinguishing a group of people from the other. America has a deep driving culture in comparison to other cultures. In comparison to Portugal, the U.S has a number of factors that vary such as power distance, individualism, uncertainty avoidance and long term orientation among others. However the major cultural difference between these countries is uncertainty avoidance.

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Uncertainty difference deals with the fact that the future is ever unknown. Members a certain culture can feel threatened by unknown future but they have learnt of ways to deal with it. Portugal scores highly with 99 on the dimension when it comes to preferences in avoiding uncertainty. The U.S on the other hand scores below average with 46. The cultural pattern shows that the degree of acceptance for innovative products, new ideas and willingness to try something different is fair. Americans are more tolerant o ideas and allow freedom of expression in comparison to Portuguese who are rigid to new technology, foods or even ideas. The score also means that the 9/11 has caused fear among the Americans culminating in the efforts of the government by checking up on everybody through security organizations and NSA.

In an Organization set up American would score high. This is because it can accept change as it comes. Organizations are frequently changing as new ideas and technology come up. Employees tend to resist change as they have fear of the unknown while others do not want to work in a disruptive work environment. Accommodating change helps the company competes better with other rivals as well as develops new products and skills. For an individual employee, being open to new ideas and opportunities can help one gain new skills and find better opportunities in life.

The U.S and Portugal are two different countries who share cultural dimensions but also differ in some of them. The first similarity in their culture is the long term orientation which describes how every country has to maintain links with its past while at the same time dealing with the problems and challenge currently happening and the future challenges. Portugal scores 28 while the U.S scores 26. Both countries prefer to maintain time honored traditions and beliefs while perceiving societal change with suspicion. Both countries are careful to analyze new information to find out whether it is true. The countries therefore prefer normative thought over pragmatic.

In comparison to Portugal, U.S scores 91 while Portugal scores 27 when it to comes to individualism. Individualism is the degree of interdependence among members of a society. Portugal is collectivist as it takes care of individuals in groups in exchange of loyalty. Everyone takes responsibility of the other persons needs and relationship at work in terms of employer-employee is viewed as family ties. When it comes to the U.S culture, they look after themselves and their immediate family members. They are individualist society. In the American society, managers and employees are consulted and information is shared regularly, as well as direct, informal and participative communication.

With high development in global economy, ethics and social responsibility will become more similar across cultures. This is because of the undergoing revolution in contemporary communication technologies and information which have greatly influenced and impacted customers as well as nations. Response to customer awareness and sensitivity in terms of social responsibility and business ethics issues, as well as customers ability to react may prompt customers in the technology era to build and develop stronger cultures of social responsibility in the 21st century (Griseri & Seppala, 2010).


Griseri, P., & Seppala, N. (2010). Business ethics and corporate social responsibility. Australia: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Hoang, H. (2008). Culture and management: A study of Vietnamese cultural influences on management style.

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