The Validity Of Hofstede's Research

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3.6. The Validity of Hofstede’s Findings Hofstede’s findings are widely used in the field of cross-cultural communication. Nowadays, with the wave of globalization, his findings are gaining popularity in international management and marketing. (Hofstede, 1993) When people do business with clients from other countries, they go to Hofstede’s website and select a country. In the light of Figure 1, this essay chooses four countries as examples to demonstrate how Hofstede’s framework can be put into practice. With the development of Hofstede’s theory, many scholars have confirmed the validity of Hofstede’s research. For instance, He and Liu (2010) carried out a survey in a branch of a Swedish multinational company in Shanghai, China. The purpose…show more content…
For example, Gudykunst (1998: 19) uses the ‘Uncertainty Reduction Theory’ in his survey. To be more specific, the theory describes the interaction among people when they have new meetings with strangers. Gudykunst (1998: 19) has argued that the uncertainty will be increased when people are interacting with strangers whose cultural values are different from themselves, and vice verse. Gudykunst (1998: 19) has also demonstrated that further meetings are less likely to occur if the level of uncertainty is high. Therefore, when people are facing complex relationship in a multicultural environment, they can use this theory to predict what social interaction tends to happen. With the development of the theory, ‘positivism’ becomes popular in the field of cross-cultural communication in the 1980s. Besides, the research during that period has some characteristics such as the concept of nation equating with culture and the method of collecting data by questionnaires. (Gudykunst, 1983) In other words, Hofstede’s findings have enlightened many scholars, thus the theory by positivistic research plays a significant role in the evolution of cross-cultural…show more content…
Firstly, according to the questionnaire (Hofstede, 2001), some questions are too vague for participants to answer. For instance, the question, ‘most people can be trusted’, is ambiguous. There are different forms of trust, but which type of ‘trust’ in this questionnaire refers to? Hence, such kinds of questions may lead to confusion among participants. In addition, some vocabularies in this questionnaire are subjective, such as ‘good’, ‘nervous’ and ‘challenging’. The extent to which the situation can be described as ‘good’, ‘nervous’ and ‘challenging’ is various from individual to individual, hence the accuracy of these questions should be doubted. Moreover, the truth of the responses of the questionnaire is suspicious. For example, the question ‘How often do you feel nervous or tense at work?’, some participants may not tell you the truth, so the results are restricted to some extent. Lastly, McSweeney (2002) has stated that Hofestede only attributes the various responses in the questionnaire to the different nations, but neglects other factors such as gender and the educational level. Therefore, McSweeney (2002) uses the term ‘Unjustified analytical leap’ to criticize Hofstede’s narrow perspective in the cultural study. To conclude, the data collected by using questionnaires has some weaknesses, which also reflects the limitation of

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