There have been many interesting topics in the past four lessons. Moran, Abramson & Moran’s (2014) introduced the cultural dimension research of Geert Hofstede in chapter one, which left me wanting to learn more about these interesting findings. I went online to learn more and found the official website of Geert Hofstede where these cultural dimensions are explained in more detail. If you have the time, I highly recommend visiting this website and watching the 10-minute videos of Hofstede explaining the 6 D model of national culture.
Geert Hofstede, with the assistance of others, came up with six dimensions of culture that are used by societies in order to organize themselves, one of these dimensions is individualism/collectivism and which is the dimension of culture that I will focus on in this blog entry (Hofstede, 2019, para 1).
The research of Li and Aksoy (2007) sought to answer the question, “Are individualism and collectivism the opposites of a single cultural dimension or are they different constructs with multiple dimensions?” (p. 314). Through the data collected from their study of 114 American (individualist) and 102 Turkish (collectivist) undergraduate business students, Li and Aksoy determined that individualism and collectivism “each represent a different contrast with two dimensions, providing evidence for the conceptualization of individualism and collectivism as separate constructs with multiple dimensions” (Li and Aksoy, 2007, p. 325). This will prove to be important for understanding how leaders need to meet their followers where they are socially located.
I recently took the Individualism-Collectivism self-assessment for the course OLEAD 409. This assessment can be found at http://highered.mheducation.com/sites/007040187x/student_view0/chapter2/self-assessment_2_8.html. My placement on this scale is helping me to understand how the cultural dimensions of my parents, who immigrated to the United States, and my acculturation as an individual who was born and raised in America place me in a position to strongly operate from a collectivist standpoint but also helps me to understand and relate to individualism. This increase my self-awareness will remind me to be cognizant of which cultural dimension(s) I am operating from when working with individuals or groups as a leader from various backgrounds.
I can identify with the findings of Li and Aksoy (2007) which consider these constructs to be separate, and more specifically relative to one’s station in life at a particular time and location. Through my results in the Individualism-collectivism scale and Moran, Abramson & Moran’s (2014) explanation of Hofstede’s research, I have learned that the constructs of Individualism and Collectivism are separate and can even be used interchangeably by individuals who find themselves in an increasingly globalized world. This leads me to wonder if we may have all been considered collectivists, at some point in history. And if so, how have the processes of land ownership, colonialism, manufacturing, immigration etc. affected how we identify ourselves?
Li, F. & Aksoy, L. (2007). Dimensionality of individualism-collectivism and measurement of equivalence of Triandis and Gelfand’s scale. Journal of Business and Psychology. 21.3, 313-329. https://link-springer-com.ezaccess.libraries.psu.edu/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs10869-006-9031-8.pdf
Moran, R.T., Abramson, N. R., & Moran, S. V. (2014). Managing cultural differences. New York, NY: Routledge.
The 6-D model of national culture. (2019). Gert Hofstede. https://geerthofstede.com/culture-geert-hofstede-gert-jan-hofstede/6d-model-of-national-culture/