Hofstede's Dimensions of Culture
Geert H. Hofstede was born on October 2, 1928 in Haarlem, the Netherlands. He received his M.Sc. from the Delft Institute of Technology in 1953, his Ph.D. (cum laude) from Groningen University in 1967. Hofstede served in the Netherlands Army from 1953 to 1955. In 1955, he married Maaike A. Van den Hoek. They've also "lived happily ever after", but I'm not sure where (probably Brussels, Belgium).
Hofstede is most well known for his work on four dimensions of cultural variability, commonly referred to as "Hofstede's Dimensions." These include: Uncertainty Avoidance, Power Distance, Masculinity-Femininity, Individualism-Collectivism, Confucian Dynamism. These dimensions were arrived in his 1980 publication, "Culture's consequences: International differences in work-related values." The study took existing survey data (sample size of 116,000) collected from a multinational corporation (IBM). The result was a score in each of the dimensions for 40 different countries.
During 1978-83, the Dutch cultural anthropologist Geert Hofstede conducted detailed interviews with hundreds of IBM employees in 53 countries. Through standard statistical analysis of fairly large data sets, he was able to determine patterns of similarities and differences among the replies. From this data analysis, he formulated his theory that world cultures vary along consistent, fundamental dimensions. Since his subjects were constrained to one multinational corporation's world-wide employees, and thus to one company culture, he ascribed their differences to the effects of their national cultures. (One weakness is that he maintained that each country has just one dominant culture.)
In the 1990s, Hofstede published a more accessible version of his research publication in Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind [Hofstede]. His focus was not on defining culture as refinement of the mind (or "highly civilized" attitudes and behavior) but rather on...