Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions- Hofstede’s 6 Cultural Dimensions Theory

Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions- Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Theory. Also, Definition and Example of Six Cultural Dimensions.

Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Theory

Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory is a framework for cross-cultural communication. It was developed in 1980 by Dutch management researcher Geert Hofstede. Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory shows the effects of a society’s culture on the values of its members. It also shows how these values relate to behavior, using a structure derived from factor analysis. Hofstede’s 6 Cultural Dimensions are individualism-collectivism, power distance, uncertainty, masculine-feminine, high context-lower context, also monochronic- polychronic. Therefore, it is also known as the six cultural dimensions theory.

This cultural dimensions theory is beneficial to understand and change the work attitude of the organization, group, team members, and so on. Cultural conflict is also known as communication noise or barriers.

What is Culture?

Culture is a set of values, beliefs, attitudes, behaviors,  symbols, and norms shared by people in a society or community. The cultures vary from country to country and community to community. For example, Malaysian culture is not similar to Australian culture. Additionally, the culture of African Americans is not identical to White Americans.

Hofstede’s six Cultural Dimension

Hofstede’s 6 Cultural Dimensions are individualism-collectivism, power distance, uncertainty, masculine-feminine, high context-lower context, and monochronic- polychronic. It is also known as Hofstede’s theory.

Hofstede’s six Cultural Dimensions are
  1. Individualism – Collectivism
  2. Power Distance
  3. Uncertainty Avoidance
  4. Masculine – Feminine
  5. High Context – Lower Context
  6. Monochronic Time – Polychronic Time Hofstede's cultural dimensions - Hofstede's 6 Cultural Dimensions Theory. Hofstede's 6 Dimensions are Individualism– collectivism, Power distance, Uncertainty, Masculine–feminine, High context-lower context, Monochronic- polychronic.

Figure 1: Hofstede’s cultural dimensions – Hofstede’s 6 Cultural Dimension Theory

Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions
1. Individualistic/ Collectivism

(Prefer to act independently or interdependently)

Individualism: Individualistic members like to work alone and seek credit for their own work. They value individual achievement and freedom. For example, people from the US, Australia, and Canada.

Collectivism: Collectivist members like to work in groups and try to help each other. Collectivist members may prefer face-to-face discussions instead of virtual discussions. Emphasize group identity—for example, people from Asian and Latin American countries.

Recommended adaptations

Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory encourages collectivism. Make sure that individualistic members understand that they are part of a larger group; therefore, they need their input and participation to achieve a shared goal. Tuckman’s theory discusses more on how to avoid conflict during working together in a group. It also shows that how a group can achieve interdependent goal.

2. Power distance

(Extent of equity or status among members)

High power: Inequity between high- and low-status members. For example, people from Mexico, India, and Singapore.

Low power: Equity and interdependence among group members. For example, people from New Zealand and Denmark.

Recommended adaptations

According to Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory, establish clear norms for member behavior. For example, to what extent will members participate in decision-making? How will specific tasks be assigned? How and by whom will members be evaluated? Also, Who will serve as leader(s)?

3. Uncertainty avoidance

(Extent of comfort in uncertain situations)

High uncertainty: Prefer rules, plans, and routines—for example, Japan, Belgium, Greece.

Low uncertainty: Comfortable with ambiguity and unpredictability. For instance, Jamaica, Hong Kong.

Recommended adaptations

According to Hofstede’s six dimensions theory, people need to provide clear instructions to the high uncertainty members while giving low uncertainty members opportunities to function unaided.

4. Masculinity – Feminists

(Concern for self success versus a focus on caring and sharing)

Masculine: Masculine-oriented members focus on the task and personal success. Assertive, decisive, dominant. For example, Japan, Venezuela, Italy.

Feminine: Feminine-oriented members focus on member relations and respect for others. Nurturing, cooperative. For example, Sweden, Norway, Denmark.

Recommended adaptations

According to Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory, we need to persuade people to work together to achieve independent as well as interdependent goals.

5. High context – low context

(Directness of communication in specific circumstances)

High context: High context members consider background, interpersonal history, and nonverbal communication cues when communicating. Messages are implied and context-sensitive. For example, Japan, China, Greece, Mexico

Low Context: Low-context members want facts a clear, direct communication. Messages are explicit, factual, and objective. For example, England, the US, and Germany.

The high context – low context is the example of chronemics nonverbal communication.

Recommended adaptations

According to Hofstede’s six dimensions theory,  give high-context members time to review the information and react; demonstrates the value of going beyond “just facts” to deficient context members.

6. Monochronic Polychronic

(How people organize and value time)

Monochronic: Monochronic members focus on one task at a time and work hard to meet deadlines. Adhere to plans, schedules, and deadlines because time is valuable—for example, North American and Northern Europe.

Polychronic: Polychronic members are frequently late, do many things at once, are easily distracted, and tolerant of interruptions. Not obsessed with promptness or schedules because time is not highly valued—for example, Kenya, Argentina, African Americans.

Recommended adaptations

We should encourage monochromic members to take responsibility for time-sensitive tasks. However, it is believed that polychromic members will vary Punctual based on the nature and importance of a situation or relationship.

Tuckman Theory- Tuckman’s Theory of Group Development

Tuckman’s Theory of Group Development. The 5 Stages of Tuckman’s group development theory are Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning. Advantages and Disadvantages of Tuckman Theory.

Tuckman Theory

Tuckman’s theory refers to the five stages of the group development model developed by Bruce Tuckman in 1965. It is also known as Tuckman’s model, Tuckman theory, Tuckman ladder, five stages of group development theory, Tuckman’s team development model, Tuckman theory of communication, and Tuckman stages.

Bruce Tuckman introduced his four stages of group development theory in 1965. However, in the 1970s, he added the fifth stage to his four stages of group development theory. In 1977, Tuckman and Mary Ann Jensen included the fifth and final stage into Tuckman’s theory. The name of the fifth stage is Adjourning, which represents the happiness of achieving the interdependent group goal by the group member. So, it gets known as Tuckman and Jensen’s theory after adding the fifth stage.

Tuckman’s five stages are Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning. It is one of the appropriate theories for explaining the behavior of group members with dynamic characteristics. Additionally, a perfect theory to describe how the group members adjust and adapt in a group gradually.

Tuckman Theory
Tuckman Theory of Group Development

Tuckman’s Theory of Group Development

The 5 Stages of Group Development are
  1. Forming Stage
  2. Storming Stage
  3. Norming Stage
  4. Performing Stage
  5. Adjourning Stage.
1. Forming Stage of Tuckman’s Theory: (Orientation)

Forming is the first stage of Tuckman’s theory of communication, also known as the five stages of the group development model. Usually, members carefully explore both personal and group goals in this stage. They feel uncomfortable working with a group of strangers, or unfamiliar colleagues try to understand and test personal relationships. Member also orients itself to itself.

Primary Tension

Firstly, group member feels social unease and stiffness that accompanies the getting-acquainted stage in a new group. They become overly polite with one another. Additionally, members don’t interrupt one another. They often speak softly and avoid expressing strong opinions, also talk less, and provide little in the way of content.

How to Solve the Tension?

Firstly, the members should be positive and energetic so that other members build positive attitudes toward them. Secondly, smile and Laugh at others when interacting with them. Additionally, nod in agreement and exhibit enthusiasm because it is a useful non-verbal cue to hold effective interactions. Group members should also be patient and open-minded, knowing that the primary tension will decrease with time. Finally, Be prepared and informed before your first meeting to help the group focus on its task.

2. Storming Stage of Tuckman’s Theory: (Power Struggle)

Storming is the second stage of Tuckman’s theory of Group Development. Group members become argumentative also emotional. The most confident members begin to compete for both social acceptance and leadership. Many groups try to skip this stage to avoid competition and conflict Conflict is necessary to establish a climate in which members understand the value of disagreeing. The conflicts among group members are also known as noise in communication.

  • Conflict ⇒ cohesion dialectic.
  • Leadership ⇒ follower ship dialectic.
Secondary Tension in Tuckman’s Model

Firstly, frustrations and personality conflicts are experienced by group members as they compete for acceptance and achievement within a group. Members have gained enough confidence to become assertive and even aggressive as they pursue positions of power and influence. They gain a high level of energy and agitation. The group becomes noisier, more dynamic, and physically active in this stage of group development. Usually, members start to speak in louder voices, interrupting and overlapping one another so that two or three people may be speaking simultaneously. Members sit up straight, lean forward, or squirm in their seats. Finally, everyone is alert and listening intently.

How to Solve the Tension?

Making jokes is very important to avoid tension in the second stage of Tuckman’s theory. They should work outside the group setting to discuss the personal difficulties and anxieties of group members.

3. Norming Stage of Tuckman’s Theory (Cooperation)

Norming is the third stage of Tuckman’s 5 Stages of Group Development Theory. Members start learning to work as a cohesive team and task-oriented. They start developing “rules of engagement.” However, they feel more comfortable with one another and are willing to disagree and express opinions – communication becomes open. Finally, a feeling of trust and clear goals emerge inside the group.

4. Performing Stage of Tuckman’s Theory (Synergy)

Performing is the fourth stage of Tuckman’s 5 Stages of Group Development theory. Members become fully engaged and eager to work at this stage. Members adjust and adapt to the situation and also start solving critical problems. In this stage, the group identity, loyalty, and morale are generally high. However, disagreements do occur, but members usually resolve intelligently and amicably. Finally, Interaction patterns reflect virtually no tension; instead, the members are cheerful, loud, boisterous, laughing and verbally backslapping each other”.

5. Adjourning Stage of Tuckman’s Theory (Closure)

Adjourning refers to the fifth stage of Tuckman’s 5 Group Development Theory. Members have usually achieved their common goal and may begin to disband. It also represents whether the group members will work together or form a new group. Finally, they are happy with what they have achieved but feel lost when the group dissolves.

  • Disband = confront relational issues (For example, how to retain friendships with other members).
Tuckman’s Theory of Communication

Tuckman’s theory of communication has significant theoretical and practical contributions to research. The Five Stages of Tuckman’s Theory of Communication are Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning. Although, in 1965, Tuckman proposed a four-stage group development theory but later added the fifth stage called adjourning. Tuckman’s theory assists group members to subdue the group barriers. It also helps to adjust them in the group gradually.  Therefore, it is known as a group facilitation theory. Tuckman’s group development theory consists of five stages that facilitate group formation and development.

Tuckman identified both advantages and disadvantages of group communication; therefore, he provided suggestions on reducing the barriers in group communication.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Tuckman’s Theory

The Tuckman model has both theoretical and practical advantages and disadvantages. Many researchers have identified the pros and cons of the Tuckman theory. It is also known as the strengths and limitations of the Tuckman model.

Advantages of Tuckman Theory

Firstly, Tuckman’s theory clarifies the specific stages of any group and team discussion; for instance, the 5 stages of group development are forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. Tuckman’s theory helps to understand more about primary and secondary tension. It also recommends how to reduce these tensions to active the group. It is essential to decline the tension among the group because these tensions are obstacles to achieving the group goal. Additionally, it strengthens the relationship among group members and motivates them to be productive. Finally, the Tuckman group developing theory shows the perfect successful way of solving group uncertainty issues and gaining interdependent goals.

Disadvantages of Tuckman Theory

Tuckman’s Theory consists of five important stages that really difficult to maintain one by one. Group members need to follow different instructions to maintain effective communication and a good relationship with group members. Additionally, there is no instant solution to solve all conflicts in group communication, although suggested some recommendations to reduce conflicts. Furthermore, Tuckman’s model did not mention what would have happened if the storming stage did not end. Finally, Tuckman’s model has been failed to discuss why the group change over time.

Citation for this Article (APA 7th Edition)
Kobiruzzaman, M. M. (2021, January 30). Tuckman Theory of Communication, Advantages, and Disadvantages. Educational Website For Online Learning. https://newsmoor.com/tuckmans-model-five-stages-of-group-and-team-development-theory/
Tuckman 1965 Reference Apa 7th Edition

Tuckman, B. W. (1965). Developmental sequence in small groups. Psychological Bulletin63(6), 384.