Friday, 27 May 2011

Cross Cultural Management: British and Chinese work culture

Britain and China, they're world apart and very visibly culturally different but how so? Under closer examination – with the help of Hofstede's research, they share a surprising amount of cultural similarities when it comes to the workplace.

    But first a quick refresher on Hofstede: Geert Hofstede conducted research in the early 90's on the cultural differences of the international branches of IBM. He categorised his findings into 5 dimensions (Power Distance, Individualism, Masculinity, Uncertainty Avoidance, Long Term Orientation).

Risk Takers

These two cultures share a common trait in coping with ambiguity. British and Chinese branches of IBM exhibited a low score in Uncertainty Avoidance, below the world's average score. What's the significance of this? - Both cultures can undertake risks comfortably.

Taking risks is an essential part of business, as this article explains:

Competitive nature, achievement based

Both cultures also showed an above average score in masculinity. This means that these cultures are very assertive and competitive.

The implications of this on the workplace and management being that successful workplace in these cultures may be competitive commission or reward based working environments. Utilising the cultures competitive and achievement based qualities to increase productivity.

I hope you've enjoyed this post as much as I have researching it.




  1. Chinese work conditions are poor, that much different there is at least.

  2. Very interesting info, too bad the study is almost 20 years old now!

  3. i guess that's why both countries have a history of dominating the shit out of other countries

  4. All you have to do is cook books!