For purposes of this brief paper, this author will consider Hoftstede’s 5 dimensions as a function of whether or not these are still relevant in our increasingly globalized and technologically linked culture/world. Firstly, in order to either refute or bolster Hoftstede’s thesis, it is necessary to briefly look at his 5 dimensions and classify/define them based upon their determinate meanings. Hoftstede ranks the following as his five dimensions of national cultures: 1) uncertainty avoidance 2) power distance 3) individualism versus collectivism 4) task orientation versus social orientation (masculine versus feminine) and 5) long term versus short term (Longston, 2011). With respect to the first two of these determinants, it can be clearly stated that the effects of a globalized world have fundamentally altered the way in which individuals approach these perspectives. Although it is possible to overemphasize the equalizing effect that globalization has had on given subsets of people from culturally and ethnically diverse backgrounds, it would be hard to claim that as a result of the rampant technological revolution that has swept the world within the past 30-35 years has served to stratify and tribalize the way in which cultures interact with one another; quite the opposite in fact. In much the same way, with reference to the 3rd of Hoftstede’s dimensions, it can be categorically noted (just as was noted with numbers 1 and 2 above) that the overall trend within the world community has been
one of further collectivization and lesser individualization. Of course strong determinant metrics upon which to base such an observation on are difficult to come by; however, one can reasonably point to the fact that cultures are blending, English is becoming more and more widely spoken (oftentimes to the detriment of the native languages in question), and the collectivizing power that large multi-national corporations provide for all of their member nations of operation. However, the effect to which our current culture of technology and globalization has affected Hoftstede’s final two tensions within the organizational context is not nearly so clear or determinant as the ones that have been listed previously. It is this author’s belief that the main reason for this is due to the fact that whereas Hoftstede’s other 3 determinants have been based on culture the fourth is based upon more genetic factors that help to define the nature of how individuals and groups behave in non-learned ways. For instance, although there is exhibited a greater degree of task oriented objectives within our current system that individuals must necessarily work towards accomplishing, the most important determinants within this structure are still how involved parties view themselves; both as a function of their own past and as a function of their genetic makeup. For this reason, Hoftstede brings in the example of masculinity versus femininity into his understanding of this key concept. As such, these cross-cultural understandings of masculine and feminine roles are among the most difficult to mold and change as a function of the spread of greater technological integration and/or globalization. Due to the fact that understandings of gender are innately cultural and perhaps some of the first norms that an individual within a given culture becomes aware, the level to which the spread of technology an greater integration has been able to affect these determinants is severely hampered.