Publication Details

This paper was originally published as Jones, M, Hofstede – Culturally questionable?, Oxford Business & Economics Conference. Oxford, UK, 24-26 June, 2007.


Hofstede’s work on culture is the most widely cited in existence (Bond 2002; Hofstede 1997). His observations and analysis provide scholars and practitioners with a highly valuable insight into the dynamics of cross-cultural relationships. However, such a groundbreaking body of work does not escape criticism. Hofstede has been dogged by academics discrediting his work in part or whole. On the other side of this contentious argument are academics that support his work. Far more scholars belong on the pro-Hofstede team than don’t, most quote Hofstede’s work with unabashed confidence, many including his findings as absolute assumptions. This paper takes an in-depth look at Hofstede’s work and discusses both sides of these arguments, then recommends areas for further discussion and research. Finally his findings are applied to a practical environment regarding two countries, Australia and Indonesia. After weighing the evidence, including observing a dialogue between Hofstede and his antagonists, a greater argument exists which support Hofstede than exists which dispute his work. Although, not all of what Hofstede has said stands up to public enquiry, the majority of his findings, have weathered the storms of time, and will continue to guide multi-national practitioners into the ‘global’ future.

Link to publisher version (URL)

Oxford Business & Economics Conference