Part A: Hofstede’s Dimensions on Qatar, Australia, and Germany
Businesses in various countries around the world exhibit different cultures in the way they conduct their operations. The business practices in various countries are different because of the varied cultural dispensations. One can perform an analysis on different countries by using the Hofstede’s cultural dimensions model. The main elements of the Hofstede’s model include individualism/collectivism, power distance, high/low context, uncertainty avoidance, and masculinity/femininity. An analysis of three countries, namely Qatar, Australia, and Germany, reveals different Hofstede’s scores in the way they conduct their businesses.
Power Distance Index (PDI)
In organizational context, power distance index (PDI) refers to the emotional differences between the management and the subordinate staff. The concept of power distance is important in assessing the dynamics of social hierarchies within organizations (Rockstuhl, 2011). In Australia, the power distance is low with a score of 36 (Duran et al., 2016). The low score is indicative of the fact that there is a high level of decentralization in the country. Most organizations in Australia establish social hierarchy for convenience. Superiors are always accessible, and top managers rely on employees for their expertise. Communication in Australian firms is mostly informal, direct, and participative.
Like most countries in the Middle East, Qatar has a high score on the PDI, with a score of 80 (Al Dulaimi & Bin Sailan, 2011). In general, Qatar’s laws and regulations are set by the authority or the ruling family. Traditionally, the authorities provide more power to top-ranking managers as well as their control over the organizations. Therefore, the interactions between employees and managers are minimal. One key characteristic of Qatari organizations is the high levels of inequality between various classes of employees.
On Hofstede’s cultural analysis scale, Germany has a power distance index of 36. German organizations do not have large gaps between senior managers and subordinate staff (Erdman, 2018). The organizational culture is based on equality among all employees. As a result, mobility is high within German workplace. Managers encourage subordinate staff to participate in organizational affair, which results in the reduction of the gap between senior and low-cadre employees.
Uncertainty Avoidance (UAI)
Uncertainty avoidance is the measure of the extent to which individuals deal with circumstances of uncertainty. As a highly normative society, Australia has an intermediate score of 51 in the dimension of uncertainty avoidance (Duran et al., 2016). Australians tend to maintain time-honored traditions and norms and view any change with suspicion. Qatar’s high UAI of 68 is indicative of a society that has a low level of tolerance for uncertainty (Al Dulaimi & Bin Sailan, 2011). Organizations in the country have established strict policies that are aimed at making the future predictable. Germany is among the countries with high UAI at 65 (Erdman, 2018). German organizations have an inherent preference to deductive rather than inductive approaches to management. They plan systematically before embarking on any plan.
Australia, with a score of 90, is an overly individualistic culture. The expectation within Australian organizations is that individuals are in charge of their wellbeing (Duran et al., 2016). Consequently, employees are self-reliant and demonstrate initiative and self-drive. The German culture is moderately individualist at 67. In German organizations, there is a strong sense of personal duty and responsibility among employees (Erdman, 2018). The Qatari culture, with a score of 38, is a highly collectivist society. The collectivist nature of Qatari organization is manifest in the sense that employees regard each other as teams or families.
Australia has a high score of 61 on the dimension of masculinity/femininity, making it a highly “masculine” society (Duran et al., 2016). Behaviors in Australian workplaces are based on the values of competitiveness, while hiring is strictly on merit. Germany is also a highly “masculine” society, scoring 66 on the masculinity/femininity dimension (Erdman, 2018). German organizations prioritize performance over other considerations such as loyalty and determination. In contrast, Qatar has a low score of 32 on the masculinity/femininity index, meaning that competitiveness is not an overriding virtue in the country’s organizations (Al Dulaimi & Bin Sailan, 2011).
Long Term/Short Term Orientation
As a normative culture, Australia scores 21 on the long term/short term dimension. Australian organizations have a strong concern on virtues such as truth, honesty, and integrity (Duran et al., 2016). Individuals in normative cultures demonstrate respect for traditions and a diminished propensity to save for the future. In contrast, Germany is a highly pragmatic society, and scores a high of 83 on long term/short term orientation dimension. German organizations are highly versatile and flexible, meaning that they are capable of adapting quickly to changes in their environment (Erdman, 2018). Qatar has a moderate score of 41 on the long term/short term orientation. Qatari organizations have a short term approach to operation. They prefer to resolve the immediate and emerging issues at the expense of long term considerations (Al Dulaimi, S & Bin Sailan, 2011).
Part 2: The U.S. Comparison
Of the three countries, Australia is the most similar to the U.S. in terms of the Hofstede’s characteristics. The U.S. has a score of 40 in PDI, 91 in individualism, 62 in masculinity, 46 in uncertainty avoidance, and 26 in long term orientation. The U.S. cultural dimensions are similar to Australia’s scores of 36 in PDI, 90 in individualism/collectivism, 61 in masculinity, 51 in uncertainty avoidance, and 21 in long term/short term orientation. In contrast, the U.S. is vastly dissimilar to the German culture in the Hofstede’s cultural dimensions. As one can see, there is a considerable variance between the U.S. and Germany, with the latter scoring 36 on PDI, 67 in individualism, 32 on masculinity, 65 on uncertainty avoidance, and 83 on uncertainty avoidance.