Individualism

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Individualism is a national culture attribute describing the degree to which people prefer to act as individuals rather than as members of groups.

Individualistic countries like the USA tend to be low-power-distance countries and collectivist countries like Malaysia (26) tend to be high-power-distance countries. Also, it is easy to notice regional differences. Western an Northern nations such as Canada or the Netherlands tend to be more individualistic while poorer countries like Mexico tend to be higher on power distance.

Hofstede's culture dimensions have been influential on OB (organizational behavior) researchers and managers. Nevertheless, his research has been criticized. First, although the data have since been updated, the original data are from 30 years ago and were based on a single company (IBM). Second, few researchers have read the details of his methodology closely and therefore are unaware of the many decisions he had to make (for example, reducing cultural values to just five). Despite these concerns, Hofstede has been one of the most widely cited social scientists ever.

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Author: Joanna Karp