Hellenic Cultural Identity – Hofstede Study

Hofstede's theory of cultural dimension theory was first developed on the basis of a series of surveys conducted by Geert Hofstede among the 117,000 IBM employees based in various countries during the period 1967-1973, 70 countries.

Since then, research has transcended business boundaries and focused on analyzing the culture of different peoples. It spread to a large number of countries, revealing valuable information about the cultural peculiarities of these peoples (including Greece). Thus the Hofstede theory was formed which helped to better understand cultures and particular characteristics of people. Naturally, the conclusions of these researches were utilized by experts in International Marketing, Management, International Relations, Diplomacy, Intercultural Psychology, etc. in order to adapt their strategies & policies to the data of each country.

It is understood that each country has its own culture, traditions and taboos. Thus, when designing a strategy, executives of companies should be able to understand in depth the culture (Philip Kotler; Principles of Marketing; 4th European Edition, 2005) of the consumer and how it affects his consumer behavior, before proceeding with any design. Understanding these specificities can not only provide the means to implement appropriate practices, but also to maximize the effectiveness of a strategy against competition.

Hofstede's original theory suggested that the analysis of the culture of each people be considered in relation to 4 dimensions, but relatively recently (2010) this model evolved into a 6-dimensional model. The 6 dimensions are:

1. Power Distance Index (PDI)

2. Individualism vs. Collectivism (IDV)

3. "Masculinity" vs. "Femininity" (MAS)

4. Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI)

5. Long-term vs Short term orientation (LTO)

6. Indulgence vs Restraint (IVR)

Detailed for each dimension

1. Power Distance Index (PDI) demonstrates the degree of acceptance of power relations (or not) between members of a society. In countries with a high power index (such as Latin America, etc.), hierarchical relations are considered normal, while in countries with a low power index (such as Sweden, Israel, etc.), this is not easily accepted.

Regarding Greece:

With the scale starting from 1 and ending at 100, Greece collects 60 points, an intermediate score, which, however, shows a slight tendency towards the higher side of the PDI. According to the Hofstede Center analysis, this is a:

- society that believes in hierarchy and considers inequalities between people acceptable.

- The different distribution of power justifies the fact that the holders of power have more benefits than the less powerful members of society.

- In companies there is usually a boss who takes full responsibility.

- The elderly is considered important (children take care of their elderly parents).