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Sweden

Pdi-31
Idv-71
Mas-5
Uai- 29
Lto- 20

What about Sweden?

If we explore the Swedish culture through the lens of the 5-D Model, we can get a
good overview of the deep drivers of Swedish culture relative to other world
cultures.

Power distance
This dimension deals with the fact that all individuals in societies are not equal it
expresses the attitude of the culture towards these inequalities amongst us.
Power distance is defined as the extent to which the less powerful members of
institutions and organisations within a country expect and accept that power is
distributed unequally.

Sweden scores low on this dimension (score of 31) which means that the following
characterises the Swedish style: Being independent, hierarchy for convenience only,
equal rights, superiors accessible, coaching leader, management facilitates and
empowers. Power is decentralized and managers count on the experience of their
team members. Employees expect to be consulted. Control is disliked and attitude
towards managers are informal and on first name basis. Communication is direct
and participative.

Individualism

The fundamental issue addressed by this dimension is the degree of


interdependence a society maintains among its members. It has to do with whether
peoples self-image is defined in terms of I or We.
In Individualist societies people are supposed to look after themselves and their
direct family only. In Collectivist societies people belong to in groups that take care
of them in exchange for loyalty.

Sweden, with a score of 71 is an Individualistic society. This means there is a high


preference for a loosely-knit social framework in which individuals are expected to
take care of themselves and their immediate families only. In individualistic societies
offence causes guilt and a loss of self-esteem, the employer/employee relationship
is a contract based on mutual advantage, hiring and promotion decisions are
supposed to be based on merit only, management is the management of
individuals.

Masculinity / Femininity
A high score (masculine) on this dimension indicates that the society will be driven
by competition, achievement and success, with success being defined by the winner
/ best in field a value system that starts in school and continues throughout
organisational behaviour.
A low score (feminine) on the dimension means that the dominant values in society
are caring for others and quality of life. A feminine society is one where quality of
life is the sign of success and standing out from the crowd is not admirable. The
fundamental issue here is what motivates people, wanting to be the best
(masculine) or liking what you do (feminine).

Sweden scores 5 on this dimension and is therefore a feminine society. In feminine


countries it is important to keep the life/work balance and you make sure that all
are included. An effective manager is supportive to his/her people, and decision
making is achieved through involvement. Managers strive for consensus and people
value equality, solidarity and quality in their working lives. Conflicts are resolved by
compromise and negotiation and Swedes are known for their long discussions until
consensus has been reached. Incentives such as free time and flexible work hours
and place are favoured. The whole culture is based around 'lagom', which means
something like not too much, not too little, not too noticeable, everything in
moderation. Lagom ensures that everybody has enough and nobody goes without.
Lagom is enforced in society by Jante Law which should keep people in place at

all times. It is a fictional law and a Scandinavian concept which counsels people not
to boast or try to lift themselves above others.

Uncertainty avoidance
The dimension Uncertainty Avoidance has to do with the way that a society deals
with the fact that the future can never be known: should we try to control the future
or just let it happen? This ambiguity brings with it anxiety and different cultures
have learnt to deal with this anxiety in different ways. The extent to which the
members of a culture feel threatened by ambiguous or unknown situations and
have created beliefs and institutions that try to avoid these is reflected in the UAI
score.

Sweden scores 29 on this dimension and thus has a low preference for avoiding
uncertainty. Low UAI societies maintain a more relaxed attitude in which practice
counts more than principles and deviance from the norm is more easily tolerated. In
societies exhibiting low UAI, people believe there should be no more rules than are
necessary and if they are ambiguous or do not work they should be abandoned or
changed. Schedules are flexible, hard work is undertaken when necessary but not
for its own sake, precision and punctuality do not come naturally, innovation is not
seen as threatening.

Long term orientation


The long term orientation dimension is closely related to the teachings of Confucius
and can be interpreted as dealing with societys search for virtue, the extent to
which a society shows a pragmatic future-oriented perspective rather than a
conventional historical short-term point of view.

The Swedes score 20, making it a short term orientation culture. Societies with a
short-term orientation generally exhibit great respect for traditions, a relatively
small propensity to save, strong social pressure to keep up with the Joneses,
impatience for achieving quick results, and a strong concern with establishing the
Truth i.e. normative. Western societies are typically found at the short-term end of
this dimension, as are the countries of the Middle East.
Serbia

Pdi-86
Idv- 25
Mas-43
Uia-92
Serbia
LTO
Serbia UAI: 92
What about Serbia?
If we explore the Serbian culture through the lens of the 5-D Model, we can get a
good overview of the deep drivers of the Serbian culture relative to other world
cultures.

Power distance
This dimension deals with the fact that all individuals in societies are not equal it
expresses the attitude of the culture towards these inequalities amongst us.
Power distance is defined as the extent to which the less powerful members of
institutions and organisations within a country expect and accept that power is
distributed unequally.

Serbia scores high on this dimension (score of 86) which means that people accept
a hierarchical order in which everybody has a place and which needs no further
justification. Hierarchy in an organization is seen as reflecting inherent inequalities,
centralization is popular, subordinates expect to be told what to do and the ideal
boss is a benevolent autocrat

Individualism
The fundamental issue addressed by this dimension is the degree of
interdependence a society maintains among its members. It has to do with whether
peoples self-image is defined in terms of I or We.

In Individualist societies people are supposed to look after themselves and their
direct family only. In Collectivist societies people belong to in groups that take care
of them in exchange for loyalty.

Serbia, with a score of 25 is considered a collectivistic society. This is manifest in a


close long-term commitment to the member 'group', be that a family, extended
family, or extended relationships. Loyalty in a collectivist culture is paramount, and
over-rides most other societal rules and regulations. The society fosters strong
relationships where everyone takes responsibility for fellow members of their group.
In collectivist societies offence leads to shame and loss of face, employer/employee
relationships are perceived in moral terms (like a family link), hiring and promotion
decisions take account of the employees in-group, management is the
management of groups.

Masculinity / Femininity
A high score (masculine) on this dimension indicates that the society will be driven
by competition, achievement and success, with success being defined by the winner
/ best in field a value system that starts in school and continues throughout
organisational behaviour.
A low score (feminine) on the dimension means that the dominant values in society
are caring for others and quality of life. A feminine society is one where quality of
life is the sign of success and standing out from the crowd is not admirable. The
fundamental issue here is what motivates people, wanting to be the best
(masculine) or liking what you do (feminine).

Serbia scores 43 on this dimension and is thus considered a relatively feminine


society. In feminine countries the focus is on working in order to live, managers
strive for consensus, people value equality, solidarity and quality in their working
lives. Conflicts are resolved by compromise and negotiation. Incentives such as free
time and flexibility are favoured. Focus is on well-being, status is not shown.

Uncertainty avoidance
The dimension Uncertainty Avoidance has to do with the way that a society deals
with the fact that the future can never be known: should we try to control the future
or just let it happen? This ambiguity brings with it anxiety and different cultures
have learnt to deal with this anxiety in different ways. The extent to which the

members of a culture feel threatened by ambiguous or unknown situations and


have created beliefs and institutions that try to avoid these is reflected in the UAI
score.

Serbia scores 92 on this dimension and thus has a very high preference for avoiding
uncertainty. Countries exhibiting high uncertainty avoidance maintain rigid codes of
belief and behaviour and are intolerant of unorthodox behaviour and ideas. In these
cultures there is an emotional need for rules (even if the rules never seem to work)
time is money, people have an inner urge to be busy and work hard, precision and
punctuality are the norm, innovation may be resisted, security is an important
element in individual motivation.

Long term orientation


The long term orientation dimension is closely related to the teachings of Confucius
and can be interpreted as dealing with societys search for virtue, the extent to
which a society shows a pragmatic future-oriented perspective rather than a
conventional historical short-term point of view.

The scores used for the fifth dimension (LTO) are based on the research of
Michael Harris Bond, as published in the 2nd edition of "Cultures and
Organizations, Software of the Mind"(2005). For the scores for 93
countries based on research by Michael Minkov using World Value Survey
data we refer to the 3rd and latest edition of "Cultures and Organizations,
Software of the Mind, page 255-258".
The new 6th Dimension, Indulgence versus Restraint, has not (yet) been
added. Scores for 93 countries can be found on pages 282-285 of
forementioned book.

Please note: culture is defined as the collective mental programming of


the human mind which distinguishes one group of people from another.
This programming influences patterns of thinking which are reflected in
the meaning people attach to various aspects of life and which become
crystallized in the institutions of a society.
This does not imply that everyone in a given society is programmed in the
same way: there are considerable differences between individuals.

Statements about culture do not describe reality; they are all general
and relative.

O nacionalno j kulturi uopste


Professor Geert Hofstede conducted one of the most comprehensive studies of how
values in the workplace are influenced by culture. He analyzed a large data base of
employee values scores collected by IBM between 1967 and 1973 covering more
than 70 countries, from which he first used the 40 largest only and afterwards
extended the analysis to 50 countries and 3 regions. Subsequent studies validating
the earlier results have included commercial airline pilots and students in 23
countries, civil service managers in 14 counties, 'up-market' consumers in 15
countries and 'elites' in 19 countries.
In the 2010 edition of the book Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind,
scores on the dimensions are listed for 76 countries, partly based on replications
and extensions of the IBM study on different international populations.

Dimensions of National Culture


The values that distinguished countries from each other could be grouped
statistically into four clusters. These four groups became the Hofstede dimensions
of national culture:

Power Distance (PDI)


Individualism versus Collectivism (IDV)
Masculinity versus Femininity (MAS)
Uncertainty Avoidance (UAI)
A fifth Dimension was added in 1991 based on research by Michael Bond who
conducted an additional international study among students with a survey
instrument that was developed together with Chinese employees and managers.
That Dimension, based on Confucian dynamism, is Long-Term Orientation (LTO) and
was applied to 23 countries.
In 2010, research by Michael Minkov allowed to extend the number of country
scores for this dimension to 93, using recent World Values Survey data from
representative samples of national populations.

In the 2010 edition of Cultures and organizations, a sixth dimension has been
added, based on Michael Minkov's analysis of the World Values Survey data for 93
countries. This new dimension is called Indulgence versus Restraint.
On 17 Jan 2011, Geert delivered a webinar for SIETAR Europe called 'New Software
of the mind' to introduce Cultures & Organizations 3rd ed.

Culture only exists by comparison


The country scores on the dimensions are relative - societies are compared to other
societies. Without make a comparison a country score is meaningless.
These relative scores have been proven to be quite stable over decades. The forces
that cause cultures to shift tend to be global or continent-wide. This means that
they affect many countries at the same time, so that if their cultures shift, they shift
together, and their relative positions remain the same.

The country scores on The Hofstede Dimensions can also be found to correlate with
other data about the countries in question. Some examples: Power distance is
correlated with income inequality in a country. Individualism is correlated with
national wealth. Masculinity is correlated negatively with the percent of women in
democratically elected governments. Uncertainty avoidance is associated with the
legal obligation in developed countries for citizens to carry identity cards. Long-term
orientation is correlated with school results in international comparisons

The research of Geert Hofstede has shown that cultural differences between
nations are especially found on the deepest level; i.e. on the level of values. In
comparison, cultural differences among organisations are especially identified on
the level of practices. Practices are more tangible than values.

Organisational Culture can be defined as "the collective programming of the mind


that distinguishes the members of one organisation from others"

The Organisational Cultural model (further developed by Bob Waisfisz in


collaboration with Geert Hofstede) consists of six autonomous dimensions
(variables) and two semi-autonomous dimensions

Please note that the model on Organisational Culture that we describe on this
website is a derivative of Geert Hofstede's research findings and therefore not
identitical to the descriptions of Organisational Culture that can be found in
Hofstede's publications.

More about Organisational Culture


Hofstedes research shows that organisational cultures differ mainly at the level of
practices. These are more superficial and more easily learned and unlearned than
values forming the core of national cultures. As a consequence, the Hofstede
dimensions of national cultures cannot be used by comparing cultures of
organisations within the same country. The two models describe different layers of
our reality.

National culture is one of the many factors shaping organisational culture next to
such factors as personality of founder, feelings of insecurity, expectations of
stakeholders and type of technology in use. Thus, organisations in the same country
are normally shaped by the same national culture, unless regional cultural
differences are very big such as in Italy or Switzerland.