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Le modle de Hofsede

Daprs le modle dHofstede, il y a quatre dimensions pour comparer un

pays lautre[8]:
(1) individualisme ou collectivisme (IDV)
(2) distance hirarchique forte ou faible (PDI)
(3) contrle de lincertitude fort ou faible (UAI)
(4) la dimension masculinit ou fminit (MAS)

(1) L IDV (Individualism) dtermine le degr par lequel sont lis les
individus aux groupes. Lchelle dindividualisme va de 0 100 et montre
les caractristiques gnrales dune socit. Si lindice IDV est lev, la
culture serait plus individualiste et lindividu est au centre de lintrt. Si
lindice est plus bas, la socit est plus communautaire et on y trouve un
tissu social trs serr, comme p.ex. en Chine.[9]
(2) La deuxime dimension, le PDI (Power Distance Index), dfinit le
grade de la distance par rapport au pouvoir et montre la tolrance des
individus face une rpartition ingale du pouvoir. Si on compare la
France et lAllemagne, on peut constater des diffrences. La France se
caractrise par une grande distance hirarchique. En revanche,
lAllemagne est parmi les pays qui ont une faible distance hirarchique.
Dans une telle socit, le pouvoir est distribu de manire plutt
dmocratique et ses membres sont perus comme gaux.[10] Cette
diffrence au niveau hirarchique se manifeste notamment dans
lorganisation de lentreprise. Dans une entreprise franaise, cest le
patron qui dcide tout parce quil jouit de la plus grande autorit et les
employs ne participent pas la prise des dcisions. En Allemagne, la
prise de dcisions se droule de manire plus collgiale et les employs
participent aussi au processus de dcision.
(3) Cette dimension dsigne la tolrance dune socit vis--vis de
lincertitude et de lambigit. L UAI(Uncertainty Avoidance Index) dcrit
dans quelle mesure une culture se sent menace par une situation
inconnue ou un vnement inattendu. Dans une socit fort contrle de
lincertitude, les gens ont peur du changement. Contrairement a cela,
dans une culture faible contrle de lincertitude les gens nont pas peur
de lavenir inconnu. Ils tolrent lincertitude et prennent chaque jour
comme il vient. De plus, une culture faible contrle de lincertitude se
caractrise par une grande tolrance, car les gens ne se sentent pas
menacs par les opinions et personnes diffrentes. Ils acceptent les avis
opposs et considrent les conflits comme enrichissants.[11]
(4) La dimension de MAS (Masculinity) dtermine la division des rles des
sexes dans une socit. Un indice trs lev dfinit une culture masculine
et fait une claire distinction entre les rles exclusivement fminins et les
rles exclusivement masculins. En revanche, dans les socits fminines
les rles des sexes ne sont pas clairement diffrencis. Cela veut dire que
lhomme, par exemple, soccupe aussi de lducation des enfants. De plus,
une culture fminine met laccent sur les tres humains et
lenvironnement ; elle considre, par contre, largent et les biens matriels
comme moins importants. La qualit de vie prime sur la russite. Par
consquent, on travaille pour vivre et on ne vit pas pour
travailler.[12] Avec un score de 66, lAllemagne, peut tre considre
comme un pays plutt masculin. Par contre, la France obtient un score de
43 et se retrouve parmi les pays de culture plutt fminine.[13]

Millstones date back to around 10,200 BC in the Neolithic Period. Cavemen used
these valuable tools to create food, and to this day they still are being used to grind
grain. When a director acts like a millstone, however, methodically grinding down the
CEO and management team, the result is bad governance and potential dysfunction.
Over the past decade, Ive seen numerous examples of directors with dead-weight
behavior that creates a millstone effect on the shoulders of the CEO and senior
management team. Many CEOs are understandably very reluctant to criticize their
boards for fear of reprisal. However, in honest, off-the-record conversations, many
are frustrated with one or more directors.
Directors should aspire to be the building blocks for a strong foundation of company
growth and CEO support. Yes, theres a strong governance component to ensure
that the company is performing to its potential. But, we also need to support for the
CEO and the executive team.

There are three ways that directors can avoid the dead-weight dilemma:

1) In an era of intense board scrutiny, some directors have become increasingly

averse to risk. I was at the boardroom table when a well-performing medical
services business came under pressure with the advent of new software that
threatened to change the business model of the industry. Over several board
meetings, it became obvious the company had to invest in this new digital
technology, but two directors were intractably resistant and fearful of the
CEOs plans. What if we are too early? they worried. What if we fail? What
will happen to our reputations?
2) Despite their reluctance, the company moved forward, making prudent
investments that proved to be successful. One of the dissenting directors
grudgingly supported the plan but the other resigned, refusing to support the
new strategy. It had been a time-consuming exercise, frustrating for the board
and the CEO, and the company lost an opportunity for competitive advantage.
3) In todays fast-moving world, every director has to stay educated about the
markets in which we compete, our competitors and new disruptive
technologies. I have been on several boards where directors asked questions
in multiple board meetings that indicated they didnt understand the companys
products or had not read the board book. This wastes valuable board time,
and is best resolved by an annual peer feedback process, which may result in
cutting loose a consistently unprepared director.
4) Dysfunctional behaviors on boards can manifest themselves in various ways,
including as rivalries between directors where winning the argument trumps
whats best for the company, and sidebar conversations in which factions
develop and divide the board. These destructive behaviors serve only to grind
meetings to a crawl.

For each of these dead weights or millstones, and many more, there are two effective
First and most important, your board should create a safe environment for the CEO
to provide feedback to the board and directors on their behavior and opportunities for
improvement. This can occur in an executive session or via the relationship the CEO
has with the lead independent director or non-executive chair.
The second remedy is to identify, understand and address problem directors through
anonymous annual board evaluations and director peer assessments. It's best to
enlist the services of an independent third party to facilitate the evaluation if you are
to uncover many issues and opportunities for improvement that go well beyond their
normal assessments. In my experience leading these evaluations, CEOs and
directors tell me things that they would never tell each other and, as an outsider, I
can put difficult issues and solutions on the table that would never otherwise be
Without these mechanisms for airing issues and grievances, a millstone may well
grow large enough to crush the very value of the board.
For the past 15 years, Martin Coyne has served as a board director, adviser
and governance evaluator for a diverse group of public, private and early-stage
- See more at: http://www.kornferry.com/institute/the-problems-with-dead-weight-