Geert Hofstede

"If the brain is the hardware, culture is the software… and if you don't know the software of a country, you cannot use the programme!" - G Hofstede 


An anthropologist, G. Hofstede has led, from 1967 to 1973, a large international survey on cultural values brought by IBM staff around the world.

G Hofstede has elaborated a data bank with 116.000 questionnaires, from 72 subsidiaries. Those questionnaires have constituted the material for an important comparative study on various cultural environments which ultimately led to the hierarchical mental software theory.

G Hofstede aimed at defining differenciation criteria that explain cultural diversity. He thus throw light on 4 main dimensions:

  • Hierarchical distance
  • Control of uncertainty
  • Individualisme
  • Masculinity

Upon the request from Asian countries he also worked on a fifth dimension:

  • Long term orientation.


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