Hofstede’s cultural dimensions in example of Japan and Norway

Japan is in blue
Norway is in purple

Now that we see the differences according to Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, we may discuss how this can impact work relationships. The power distance in Japan leads to an immense difference between people of different rankings and age. In Norway, however, this is not the case. Norway’s power distance is quite lower; this indicates that there is lesser of a difference between people of higher ranking and age, what this leads to is a possible confrontation between different classed workers in Norway due to the willingness of speaking up. Japan is a contrast to this due to its difference in power distance. In Japan, one might be more willing to spark conversation and confrontation between superiors and people beneath.

Lesser individualism leads to more a group-oriented mindset. Norway has a 20% higher score on the individualism dimension, according to Hofstede. What this means is that in Norway, people are more individual and may tend to keep to themselves. In Norway, a worker might prefer to tackle a problem themself without any help, but in Japan, you would instead work with a group not thinking entirely of yourself. As well as the preferred way to work, the mindset of the workers is different; in Japan, one will instead go to great lengths to secure profit for the group, while in Norway, one will instead achieve a profit for oneself.

Masculinity grants focus on competition, achievements, and success, while femininity grants concentration on care, compassion, and quality of life. Japan has almost a full score on the masculinity scale, meaning that Japan is a very masculine, competitive, and success-oriented country. Norway scores nearly nothing on this scale, meaning Norway is a very feminine country, which leads to Norway’s people focusing on care and quality of life. The countries’ scores in masculinity and femininity are reflected in the work environments, Norway being more careful and ensures quality for all, while Japan is more competitive and focuses on success above all.

Long term orientation and avoiding uncertainty leads to precautious behavior. Norway is rather indifferent when it comes to the uncertain future; therefore, Norway does not take any precautions regarding the future. Japan, however, is the polar opposite in its being a very precautious and uncertainty avoiding country. In the work-environment, Japan undergoes multiple measures and actions to secure the future, Norway, however, is indifferent.

Indulgence may lead to an unhealthy and excessive lifestyle or just some good fun. Both Japan and Norway score about the same in this dimension, and they are both pretty indifferent when it comes to indulgence. They both agree on not going to any extremes, as in you can’t show up drunk to work, but you can have a beer every-now-and-then at home.

Sources
Hofstede Insights. (n.d.). Country Comparison. Retrieved from: https://www.hofstede-insights.com/country-comparison/japan,norway/

Published by Simen Andersen

I am a Norwegian 16-year-old aspiring to become an English professor. Please send me any and all criticism so I may improve myself!

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