Hofstede:  Individualism / Collectivism

This dimension focuses on the relationship between the individual and larger social groups. As mentioned earlier, cultures vary on the amount of emphasis they give on encouraging individuality / uniqueness or on conformity and interdependence.

Review Hofstede’s country ranking for Individualism  / Collectivism. (handout).  Note patterns of countries which have high and low rankings.

Highly individualist cultures believe individual is most important unit

Highly collectivistic cultures believe group is most important unit.

Traits of Individualism / Collectivism

High Individualism Low Individualism (collectivism)
more economic development 
developed / wealthy
modern industry, urbanization 
less economic development
underdeveloped / poor
more traditional agriculture

greater social mobility / 
larger middle class
less social mobility / 
smaller middle class

nuclear family extended family / tribe

politics political power by voter political power by interest groups

laws / rights same for all law / rights depend on group

religion / ideas monotheistic polytheistic

individual conversion group conversions

matter of fact about science / tech science / tech seen as magic

work family relationships a disadvantage in hiring relatives preferred in hiring

hiring and promotion based on skill / rules hiring and promotion take in-group status into account

more working hours fewer working hours

school teachers deal with individuals teachers deal with groups

students expected to speak up students expected to listen

learn how to learn learn how to do

other disability a handicap to overcome disability a shame

children take care of self as soon as possible  children maintain lifelong contacts with family

security through insurance  security through social network