Answered Essay: Power Distance This dimension deals with the fact that all individuals in societies are not equal

COUNTRY IRELAND vs. US POSITIONING CULTURAL DIMENSION Power Distance IRELAND U.S.A. 28 40 Masculinity 62 68 Uncertainty Avoidance 70 35 46 91 26 68 Individualism Long-term Orientation 24 Indulgence versus Restraint 65 Future Orientation 24 26 Assertiveness 83 Gender Equalitarianism 45 70 Performance Orientation 70 85 Human Orientation 63 65 In-Group Collectivism 65 45 Institutional Collectivism 65 45 Egalitarianism Mastery Harmony Affective Autonomy 63 63 45 58 75 65 38 48 39 60 Intellectual Autonomy 70 Hierarchy Embeddedness 50 54 Use your own assessment in a scale of 1- 100 as used in https://geert-hofstede.com/united-states.htmi

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.

At 28 Ireland sits in the much lower rankings of PDI – i.e. a society that believes that inequalities amongst people should be minimized. Within Irish organisations, hierarchy is established for convenience, superiors are always accessible and managers rely on individual employees and teams for their expertise. Both managers and employees expect to be consulted and information is shared frequently. At the same time, communication is informal, 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 people´s 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.

At a score of 70 Ireland is an Individualist culture. In the business world, employees are expected to be self-reliant and display initiative. Also, within the exchange-based world of work, hiring and promotion decisions are based on merit or evidence of what one has done or can do.

Masculinity
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 life.

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).

At 68 Ireland is a Masculine society – highly success oriented and driven. Behavior in school, work, and play are based on the shared values that people should “strive to be the best they can be” and that “the winner takes all”. The Irish are proud of their successes and achievements in life, and it offers a basis for hiring and promotion decisions in the workplace. Conflicts are resolved at the individual level and the goal is to win.

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 score on Uncertainty Avoidance.

At 35 Ireland has a low score on Uncertainty Avoidance. Ideas are important, being imaginative is appreciated. Irish businesses embrace creativity and are always looking for new ways to approach problems. Making a point with practical facts is more appreciated than the use of too much technical language.

Long Term Orientation

This dimension describes how every society has to maintain some links with its own past while dealing with the challenges of the present and future, and societies prioritise these two existential goals differently. Normative societies. which score low on this dimension, for example, prefer to maintain time-honoured traditions and norms while viewing societal change with suspicion. Those with a culture which scores high, on the other hand, take a more pragmatic approach: they encourage thrift and efforts in modern education as a way to prepare for the future.

With a low score of 24, Ireland has a culture classified as normative. People in such societies have a strong concern with establishing the absolute Truth; they are normative in their thinking. They exhibit great respect for traditions, a relatively small propensity to save for the future, and a focus on achieving quick results.

Indulgence

One challenge that confronts humanity, now and in the past, is the degree to which small children are socialized. Without socialization we do not become “human”. This dimension is defined as the extent to which people try to control their desires and impulses, based on the way they were raised. Relatively weak control is called “Indulgence” and relatively strong control is called “Restraint”. Cultures can, therefore, be described as Indulgent or Restrained.

With a high score of 65, it is clear that Irish culture is one of Indulgence. People in societies classified by a high score in Indulgence generally exhibit a willingness to realise their impulses and desires with regard to enjoying life and having fun. They possess a positive attitude and have a tendency towards optimism. In addition, they place a higher degree of importance on leisure time, act as they please and spend money as they wish.

Write a review of your assessment of previous two countries comparison and their implications in a business and/or social context (200-250 words).

Expert Answer

Answer: Ireland and U.S has certain characteristics in terms of cultural values common to each other while on some they differ. Therefore it is important to understand both these factors for doing effective business in both these countries. In both these societies, inequalities are low because of their low PDI score but in Ireland these inequalities are further less and so is the respect for business hierarchy. In Ireland the uncertainty avoidance is more as its score is higher than U.S. this means that managers in the country are not very receptive of the strategies which may bring high uncertainty.   On individualism, Ireland has a significantly lower score as compared to the U.S. this indicate that in Ireland groups are more important and teamwork is appreciated while in U.S individual performance is more appreciated. This fact is also supported by the in group and institutional collectivism scores of both the countries. On the other factors like individualism, long term orientation, Indulgence, human orientation, performance orientation and embeddedness and so on, both these countries have similar score. Hence it can be said that there are a number of similarities in terms of the various cultural dimensions. Therefore barring one or two aspects, doing business in both the countries is similar.

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