Uncertainty dimension is based on the premise that

 Uncertainty
avoidance refers to how people deal with uncertainties about the future and to
what extent they can/cannot tolerate it. 
This cultural dimension is based on the premise that future, to a large
extent, is uncertain and unpredictable and people differ in their ways of
dealing with these uncertainties. In work settings, uncertainty avoidance refers
to the extent to which employees are threatened by the ambiguities and
uncertainties of work situations. Organizations from high uncertainty avoidance
cultures such as, United Arab Emirate (UAE), follow strict rules, maintain
rigid procedures and uphold conventional principles (Reddy, 2011). People from
high uncertainty avoidance cultures are generally low on risk taking behavior
because they follow rigid and traditional principles and do not believe in
giving way to new ideas or practices. Whereas people from low uncertainty
avoidance cultures are typically high on risk taking behavior for, they believe
in experimenting with new and unorthodox ideas. Research findings suggest that
most Western nations are low on this cultural dimension as opposed to certain
Asian cultures, such as Japan and Pakistan that rank high on uncertainty
avoidance (Hofstede et.al, 2010).

 

iv. Masculinity/Femininity. 
Masculinity and
femininity, again, are two dichotomies that range across a continuum. Cultures
that are high on masculinity are characterized by more “Masculine” values such
as competitiveness, achievement, success and heroism etc. Whereas, cultures
which are low on masculinity and high on femininity endorse more “Feminine”
values such as care and concern for others, cooperation etc. Employees with
highly masculine values give more importance to productivity and financial outcomes
while employees having feminine values are high on care and concern for other
coworkers. Hofstede also suggested that the distinction between masculine and
feminine cultural values is evident in their concern for quantity of life and
quality of life, respectively. According to Hofstede’s survey findings, with a
score of 95, Japan is one of the most masculine cultures in the world.

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v. Long-term v/s Short-term orientation.  People from long-term oriented
cultures tend to have a more “Future Oriented” perspective. Cultures that rank
high on Long term orientation adopt a “Pragmatic” approach and believe in future
planning, saving and bringing about social change. Whereas people from
short-term oriented cultures give more importance to the “Past” and the “Present”.
They focus on “Here and Now” and adopt a “Normative” approach in order to
retain their cultural traditions. Short-term oriented cultures are
characterized by a strong emphasis on “Quick Results”. Countries like Japan and
China, according to Hofstede and colleagues’ (2010) research findings, are more
future oriented, for they rank high on Long-term orientation. Whereas, the
United States has been found to score relatively low on Long-term orientation,
thereby, suggesting that people in the U.S. are generally more present focused,
value their traditions and conventionalities and do not plan for future per
se.   

 

vi.
Indulgence v/s Restraint.    Indulgence,
on one hand, refers to the degree to which a culture allows for the free
gratification of basic needs and desires, believes in enjoying life and being
free from any kind of restrictions. While, constraint is the extent to which a
culture or society attempts to curb the basic needs and desires and follows
restrictions that disallow the fulfillment of these desires. In such cultures,
indulgence in happiness, satisfaction and enjoyment of life is not appreciated,
instead self-regulation and having control over one’s longings is highly
valued. Asian countries, such as, Japan, China and India have been found to be
high on restraining values while Western nations, including the U.S. and U.K.,
are high on Indulgence. Which implies that Asians practice some sort of
self-regulation whereas Western cultures celebrate the freedom to satisfy
desires.  

 

a. Schwartz’s theory of cultural values.  Another
prominent theory of cultural values was offered by Schwartz (1999).  He defined values as “Conceptions of the desirable that guide the way social actors, such as
organizational leaders, policy-makers, individual persons etc., select actions,
evaluate people and events, and explain their actions and evaluations” (Schwartz,
1992).

With the basic assumption that
cultural factors operate at different levels, Schwartz (1999) postulated that
work-related behaviors and values are also deeply rooted and complexly
intertwined with the cultural values of a society. He was essentially
interested in studying the cultural factors that influence people’s
conceptualizations of work. He intended to investigate how the notion of work
centrality varies across cultures i.e. why people from different cultural
contexts vary in terms of how much importance they assign to their work or how
central their work is in their lives. While working in the area of culture and
its impact on work, he realized that most of the existing theories of cultural
values focus on only a few cultural values and miss out on many other relevant
cultural dimensions. He also noticed that even the most widely accepted and one
of the most comprehensive theories of cultural values, proposed by Hofstede,
was limited in that it was based on data collected from some specific regions.
Schwartz believed that Hofstede’s theory could have yielded different and more
intriguing findings, had it included data from some important regions around
the world. After identifying these gaps in existing theories and frameworks of
cultural values, Schwartz proposed his own framework to describe the major
cultural values which could be compared cross-culturally. Using data from 49
countries from all across the globe, Schwartz came up with seven core cultural
values which, he organized in three dichotomous structures.

 

According to Schwartz’s framework
of cultural values, there are seven broad cultural dimensions which can be
clustered into three dichotomous groups. These categories are seen as
dichotomous because they included contradictory courses of action. Which of the
alternate values one prefers, varies depending on one’s culture. Schwartz
further proposed that although there is contradiction and dichotomy within
these value categories, these cultural values are, nevertheless,
interconnectedness with each other.

Schwartz clustered
these values on the basis of three important issues that are faced by all
societies.