Firstly, I will explain the Hofstede’s culture dimensions theory, it is a framework that can be used to understand the differences in culture between other countries and to distinguish the ways of doing business in different cultures. The framework of Hofstede is used to differentiate among diverse national cultures, the dimensions of the culture and their influence on the business. Hofstede’s cultural dimensions are power distance, individualism, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance, long term orientation and indulgence.
If I’m a consultant in Walmart company and they are seeking my advice regarding their extent and opening in Saudi Arabia. My advice will be based on Hofstede’s culture dimensions to determine the culture of Saudi Arabia. When I use Hofstede’s theory I can explore the culture of Saudi Arabia and that gives me a good view of the country and its culture.
Hofstede’s culture dimensions for Saudi Arabia are:
1- POWER DISTANCE: This dimension deals with the fact that everyone in the society isn’t equal, it expresses the perception of the culture towards these differences amount us. Saudi Arabia score is very high on this dimension it scores of 95 which means that people accept order hierarchically in which everybody has a place and doesn’t need further justification.
2- INDIVIDUALISM: Which is the degree of interdependence between the society members. Saudi Arabia, is considered a collectivistic society it has a score of 25 in this dimension. This is clear in the long-term commitment between the members of the families, and extended relationships. Loyalty in a collectivist culture is dominant and the society adopts strong relationships where everyone takes responsibility of other members of their group.
3- MASCULINITY: Saudi Arabia scores 60 on this dimension and therefore it is a Masculine society. In Masculine societies people “live in order to work”, managers are expected to be decisive and inflexible, the highlighting is on equity, competition and performance and conflicts are resolved by aggressively.
4- UNCERTAINTY AVOIDANCE: The dimension has to do with the fact that the future can never be known: should we try to control the future or just let it happen? This uncertainty brings with it worriedness and different cultures deal with this anxiety differently. Saudi Arabia scores 80 on this dimension and thus has a preference for avoiding uncertainty. Countries showing high Uncertainty Avoidance maintain inelastic codes of belief and behavior. In this kind of cultures there is an emotional need for rules, time is valuable, people have an internal need to be busy and work hard, strictness and reliability are the norm, innovation might be resisted, security is an important element in individual motivation.
5- LONG TERM ORIENTATION: This dimension describes how every society has to maintain some links with its past while dealing the present and future. Saudi Arabian has low score of 36 on this dimension. 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.
6- INDULGENCE: This dimension is defined as the extent to which people try to control their desires and impulses, based on the way they were raised. Weak control is called “Indulgence” and relatively strong control is called “Restraint”. Saudi Arabia’s intermediate score of 52 does not point to a clear preference on this dimension.