|The Culture in the Workplace Questionnaire™ Overview|
Culture, what Geert Hofstede refers to as "software of the mind/mental programming," is a critical variable that guides peoples' actions and reactions.
Understanding one's own culture and the impact of culture on the actions of others is essential for effective global business interactions. The Culture in the Workplace Questionnaire" will provide you with insights about yourself and a better understanding of how your cultural preferences, as well as the cultural preferences of others, impact working relationships. It will also provide you with a framework for understanding diverse approaches to workplace interactions such as problem solving, working in teams and managing projects.
Cultural misunderstandings can be counterproductive for individual development, organizational effectiveness and profits, as well as international relations. As members of the global workplace, your effectiveness depends on many factors, chief among them the capacity to understand your cultural preferences and how these influence, and are influenced by, those from other parts of the world. Click here for more information on cultural preferences and how they affect your interactions with others.
Background on the Culture in the Workplace Questionnaire™
The Culture in the Workplace Questionnaire™ is derived from the work of Dr. Geert Hofstede, a Dutch social scientist who developed this questionnaire to illustrate culturally dependent work preferences. He is Director (Emeritus) of the Institute for Research on Intercultural Cooperation (IRIC) at the University of Limburg at Maastricht, the Netherlands. Dr. Hofstede's pioneering study of IBM affiliates in fifty countries, elaborated in his book Culture's Consequences, helped to form the foundation of the field of comparative management. A number of questions in the Culture in the Workplace Questionnaire" were designed and researched by Dr. Hofstede's colleague, Professor André Laurent, Emeritus Professor of Organizational Behavior at INSEAD.
ITAP licenses the Culture in the Workplace Questionnaire™ from Dr. Hofstede and has the worldwide exclusive rights to its use. This instrument provides an individual profile compared against country averages.
The dimensions, as described and interpreted in the Culture in the Workplace Questionnaire™, are:
The most important use of the Culture in the Workplace Questionnaire™ is learning your own cultural profile and how that might compare to others. Responses to the questionnaire help to illuminate attitudes and values,and provide a springboard to understanding and discussion of cultural differences and similarities. The insights are then built upon to create more effective and productive cross-cultural working relationships. Global businesses are constantly building bridges across cultural and other boundaries in order to carry out their work more effectively and productively. Knowing your own profile will help you learn about others and build those bridges together.
Would you like to discover where you fit into the following graph?
The graph below is an illustration of a participant's Culture in the Workplace Questionnaire™ results for one of the dimensions, Certainty.
In these scores, we are comparing the participant's individual scores to country averages. As such, there are many individuals in these countries with scores that differ from their own country averages (and that may be closer or further from the participant's scores). The participant (an American) also differs from the larger U.S. sample in some respects. However, national tendencies are indicated clearly through the country scores. American participants often, but not always, score quite "low" on the Certainty dimension, meaning that they prefer an entrepreneurial environment which is less bound by rules and regulations more than many of their counterparts in other countries.
Interpretation of the Bar Chart
In high need for Certainty countries such as Japan, loyalty to an employer is seen as a distinct advantage, and a specialist career is generally preferred over a career in general management. In countries such as Japan, the participant would need to appreciate others' need for compliance with procedures and the "normal" approach, and understand that they are likely to expect the same of the participant. Overemphasis on a preference towards a "just do it" attitude on the part of the participant may lead to resentment and withdrawal of cooperation, rather than the intended impact of "empowering" others and achieving objectives.
To learn more about your own preference
for Certainty, try the questionnaire below!
Preference for Certainty Questionnaire
Please indicate your level of agreement to the following 6 statements using this scale:
Please click on a number from 1 to 5 for each of the 6 statements below.
For more information about the full five dimension Culture in the Workplace Questionnaire™ and its cost, please contact ITAP International.