Geert Hofstede is credited with innovating the theory of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions. This theory comprises of a framework that resonates around cross-cultural communications. Hofstede identifies six cultural dimensions namely: power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism vs collectivism, masculinity vs femininity, log-term vs short-term orientation, and lastly indulgence vs restraint. Of these six, the masculinity vs femininity dimension interests me most. This is because it is centrally pivoted upon cultural notations of men and women in a society and depicts the distribution of emotional roles between the genders (Hofstede 12). Masculinity refers to setups where the fundamental issue is aspiring to be the best while femininity refers to cultures where success is determined by the quality of life and liking what someone does. A clear representation of this dimension is Japan and Sweden with the latter having a higher proportion of femininity while the former exhibits a larger percentage of masculinity (“Country Comparison,” n.p.).
The impact of gender on business communication in these two countries’ workplace environments is different. Japan’s masculine society will prefer business communications that are assertive and lay emphasis on material achievements. The stress is on how to achieve material success regardless of the hours of work and with little emphasis on quality of life. Sweden’s feminine society, on the other hand, will prefer business communications emphasising on the quality of success and relationship building. Swedish individuals will lay higher emphasis on the overall quality of business to the life of all stakeholders including the weak and destitute. Contrastingly, the Japan populace is mostly concerned with the material achievements of a project and how to appreciate and recognize the strong. Business communications will less likely include ethics and corporate social responsibility towards the weak and less fortunate in the society.
“Country Comparison.” Hofstede Insights, www.hofstede-insights.com/country-comparison/japan,sweden/.
Hofstede, Geert. “Dimensionalizing cultures: The Hofstede model in context.” Online readings in psychology and culture 2.1 (2011): 8.