Development and Modernity in Hofstede's Culture's Consequences: A Postcolonial Reading

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This paper studies the discourse deployed in Hofstede´s Culture's Consequences (1980, 2001), the international best-seller that introduces a model classifying national cultures according to four (later five) supposedly universal dimensions. Noting that this management-oriented scholarly discourse has had a huge impact in both the business world and academia, we take a critical stance towards the Western-based, ethnocentric perspective that characterises it. Our aim is not to merely repeat the already formulated objections to the model, concerning its ontology, epistemology and methodology, but rather to focus on the very words of Hofstede himself in his second edition of Culture's Consequences (2001). With a broadly postcolonial sensibility, drawing on authors such as Said and Escobar, we contend that Hofstede discursively constructs a world characterised by a division between a 'developed and modern' side (mostly 'Anglo-Germanic' countries) and a 'traditional and backward' side (the rest) and discuss the cultural consequences of such colonial discourse.


  • Agneta Moulettes
  • Martin Fougère
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Business Administration
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
JournalJournal of Multicultural Discourses
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Publication categoryResearch