QuestionWhat's the difference between Swedish and Indian business culture?
AnswerBasing the short discussion on cultural differences between Swedish and Indian businesses, Hofstede’s framework can be used in order to represent these differences and similarities that both countries have. These dimensions of national culture include; power distance, individualism, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance, long-term orientation and indulgence. Power distance – India score extremely high on this dimension, meaning that there is a clear appreciation for hierarchy and a top-down structure within society and organisations, whereas Sweden scores much lower in this field. Individualism – Sweden scores relatively high within this dimension, meaning that there is a high preference for loosely-knit social framework and individuals are expected to take care of themselves. India has a similar stance with regards to individualism. Masculinity – There is a significant difference here between the two countries. India is therefore considered a masculine society. Work is regarded as the centre of one’s life and visible symbols of success in the work place are very important. However, Sweden is considered to be a feminine society, in which it is vital to keep the work/life balance. Uncertainty Avoidance – Sweden score fairly low regarding this dimension, meaning that they have a low preference for avoiding uncertainty and have a relaxed attitude (schedules are flexible etc.). India on the other hand, has a medium preference for avoiding uncertainty. Long-Term Orientation – Both countries possess almost equal scores on this element, with this describing how each society has to maintain links with its own past, whilst overcoming challenges with the present and future. Indulgence – Sweden scores remarkably well in this category, meaning that they place a higher degree of importance on leisure time and spend money as they wish. India however has a culture of restraint, in which the aspect of indulging themselves is felt to be somewhat wrong and goes against the social norm. Although Hofstede’s cultural dimensions are generally accepted as the most comprehensive framework of national culture, its validity and the limitations of the model have been extensively criticised by various authors.
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