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Do dimensions of culture exist objectively? A validation of the revised Minkov-Hofstede model of culture with World Values Survey items and scores for 102 countries


  • Minkov, Michael
  • Kaasa, Anneli


Decades ago, Hofstede claimed that dimensions of culture are entirely subjective creations. In this study, we claim that some measures of culture have an objective element. We focus on Hofstede's classic model, reduced to just two dimensions: individualism-collectivism (IDV-COLL) and long-term orientation, renamed “flexibility-monumentalism” (FLX-MON). Recent studies showed that: (1) all valid and reproducible dimensions of culture, from all models, are essentially variants of these two, (2) this 2D model has a close analogue in dimensions of behaviors measured across the world's countries, (3) the same model emerges across the 50 US states, (4) an analysis of all recurrent culture-related items in the World Values Survey (WVS) yields a similar 2D model that can be further aligned with it after targeted rotation, (5) the model is aligned approximately with the Earth's geographic axes. In this study, we used WVS items and expanded Minkov's IDV-COLL and FLX-MON 55-country indices with scores for another 47 countries. Our IDV-COLL and FLX-MON 102-country indices are predictors of 20 important extraneous variables, relevant in international business (such as transparency-corruption, political and economic freedom, competitiveness, innovation output, ICT adoption, fatalities in transport and industry, gender equality, economic equality, educational achievement, working hours, violent crime, etc.). Of all dimensions of culture, IDV-COLL and FLX-MON are the only predictors of the two factors behind these extraneous variables. IDV-MON and FLX-MON also yield the highest correlations with objective geographic variables, such as latitude-longitude, Welzel's “cool water”, as well as pathogen prevalence. This gives further credibility to the revised Minkov-Hofstede 2D model and confirms its objective element.

Suggested Citation

  • Minkov, Michael & Kaasa, Anneli, 2022. "Do dimensions of culture exist objectively? A validation of the revised Minkov-Hofstede model of culture with World Values Survey items and scores for 102 countries," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 28(4).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:intman:v:28:y:2022:i:4:s1075425322000461
    DOI: 10.1016/j.intman.2022.100971

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Taras, Vas & Steel, Piers & Kirkman, Bradley L., 2012. "Improving national cultural indices using a longitudinal meta-analysis of Hofstede's dimensions," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 329-341.
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    5. Michael Minkov & Vesselin Blagoev, 2012. "What do Project GLOBE's cultural dimensions reflect? An empirical perspective," Asia Pacific Business Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 27-43, January.
    6. Amy C. Alexander & Christian Welzel & Ronald Inglehart, 2013. "Rising support for reproductive freedoms: emancipatory breakthroughs into a bulwark of tradition," HSE Working papers WP BRP 30/SOC/2013, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
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    3. Hasan, Iftekhar & Jackowicz, Krzysztof & Kowalewski, Oskar & Kozłowski, Łukasz, 2023. "Cultural values of parent bank board members and lending by foreign subsidiaries: The moderating role of personal traits," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 83(C).

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