Cross-Cultural Compromises, Multiculturalism and the Actuality of Unzipped Hofstede

25 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2004

See all articles by S.J. Magala

S.J. Magala

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Date Written: October 2004 9,


Cultural background of identities calls for upholding of values, but realities of multicultural interactions require cross-cultural compromises. Compromises begin already with the introduction of the term multiculturalism, which served both as a platform for cross-cultural urban policies in major western cities and for a non-class analysis of a new class structure. The unexpected result of the popularity of the concept of multiculturalism in urban policies is its managerial application in knowledge intensive organizations. Multiculturalism in inter-organizational uses justifies empowerment, learning organization and attempted emancipation of corporate citizens. Robustness of Hofstede’s model of national cultures’ dimensions lies in his correct prediction of the evolution of hierarchic bureaucracy, while weaknesses result from the extended scope of dimensions, which require “unzipping” and from excessive reliance on the nation-state led process of socialization. Unzipping, already started in research communities (both friendly, unfriendly and neutral with respect to the author of “Culture’s Consequences”) is being slowed down by Hofstede’s precarious institutional embedding in academic communities. De-nationalization is accelerating due to the new integrating processes of regional globalization.

Keywords: multiculturalism, hofstede's dimensional model of culture, evolution of hierarchy, nation-state and socialization, unzipping dimensional clusters, embedding in academic communities

JEL Classification: M, M10, L2, Z1, M5

Suggested Citation

Magala, Slawomir J., Cross-Cultural Compromises, Multiculturalism and the Actuality of Unzipped Hofstede (October 2004 9,). Available at SSRN:

Slawomir J. Magala (Contact Author)

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam

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