The term national culture denotes the shared values, beliefs and practices that are common to the people belonging to a particular country or region. Often a subject in anthropological and social studies, many definitions and viewpoints about culture and national culture have evolved through the ages. The term culture has various meanings, all derived from Latin meaning which is a cultivation of the soil. (Jais, 27). Due to increasing diversity in the workplace, the concept of national culture has now become a part of business studies as well. A review of literature on the subject leads almost universally to the studies done by Professor Geert Hofstede on his studies on national identity in the workplace. Before going into detail on the cultural dimensions as conceived by Hofstede and other theorists, it would be pertinent to look at the factors responsible for the evolving of work culture. Culture is a metaphor that can be used to explore the identity of a business. It is about how others see the business, but also how the individuals who work there understand it. Culture offers us a powerful insight into the business and what it is like to work within it. (An Introduction to Business Cultures). It should be noted that these factors are apart from those that have influenced individual culture through family and social interactions. The influence of leadership and vision that exists within a particular organization will be a dominant factor that helps a particular culture to evolve. The company tradition (depends on how long thecompany has been in existence) or ‘how things were always done been done here’ is another factor. Each area or type of business (or service) will have its own style and culture and will influence the behavior of the employees.
Geert Hofstedes Cultural Dimensions