This book provides a detailed and comprehensive critique of Hofstede's
dimensional model for comparing cultures, according to the classical
criteria of philosophy of science and far beyond well-known points of
criticism (e.g. its being based on insufficient evidence (one multinational
company, an unbalanced sample of countries, etc.), using a questionable
notion of "(national) culture", being coarse-grained and obsolete, etc.).
In her critical analysis, the author not only considers features of the
initial model, but also its successive extensions by means of what Hofstede
called "validation from other sources" and, most importantly, his
"immunization strategies" (in Popper's terminology), i.e. varying (and
altogether contradictory) adjustments whose main purpose is to protect the
theory against repeated refutations.
The book addresses an interdisciplinary readership, i.e. pursuing issues of
cross-cultural psychologists and sociologists, and, particularly, taking
questions into account linguists are interested in. So, for instance,
linguistic aspects of conclusions (based on the IBM-questionnaire or other
sources) and generalizing statements derived from these are analyzed.
Furthermore, the author investigates whether Hofstede's model is a suitable
reference work for neighboring disciplines such as linguistics. In addition
to methodological and theoretic considerations, she also raises the
important and increasingly explosive ethic question of how to distinguish
between ideologically motivated intentions to preserve mentality
stereotypes by misusing science and the fact that "research in progress" is
almost inevitably overgeneralizing.
Unfortunately, the book is so far available only in German. Members of this
list might nonetheless be interested in this posting, as the book possibly
addresses questions central to their objects of study. Moreover, it would
be very important for us to have some feedback on the issues raised in this
book. If you feel like entering into a discussion with us about these
issues, we would be delighted to let you have a free copy. Since the number
of printed copies available is limited, it is possible that we will soon
run out of supply. In this case we could alternatively send you a pdf-file.
If any of you wishes to obtain the paper in pdf form in any case, please
write to the author directly (firstname.lastname@example.org).