Trompenaars cultural dimensions

There are five orientations covering the ways in which human beings deal with each other, one which deals with time, and one which deals with the environment.

Trompenaars cultural dimensions

Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner gathered data over ten years using a method that relied on giving respondents dilemmas or contrasting tendencies.

Each dilemma consisted of two alternatives that were interpreted as indicators for basic attitudes and values.

The questionnaire was sent to over 15, managers in 28 countries. At least usable responses per country were received, enabling the two authors to make substantiated distinctions between national cultures. The two consultants distinguished seven connected processes formulated as dilemmas.

The seven, universal dimensions of cultures are: In a universalistic culture, people share the belief that general rules, codes, values and standards take precedence over the needs and claims of friends and other relationships. In a pluralistic culture, people see culture in terms of human friendship and intimate relationships.

While rules do exist in a pluralistic culture, they merely codify how people relate to one another. In a principally individualistic culture, people place the individual before the community.

Trompenaars cultural dimensions

This means that individual happiness, fulfilment and welfare prevails and people take their own initiative and take care of themselves. In a principally communitarian culture, people place the community before the individual.

Thus, it is the responsibility of the individual to act in ways which serve society. In doing so, individual needs are automatically attended.

In a specific culture, people first analyse the elements individually and then put them together, the whole is the sum of its parts. Interactions between people are very well-defined. Specific individuals concentrate on hard facts, standards and contracts.

A diffusely oriented culture starts with the whole and sees individual elements from the perspective of the total.

All elements are related to one another. Relationships between elements are more important than individual elements. In an affective culture, people display their emotions and it is not deemed necessary to hide feelings.


However, in a neutral culture, people are taught not to display their feelings overtly. The degree to which feelings become manifested is therefore minimal. While emotions are felt, they are controlled. In an inner-directed culture, people have a mechanistic view of nature; nature is complex but can be controlled with the right expertise.

People believe that humans can dominate nature, if they make the effort. In an outer-directed culture, people have an organic view of nature. People therefore adapt themselves to external circumstances.

In a culture with achieved status, people derive their status from what they have accomplished. Achieved status must be proven time and time again and status will be given accordingly.

Fons Trompenaars - Wikipedia

In a culture with ascribed status, people derive their status from birth, age, gender or wealth. Cultures developed their own response to time. Time orientation has two aspects: In a sequential culture, people structure time sequentially and do things one at a time.

In a synchronic time culture, people do several things at once, believing time is flexible and intangible. Past-oriented cultures A culture that is oriented towards the past views the future as a repetition of previous events and experiences.

Present-oriented cultures A culture primarily directed to the present does not attach great value to the past or future. Instead, individuals are directed by the daily demands of every day life. Future-oriented cultures A culture concentrated on future prospects and does not deem the past as significant for future events.

Planning is a major activity among individuals in this culture.Trompenaars' model of national culture differences is a framework for cross-cultural communication applied to general business and management, developed by Fons Trompenaars and Charles Hampden-Turner.

This involved a large-scale survey of 8, managers and organization employees from 43 . Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner Cultural Dimensions consists of universalism versus particularism, individualism versus collectivism, achievement versus ascription, neutral versus affective, specific versus diffuse, internal versus external, and time orientation.

This model can assist in cross-cultural communication and it is interesting if you want to check out national culture differences.

Fons Trompenaars - Wikipedia

But Trompenaars also created a simpler model based on his international culture dimensions with four culture types in organizations. 7 Dimensions of Culture Main article: Trompenaars' model of national culture differences Trompenaars' model of national culture differences is a framework for cross-cultural communication applied to general business and management, developed by Trompenaars and Charles Hampden-Turner.

Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner provided a tool to explain how national culture differs and how culture can be measured.

Their research showed that cultural differences matter and that reconciling cultural differences can lead to competitive advantage to companies in consolidating / globalising industries.

In , management consultants Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner published their “Seven Dimensions of Culture” model to help explain national cultural differences in organisations and to show how managing these differences in a heterogeneous business environment is a major challenge for international managers.

Trompenaars' model of national culture differences - Wikipedia