I have a tendency to overthink

Cultural tendencies are inclinations of different cultures to exhibit certain behaviors. Learning about the Hofstede dimensions of culture allows us to explore these cultural tendencies and how they compare and contrast between nations.

This concept seems pretty simple on the surface. For example, America: the land of the free, home to the American dream, where people love reaping the benefits of their hard work. It seems fairly safe to say that there is a greater focus on achievement than nurturance when compared to Italy: land of the coffee break and home to many a fine wine. However, this is not always the case. It was and is my experience attending a top 20 university in America where everyone was an overachiever in high school, compared to working in one research laboratory in rural Italy. But, university is often used as a steppingstone for the rest of life, a job basically is the rest of life. The comparison doesn’t seem fair.

Whilst it’s difficult to try to make things seem black and white when the reality is that there are many shades of grey in between, I appreciate the thinking that the cultural dimensions promotes. Do Italians act in a more collectivist or individualistic manner? Are they making decisions for what they want right now or thinking about the future? Do they show restraint, or do they indulge? The answers seem to always be somewhere in the middle, but it’s interesting to consider the differences between what I perceive is the motivation for their actions and their real intentions. However, something that I can comment on with a high degree of certainty is how I present each cultural dimension in different countries, and, therefore, how exposure to each culture has impacted me. I think I am…

In Italy: individualist, low power distance index, medium-low uncertainty avoidance, nurturance leaning, time orientated both short and long term, and indulgence leaning.

Compared to in America: halfway between individualist and collectivist, medium power distance index, low uncertainty avoidance, achievement leaning, long term time orientated, and slightly restraint leaning.