Dutch social psychologist Geert Hofstede developed his dimensions of national cultures during the 1970s while analyzing survey data from IBM employees across 50 nations, a study that later increased to 76 nations. Hofstede recognized that because the entire population represented in the data worked for a single multinational corporation—representing a narrow range of people—significant patterns in difference across the data would be due to nationality alone. Since his initial findings, Hofstede has written or co-written over 200 books and articles on the subject.

Hofstede credits the sociologist Alex Inkeles and psychologist Daniel Levinson as being intellectual predecessors to his work; their work in cross-cultural literacy, Hofstede explains, proposed three cultural “problems” faced by all societies regarding exercise of power, perception of self and society, and approaches ...

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