Uploaded by Toni Jana Cafuir

Written Assignment - INTL224

Cafuir, Toni Jana F.
International Business Communication and Seminars (INTL224-001)
Describing my culture through Hofstede’s 6 cultural dimensions and my opinion
According to Hofstede Insights, the Philippines scored 94 on Power Distance, 32 on
Individualism, 64 on Masculinity, 44 on Uncertainty Avoidance, 27 in Long Term Orientation,
and 42 on Indulgence.
1. Power Distance - Having a score of 94 on Power Distance categorizes my country as
a hierarchical society. A hierarchical society, as defined by Collins Dictionary, is a
society wherein people are placed in different ranks or positions depending on how
important or influential they are.
My opinion on Power Distance: While I found this scoring unfortunate, especially
for the younger and more open-minded generation, I completely agree with this
scoring. To see proof, one must only look at the Philippines’ political structure – some
members of the government had been elected because they were famous (from being
former actors or actresses), influential and had a lot of funding backing them up
during the election periods. I worked for the local and national government of the
Philippines throughout my professional career, and I have first-hand witnessed how
influential people have been appointed into high government positions over those that
are highly qualified to fulfill the role. In the workplace, employees are expected to
follow our superiors’ instructions even when the outcomes go against our personal
beliefs, or they are unjust. There is limited room for reasoning and attempts to reason
out or provide alternative solutions are immediately shut down and seen as a directly
disobeying instructions.
2. Individualism – Scoring a 32 in this cultural dimension meant we are considered a
collectivistic society and tend to stick together to our respective “member groups” –
Cafuir, Toni Jana F.
International Business Communication and Seminars (INTL224-001)
these “member groups” can be anything that we belong to such as our respective
families, organizations, religious groups, circle of friends and even the people we
work alongside with in the corporate world.
My opinion on Individualism – I agree with this ranking from personal experience.
Here in Canada, Filipinos still tend to stick together because it gives us all the feeling
on still being in the Philippines and being one with our culture. Back home, I
personally have never considered moving out of my family home until my
circumstances requires me to (in example, getting married or move to a different
country), even my circle of friends has remained the same for 10 years. I believe
Filipinos stick to what they know because it is familiar and comforting, and why
change something that works for you?
3. Masculinity – A 64 in Masculinity meant the Philippines is predominantly a
Masculine society. Being a Masculine society meant that our motivation was driven
from competition and wanting to be the best, and taking pride in it and believing you
are successful when you are ranked the top.
My opinion on Masculinity – Again, I agree with this. Growing up, I was
conditioned to think that if I were to be anything important – I need to be the best. I
grew up intensely competing for the highest grades in class, or having the most
awards at the end of the school year, or being the best in whatever activity I am
participating in. I believe Filipinos are naturally competitive, and that we believe that
we have become “successful” once we’ve reached the top of the corporate ladder, or
graduate with the highest Latin honors in school, or having the most medals in sports.
Funny enough, I think being in a Masculine society is also the reason why Filipinos
Cafuir, Toni Jana F.
International Business Communication and Seminars (INTL224-001)
are extremely passionate towards the Miss Universe pageant, because winning this
means that our candidate is the most beautiful and most sophisticated out of all the
participating countries and we take a lot of pride in that. Although, I admit it is
refreshing to see how many younger individuals are now focusing on mental stability
and achieving happiness over fighting over who goes on top of the food chain.
4. Uncertainty Avoidance – A score of 44 in Uncertainty Avoidance meant we had low
preference for avoiding uncertainty. According to this score, when faced with change
or uncertain situations, Filipinos are not afraid to think outside the box, and exercise
learning through trial and error, and we believe in the saying “practice makes
My opinion on Uncertainty Avoidance – I agree with this. Filipinos are well-known
for being resourceful, innovative and resilient – we always find solutions for
everything, no matter how unconventional. I believe this is seen more in the Filipino
youth where they are more welcome to receiving constructive criticism and
suggestions. In my opinion, I think this is why there are a lot of Filipino international
students in Canada, because we are not afraid of facing the unknown, and we know
that we will do our best to achieve what it is we came to Canada for, one way or
5. Long-term Orientation – the Philippines scored a low 27 in this dimension, putting
us under the short-term orientation category. Being in a short-term oriented culture
means our beliefs of what is right or wrong as guided by the same principles as that of
our ancestors, and that we have great respect for maintaining our traditions and
sticking to “what we know”.
Cafuir, Toni Jana F.
International Business Communication and Seminars (INTL224-001)
My opinion on Long-term Orientation – Sadly, I also agree with this scoring.
Filipinos have been raised to have high regard for our seniors such as parents,
grandparents, teachers, and even religious leaders. We generally believe in the
concept of black and white. Children have grown up being taught the same thing that
their parents have been taught by theirs. Our personal codes of ethics and concepts of
what is right or wrong have been ingrained to us at a young age, and even as we
assimilate into a more open-minded society, there is always this feeling of guilt when
traditions and norms are not being followed.
6. Indulgence – Sadly, the Philippines scored a 42 in this dimension, putting us under
the restrained society category. This means Filipinos generally lean towards being
pessimistic or cynical. We believe that nothing comes easy in life, good things come
with a catch, or that everything we have or get must be attained through hard work.
My opinion on Indulgence – I personally agree with this, and that is sad to admit.
My parents have taught me that everything I want, I must earn. When I was a kid, I
remember wanting a mountain bike for my birthday, but my parents didn’t buy this
for me unless I was the top of my class, or I scored high marks on my exams, or I do
enough chores around the house to merit me earning it. So now, as an adult, I doubt
anything that comes so freely and easily my way, and I always think about how there
is a catch even if there isn’t. I know that a lot of Filipinos would relate to this
mindset, it’s allowed us to learn the value of hard work but at the same time, it also
caused us to disregard the importance of rest or seeing one’s self-worth.