population of the United States is 300 million
people of mixed races and heritage. Although the
population is predominantly of European descent,
the country has been a welcoming beacon to immigrants
from virtually every country and culture in the
world. English is the predominant language, although
languages from many foreign countries are spoken
within cultural enclaves throughout the U.S. The
majority of American's (U.S.) are Christian.
United States of America consists of 50 states
governed on a federal level, as well as a state
level. Laws are written at both levels, and when
doing business in the United States one must make
sure to meet the requirements mandated by these
laws. The country is very litigious so legal resources
are available and specialists can be found to assist
with any transaction.
culture and geographic location of an area will
influence how business is done. Traditionally,
the East Coast is more conservative and formal
in their dress and manners than the West Coast.
That is not to say a West Coast meeting carries
any less importance. The climate and lifestyle
are just more relaxed, which is reflected in the
pace and informality.
States Fun Fact
years ago business was conducted predominantly by
men. A woman's role was to maintain the family and
home responsibilities. Evening events and dinners
were strictly for social enjoying with family and
friends. Social registers were maintained so only
those in the "proper" group would be included.
A gentleman never carried his business cards to these
events, but a social card with just his name. Times
have changed. Now, business is conducted continuously
(thanks to breakfast meetings, e-mail, and cellular
phones); and, women are now as significant in the
business world as men.
U. S. was founded on the work ethic that good, honest,
hard work is rewarded. Because of this work ethic,
time is money and punctuality is highly regarded,
so a cellular phone can save the day when
automobile traffic in a major city causes unexpected
Teaser: What do you wear to a high level meeting
with a corporate executive who is worth millions,
is 22 years old, lives at the beach, and has the
latest computer innovation?
Hofstede Analysis for
United States of America
The Geert Hofstede analysis for the
United States is very similar to other World Countries that have
their heritage founded in Europe with strong ties to the British
Isles (see Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand).
Individualism ranks highest and is a significant factor in the
life of U.S. Americans. The low ranking of Long-term Orientation
reflects a freedom in the culture from long-term traditional
commitments, which allows greater flexibility and
the freedom to react quickly
to new opportunities.
There are only seven (7) countries in the Geert Hofstede
research that have Individualism (IDV) as their highest
Dimension: USA (91), Australia (90), United Kingdom
(89), Netherlands and Canada (80), and Italy (76).
The high Individualism (IDV) ranking for the United
States indicates a society with a more individualistic
attitude and relatively loose bonds with others. The
populace is more self-reliant and looks out for themselves
and their close family members.
The next highest Hofstede Dimension is Masculinity
(MAS) with a ranking of 62, compared with a world average
of 50. This indicates the country experiences a higher
degree of gender differentiation of roles. The male
dominates a significant portion of the society and
power structure. This situation generates a female
population that becomes more assertive and competitive,
with women shifting toward the male role model and
away from their female role. The United States was
included in the group of countries that had the Long
Term Orientation (LTO) Dimension added. The LTO is
the lowest Dimension for the US at 29, compared to
the world average of 45. This low LTO ranking is indicative
of the societies' belief in meeting its obligations
and tends to reflect an appreciation for cultural traditions.
The next lowest ranking Dimension for the United States
is Power Distance (PDI) at 40, compared to the world
Average of 55. This is indicative of a greater equality
between societal levels, including government, organizations,
and even within families. This orientation reinforces
a cooperative interaction across power levels and creates
a more stable cultural environment.
The last Geert Hofstede Dimension for the US is Uncertainty
Avoidance (UAI), with a ranking of 46, compared to
the world average of 64. A low ranking in the Uncertainty
Avoidance Dimension is indicative of a society that
has fewer rules and does not attempt to control all
outcomes and results. It also has a greater level of
tolerance for a variety of ideas, thoughts, and beliefs. More Geert Hofstede Details
by Stephen Taylor - the Sigma Two Group
in the United States of America
WORLD FACTBOOK 2011
analyzing Predominantly Christian countries, the
primary correlation between religion and the Geert
Hofstede Dimensions is a high Individualism (IDV)
ranking. This indicates that predominantly Christian
countries have a strong belief in individuality,
with individual rights being paramount within the
society. Individuals in these countries may tend
to form a larger number of looser relationships. (See
predominant religion in the United States is Christian
at 56%, and when added to Catholic practitioners
(28%) , the total practice of Christianity within
the US is 84%. (We have defined a predominantly
Christian country as over 50% of the population
practicing some form of Christianity, other than
Catholicism. See the accompanying article)
suit and tie are appropriate in all major cities.
Wear dark colored business suits in classic colors
of gray and navy. For an important formal meeting,
choose a white dress shirt, for less formal a light
blue shirt will still give you a conservative appearance.
should wear a suit or dress with jacket in major
cities. Wearing classic clothing and classic colors
of navy, gray, ivory, and white will ensure you
give a confident and conservative appearance.
areas and areas with extremely warm summers have
more informal wardrobe requirements.
may wear a business dress, or skirt and blouse,
in rural areas.
may conduct business without wearing a jacket and/or
tie in rural areas.
formality of a meeting, even in rural areas, may
dictate a sports jacket and tie for men. The same
formality will require a woman to wear a dress,
possibly with a jacket.
clothing is appropriate when not attending a work
related meeting/dinner. Building a casual wardrobe
using classic lines and colors (navy, gray, camel,
ivory and white) will give you a look that is stylish
and professional even when you are relaxing.
whether formal or casual, should be clean and neat
may generally wear jeans or khaki pants with a
shirt for casual attire.
may wear comfortably fitting slacks with a casual
shirt. Wearing jeans or shorts, even in a casual
setting, may be inappropriate for the city. It
is better to err on the conservative side if you
are not sure.
conversation may take place during meals.
However, many times you will find more social conversation
taking place during the actual meal.
meetings may be arranged as breakfast meetings,
luncheon meetings, or dinner meetings depending
on time schedules and necessity. Generally a dinner,
even though for business purposes, is treated as
a social meal and a time to build rapport.
giving is discouraged or limited by many US companies.
A gracious written note is always appropriate and
you do give a gift, it should not appear to be
invitation for a meal or a modest gift is usually
you are someplace with a line or queue, go to the
end and wait your turn.
not use or chew on a toothpick in public.
public places and private homes do not allow smoking.
In some areas laws have been passed to prevent
smoking in public places.
a firm handshake, lasting 3-5 seconds, upon greeting
and leaving. Maintain good eye contact during your
handshake. If you are meeting several people at
once, maintain eye contact with the person you
are shaking hands with, until you are moving on
the next person.
eye contact during business and social conversations
shows interest, sincerity and confidence.
friends may briefly embrace, although the larger
the city, usually the more formal the behavior.
include one's title if appropriate, or Mr., Ms,
Mrs. and the full name.
cards are generally exchanged during introductions.
However, they may be exchanged when one party is
smile is a sign of friendliness, and in rural areas
you may be greeted with a "hello" rather
than a handshake.
permission to smoke before lighting a cigarette
or cigar. Due to health concerns, you may or may
not be given permission.
Geert Hofstede Free
Monthly Newsletter Resource
to the UTD Global MBA graduates who work
diligently on collecting the information for this Website
Page authored by: Kimberley Roberts & Stephen Taylor