Module 9 Week 9 Lecture Discussion Post

July 11, 2015

Choose 2-3 of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions from slide 3 in the lecture and relate it to digital communication use in your own culture. Feel free to use personal examples where appropriate.

Geert Hofstede: Five Cultural Dimensions

Power Distance

Individualism vs. Collectivism

Masculinity vs. Femininity

Uncertainty Avoidance

Long- vs. Short-Term Time Orientation

Indulgence vs. Restraint


This week’s lecture on the cultural side of communication theory brought forward the US or Western-centric approach to much of the research, development and application of mass communication theory. With regards to Hofstede’s Five (or more) cultural dimensions, I wanted to explore Individualism vs. Collectivism, Masculinity vs. Femininity and Uncertainty Avoidance.

Within Individualism vs. Collectivism, the use and engagement of email communication has shifted between the two dynamics. While email communication is largely one-to-one today, thinking back to the origination of the platform and the use of listservs where users could broadcast out to a usergroup a specific message, building upon shared knowledge, communication or interests within both broad and niche topics. I’ve only have limited interactions today, and personally cringe each time I have to send a message to an Outlook DL (distribution list), as I don’t want to over reach, over communicate, or have that regretted typo sent to a chief officer. Today, both personally and professional, our use is either one-to-one, or one-to-many, but seldom many to many as email appears to shifted from collectivism to individualism..

In Masculinity vs. Femininity, I’ve witnessed several friends of colleagues of mine who have challenged this application, specifically to the sport of NASCAR. While this particular recreational activity is car-centric, has nearly all male drivers, focuses on loud engines, power, speed and “being the first,” I’ve actually known more women fans than men. Their particular interests in the sport have differed, from either the spirit of competition, or to the personal family pastime, but as NASCAR itself would like to see across not just gender roles but ethnic, is a growth in fandom that extends beyond the stereotypes.

Finally, within Uncertainty Avoidance, the company for which I currently work, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, tends to be a risk-averse culture and organization. While that might be surprising, having spent nearly four years with the organization and its leadership, the teams spend fair amount of attention to understanding, reviewing, and planning for all possible outcomes and solutions to a particular project or scenario. Personally, this is exactly how I like to think and tackle a challenge or situation, in thinking through all the various permutations or scenarios to either 1) maintain employee, animal and guest safety, 2) create a positive guest experience, from initial communication to leaving the park after a visit, and 3) ensuring we’ve met both our company and department objectives and guiding principles throughout the project.

Post Tags:

Cultural Dimensions, Digital Communications, MMC6400, Web Theory,