From 1967 to 1973, Geert Hofstede developed a set of descriptors of national cultures. This set of descriptors has become a helpful reference when planning a business trip to a foreign culture. Each country is measured on where it falls along a set of several continuums such as individualism versus collectivism, the spread of power among the population, uncertainty as a part of life, masculine versus feminine orientation and short-term versus long-term orientation.

By comparing national profiles that were presented in the study without judgment, you can predict where conflicts of priority will arise and where misunderstandings will occur. Where two countries are similar in profile, there should be little disagreement. However, where two countries have great divergence in their profiles, there will clearly be some level of disagreement as to how to handle situations that affect both countries.

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