What would people do with their money if they were rich? A search for Hofstede dimensions across 52 countries
Published on Apr 26, 2019
· DOI :10.1108/CCSM-11-2018-0193
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to test the replicability of Hofstede’s value-based dimensions – masculinity–femininity (MAS–FEM) and individualism–collectivism (IDV–COLL) – in the field of consumer behavior, and to compare cultural prioritizations with respect to disposable income budgets across the world. Design/methodology/approach The authors asked 51,529 probabilistically selected respondents in 52 countries (50 nationally representative consumer panels and community samples from another two countries) what they would do with their money if they were rich. The questionnaire items targeted Hofstede’s MAS–FEM and IDV–COLL as well as a wider range of options deemed sufficiently meaningful, ethical and moral across the world. Findings The authors obtained two main dimensions. The first contrasts self-enhancing and altruistic choices (status and power-seeking spending vs donating for healthcare) and is conceptually similar to MAS–FEM. However, it is statistically related to Hofstede’s fifth dimension, or monumentalism–flexibility (MON–FLX), not to MAS–FEM. The second dimension contrasts conservative-collectivist choices and modern-hedonistic concerns (donating for religion and sports vs preserving nature and travel abroad for pleasure) and is a variant of COLL–IDV. Research limitations/implications The authors left out various potential consumer choices as they were deemed culturally incomparable or unacceptable in some societies. Nevertheless, the findings paint a sufficiently rich image of worldwide value differences underpinning idealized consumer behavior prioritizations. Practical implications The study could be useful to international marketing and consumer behavior experts. Social implications The study contributes to the understanding of modern cultural differences across the world. Originality/value This is the first large cross-cultural study that reveals differences in values through a novel approach: prioritizations of consumer choices. It enriches the understanding of IDV–COLL and MON–FLX, and, in particular, of the value prioritizations of the East Asian nations. The study provides new evidence that Hofstede’s MAS–FEM is a peculiarity of his IBM database with no societal analogue. Some of the so-called MAS–FEM values are components of MON–FLX, which is statistically unrelated to Hofstede’s MAS–FEM.