Analyzing Cultures of Russia and Spain, According to Hall’s and Hofstede’s Models of Cultural Dimensions
I couldn’t find much information on Russia in the book or on the website, so I’m going to base my analysis of Russian culture on my experience. Power Distance Index. I believe that power distance index in Russian culture is quite high, as there is a huge gap between upper and lower classes, and not really such a thing as middle class. Spain on the other hand has quite a common power distance index for Europe – 52. Its about 40 to 50 in Europe, which means that people do understand that there are different classes of people, but they don’t accent on it.
Individualism. Although people in Russia tend to become more individualistic nowadays, they still are collectivistic as well. Meaning that people would try to be as individualistic as they can, but if they need help in one way or another they would try to do as much as they could for the group. I would say that Russia is right in the middle between collectivism and individualism. Spain has an individualism score of about 46, which is very similar to Russian, but I believe Spain has completely different reasons for such score.
I believe that people in Spain are mostly lazy and that is the reason for them to be collectivistic, but still while getting older they become more individualistic. Masculinity. Russian culture is becoming more masculine, but since there are still people who used to live in the Soviet Union where people had no chance for their own opinion or vote, where the government was trying to make everybody equal; the score is quite low. People who were born lately, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, on the other hand are becoming more masculine, that is why Hofstede has recently updated the masculinity score for Russia from 40 to 59.
Spain has a score of approximately 38, which is not surprising. For some reason women act more like men and vice versa. I’m not exactly sure why its like that, but Hofstede’s studies prove it, and also based on my own experience of living in Spain, I would say so. Uncertainty Avoidance Index. Russian has an index of 90. Again, looking back at the Soviet Union explains why Russia has such a high index for uncertainty avoidance. In the Soviet Union people were not allowed to even talk of ‘western’ technologies, the government were trying to make people think that there is nothing better in the world than what they had.
That is why still, there is greater level of preference for tried and tested methods than experimenting with the unknown. Spain has quite a high score for uncertainty avoidance index also – 82. That is probably because Spanish people has so many traditions that they follow since a very long time. That reflects to their attitude while facing unknown nowadays also. Long-Term Orientation. As there is no infromation neither for Russia nor for Spain on long term orientation score, I would guess that these 2 cultures have a similiar score on this one.
Russain people just trying to enjoy today and not think about future, because it is not about what is going to happen in the future, but rather what should you do today to see the results in the future. Spanish culture has its own reasons for this, as I already said people are just lazy and dont care about future at all, so they dont even think about it. High/Low Context. I would say that Russian culture is rather high context than low. There is a lot of different ways to say one word, and even if you choose one you can choose between about 6 different endings for the word to make sound stronger or softer.
According to Hall’s studies Spain is a high context culture too. Spanish people express more through their emotions and hand gestures than through their words. Monochronic/Polychronic. Russia is a polychronic country. Although people have schedules, agendas and deadlines, and are concentrated on time and efficiency; everything could be changed any second in order for greater profit or better outcome. They also react quick to the plans change and adopt their whole schedule to it. Spanish culture is also polychronic, but for a different reason.
People dont really have schedules or deadlines in Spain, so it is very easy to adopt to changes in your plans if you dont actually have any. 1. Well, Russian and Spanish cultures have a very similiar score at all of the models of cultural dimensions. Although they have had very different ways of becoming what they are right now, there have a lot of similarities in their cultures, so I would say that there would be a minimum amount of conflicts. 2. Since the cultures ahve very similiar scores, I would reccomend just to try to be yourself in other culture, but still remember that you are not at home.
As one of my russian friends in Spain said «As long as you dont take Spanish people seriously you are going to be friends with them». 3. My first recommendation would be not to start business in Spain at all, because even though there are a lot of similarities in these 2 cultures, there are still a lot of differences, and some of them would be considered extreme in other culture. But if somebody wanted to start a business in Spain still, I would recommend just not to take people seriously and try to understand their culture, their way of life, live in Spain first for a couple of years.
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