Claiming too much, delivering too little: testing some of Hofstede’s generalisations

Brendan McSweeney, Donna Brown, Stavroula Iliopoulou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper considers Geert Hofstede’s claim that his national cultural ‘dimension scores’ and related rankings of countries enable effective prediction by examining a causal generalization he has repeatedly used to illustrate that capability. When tested against cross-sectional and longitudinal empirical data about industrial relations conflicts the generalization is shown not to have predictive power. A second generalization is then tested. It too fails to demonstrate predictive capability. The paper then discusses some characteristics of valid cross-national research in the light of these predictive failures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34–57
Number of pages24
JournalIrish Journal of Management
Issue number1
Early online date23 Aug 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Aug 2016


  • National Culture
  • Generalisations
  • Hofstede
  • Predictability
  • Industrial Relations

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