The Cultural Impact of Information Systems - Through the Eyes of Hofstede - A Critical Journey

Michael Jones, Irit Alony
InSITE 2007  •  Volume 7  •  2007
With the increasing levels of multiculturalism in today’s business and the proliferation and essentiality of information systems, development and management of IS needs to be considered in light of the cultural factors which impact upon its utility. Hofstede’s work on culture is the most widely cited in existence. His observations and analysis provide scholars and practitioners a valuable insight into the dynamics of cross-cultural relationships. However, such a groundbreaking body of work does not escape criticism. Hofstede has been dogged by academics discrediting his work in part or whole. Nonetheless, far more scholars exist who support Hofstede than those that don’t. Most quote Hofstede’s work with unabashed confidence, many including his findings as absolute assumptions. This paper takes a critical look at Hofstede’s work and applies his findings to the practical needs of information systems. The paper finds support for the dimensions promoted by Hofstede in regard to information systems, but recommends continued research to provide greater clarity and continued applicability of his espoused dimensions.
Culture, Information Systems, Hofstede, Cultural Dimensions, Cross-Cultural Research.
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