If we explore the Swedish culture through the lens of the 6-D Model©, we can get a good overview of the deep drivers of Swedish culture relative to other world. If we explore French culture through the lens of the 6-D Model©, we can get a good overview of the deep drivers of France’s culture relative to other world. Please select a country in the dropdown menu below to see the values for the 6 dimensions. After a first country has been selected, a second and even a third.

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Select one or several countries in the menu below to see the values for the 6 dimensions. Power Distance This dimension deals with the fact that all individuals in societies are not equal — it expresses the attitude of the culture towards these inequalities amongst us. Power Distance is defined as the extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and organisations within a country expect and accept that power is distributed unequally.

With a score of 68, France scores fairly high on Power Distance. Children are raised to be emotionally dependent, to a degree, on hofsgede parents. This dependency will be transferred to teachers and later on to superiors. It is, therefore, a society in which a fair degree of inequality is accepted.

Power is not only centralised in companies and government, but also geographically. Just look at the road grid in France; most highways lead to Paris.

Many comparative studies have shown that French companies have normally one or two hierarchical levels more than comparable companies in Germany and the UK. Superiors have privileges and are often inaccessible. Individualism The fundamental issue addressed by cultjur dimension is the degree of interdependence a society maintains among its members. In Individualist societies people are supposed to look after themselves and their direct family only.

France, with a score of 71, is shown to be an individualist society. Parents make their children emotionally independent with regard to groups in which they belong. The French combination of a high score on Power Distance and a high score on Individualism is rather unique. We only find the same combination in Belgium and, to some degree, in Spain and northern Italy. This combination is not only unique, but it also creates a contradiction, so to speak. They just give a structured reflection of reality.

This combination manifests itself in France in the following ways: It is claimed that one reason why the French are less obese than people in other EU-countries is that parents still have more sway over children cultukr in other EU-countries. Whether this is true or not is not known by us.

All the same, what is true is that the family has still more emotional glue than in other Individualist cultures. This is a reflection of the high score on Power Distance with its stronger respect for the elderly. Another reflection of high Power Distance contrary to formal obedience is the hofstedf rejection of those in power as there is no way to change by evolution but only by strikes, revolts and revolution. The need to make a strong distinction between work and private life is even stronger in France than in the US, despite the fact that the US scores higher on Individualism.


This is a reflection of the fact that employees more quickly feel put under pressure than in the US because of their emotional dependence hofstdee what the boss says and does. At least, if the power holders act as benevolent fathers.

The French prefer to be dependent on the central government, an impersonal power centre which cannot so easily invade their private life. What is human, but more pronounced cultuu France, is the need for strong leadership in times of crisis. In spite of that, when the crisis is resolved the president should make space for much weaker leadership. Customer service is poor in the eyes of all those Anglo-Saxons who believe that the customer is king. Not so in France.

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The French are self-motivated to be the best in their trade. They, therefore, expect respect for what they do, after which they are very much willing to serve you well.

A low score Feminine on the dimension means that the dominant values in society are caring for others and quality of life.

A Feminine society is hoofstede where quality of life is the sign of success and standing out from the crowd is not admirable. The fundamental issue here is what motivates people, wanting to be the best Masculine or liking what you do Feminine.

With a score of 43, France has a somewhat Feminine culture. French culture in terms of the model has, however, another unique characteristic.

The upper class scores Feminine while the working class scores Masculine. This characteristic has not been found in any other country. This difference may be reflected by the following: Top managers earn on average less than one would expect given the high score on Power Distance.

Married couples of high society could go public with a lover without negative consequences, at least certainly in the past.

The dimension scores in the Hofstede model of national culture can be downloaded here

Uncertainty Avoidance This dimension, Uncertainty Avoidance, has to do with the way that a society deals with the fact that the future can never be known: This ambiguity brings anxiety with it, and different cultures have learnt to deal with this anxiety in different ways. The extent to which the members of a culture feel threatened by ambiguous or unknown situations and have created beliefs and institutions that try to avoid these is reflected in the score on Uncertainty Avoidance.


At 86, French culture scores high on Uncertainty Avoidance. This is clearly evident in the following: Structure and planning are required. Before meetings and negotiations they like to receive all necessary information. As a consequence, the French are good in developing complex technologies and systems in a stable environment, such as in the case of nuclear power plants, rapid trains and the aviation industry.

There is also a need for emotional safety valves as a high score on Uncertainty Avoidance and the combination of high Power Distance and high Individualism strengthen each other, so to speak.

Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory

There is a cuultuur need for laws, rules and regulations to structure life. At the same time, commonners try to relate to power holders so that they can also claim the exception to the rule. Long Term Orientation This dimension describes h ow every society has to maintain some links with its own past while dealing with the challenges of the present and futureand societies prioritise these two existential cyltuur differently. Those with a culture which scores high, on ivm other hand, take a more pragmatic approach: France scores high 63 in this dimension, making it pragmatic.

In societies with a pragmatic orientation, people believe that truth depends very much on situation, context and time. They show an ability to adapt traditions easily to changed conditions, a strong propensity to save and invest, thriftiness, and perseverance in achieving results. Indulgence One challenge that confronts humanity, now and in the past, is the degree to which small children are socialised. This dimension is defined as the extent to which people try to control their desires and impulsesbased on the hoofstede they were raised.

Cultures can be described as Indulgent or Restrained. France scores somewhat in the middle 48 where it concerns Indulgence versus Restraint.

This, in combination with a high score on Uncertainty Avoidance, implies that the French are less relaxed and enjoy life less often than is commonly assumed. Indeed, France scores not all that high on the happiness indices. Join the Hofstede Insights Network A highly selective worldwide network of culture and management consultants with extensive professional experience and knowledge on how to implement culturally sensitive management practices.

Cross-cultural strategies for successful business with the Chinese Negotiate Like a Local: Country comparison Select one hofstese several countries in the menu below to see the values for the 6 dimensions.

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