Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the culture dimensions of young Latvians and Lithuanians in accordance with Geert Hofstede's indices. These culture characteristics are discussed from the perspective of their similarity with Estonia and the Scandinavian countries. Design/methodology/approach – The research is part of the Hofstede national culture studies. The survey is based on more than 800 questionnaires, which were handed out to students in Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden. The Swedish scores were used to calibrate the Lithuanian and Latvian values to the existing Hofstede database. Findings – The study shows that respondents of both countries score very similar for all five dimensions of the Hofstede model: power distance moderate low, moderate for uncertainty avoidance, very low for masculinity, individualism moderate‐high, and very low in long‐term orientation. Research limitations/implications – The empirical research was limited to participants who classified themselves as belonging to the dominating ethnic class. Ethnical minorities were excluded – however they might have a considerable influence in daily business life. A second weakness might be that the students sample represents the values of young Lithuanians and Latvians – the future society of the countries. An examination of the majority of population who grew up with communist ideology might have shown different results. Practical implications – The results of the study have shown that the three Baltic countries score pretty uniformly and much more similar to Scandinavia than Russia and/or Poland. International business actors should therefore include the Baltics in their Nordic strategy – rather than adding them to central and eastern Europe. Originality/value – The main value of this study is that the Hofstede methodology was for the first time applied for Latvia. The results for Latvia and Lithuania were meanwhile reviewed by Prof. Hofstede and included into his database.
Baltic Journal of Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 12, 2008
Keywords: Latvia; Lithuania; National cultures; Baltic states