Geert Hofstede
1928 - 2020

Pioneer of research into the study of cultures across the world.


Ranked #47 in 2005. 

Previous positions:

#47 (2003), #48 (2001). 


Named by the WSJ as one of the most influential business thinkers of the 20th century. 


Knighted into the order of the Lion of the Netherlands. 


Hofstede’s ideas about dimensions of culture were so outrageous that seventeen publishers refused the manuscript before a visionary boss at Sage accepted it, in 1980. Culture’s Consequences marked the beginning of dimensional, comparative cross-cultural study and outlined Hofstede’s model of four dimensions of culture, which evolved into the internationally acclaimed 6D model of national culture. 

The revised edition of Cultures and Organizations, written with Gert Jan Hofstede and Michael Minkov, explores how national cultures differ in areas such as inequality, and reveals the” moral circles” on which national societies are built. 


Dutch social psychologist but originally a mechanical engineer in the post-war years, Hofstede gained a PhD in organizational behaviour and took a role at IBM as manager of personnel research. Analysis of worldwide company data eventually led to his seminal book, Culture’s Consequences. In the 1970s he taught at INSEAD and was also a research fellow at the European Institute for Advanced Studies in Brussels. While Professor of Organizational Anthropology at the University of Maastricht, Hofstede travelled extensively, together with his wife. He also served as an extramural fellow of the Centre of Economic Research at Tilburg University in Tilburg, Netherlands. 


Culture’s Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviours, Institutions and Organizations Across Nations (Sage, 1980); Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind (Profile, 1994); Exploring Culture: Exercises, Stories and Synthetic Cultures (with Gert Jan Hofstede and Paul B Pedersen, Intercultural Press, 2002); Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind (Revised and expanded edition, with Gert Jan Hofstede and Michael Minkov, McGraw-Hill, 2005); Cross-Cultural Analysis: The Science and Art of Comparing the World’s Modern Societies and Their Cultures (with Michael Minkov, SAGE, 2012).


Media picks


“The 6D model of national culture is a powerful tool that helps organizations everywhere navigate in an era of globalization.”

Stuart Crainer & Des Dearlove, Thinkers50

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