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Table 1 Six cultural dimensions as suggested by Hofstede with a few modifications [23, 36]

From: Influence of national culture on mentoring relationship: a qualitative study of Japanese physician-scientists

Dimensions (scores) Definitions Countries’ scores (0–100)
Japan China South Korea UK USA
Power distance, large vs small The degree to which the less powerful members of a society accept and expect that power is distributed unequivocally. In cultures with large power distance, junior members are expected to wait for instructions from their supervisors, whereas in a society with small power distance, supervisors expect their juniors to take the initiative themselves. 54 80 60 35 40
Individualism (high) vs Collectivism (low) The degree to which people in society are integrated into groups. Individualism is defined as a preference for a loosely-knit social framework in which individuals are expected to take care of themselves and their immediate families, whereas collectivism represents a preference for a tightly-knit social framework in which individuals expect their relatives or members of a particular in-group to look after them in exchange of unquestioning loyalty. 46 20 18 89 91
Uncertainty avoidance, high vs low The degree to which the members of a society feel uncomfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity. 92 30 85 35 46
Masculinity (high) vs femininity (low) Masculinity stands for a preference in society for achievement, heroism, assertiveness, and material rewards for success. Femininity stands for a preference for cooperation, modesty, caring for the weak, and quality of life. 95 66 39 66 62
Long term orientation (high) vs short term orientation (low) The extent to which the fostering of virtues is oriented toward future rewards, in particular, perseverance and thrift. Long term orientation is a tendency to look to the future and make decisions about what to do now. Short-term orientation is to focus on the present because the future is unpredictable. 88 87 100 51 26
Indulgence (high) vs restraint (low) Indulgence implies a society that allows relatively free gratification of basic and natural human initiatives related to enjoying life and having fun. Restraint implies a society that suppresses gratification of needs and regulates it by means of strict social norms. 42 24 29 69 68