HCDE 512 – Week 3 – Analyze Websites Using Hofstede Dimensions


1. Power distance (PD) – McDonalds:    Kuwait (90) Vs. Ireland (28)

Power Distance is “People in societies exhibiting a large degree of power distance accept a hierarchical order in which everybody has a place and which needs no further justification.”   In looking at the Kuwait site, which has a very high power distance, I see a site with no people it is just photos of the product and a game on the homepage with an animated character to promote the product.  It is very formal site.   The Irish site has photos of people on it and promotes a connection with the user – and creating a more informal “conversation” on the site.   The Irish site promotes the use of local beef, family oriented promotions and a more friendly tone.

2. Masculinity (MAS) – Kentucky Fried Chicken:    Austria (79) Vs. Denmark (16)

MAS vs. FEM in Hofstede’s terms is “a preference in society for achievement, heroism, assertiveness and material rewards for success. Society at large is more competitive.”  There was a clear difference for me in these two sites.  The Austrian site is very masculine with a very assertive color palette reflecting the KFC brand colors – a red background is a very bold choice.  Sports are mentioned in the side bar and it looks to be designed toward promotions that go with the food, getting deals and rewards.  The Danish site has a much softer color palette reflecting the feminine traits of modesty, caring for others and goodwill. There is a KFC ad promoting love that is featured on the homepage – this is very feminine!

3.  Long-Term Orientation (LTO) – Wrigley.com:     China (118) Vs. UK (25)

Hofstede says that “Those with a culture which scores high take a more pragmatic approach: they encourage thrift and efforts in modern education as a way to prepare for the future.”   The UK site is interesting and reflects the very low LTO score of it’s people.  The photo on this page is bright and the text references “simple pleasures that will brighten everyone’s day”.   The focus on today in itself is very representative of a low LTO outlook.  The Chinese site has a very heavy emphasis (of the items I could translate using Google Translate) on environmental friendliness, nature and recycling.  This is a very high LTO view – the importance of thinking about future generations and our impact on the world around us.  The UK site also has more of an emphasis on careers and new products.  The Chinese site has global partnerships global business brand standards.


(NOTE: I was out of class for this session and did this on my own, after reviewing my work with Professor Hanafi,it was determined I did not understand the assignment at first.  I did it again on my own and therefore the homepages I am seeing may be different that what was viewed in the class session).