Posted by: magnussonllc | January 19, 2011

The Lewis Model – Cultural Dimensions

There are over 200 national cultures in the world. Is it possible to classify them into types?

 One classification is the Lewis-model, whose main categories are Linear-Active, Multi-Active and Reactive cultures. A rough guide to global cultural variations can be seen in this triangle, where countries are placed according to their dominant characteristics, or two key characteristics:

People in linear-active cultures generally demonstrate task orientation. They look for technical competence, place facts before sentiment, logic before emotion; they are deal-orientated, focusing their own attention and that of their colleagues on immediate achievements and results. They are orderly, stick to agendas and inspire people with their careful planning.

 Multi-active cultures have people that are much more extrovert, rely on their eloquence and ability to persuade and use human force as an inspirational factor. They often complete human transactions emotionally, investing the time to developing the contact to the limit. Such people are great networkers, working according to people-time rather than clock-time.

 People in reactive cultures are equally people-orientated but dominate with knowledge, patience and quiet control. They display modesty and courtesy, despite their accepted seniority. They create a harmonious atmosphere for teamwork. Subtle body language replaces excessive words. They know their companies well, giving them balance and the ability to react to a web of pressures. They are also paternalistic.


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