Apart from Hofstede’s classification of national cultures which is well elaborated and based on very wide questionnaire survey and is nowadays most frequently cited, there exist a series of other classification of national cultures since the issue of solving universal problems, which people are facing all over the world, is being dealt with by a series of scientists.

The Netherlander Fons Trompenaars was persuaded that:

“culture is shared system of meanings which function as a process leading to automatic solutions of frequently repeating problems” (Trompenaars 1993).

Trompenaars based his research on researches carried out by F.Kluckhohn and F.Strodtbeck who in 1961 determined give categories of cultural differences universal for all nations (the human essence, relation to nature, relation to time, essence of human activity, relation of an individual to other people). Trompenaars in 1993 carried out research by a sample of employees and managers of different organization and cultures and on this basis he simplified mentioned classification. According to his theory, cultural differences occur in three basic areas of life: relation to other people, relation to time, relation to nature.

Within these three categories, he identified seven dimensions of national culture whose content is distinctively displayed in manager practice. The first five Trompenaars dimensions of national culture relate to relations to other people, the sixth dimension relates to time and the seventh is relation to environment. (Trompenaars 1993)

Dimensions according to Trompenaars:

1. universalism versus particularism

2. collectivism versus individualism

3. neutral versus emotional culture

4. specific versus diffuse culture

5. ascription versus achievement orientation

6. orientation to past, present and future

7. inner-directed versus outer-directed orientation

Universalism versus particularisms

The behaviour of universalistic cultures is based on rules and stable grounded norms. There are obeyed also when there does not exist necessity to obey them. Contracts are important part of life and trustful person is somebody who adhered to them. There exists only one truth and it is the one which was concluded. Contracts are determining and relations are secondary. Members of particularistic cultures are not, compared to universalists, oriented to rules but to friendship and personal relations. They are willing to do for friends what they normally “do not permit”. Truth and reality can be perceived from different points of view and in relation to each participant of action. Legal agreements are willingly changes and trustful person is somebody who accepts changing circumstances. Businesses are based on relations and good relation is more than a contract.

Individualisms versus collectivism

Members of individualistic cultures are oriented on themselves. Decision making is individual and by negotiation representatives decide on the spot. Groups are not controlled; the object of control is an individual. People attempt for results usually on their own and they themselves are also responsible for them. They are primarily motivated by individual incentives.

In collectivistic cultures is the core of interest a group. Controlling activity are oriented on group and there is by this means influenced the achievement of an individual. People achieve results in groups, responsibility for individual achievement is also responsibility of the group and those who perform the best achievements do not reward for themselves but they want to share their success with others in the group. In case it is necessary to negotiate, collective negotiation is preferred. By unpredictable circumstances, representatives of collective cultures do not decide on the post but they submit the decision to the organization.

Neutral versus emotional culture

Members of neutral cultures do not reveal what they think or feel. Emotions are hidden and suppressed however they are from time to time unexpectedly expressed. They admire cold and rational behaviour, their behaviour is usually monotonous. Taboos are considered to be for them distinct face play, gesticulation or other outstanding expressions.

Members of emotional cultures on the other hand reveal their thoughts and feeling both verbally and nonverbally. They give vent to their tension and emotions are naturally and vehemently expressed. They admire expressing feelings and their expression is usually dramatic.

Specific versus cultures

Members of specific cultures are usually straight, facty and purpose. Their behaviour is noted for accuracy, curtness, certainty and transparency. Moral principles valid in negotiation are determined beforehand. Managers separate work relation from other types of relations. Managing of the subordinates is characteristic with accurate and detailed instructions. Managements are the realization of goals and fulfilling of standards.

Members of diffusive cultures are on the other hand indirect and apparently “aimless”. They appear to be elusive and double-faced. Morale is for them highly situational; morale aspects of behaviour depend on people and context. Personal and business matters are interconnected. Instructions are given in process focused on continuous improvement.

Ascription versus achievement orientation

Orientation to ascription and orientation to achievement are related to the fact how culture members gain their status. In achievement oriented cultures is the status and respect derived from the knowledge of the person and what results he achieve – status gaining is therefore related to proved efficiency and success. In cultures oriented to ascription is the status ascribed in relation to age, social origin, education, profession and affiliation etc.

Orientation to past, present and future

In cultures oriented to past, origin of family, firm or nation is being emphasized. People are motivated to adhere to “auld lang syne”. Ancestors, predecessors, founders and elderly are treated with respect. Everything is perceived in context of history or tradition.

In cultures oriented to present are important actual activities. Plans are not usually taken any exceptions and rarely are fulfilled. Everything is perceived from actual situation.

Cultures oriented to future plan and create strategies; they focus on expectations, potential, aspirations and future success. Present and past is perceived with regard to usage for future possible advantages

Inner-directed versus outer-directed orientation

By members of different nations can be distinguished two main orientations in relation to nature and surrounding: inner and outer. Members of cultures with inner-directed orientation have feeling that they can influence and control environment around them. They are focused on themselves and their organization and they treat their surrounding dominantly, aggressively and they are dissatisfied if the natural development of events is out of their control. Members of cultures with outer-directed orientation hold an opinion that it is necessary to life in harmony with nature and surrounding. Therefore they are focused on others, i.e. on colleagues, partners, customers; and they are sensitive to their needs. They are willing to compromises and are satisfied with natural development of things and events. (Organization culture and nation culture, http://www.businessinfo.cz)