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What about Israel?

If we explore the Israeli culture through the lens of the 6-D Model, we can get a good overview of the deep drivers of Israelian culture relative to other world cultures.

NOTE: Israel takes a unique position in the database of countries with scores on the 6 dimensions. Israel is the only country in the world where the size of the immigrant groups are so large that they influence the dominant values to the extent that new citizens of Israel change the existing values. The below mentioned scores might not reflect the values of the whole population of Israel. Further research should be done to express the values of all of the current Israelis.

Power distance
This dimension deals with the fact that all individuals in societies are not equal – it expresses the attitude of the culture towards these inequalities amongst us. Power distance is defined as the extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and organisations within a country expect and accept that power is distributed unequally.

With a score of 13 points Israel is at the very low end of this dimension compared to other countries. With an egalitarian mindset the Israelis believe in independency, equal rights, accessible superiors and that management facilitates and empowers. Power is decentralized and managers count on the experience of their team members. Respect among the Israelis is something which you earn by proving your hands-on expertise. Workplaces have an informal atmosphere with direct and involving communication and on a first name basis. Employees expect to be consulted.

Individualism
The fundamental issue addressed by this dimension is the degree of interdependence a society maintains among its members. It has to do with whether people´s self-image is defined in terms of “I” or “We”. In Individualist societies people are supposed to look after themselves and their direct family only. In Collectivist societies people belong to ‘in groups’ that take care of them in exchange for loyalty.

The Israeli society is a blend of individualistic and collectivistic cultures (54). Small families with a focus on the parent-children relationship rather than aunts and uncles are common. And at the same time extended families, with many children and close ties to all other family members are a part of society as well.  There is a strong belief in the ideal of self-actualization. Loyalty is based on personal preferences for people as well as a sense of duty and responsibility. Communication is direct and expressive.

Masculinity 
A high score (masculine) on this dimension indicates that the society will be driven by competition, achievement and success, with success being defined by the winner / best in field – a value system that starts in school and continues throughout organisational behaviour.

A low score (feminine) on the dimension means that the dominant values in society are caring for others and quality of life. A feminine society is one where quality of life is the sign of success and standing out from the crowd is not admirable. The fundamental issue here is what motivates people, wanting to be the best (masculine) or liking what you do (feminine).

With a score of 47 Israel is neither a clear masculine nor feminine society. Some elements point at more masculine features. Performance is highly valued. Managers are expected to be decisive and assertive. Status is often shown, especially by cars, watches and technical devices.

Uncertainty avoidance   
The dimension Uncertainty Avoidance has to do with the way that a society deals with the fact that the future can never be known: should we try to control the future or just let it happen? This ambiguity brings with it anxiety and different cultures have learnt to deal with this anxiety in different ways. The extent to which the members of a culture feel threatened by ambiguous or unknown situations and have created beliefs and institutions that try to avoid these is reflected in the UAI score.

Israel is among the stronger uncertainty avoidant countries (81). In these cultures there is an emotional need for rules (even if the rules never seem to work), time is money, people have an inner urge to be busy and work hard, precision and punctuality are the norm, security is an important element in individual motivation. Cultures with a high score on this dimension are often very expressive. Something the Israelis clearly show while talking with their hands, gesticulating and vocal aggressiveness.

Pragmatism

This dimension describes how people in the past as well as today relate to the fact that so much that happens around us cannot be explained. In societies with a normative orientation, most people have a strong desire to explain as much as possible. In societies with a pragmatic orientation most people don’t have a need to explain everything, as they believe that it is impossible to understand fully the complexity of life. The challenge is not to know the truth but to live a virtuous life. 

A low score of 38 on this dimension indicates that Israeli culture has a preference for normative thought. People in such societies have a strong concern with establishing the absolute Truth; they are normative in their thinking. They exhibit great respect for traditions, a relatively small propensity to save for the future, and a focus on achieving quick results.

Indulgence  

One challenge that confronts humanity, now and in the past, is the degree to which little children are socialized. Without socialization we do not become “human”. This dimension is defined as the extent to which people try to control their desires and impulses, based on the way they were raised. Relatively weak control is called “indulgence” and relatively strong control is called “restraint”. Cultures can, therefore, be described as indulgent or restrained.

There is currently no score for Israel on this dimension.