If we explore the Luxembourger culture through the lens of the 6-D Model©, we can get a good overview of the deep drivers of Luxembourger culture relative to other world cultures.
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.
At 40, Luxembourg sits in the lower rankings of PDI – i.e. a society that believes that inequalities amongst people should be minimized. Interestingly this may not appears at first, but is a well established fact within the Luxembourgers. Actually, history shows that the people living in Luxemb0urg are very respectful to authorities, hierarchies, and have always shown attachment to structure. It is an apparent contradiction which make the5-D Model so interesting, by revealing the reality behind the image.
Luxembourgers respect hierarchy like the German do: everybody does his job, at the right place, and that‘s it! If changes must be implemented, no need to make revolution, but communication and “common sense” will prevail. A good example of this in recent history is the way Luxembourger freed themselves from the Dutch Orange Nassau, in comparison to the Belgium. Both countries have been “given” to the Dutch King by the Vienna Treaty in 1815. Belgium “started a revolution” in 1830, Luxemburg negotiated gently in 1862.
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.
At a score of 60 Luxembourger must be seen as “reasonably Individualist”. Not as much as all his neighbors who all show higher scores. Private property, family, money are real values, and will be protected by the society. People look after themselves and their immediate family, but – the score shows it clearly – all that within “reasonable limits”. Social caring, medical help, “village atmosphere” will guarantee a welfare for everybody.
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 life.
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).
At 50 Luxembourg has a bit of both worlds: Masculine for certain parts and Feminine for others. Masculine at work – where the best will win, but Feminine in social affairs, like caring for others and great sense of community.
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 score on Uncertainty Avoidance.
At 70 Luxembourg has a high score on Uncertainty Avoidance which means that as a nation they are quiet reluctant to test unknown territories. Security is a key word in Luxembourg: there is not one activity which is not depending on some sort of security control from authorities; from banker’s money to safety exits in a restaurant. It makes the live in Luxembourg very safe, but some would argue a bit boring. New ideas, new methods, new management techniques must first be proven to work in other countries in order to be accepted in Luxembourg.
Historically more “farmers” than “traders” the inhabitants kept that good old “common sense” made of cautiousness which has proven to be profitable for a country who managed not to be at war since the Napoleonic time!
Long Term Orientation
This dimension describes how every society has to maintain some links with its own past while dealing with the challenges of the present and future, and societies prioritise these two existential goals differently. Normative societies. which score low on this dimension, for example, prefer to maintain time-honoured traditions and norms while viewing societal change with suspicion. Those with a culture which scores high, on the other hand, take a more pragmatic approach: they encourage thrift and efforts in modern education as a way to prepare for the future.
With a high score of 64, the culture of Luxembourg is clearly pragmatic. In societies with a pragmatic orientation, people believe that truth depends very much on situation, context and time. They show an ability to adapt traditions easily to changed conditions, a strong propensity to save and invest, thriftiness, and perseverance in achieving results.
One challenge that confronts humanity, now and in the past, is the degree to which small 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.
Luxembourg’s score of 56 in this dimension means that it has a culture of Indulgence. People in societies classified by a high score Indulgence generally exhibit a willingness to realise their impulses and desires with regard to enjoying life and having fun. They possess a positive attitude and have a tendency towards optimism. In addition, they place a higher degree of importance on leisure time, act as they please and spend money as they wish