Cultural value orientation analysis of a Hungarian educational institution: a case study
Subject: cultural value orientation
Stemming from personal interest, this exploratory case study (Creswell, 2007) aimed to explore everyday cases of dissatisfaction such as the alleged lack of respect towards teachers, and students’ unwillingness to study, or the differing expectations of students, teachers and parents in a state secondary school in Budapest, Hungary. The research was intended (1) to showcase situations where expectations were ‘off’, and (2) to highlight the possible sources of misunderstandings or problematic forms of behaviour. Thus, it set out to examine whether the complaints of teachers and students could be analyzed in terms of cultural value orientation theory (Hofstede, Hofstede & Minkov, 2010; Trompenaars & Hampden-Turner, 1998; Hall, 1976; Furka, 2013), and if so, which dimensions were detectable. Data collection involved the triangulation of data from questionnaires filled in by students (aged 14-18) and teachers in the same institution, as well as interviews with focus groups and individual teachers. Data analysis applied the constant comparative method of Grounded Theory (Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Creswell, 2007) for the interviews, and general statistical procedures for the questionnaires. Results show that differences in power distance and uncertainty avoidance in the stakeholders’ value systems might be responsible for the dissatisfaction. If they are not addressed explicitly, such value differences might lead to a decrease in performance output and job satisfaction, as well as a deteriorating school image.