Personal statement

Reflection on his personal life: I have been lucky.

Reflection on his professional life: If no-one disagrees you have no message

Hofstede Symposia

A number of times, a symposium was organised about his work and in his honour. One on such occasion, he was bestowed with the highest civilian knighthood of the Netherlands, and became knight in the order of the Dutch Lion, Ridder in de Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw.

An impression was made of one the symposia.


Geert was a welcome keynote speaker at numerous events. A few are listed below:

  • The Schuman Lezing: Entrepreneurship in Europe (1998)
  • The Duijkerlezing: Who is afraid of Europe?
  • The Hofstedelezing: How to be a European!
  • UAF: Of old and new Dutch people.
  • It ain’t necessarily so, of masculinity, femininity, sexuality and culture.
  • 7 deadly sins of the multicultural society.

A lecture prepared for the Europe Commission was cancelled because “the topic (of national identity) was not relevant”.

A few examples of the lectures Geert gave to organisations, universities and student organizations. 

The lecture: 7 deadly sins in a multicultural society

Articles and one-liners

Geert was frequently interviewed or quoted in articles and quipped a number of memorable oneliners such as:

  • Talking about culture is asking for trouble.
  • We are traditionally a barbarian country
  • Our management style is much too feminine.
  • The world is not becoming uniform
  • I can think of no rational relation between management capabilities and growth of hair on someone’s chin.
  • I am a classic example of the prophet who is not accepted in his home town
  • Cultural differences are a nuisance at best, and often a disaster.


Geert gave countless interviews. Some became articles in newspapers, magazines or radio. Quite a few were for a more private audience.

Listen to Christina Röttgers interview Geert in 2013.

Geert Hofstede Consortium

In 2003 a European Consortium was established that was dedicated to education and research of International Communication. The development its Master programme was funded by Erasmus, the flagship educational programme of the European Union.

Geert spoke with the students and staff as often as he could. He recorded a message for the programme.

The Archives

Geert spent much of his time archiving his live by writing his autobiography. His personal archives – all 78 boxes of them! – had been stored for many years. He now donated them to the Special Collections of the Library of the University of Groningen, his PhD alma mater.

Thanks to students of the Geert Hofstede Consortium, all 78 boxes were unpacked and the material was archived.

An Engineers' Odyssey, documentary

To celebrate his 85th birthday, a documentary was made by Siegmund Audiovisuele Produkties. Iekje Smit took care of the interviews.

She interviewed Geert during 4 days; also interviewed were

  • Michael Harris Bond
  • Hein Schreuder
  • Marieke de Mooij
  • Candida Snow
  • Ina Spiele
  • Arndt Sorge
  • and Maaike Hofstede

Pictures of shooting sessions at Kasteel Rozendael.

The trailer of the documentary

The documentary, An Engineer’s Odyssey

Jam sessions with students

Geert loved speaking with students; it made no difference to him if they were bachelor, master or PhD students. If a student was genuinely interested, he would provide input where best he could.

He never missed an opportunity to have a “jam session” with the students, traveling 2 days to Groningen to speak with them personally.

The picture is from January 2019, in the Groninger Forum. Geert is answering question posed to him by the student sitting in the audience. He is 90 at the time; it would be his last.

After the Q&A, students would line up to have their picture taken with him. They treated him like a rock star.

February 12th 2020