Research and VSM

Values Survey Module

The VSM, Values Survey Module, is a set of questions with which researchers doing cross-cultural studies can compare Hofstede dimension scores across groups. 

Commercial use

For use of the VSM in commercial research projects, permission should be obtained from copyright owner Geert Hofstede BV (, and such a permission, if granted, may be subject to a fee.

Academic use

The VSM is freely available for academic research purposes under the following conditions of good practice:

  1. The researcher has qualified her- or himself by the careful study of at least one of the following books: Geert Hofstede (2001), “Culture’s Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions, and Organizations Across Nations”, second edition, or Geert Hofstede, Gert Jan Hofstede and Michael Minkov (2010), “Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind”, third edition.
  2. The VSM is used for the purpose for which it was designed, that is the comparison of culturally relevant values between matched respondent samples from two or more societies (countries, nations or regions).
  3. The VSM is not used for comparing organizations, occupations, other social categories or individuals.
  4. The VSM is not used for one-country replications without a match to compare with.
  5. The research findings are freely available to the academic community.


How to use the VSM

The VSM is not a personality questionnaire. It is also not usable for a single-group study. See Geerts 2013 article "Replicating and Extending research using the VSM".

Can I compute my personal VSM scores?

You can, but they do not reveal your culture.

Your personal scores would not only tell you about the culture of the society that raised you, but mainly about yourself. From your results, you would not be able to disentangle the two. See Geerts 2013 article "Replicating and Extending research using the VSM". ITAP offer an online 'Culture in the Workplace' questionnaire for individuals, just for getting an idea.

Can I use the VSM for a single country?


The VSM is only meaningful for comparing samples that are matched for everything but culture. These groups are usually countries, but they could be e.g. regional or ethnic groups.

Do dimension scores get updated?


Dimension scores are like climate data, not like share prices. It is quite hard to assess culture changes, because many-country studies are required. Yet sometimes a new study gives us more confidence than an old one, and we change scores.

In the future it is not unlikely that changes in culture can be assessed with confidence. For now it is useful to think of dimensions of culture as changing only slowly, from generation to generation.