Soft Skills - To what extent is deepwater drilling driven by culture?
Deepwater drilling is a high-risk operation. It involves going below water depths of 500 ft to explore for oil and gas. If there are any issues with the subsurface equipment, divers cannot intervene because human beings are physically incapable of tolerating such depths. But water pressure is not the only thing a person working in deep water needs to worry about. There will also be significant challenges to maintaining a work/life balance. The extent of these challenges could depend on one’s culture and roots.
What, then, is culture? Culture is based on the cumulated beliefs and behaviors characteristic of a particular group. Such a group could be as small as a family or as large as a country. Geert Hofstede, a Dutch sociologist, conducted extensive surveys of employees of different nationalities working for multinational companies and published his findings in a book in 1980.
He identified the following five key dimensions of culture:
He developed an index for each of these dimensions. Let’s see how deepwater operations rank according to these indices.