Hey all! I hope you had a great week! Today we are going to dive into the other three aspects of cultural differences, which are 1) achievement v nurturing, 2) uncertainty avoidance, 3) Future Orientation.
Achievement v Nurturing
This is the level of “masculinity” that a nation holds, relating to competitiveness and having power and control. These countries value assertiveness and acquiring money & goods compared to being more “feminine” by nurturing, which is encouraging others’ development and growth. Essentially, nurturing is cultivating others instead of one. Nations like the US are very high achieving, and nations like India are more focused in nurturing values and supporting others. A masculine society would be more focused on self-development versus developing relationships with others. A masculine society values money and materials more than quality of life and others. From a political standpoint, a masculine society would value high economic growth and conflict solving via forceful advantage; whereas a feminine society would be more concerned with environmental protection and solving conflicts through negotiations (Hofstede). All of these attributes of achievement values place countries in their respective standings.
High Uncertainty Avoidance v Low Uncertainty Avoidance
Essentially, this refers to planning and thinking ahead … but being ok “going with the flow” or not knowing the detailed plan. Germans for example, are very detailed oriented and planners; of most the Germans I know (which is quite a few) they like to know the exact plan, time is of essences to them; comparative to some Australians who are very flexible when it comes to plans, and they run an a less tight schedule (Smitt). A low uncertainty avoidance citizen would posses these traits:
- Few rules, and light structure
- Risk taking is seen as normal (i.e.: travelling alone, starting your own business, investing in stocks)
- The Three C’s (cool, calm, & collected): the Brits are famously known for having their “stiff upper lip” referring to them having a lack of emotion at times when a lot of others would…not necessarily meaning their unemotional but they just are better at hiding it.
While a high uncertainty individual would posses these traits:
- Structure & rules to follow, formally & informally (ie: speed limit is formal, whereas the proper etiquette to eating cheese)
- Security: lack of taking risks
- Emotional & Passionate: they are likely to show their emotions for all seasons and events (i.e.: freaking out after a minor car crash, weddings, deaths)
Long-Term v Short-Term Orientation
This is the frugality of citizens and individuals, typically they like to plan for the future, they may be your friend who chooses to pack lunch instead of buy lunch as they’re saving for a new item that’s considered an investment. These types of individuals and cultures are known for thinking in advanced, maybe down a generation or two. Whereas, a short term oriented individual lives in the present, often making impulsive purchases, or not planning ahead for their next large purchase (i.e.: prom dress, car, vacation, college).
Check out some of these links to learn more about where your country stands and where other countries stand! By really understanding these differences you will become a more geocentric attitude, which is something we will discuss next week!
… Which leads you to becoming more culturally intelligent.