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Individualistic Culture in USA and the China Collectivistic Culture - Essay Example

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Individualism and collectivism represent opposite ends of a wide spectrum. Individualism is a frame of mind or a world view that is governed by the need to protect and take care of oneself. Those societies that are labelled as individualistic are those ones that have minimal ties between members of society…
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Individualistic Culture in USA and the China Collectivistic Culture
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Download file to see previous pages In exchange, such persons are guaranteed protection and this is essentially the motivational factor in this system. The paper shall examine the United States and China with respect to individualistic or collectivistic cultures.
In order to ascertain whether the US is an individualistic culture, it is essential to familiarise oneself with the traits synonymous with the individualistic culture. In such a culture, people normally empathise with their own goals and can also be considered as self centred. Additionally, such people communicate quite uniquely. In individualistic cultures, communication systems rarely make differences between out-group and in group communication. Consequently, their means of communication are also distinctive to this development. Most people who come from individualistic cultures tend to prefer using very direct and clear methodologies in communicating. This means that one is not likely to find them beating about the bush. (Hofstede, 1993)
Success is a common goal in individualistic cultures. Usually, such persons take pride in private wealth or good job positions. It is usually common to find such people struggling to get up the corporate ladder. Such persons may not care much about what or who they have to eradicate in order to make it to the top. Besides these, these cultures are normally fond of creating business relationship that will benefit them personally. Normally connections are made in order to boost one' chances of making it i.e. they are well calculated. This also means that such cultures rarely pay attention to the mutual value that can come out of having a business relationship with another person and pay more attention to what that business relationship can do for them.
In individualistic cultures, it is also common to find that employees found there are mostly interested in protecting their interests. This is the reason why law suits and litigations filed against one's employers are more common in individualistic societies than in collectivistic ones. Also, employees in these cultures are normally expected to take care about their own interests rather than looking out for the interests of others. (Chen, Meindl & Hunt, 2001)
It should also be noted that this culture deals with problems in different ways to their collectivistic counterparts. Most individualistic people concern themselves with how they can change their environments to suit their circumstances. This is the same approach in problem solving; they always consider how other goals around them can be shifted to accommodate their needs.
The United States was ranked as the country with the highest rate of individualism in the world. Hofstede conducted experiments where he wanted to study the level of collectivism and individualism in respective countries. These were his findings on cultural dimensions;
PD= Power distance, ID = Individualism, MA = Masculinity, UA = Uncertainty Avoidance, LT = Long Term Orientation, H= top third, L = Bottom third, M = Medium third


Source: Hofstede, p 91, 1993
Consequently, people from the latter country are likely to emanate from the collectivistic rather than the individualistic school of thought. Many leaders in the American culture have shown individualistic tendencies from time to time with some of them remarking that society ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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