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Short versus long term

The cultural dimensions of short term versus long term have some interesting geographic clusters. This cultural dimension is based on how a culture views time and the importance of the past, present, and future. Short term is the cultural dimension which emphasizes immediate outcomes and success now. Long-term planning and success later guide the long-term cultural dimension.

Confucian Asia is in the long-term geographic cluster. It is interesting that China is said to be planning for the next 500 years while other nations have a five-year plan. Anglo countries, Arab nations, Eastern Europe, Nordic Europe, and Sub-Saharan Africa are in the short term geographic cluster. Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Latin Europe use both a short term and long term dimension.

If we might consider a business example. A business with a short-term cultural value is focused on the “bottom line” and the profits for this year. A long-term cultural value is first concerned about market position and the profits ten years from now.

When we use a long-term dimension, we focus on the future. We value persistence. We easily delay social success. Personal and emotional gratification is delayed. A short-term orientation cares more about immediate gratification. The past or present is more important than the future. A short-term orientation values the current social hierarchy. Meeting current social obligations is emphasized by a person with a short-term perspective.

Your assignment for this step is to assume the role of a manager with employees under your direction. Assume you are a manager in a culture where employees have a short-term orientation. Now make a list of motivating incentives for your employees. Next reverse your managing position and become a manager with employees with a long-term perspective. Make a list of motivating incentives for your long-term employees.

After making your lists, please mark this step complete.

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