eight diverse school children standing with two teachers

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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Develop Your Cultural Intelligence

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