Individualism In Business

1349 Words6 Pages
In this chapter, we will explore how differences in culture across and within countries can affect international business. Culture is defined by Edward Tylor as ‘that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom and other capabilities acquired by man as a member of society’. Culture is passed from one generation to succeeding generations through immaterial culture, such as values, norms, language, rituals, and symbols, and material culture, such as objects, art, and institutions. Different cultures are more or less supportive of the capitalist mode of production and may increase or lower the cost of doing business. Values provide the context within which a society’s norms are established and justified. They…show more content…
The value systems of many Western societies emphasize individual achievement. The emphasis of on individualism in the United States help to create a dynamic entrepreneurial economy, raise the cost of doing business due to its adverse impact on managerial stability and cooperation. The dynamism of the U.S. economy owes much to the philosophy of individualism. However, the emphasis on individual performance in many Western societies has some harmful aspects. Individualism can lead to a lack of company loyalty and failure to gain company-specific knowledge, competition between individuals in a company rather than team building and limitation of people's ability to develop a strong network of contacts within a firm. Individualism also finds expression in a high degree of managerial mobility between companies, which is not always a good thing. One positive aspect of high managerial mobility is that executives are exposed to different ways of doing…show more content…
Social mobility varies significantly from society to society.The most rigid system of stratification is a caste system. A class system is a less rigid form of social stratification in which social mobility is possible. For example, in the United States, the class system is less pronounced than in Britain and mobility is greater and class membership is determined to a much greater degree by individual economic achievements, as opposed to background and schooling, thus by his or her own economic achievement, an individual can move smoothly from the working class to the upper class in a lifetime. The high degree of social mobility and the extreme emphasis on individualism in American society limit the impact of class background on business operations. On the other hand, in a country such as Great Britain, the relative lack of class mobility and the differences between classes have resulted in class consciousness. An antagonistic relationship between management and labour classes leads to lacking of cooperation and high level of industrial disruption, which can make it more difficult for companies based in such countries to establish a competitive advantage in the global

More about Individualism In Business

Open Document