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Individualism vs Collectivism

Individualism Collectivism
In the words of In the words of Peter
Oscar Wilde, Cajander, "We don't
"Society exists have
only as a mental private property, only
concept; in the degrees of
real world there collectivism."
are only
Definition "Individualism is "Collectivism is the
the degree to which degree to which people
people have an define the self as
independent interdependent and as a
definition of self." member of particular
― (Triandis, 1995; groups rather than
Gelfand and Realo, independent of others."
1999). ― (Gelfand and Realo,

Cultural An individual is An individual has to

Setup free to discontinue remain a part of the
any unsatisfactory group, even if he is
relationship. unwilling.

The fundamental issue addressed by this dimension is the degree of

interdependence a society maintains among its members. It has to do with whether
people´s self-image is defined in terms of “I” or “We”. In Individualist societies people
are supposed to look after themselves and their direct family only. In Collectivist
societies people belong to ‘in groups’ that take care of them in exchange for loyalty.
Norway vs Turkey

Norway Turkey

Capital Oslo Ankara

Largest Oslo Instambul
Population 5.233.000 79.510.000
Currency Norwegian krone Turkish lira

Norway with a score of 69 is considered an Individualist society. This

means that the “Self” is important and individual, personal opinions are valued
and expressed. Communication is explicit. At the same time the right to
privacy is important and respected. There are clear lines between work and
private life. Job mobility is higher and one thinks in terms of individual
careers. The employer-employee relationship is based on a contract and leaders
focus on management of individuals. Feedback is direct and nepotism is not

Turkey, with a score of 37 is a collectivistic society. This means that the

“We” is important, people belong to in-groups (families, clans or
organisations) who look after each other in exchange for loyalty.
Communication is indirect and the harmony of the group has to be maintained,
open conflicts are avoided. The relationship has a moral base and this always
has priority over task fulfillment. Time must be invested initially to establish a
relationship of trust. Nepotism may be found more often. Feedback is always
indirect, also in the business environment.


These differences in the opinions, approaches, and cultures existed since time
immemorial. Over a period of time, these differences got magnified. The
purview of these differences are perhaps going to deepen with the changing