Hofstede and National Culture: a guest viewpoint by Charles Hampden-Turner

A Dutch colleague of ours, Geert Hofstede, measures national cultures. He found that China thinks very long-termbut Britain and the USA think very short-term. Likewise China is high in self-control while the UK and USA are much higher in self-indulgence, being much more related to consumption than production.  

This clearly relates to the COVID-19 pandemic. Young people want to go to bars and beaches and indulge themselves, while it takes self-control to self-isolate and keep your distance. One reason China can build a hospital in 9 days, is that it thinks long-term and keeps building modules in reserve. What takes nine days is the assembly of what had been stored. The long-term includes the short-term. If you  exercise control now you can indulge later, but it does not work the other way around.   

Charles Hampden-Turner is a British management philosopher, and Senior Research Associate at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge since 1990. He is the co-founder and Director of Research and Development at the Trompenaars-Hampden-Turner Group, in Amsterdam.