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Two types of collectivism: intragroup relationship orientation in Japan and intergroup comparison orientation in the United States

Author: Takemura, Kosuke ; Yuki, Masaki ; Maddux, William W.INSEAD Area: Organisational Behaviour Series: Working Paper ; 2007/54/OB Publisher: Fontainebleau : INSEAD, 2007.Language: EnglishDescription: 37 p.Type of document: INSEAD Working PaperAbstract: Previous research has demonstrated that although North Americans are typically seen as highly individualistic, they are actually no less group-oriented than "collectivistic" East Asians. However, this may be the case because group-orientations of East Asians and North Americans are qualitatively different: the former are more intragroup-relationship oriented, whereas the latter are more intergroup-comparison oriented. Results from two cross-cultural studies in Japan and the United States supported this hypothesis. In an initial questionnaire study, relative to Americans, collectivist concerns of Japanese were found to be more focused on interpersonal relationships and cooperation within ingroups, whereas Americans' concerns were focused more on relative status differences between ingroups and outgroups. Study 2, using a memory-recall task, replicated the same pattern. We discuss how these findings impact our understanding of culture and different group processes and their broader relationship to open vs. closed social environments.
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INSEAD Working Paper Asia Campus
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Print Available BC008012
INSEAD Working Paper Europe Campus
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Print Available BC008011
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Previous research has demonstrated that although North Americans are typically seen as highly individualistic, they are actually no less group-oriented than "collectivistic" East Asians. However, this may be the case because group-orientations of East Asians and North Americans are qualitatively different: the former are more intragroup-relationship oriented, whereas the latter are more intergroup-comparison oriented. Results from two cross-cultural studies in Japan and the United States supported this hypothesis. In an initial questionnaire study, relative to Americans, collectivist concerns of Japanese were found to be more focused on interpersonal relationships and cooperation within ingroups, whereas Americans' concerns were focused more on relative status differences between ingroups and outgroups. Study 2, using a memory-recall task, replicated the same pattern. We discuss how these findings impact our understanding of culture and different group processes and their broader relationship to open vs. closed social environments.

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