. India is a highly collectivistic
society. Collectivist cultures value relationships and social intimacy with
their immediate and extended family/ friends (Gopalan & Rivera, 1997).
Indian cultures are known to have closely knitted social groups that are
distinguished through their common caste, religion, etc (Gopalan & Rivera,
1997). In the workplace, it is common for employers to use their biases when
making decisions such as hiring to create a closely-knitted work environment.
For example, many employers choose to hire, promote employees that fall in
their own social subgroups and discriminate those who do not (Gopalan &
Rivera, 1997). Indian culture is highly
characterized by masculine attributes where wealth and financial achievements
are considered the optipotique of
success. In India, one of the quickest means to climb up on the social ladder
is through acquiring a huge sum of wealth which improves one’s status and
reputation in society(). This
explain why India’s culture is highly dedicated to their work life and “monetary
forms of compensation and job security” are key motivators to increase job
performance (Gopalan & Rivera, 1997). Indian
culture also has a low uncertainty avoidance meaning the nation is comfortable
with uncertainty and ambiguity with fewer rules and regulations controlling
their daily lives (Hofstede Insights, 2018). In a job setting, employees
experienced an increase in job performance when given fewer rules opposed to
having more rules and regulations ( ). Indian culture also has a high-power
distance, which is reflective of the culture’s hierarchical caste structure.
The caste system is shown in the country’s workforce where members of the
higher caste have higher job positions/ salaries whereas members of the lower
castes tend to have lower job positions (Gopalan & Rivera, 1997). In
addition, the high-power distance makes it difficult for employees in a lower
position to communicate openly to their managers and employers. For example,
during meetings employees are discouraged from voicing their opinions or
providing feedback in fear of punishment they may face by their employer in
doing so (Harrell, 2016).
to India, Canada has a low power distance, with concrete laws and regulations
aimed to promote equality (Government of Canada, 2018). On the other hand,
India has a high power distance where some members of society face “unequal
distribution of power” due to the caste system (Nardon & Steers, 2010). Although
India has some laws and regulations that promote equality amongst its citizens,
it is lacking more laws and regulations compared Canada (Government of Canada, 2018).
Another major difference is orientation to time. In Canada, decisions are made
to improve future prospects such as environmental laws, infrastructure
policies. In contrast, decisions in India are influenced by traditions and past
events such as ancient astrology which plays a significant role in people’s
lives and is used to predict one’s future and planning future events (Gopalan
& Rivera, 1997). For example, personal and business activities are not
scheduled during the unlucky rahu galam and yama gantam time periods (Gopalan
& Rivera, 1997). Additionally, Canada is an individualistic society where high
level of dependency as viewed as being weak whereas India’s collectivistic
society views dependency as a positive trait.
is likely misunderstandings/difficulties may arise for a Canadian foreigner while
working in India due to cultural differences including difficulty understanding
the discriminatory caste bias many Indian practice. They may also have
difficulty understanding the past traditonal way of thinking and making decisions.
However, I believe the India’s collectivistic culture would be the most
difficult to adapt to because, Canadian children are taught to be independent
and are taught to have an individualistic way of teaching from an early age
which makes it difficult to adjust to at an older age.