Difference Between Asian and American Business Culture

Asian vs American Business Culture

Between Asian and American business culture, we can identify a number of differences and the primary being the distance between the owner and the employee. People act on what they believe. The way they think and make initiatives are partially or fully depend on their innate culture. This premise can also be applicable to the business environment as well. Organizations at present accept and value diverse workforce because they believe that diversity brings productive outcomes. This diversity has led in a larger extent to differentiate and to bring different settings in countries. Theoretically, the cultural differences are attributed to different models and theories. However, there are apparent differences between Asian and the American business culture. The values that might be really valued in Asia might not be pleasing to American business people. There are clear differences among distribution of power, collectivism of the two contexts, what they value, the uncertainties they face and how they think accordingly, people’s long-term orientations in the two contexts and the happiness of people among Asia and the America.

What is the Asian Business Culture?

Importantly, the distance between owner and the employees of organizations are relatively high in Asian countries. The distance between the owners and the employees is defined upon the distribution of power within the organization. Therefore, business companies in Asia do not value this concept and, as a result, the distance between managers and employees become high comparatively. This distance leads organizations to create employee dependency. And as a result in the long term employee dissatisfaction is occurred. Theoretically, this nature refers to power distance (Hofstede 1980).

Next, the collectivism among people in Asian countries is relatively high. People in Asia value a collective society. Business decisions are made collaboratively. This collectiveness leads to high organizational productivity. This nature refers to collectivism (Hofstede 1980). In third, comparatively, competitiveness, success, and achievement of the society is less in Asian countries. However, this context holds the characteristics of masculine (Hofstede 1980). It is accepted that Asian countries are masculine in nature in the perspective of visual display of power and success. Also, these countries value traditions and spirituals. Next cultural factor that depicts the Asian business culture is uncertainty avoidance (Hofstede 1980). This explains the extent to which the society is threatened by inherent ambiguities and threats. It is said that Asia holds the characteristics of low uncertainty avoidance which means a low preference on the dimension. The next dimension discusses the linkages a society would make with people’s present, past, and the future. A society that holds low in this dimensions, values timely honored traditions while the others assume pragmatic approaches. Asia holds a preference for uncertainty avoidance and thus pragmatic approaches are anticipated. Finally, the dimension of indulgence refers to happiness of the society in general (Hofstede 1980). The opposite of this dimension refers to restraint. Asian culture is restraint in general. As a result, restraining cultures control desires in relation to gratification.

Difference Between Asian and American Business Culture

So, in overall, Asian business cultures do not accept the distribution of power and thus negative results are expected in organizational productivity. The good sign of culture is that the societal members accept the collective culture and thus collectivism brings positive outcomes in organizations. The masculinity of Asian countries bring characteristics of power and success, and this is a good sign. Low uncertainty avoidance brings Asia to stability in business dealings and culture as they face fewer ambiguities in a business. Finally, the restraining culture in Asia cause people to control their gratifications and thus dissatisfaction on business dealings are expected.

What is the American Business Culture?

In the United States, the distance between the owners and their employees are really low. And thus, positive outcomes are expected since the delegation of authority is practiced in organizations. Independence among organizational members is expected in this nature. On the other hand, the US holds characteristics of individualism, which is the society accepted ‘I’ culture. As a result, informal combination patterns, team management, information sharing is expected in conjunction with less power distant and individualism. Masculinity is observed in a country like US, and thus power and success are anticipated in the country. Also, the country prefers low on uncertainty avoidance. This effects on businesses to impose projections as ambiguities are comparatively low in the US. A low preference for long-term orientation states that the timely honored traditions are expected. In the business perspective, analysis of information to measure its accuracy prior to decision-making, performance evaluation on short term basis are expected. Finally, strong preference on indulgent depicts that the society’s people work hard in their businesses and thus positive results are expected.

Asian vs American Business Culture

What is the difference between Asian and American Business Culture?

• Power Distance:

• Asia’s power distance is relatively high compared to the US.

• Individualism:

• Comparatively strong preference is observed in individualism in the US when compared to Asia.

• Masculinity:

• Both countries show preferences on masculinity, and thus power and success are expected.

• Uncertainty Avoidance:

• Both countries relatively show a preference for low uncertainty avoidance.

• Long-Term Orientations:

• Relatively, Asia, especially, India shows a strong preference for long-term orientation and thus pragmatic approaches are expected.

• Indulgence:

• Higher indulgence is observed in the United States compared to Asia. This means people’s controls over ratifications are less.



  1. Hofstede, G., 1980. Culture’s Consequences: International Differences in Work-Related Values, Beverly Hills CA: Sage Publications.


Images Courtesy:

  1. Shaili Chopra, Senior Editor and Lead Anchor, ET NOW, India by World Economic Forum (CC BY-SA 2.0)
  2. Businessmen via Wikicommons (Public Domain)