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Individualism, Collectivism and Attributions of Failure

Focus on the information about culture and attribution.

Imagine that a group of business people from two different cultures (one from a collectivistic culture and another from an individualistic culture) work together on a business project and at the end, the project fails.

Consider how people from individualistic and collectivistic cultures would respond to failure and to which factors they would most likely attribute their failures.

Then please answer these question in 300 words or more:

Assess or evaluate how people from two cultures would most likely respond to the failure.

Provide specific examples.

Describe an example of a group situation of which you were a part, in which a project failed, a goal was not reached, etc.

To what did the group attribute the failure?

Was the attribution characteristic of individualistic or collectivistic cultures?

Explain how someone from the other type of culture individualistic and collectivistic might explain the same situation.

Please provide references!

Some resources you can refer to:

Gardiner, Harry W., & Kosmitzki, C. (2011). Lives across cultures: Cross-cultural human development (5th Ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education; Chapter 7, "Culture and Social Behavior ," pp. 187-194; Chapter 8, "Culture and Issues of Gender and Sexuality," pp. 210-212.

Matsumoto, D., & Juang, L. (2008). Culture and psychology (4th Ed.). Belmont, CA: Thompson Wadsworth;.Chapter 13, "Culture and Social Behavior, I, Self and Identity," pp. 350-355; Chapter 14, "Culture and Social Behavior, II, Interpersonal and Intergroup Relations," pp. 389-391.

Article: Friedman, R., Liu, W., Chen, C. C., & Chi, S. S. (2007). Causal attribution for interfirm contract violation: A comparative study of Chinese and American commercial arbitrators. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92(3), 856-864. Retrieved August 29, 2007, from the PsycARTICLES database.

Article: Higgins, N. C., & Bhatt, G. (2001). Culture moderates the self-serving bias: Etic and emic features of casual attributions in India and Canada. Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal, 29(1), 49-61. Retrieved August 29, 2007, from the Academic Search Premier database.

Article: Nasser, R., & Abouchedid, K. (2006). Locus of control and the attribution for poverty: Comparing Lebanese and South African university students. Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal; 34(7), 777-795. Retrieved August 29, 2007, from the Academic Search Premier database.

Article: Thanzami, V. L., & Archer, J. (2005). Beliefs about aggression in British students from individualist and collectivist cultures. Aggressive Behavior, 31(4), 350-358. Retrieved August 29, 2007, from the Academic Search Premier database.

Solution Preview

Dear Student,

Hi and thank you for using Brainmass. The solution below should get you started. It appears to me that you need to present a 'situation', something you are familiar with, then proceed to answer your main question - how they would respond to failure - bearing in mind the supporting questions you have listed. Your question also posted that you need 300 words or more to get this question answered. To get this question answered 'well', it is important to create an outline. I suggest the following:

1. Sample Situation - here we need to create a hypothetical scenario. I have worked time and again in countries across Southeast Asia and I am quite familiar with individual and collective cultures having lived in both. As such, I created this situation for you below. However if you like, you can create your own scenario based on this. This should be around 200 words.

2. Reactions of Failure - here explain the reaction to failure from a socio-cultural viewpoint of the collective culture - about 150 words; then to the same for individualistic culture - 150 words.

3. Analysis of the reaction - is it typical of their cultural characteristic? To get extra points, try and use a psychological/cultural theory. Here, I will introduce a psychological theory related to culture. I am unsure if you have come across this as it is part of Postgrad studies, but I think your professor will be impressed that you have done extra research. Here, we will use 150 words.

4. References - here we will post a list of references used in the paper.

The outline above will yield around 650 words. Double the word count and more but I think it is what you need to give a justified answer. I have written a far more extensive solution below that follows this same outline (except the word count) to provide you with ideas and arguments. If you have any questions about this solution, just let me know via the feedback section and I'll try to clarify things for you a little more. Good luck with your studies. You can also use the listed resources to explore the topic more.

OTA 105878/Xenia Jones

Cross-Cultural Psychology: Individualism vs. Collectivism

The Situation

An American expatriate was sent over to Thailand to run its local operations. Coming from an individualistic culture, he is soon experiencing culture shock in the way his employees and staff conduct themselves at work. One of his main tasks is to make the company profitable. He discovered that the local office can stand to lose ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides information, assistance and advice to students in tackling the problem listed above. The solution first explains how the assignment can be completed and suggests an outline for a paper that covers all the requirements. Then, this is supplemented by a 1,315-word narrative that is based on this outline to exemplify how the paper can be done. A specific situation is described and the reactions of 2 specific cultures are then described and explored, especially attributions of failure. A discussion on individualism and collectivism is also included in the solution. Resources are listed for further exploration of the topic.