1.4.5 - The Concept of Time
The exercise with the shopkeeper behind the counter
demonstrates how culture even determines how we line up (or queue) for service.
It also demonstrates our concern, or lack of concern, about how we use time.
The two poles or extremes of this time dimension— monochronic
and polychronic are described below:
is the given and people are the variable. The needs of people are adjusted
to suit the demands of time—schedules,
deadlines, etc. Time is quantifiable,
and a limited amount of it is
available. People do one thing at a time and finish it before starting
something else, regardless of
is the servant and tool of people. Time is adjusted to suit the needs
of people. More time is always available, and you are never too busy. People often
have to do several things simultaneously, as
required by circumstances. It’s not necessary to finish one thing before
starting another, nor to finish your business with one person before starting in with another.
Try testing how well you understand these concepts
|In the underlined blank
space before each of the behaviors or characteristics listed below, put
“M” if you think it is more
likely to apply to a culture where time is monochronic and “P”
if it is polychronic.
look at the suggested answers.