The cultural profile of a country can be classified according to the doing and be aspects (Zaharna, 2001). Living in America exposes me to diverse cultures; However it is so clear that the majority of the Americans are doing oriented people. In this classification, doing culture is said to be an activity oriented culture that individuals with this kind of cultural disposition values tasks and activities with attainments that can be measured (Pothier, 2013).
The core concerns, in this case, are solid attainments, attainment, and visible products of doing. In perspective, being-oriented cultures attainment is not a valuable aspect and what matters most is what an individual is as opposed to what an individual does. In the being oriented culture, an important aspect is a person’s family background, age, and rank (Zaharna, 2001).
The American culture is a doing- culture and individuals earn respect based on their achievements in the society (Pothier, 2013). Individuals are more concerned with making progress in their places of works and the political sphere (Pothier, 2013). What matters most are the attainments made by a person in the various spheres of life.
As part of my quest to understand the American culture, I am always very interested in exploring this doing aspect of American culture, as it would help me to understand American society from more depth. Especially, studying the American system as a whole trains its youth to be a “doing person”. Through my studies and living experience, I found that American universities are the place which serves as a molding tray for youth culture. Therefore, American universities are the ideal community to learn about the doing aspect of American culture (Guiso et al., 2015). Additionally, studying the American organizational culture would also provide valuable information about this American doing oriented aspect.
The doing or being nature of the culture is determined by its dominant attitudes or behavior. However, as The United States is truly multicultural; its cultural values are the function of the values of all the other cultures (Pfeffer & Sutton, 2013). Having said that, some individuals or groups in united states might be of the being nature rather than of the doing nature, but I found that majority of the people in the United States are off doing nature. Below is the list of some of the key characteristics of American doing culture as observed in the American universities and corporate.
- Achievement Orientation – I was amazed to view that both American university graduates and the corporate professionals were achievement-oriented They valued hard work, and their reward structure is also based on this achievement orientation. They are not only achievement oriented in their professional life but also in their play time. What I loved the most about the American culture is that they not only compete with others, they also complete with themselves (i.e. better performance than the past)
- Planning for the future/Adapt to change – American are taught right from their formative years that have to plan for the future and should adapt to the change. For instance, in American universities, the students plan for the future by working on the internship programs. The American scholars also coined the concept of change management. The Doing nature of Americans Allows them to be more adapt to change and better plan their future.
- Direct/assertive – American youth is groomed in such a way that they are more comfortable to sort out differences face-to-face. For instances, the American students are more comfortable to ask their professors difficult questions or disagree with them if they got solid arguments. On the other hand, the American Corporate professionals are also allowed to disagree with their boss, if they feel that they are doing right.
- Equality – Equality is in the basic foundations of American culture. As America is a true synthesis of the global cultural landscape. There are people from around the world in America. However, they are not treated with any discrimination, in spite, Americans treat all individuals equally. Even in the classroom environment, students call their professors by their first name. In the American corporate world, the employees call their bosses by their first name. This feeling of equality is a cornerstone of the doing culture, where people get respect for their contribution to the society, not due to some status or sir name.
- Time – For doing people, time is money, and this is no exception in America, people get most out of their time. Even students who submit their work late gets penalized by the instructors. Same applies to the corporates, where time is considered as a critical resource.
From my analysis, I understood the American culture, the doing culture, and its characteristics. American youth is trained to be achievement oriented, adaptive to change; direct, equality-minded and time conscious. These features are then also observed in the American organizational culture. Recognizing these differences and understanding the uniqueness of each culture allows me to understand others preferences and so be able to work better with them.