When it comes to business, there are two significant schools of thought: Eastern vs Western philosophies. Each has its own unique set of principles that guide how companies operate. But what are the key differences between these two philosophies? This blog post will explore the differences between Eastern and Western business philosophies and see which one is better suited for today’s competitive marketplace.
How are West and East Different?
In the Western approach to business, the focus is on profit and efficiency. Hierarchical companies usually run enterprises with a transparent chain of command. Employees follow orders and meet quotas, and there is little room for creativity or innovation. In contrast, Eastern businesses emphasize teamwork and collaboration. Eastern businesses give their employees more freedom to make decisions and encourage creativity. This allows companies to be more nimble, brainstorm ways to increase sales, and be adaptable in today’s rapidly changing marketplace.
Eastern vs Western Collaboration
Collaboration is essential in business because it can make the work environment better. It encourages teams to communicate and be aware of their strengths and weaknesses. When teamwork comes naturally, many great things come out of it, including improved communication, morale, and creativity.
Businesses often emphasize harmony and cooperation to achieve a common goal in the east. Western philosophy focuses on competition and individualism. This very much reminds me of business school’s motto. “The goal of a business is to increase shareholder wealth.” Competition and rising to the top (even in your own team) is the name of the game. Let’s compare Eastern Vs Western. Eastern companies believe that they can create something much better than if everyone was working independently by working together. In fact, in some cases, it’s even better for them to compromise on certain things, such as their personal interests, to create a more wholesome product.
Individualism is a Dying Belief
Politicians love to say that small business is the backbone of the US economy. Politicians praise small businesses for their ingenuity, hard work, and grassroots entrepreneurialism. But a new study from Harvard Business School suggests that* small businesses might not be as successful as we think – and individualism might be to blame.
The study’s authors analyzed data from more than 20,000 small businesses in the United States. They found that those with a more collectivist mindset (those who emphasize the importance of working together for the common good) were more likely to be successful than those with an individualist mindset. Collectivism was associated with a 28% increase in income and a 42% increase in profitability.
So what’s the problem? If individualism is a dying belief, why are we still teaching it as the underlying philosophy of success in our business education system?
Arguments for Collectivism
I would argue that individualism is not only outdated but also detrimental to small businesses today. The Harvard Business School study shows how modern companies benefit from more collaborative approaches to entrepreneurship and management. In this age of globalization and ever-changing technology, it’s more important than ever for businesses to work together to survive and thrive.
The bottom line is this: If you want your small business to succeed, you need to start thinking collectively. There are plenty of resources available to help you get started – including books, articles, and online courses. But don’t just rely on these tools alone; make sure you’re actively seeking opportunities to work with other small business owners in your community.
You may find that some of the best advice comes from those who have been there before, so don’t be afraid to ask for help! It’s time we stop pretending that individualism is still relevant. It’s time we stop pretending that small businesses can succeed without collaboration or collective thinking.
Working together will help you build a stronger foundation for your business, making it easier to stay afloat through difficult times like these. So get out there and start collaborating! I promise you won’t regret it.
Going Deeper: Maximize the Best of Each Teammate
Understanding your co-worker’s strengths and weaknesses is essential because it allows you to capitalize on their strengths and minimize the impact of their weaknesses. For example, suppose your co-worker is terrible at public speaking but good at writing memos. In that case, you might ask them to write memos instead of giving presentations.
In my educational experience, even stemming from business school, the belief is that money and self-interest motivate people.
As a result, businesses in the west tend to be more focused on making profits and less focused on creating a positive work environment or developing their employees. In contrast, eastern business philosophy emphasizes the importance of harmony and balance in the workplace.
In my family’s business, a Filipino-run factory from the 1990s, we believed in teamwork. We gathered different ideas and even as a teen, I had a ton of responsibility. I mean, who in Western culture would trust a teen to close six-figure sales and manage $100K in cash per month? In hindsight, I see this as our Western-US-based company run in an Eastern philosophy mentality. It worked for us and I think it can work for others too!
So, which philosophy is better? There is no right or wrong answer – it depends on what you value most. The western business philosophy is for you if you value profits above everything else. But suppose you place more importance on creating a positive work environment and developing your employees. In that case, eastern business philosophy is a better fit.
Latest Research Says Praising Employees Boosts …. https://www.forbes.com/sites/christophernelson/2015/11/01/latest-research-says-praising-employees-boosts-productivity-after-all/
Janet Johnson is the author of My Money Pivot: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Finding & Making More Money. Before becoming a coach, Janet gained seventeen years of experience in a family-owned manufacturing company. She also trained small business owners in Financial Management and Lean Enterprise through contracts with the State of Connecticut and the Small Business Administration for seven years.