August 02, 2009

We and I

In her speech on the Swiss National Day yesterday, August 1st, Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard spoke about “We and I”. Ms. Leuthard said, for example this:
"Meine Damen und Herren, die Doppelnatur des Menschen, einerseits frei sein, selbstbestimmt sein eigenes Leben einrichten zu wollen und sich anderseits in einer Gemeinschaft aufgehoben zu wissen, sich in der Not auf diese verlassen zu können, ist eines der Kernelemente unseres Staates."

Having a look at the dimension "individualism" of Geert Hofstede’s research on cultural differences, I noticed that there are relatively large differences between countries across the world. With a score of 91, The United States of America leads the individualism dimension. Countries such as Guatemala and Ecuador (scores of 6 and 8 respectively) have the lowest scores. Switzerland has a score of 68 on the individualism dimension.

Reflecting on this topic, I came to think about a couple of questions for you:

Question # 1: Thinking about a job you do, which of these motivates you the most?
A. The money you earn.
B. The people you work with – including customers and suppliers.
C. The job itself.

Question # 2: How big do you think the difference between the highest and the lowest salary of companies, you work for, should be?
A. Less than factor 1:10, i.e. the person with the highest salary earns less than 10 times more than the person with the lowest salary.
B. Between factor 1:10 and factor 1:30.
C. Higher than factor 1:30.
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