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Think British!

Iain Henderson

Faculty Blog

English: Cows near Field Barn

Cows near Field Barn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


We all agree that 21st century managers need to appreciate that national culture is an important factor when managing diverse, multinational teams or organisations.

There is no doubt that people from different cultures tend to hold different values. People from Western societies like the US and UK tend to be more individualistic in social relationships, so they are motivated more by personal goals and achievements.  Non-Westerners' from countries like Japan and China on the other hand, are more collectivistic - they tend to see themselves as part of larger social groups and are motivated more by the success of their family or social group.

And research has shown that Westerners often think differently to Non-Westerners. For example when asked whether a cow should be paired with grass or a chicken, people from the US tend to choose the chicken because cows and chickens are both farmyard animals. People from China tend to choose the grass, because cows eat grass.

Most of the world also agrees that the British are different – perhaps impressively so or  maybe just weirdly so, depending on your viewpoint.

Do you want to think like a Brit?  Or are you worried that you might be thinking like a Brit?

Well now you can find out.

A new (free) app, 'Global Village: Discover Your Thinking Style', lets you compare your own thinking style with the rest of the world.   It was devised by researchers at Durham University and Queen Mary University of London, and funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council.  The app lets users discover which nationality they most think like.

The Global Village app works out thinking styles through a mixture of games and quizzes. After completing the tasks the app gives users a score and allows them to compare this to the average score recorded in different countries, to reveal which nationality they most think like.

The Global Village app, compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, is available as a free download from the iTunes store.

You can read about the research behind the app here.