• Place great importance on individual identity
  • Derive identity from personal choices and achievements
  • Prefer taking action on one's own


  • Place great importance on group harmony and cooperation
  • Derive identity from group affiliation
  • Feel a sense of duty, obligation, and loyalty to ascribed groups

Example: You are tasked with making a recommendation for process improvements in a organizational system. Will you put forth your own ideas, perhaps touching base with one or two others? Or will you try to touch base with everyone in your group to make sure that all views are reflected in the recommendation?


  • Be comfortable challenging the views of superiors
  • Be relatively flexible regarding roles
  • Treat everyone much the same
  • Assume power and authority should be shared broadly among a group


  • Prefer not to challenge those above them
  • Be deferential to superiors
  • Adapt their behavior depending on relative status
  • Assume power and authority should be reserved for a few members of a group

Example: You arrive for a meeting at a prospective customer. You are greeted by the president's assistant, and brought to his office. The number two person in the company starts the meeting, referring to his boss throughout on issues related to decisions, information shared, etc. Do you tend to talk to whomever you like, whomever you need to get the information you need without regard to title or status... Or are you likely to defer to status and rank, based on your belief that position and title have a key purpose and need to be respected?


  • Prefer rapid decision-making and quick results
  • Place great importance on flexibility and initiative
  • Value speed over thoroughness
  • Certainty
  • Spend significant time on background research
  • Establish proper procedures before starting a project
  • Value thoroughness over speed

Example: You are attending a presentation. A superior is asking you to make a decision regarding your department's ability to commit to a specific goal by the end of the month. Do you tend to make an approximate guess at the number of units you believe your department will produce, figuring it's better to shoot for a high goal, than to be too conservative. Or, do you ask for more information, require time to research many different factors, want some assurance of the qualifications of the individual or group asking the questions, need to consult other members of the group, etc.?


  • Come to the point quickly
  • Be forthright in asking questions in most settings
  • Be comfortable making requests, giving direction, or disagreeing with others
  • Give negative feedback directly


  • Spend time explaining the context before coming to the point
  • Avoid asking questions in public settings
  • Express disagreement in subtle ways
  • Give negative feedback indirectly

Example: There have been some complaints about a colleague's work. Do you talk to the person immediately, and not worry too much about where you are having the conversation and who might be listening? Or are you more apt to go for a drink or lunch with the person, preferring a non-threatening, relaxed setting to feel out how things are going in general?


  • Place high value on reaching goals and objectives on schedule
  • Prioritize accomplishing tasks over maintaining relationships
  • Focus on what people achieve more than who they know


  • View time building relationships as key to achieving good results
  • Prioritize maintaining relationships over accomplishing tasks on time
  • Focus on who people know as much as what they themselves can achieve

Example: You are meeting a prospective colleague for the first time over lunch in a restaurant. Do you bring handouts with you and begin discussing business as soon as introductions are over? Or do you spend a leisurely amount of time (possibly the duration of the entire meal) finding out about the other person's background and interests and waiting to talk business until another time?