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Correlating Time Orientations and Burnout : Using Inter-Cultural Skills to Combat Societal Problems PDF Print E-mail
Written by Corina Mihaela Paraschiv   
Monday, 24 March 2008 16:57
Article Index
Correlating Time Orientations and Burnout : Using Inter-Cultural Skills to Combat Societal Problems
Societal Implications
Monochronic and Polychronic Time Orientation
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Did you ever notice how your relationship to time determines some of the social problems of your country? In South Africa, in Cape Verde, your most important resource is money. Rich people run after money. In North America, time is your most important asset. Rich people run after time. The attitude towards time is therefore drastically different.

Monochronic and Polychronic Time Orientation

In Cape Verde, the polychronic nature of time is apparent in daily life. People are very laid back and never in a hurry to either serve you or get served. This attitude is very interesting because underlying this are different expectations; the monocrhonic North American confronted to an extended period of wait feels frustration and stress, whereas someone from a polychronic society is not disturbed at all by the wait. The attitude towards life was also very different in Africa and in North America; in Africa, people were keener on seizing the day, because tomorrow was rather uncertain, whereas the entire North American society is projected forward in time. Idiomatic expressions can illustrate this mentality. In Quebec, Canada, a popular saying goes: “On récolte ce qu'on sème”, which can be translated to “we will later reap what we planted today”.



 
 

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