Long term orientation

Long term orientation
See also

Long term orientation is term used by Geert Hofstede in 1991 to describe particular type of difference in different national societies. Main characteristics of long term orientation are[1][2]:

  • emphasis on persistence and tradition
  • common norms apply in all situations
  • high role of status in relationships
  • people must adapt to societal norms and not vice versa
  • personal time is not important
  • thriftiness is valued trait
  • investments in real estate is seen as good
  • long term employment and good relationships with employer
  • individuals are willing to compromise and value conflict resolution

Long term aspects[edit]

  • view of the future – predicting the future in order to achieve long term goals and benefits
  • basis for taking action – setting the predetermined goals and finding the optimal solutions to gain the best result
  • predisposition toward risk/ resources – keeping the control of the risk and using affordable resources in the most efficient way
  • attitudes toward unexpected contingencies – detailed planning, predicting carefully and focusing on target in order to avoid unexpected contingencies[3].

Long term orientation in countries[edit]

People who are oriented in long term, they look towards to the future. According to some surveys (firstly done by Hofstede) the most long term oriented cultures come from Asia (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan), middle-ranked are European ones (France, Italy) and the lowest places (meaning short-term oriented) belong to Pakistan society. The highest score in the survey means that country culture encourages to self discipline and diligent that allow to better preparing for coming time[4].

Long term orientation in business[edit]

Long term orientation has an impact on behavior of participants in business process like trade. Due to its assumptions, it excludes interference in relationships through strong conflicts or competitions. Subordinates are self disciplined and ready to comply because they believe that it is in their interests as a whole society. Long term oriented people are more focus on learning and developing their work skills and they are aware of real-world consequences[5]. In literature there are distinguished six aspects of trade in which long term orientation plays an important role[6]:

  • partner selection – traders are interested in creating long lasting relationship and they would not deal with a stranger in order to make one time deal
  • trade strategy selection – people do not trade products that they are not sure about their quality, they follow a thrifty strategy to keep their relations and avoid the risk of losing the partner
  • negotiation behavior – traders are very patience, they do not overreact and overcharge
  • truthful or untruthful delivery – people always deliver high-quality commodities and they do not take advantage of possibility to send lower quality to make an extra profit
  • trust or distrust – traders do not easily trust new partners and the time is needed to develop the relations
  • maintenance of beliefs about partners – they keep their opinions about collaborators and it is difficult to change it

Time horizons have a foremost importance in other business decisions like setting goals or investing in initiatives that can create firm value. The managers that are long-term oriented manage the different area of company as below[7]:

  • Human Resource Managementknowledge and skills of experienced workforce is one of the most valuable company’s asset, there is difficult to replace those employees so there is important to develop and take care of them
  • Business Portfolio Management – cool-headed and balance approach to any mergers or acquisitions, balanced portfolio development strategy and continuation of activities
  • Corporate Investment Behavior – re-investment of profits into business in stable and continuously way



  1. Brigham, K. H., 2014, pp. 1
  2. Nevins, J. L., 2007, pp. 3
  3. Hang Y., 2015, pp. 14-17
  4. Zhang L., 2012, pp. 68
  5. Hofstede G., 2008, pp. 2-5
  6. Hofstede G., 2008, pp. 2-5
  7. Brauer M.F, 2013, pp. 389-392

Author: Justyna Kurnik