Individualism vs. Collectivisim : Which One Is Better, or Should We Find a Middle Way ?

Topics: Management, Leadership, Subprime mortgage crisis Pages: 4 (865 words) Published: June 12, 2013

by Ş.Merve Ulus

What is asked in the heading of this article has been discussed for several times by business authorities and still an accurate answer cannot be found. Let me write the definitions of these expressions first.

Individualism : Philosophy or quality that characterizes a manager or employee who makes decisions and performs tasks in his own way or style. The advantage of encouraging individualism is that creativity and naturalism may result in greater motivation and accomplishment. However, the company must be careful that the employee does not ignore corporate goals and policies. The principle that the single person is more important than than the group and that people should work and own things for their own advantage.

Collectivism : Personal or social orientation that emphasizes the good of the group, community, or society over and above individual gain. A theory or political system based on the principle that all factories, farms, etc., should be controlled by or for all the people of a country.

Individualism was actually an outcome of the "heroic leadership" concept. We can summarize hero leader syndrome as any leader’s belief that he or she can do everything better than anyone else is a root cause of inhibiting workforce productivity. One of the most important and latest example was The Subprime Mortgage Problem which was mentioned in the article of "Rebuilding Companies as Communities" by Henry Mintzberg. What leaders generally did was sat in their offices and announced the goals they wanted others to attain, instead of getting on the ground and helping improve performance. Executives didn’t know what was going on, and employees didn’t care what went on. Eventually in the Mortgage problem, actions were taken without considering and evaluating outcomes due to motivator factors.

This failure has also occurred throughout the private...

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