Cultural Perceptions of Time in Organizations: Monochronic and Polychronic Time Video

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Cultural Perceptions of Power in Organizations: Low and High Power Distance

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:06 Culture & Time
  • 0:54 Types of Time
  • 2:00 Impact on…
  • 2:37 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Rob Wengrzyn
Different cultures view time and how it is used in a work environment differently. Some cultures view time as being very concrete and formal, while others view it as just a part of their overall lives. These two perspectives can and do clash when it comes to a business environment.

Culture and Time

Each culture has a different sense of time. I am not saying that different cultures have a different method of telling time. Rather, each culture has a different interpretation of time. What one culture considers early, another might consider late. What one culture considers on time, another might consider being tardy. Each culture, to some extent, views time differently, and these different views do have an impact on organizational behavior, especially when our workforce is becoming more and more diverse.

Taking this thought a step further, different cultures view how they use time differently. Some cultures multitask, while others do one thing at a time. Some cultures stay strictly to a plan, and some are fine winging it. It's these nuances that define monochronic cultures and polychronic cultures and how they view time.

Types of Time

Monochronic time is very structured and deals with time precisely. That is to say, monochronic time (and cultures that follow this thought process) works very systematically and with a great deal of organization. These cultures do not wing things and see what will happen, but rather they stay focused on the tasks at hand, plan those tasks around time, and then proceed to deliver a final product on the day it is supposed to be delivered. Cultures that follow this thought pattern have a belief that there is a sense of order and a time or place for everything. They do not take time commitments lightly and stay focused on what is to be delivered and when. The United States and Germany are great examples of cultures that follow the belief of monochronic time.

In contrast, cultures that follow polychronic time have a tendency to blend personal time and work time together. They see work and life as complete circles that are intertwined together. This is not to say they do not take time or work seriously; they just do not see a work schedule as a compelling way of living their lives. Countries such as those in Latin America subscribe to polychronic time.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support