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Value orientation theory

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Value Orientation Theory Martin Sharkey Western International US Culture and the Value Orientation Theory The value orientation theory defines the US culture, based on five cultural elements:
1. Man-nature Orientation
American culture is led by the belief that people dominate nature. This is visible in the scientific, primarily methodological approach in viewing the world, which reflects US thinking, communication and behavior. People search for cause-and-effect relations and stress upon logic and fact-findings.
2. Activity Orientation
US people regard work seriously, not just because of financial incentives, but because they strive for accomplishment and achievements. Efficiency is a valued quality that puts greater stress on practicality rather than aesthetics. The practical orientation has also added to the easy adoption of change.
3. Time
US people are very time-sensitive. Time is managed responsibly with view to the future. People do what they do, because their today’s activities will help them be better off in the future. This makes them focused on short-term activities that will tangibly change their lives.
4. Human nature
The US culture is a mixture of good and evil, but it is strongly influenced by rationality, people’s actions are guided by reason and self-control. Science, education and even the prison system are rational approaches to improve human nature.
5. Relational
The US society is an individualistic society that encourages independence and promotes self-motivation, and self-consciousness. Equal rights are prerequisite for equal opportunities for everyone and feed the sense of patriotism, national pride and trust in the institutions.

Conclusion about US culture
The United States have a ” culture of excess” in terms of national varieties and sub-cultures. The impact of the European culture is mixed with immigrant cultures from all over the world. The huge territory makes it difficult to define it as a unified culture throughout the states.
Still, common history, administrative structures and government policy, the influence of the Protestantism and common language have created a unique cultural blend that is distinctive for all Americans. The US society is predominantly individualistic and puts priority to materialistic values. This is a culture where science and technology are put forward, time is a key resource, diligent work is a cherished virtue, and change is accepted positively.

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