Working with Others

Cultural Dimensions that Affect Teamwork

Polychronic vs Monochromic Time Orientation

People from different cultures view and use time differently.

Polychronic time orientation refers to the cultures where people tend to view time as a fluid concept go with the “flow” of the time. Time-based schedule is followed loosely, and changes or interruptions are viewed as a normal part of the routine. For example: In polychromic cultures, it is more acceptable for a meeting to continue until everyone feels the discussion has come to a natural conclusion.

Monochronic time orientation refers to the cultures that set their tasks to a clock. Punctuality and single focus in a given timeframe is the norm for monochronic cultures. Exact time allocated for certain task is to be followed. For example in monochronic cultures people will be more inclined to end a meeting “on time: and attend to the next task on the schedule.