Competing in a global economy

Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2011 in UEA Blog


It seems as if bad news regarding the US economy is hiding around every corner.  Shipping jobs off to India, Mexico, China and the list goes on and on.  Mean while the soul of US manufacturing seems to be becoming shelled out.  How can we compete with rock bottom wages of developing nations?  How can we leverage our strengths as a nation?  What are our strengths?

Geert Hofstede developed five cultural dimensions and ranked many of the world’s countries on these cultural dimensions.  The dimensions are as follows:  Power Distance, Individualism, Masculinity, Uncertainty avoidance, and long term orientation.

The US’s highest ranked dimension is Individualism.  Countries with high individualism scores tend to exhibit loose ties between individuals and a strong will to be self sufficient.  Our lowest score is Uncertainty Avoidance.  A nation with low uncertainty avoidance usually has fewer rules and does not attempt to control all outcomes and results; also there is a higher degree of tolerance for a variety of ideas, thoughts and beliefs.

Our highest and lowest cultural dimensions indicated that we are a nation of creators, inventors and innovators, which is true; we create the technologies that the world uses.  Our national R&D budget has more or less increased every year since 1953 (data from 2009 onward has not yet been compiled) according to the National Science Foundation. This is an encouraging trend considering our nations strengths.

Here at UEA we embody the innovative spirit that will carry this country forward.  With many new products in the pipe-line we are not standing still, we are not resting on our laurels; we are carving out new niche markets.  Watch us grow!

-Brady Haugo, Engineer

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