Upon moving to Asia, you will come to interact with the locals. At first, you might not notice it, but you will gradually come to understand what it means to hold collectivistic views. This can be an eye-opening change for someone who has only had experience with individualistic culture. In many Asian countries, people are more attentive to other people’s needs and opinions. They are focused on maintaining a good image of themselves and fulfilling a social role within their community. Therefore, you might meet people who value social gatherings to a great degree.
Social gatherings are known to strengthen bonds between colleagues or friends, as they are seen as important events that can help build a stronger community. Community is a big part in the collectivist culture and it comes as no surprise that people feel obligated to fulfill a social role in their community. Whether it is to be a good daughter to your parents, or a loyal friend.
You can see the clash between individualism and collectivism play out in a work setting. In an individualistic work setting, creativity and individual achievements are valued, and a lot of times, people are awarded bonuses based on their performance. However, in a collectivistic work setting, teamwork is valued. It is frowned upon if someone were to disrupt group harmony. More importantly, hierarchy is very prominent in a collectivist work setting. A lot of people try and read the atmosphere to avoid upsetting anyone, especially their superiors. So when you get placed in a new work setting in Asia, you may find it hard to understand the significance placed on group work and how a lot of people may tiptoe around their employers.