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Thailand. Brett Van Buskirk Jeffery Grabel Kunthida Jariyavithayakul Brandon McMullen Helen Ruby Theodore Smith. Introduction. Attitudes Collectivism Relationships. Attitude. Mai Pen Rai Sense of Time Smile Relationships. Attitude – Mai Pen Rai. Calm and Collected Voice

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Brett Van Buskirk

Jeffery Grabel

Kunthida Jariyavithayakul

Brandon McMullen

Helen Ruby

Theodore Smith


  • Attitudes

  • Collectivism

  • Relationships


  • Mai Pen Rai

  • Sense of Time

  • Smile

  • Relationships

Attitude mai pen rai
Attitude – Mai Pen Rai

  • Calm and Collected

    • Voice

    • Easy going people/ culture

    • Reciprocate pleasant attitude

  • Patience

    • Traffic jams

    • 30 minute wait = 1 hour wait.

Attitude time sense
Attitude – Time Sense

  • Polychromic

    • Loosely organized

    • Easy going

    • Not closely controlled

    • Not strictly managed

Attitude smiles
Attitude - Smiles

  • Smile often

  • Resolve miss-understandings

  • Sorry, happy, hello, good bye

Attitude relationships
Attitude - Relationships

Long term relations

  • Calm

  • Patience

  • Smile


  • Individualistic vs Collectivistic

  • US vs. Thailand

  • Hofstede model

  • Buddhism (relate to collectivism)


  • Individualistic (USA)

    • People taking care of themselves

    • Making decisions based on individual needs

    • "I" mentality

  • Collectivistic (Thailand)

    • Primary loyalty to group

    • Decision-making based on what is best for the group.

    • "We" mentality

Collectivism buddhism
Collectivism – Buddhism

  • Low individualistic = High Buddhism


Geert Hofstede™ Cultural Dimensions

* Description for each of Hofstede's Dimensions listed below

Thailand is somewhat unique with its two highest Hofstede rankings being equal at 64 - Power Distance (PDI) and Uncertainty Avoidance (UAI).

The high Power Distance (PDI) is indicative of a high level of inequality of power and wealth within the society. This condition is not necessarily forced upon the population, but rather accepted by the society as a part of their cultural heritage. The ranking of 64 is slightly lower than the Asian average of 71 (see Asian Average Graph below).

The equally high Hofstede Dimension ranking of Uncertainty Avoidance (UAI) indicates the society’s low level of tolerance for uncertainty. In an effort to minimize or reduce this level of uncertainty, strict rules, laws, policies, and regulations are adopted and implemented. The ultimate goal of this population is to control everything in order to eliminate or avoid the unexpected. As a result of this high Uncertainty Avoidance characteristic, the society does not readily accept change and is very risk adverse. The Thailand rank of 64 is slightly higher than the Asian average of 58.

Thailand's lowest Dimension is Individualism (IDV) at 20. A low score, as Thailand has, indicates the society is Collectivist as compared to Individualist. This is manifest in a close long-term commitment to the member 'group', is that a family, extended family, or extended relationships. Loyalty in a collectivist culture is paramount, and over-rides most other societal rules and regulations. The society fosters strong relationships where everyone takes responsibility for fellow members of their group.

Thailand has the lowest Masculinity ranking among the Asian countries listed at 34, compared to the Asian average of 53 and the World average of 50. This lower level is indicative of a society with less assertiveness and competitiveness, as compared to one where these values are considered more important and significant. This situation also reinforces more traditional male and female roles within the population.

Thailand's is predominantly Buddhist, with 95% of the population practicing the religion of Buddhism. The precepts of Buddhism include leading a moral life, being mindful and aware of thoughts and actions, and developing wisdom and understanding.


  •  Buddhism - leading a moral life, being mindful and aware of thoughts and actions, and developing wisdom and understanding.


  • Individualistic (USA)

    • "I" mentality

  • Collectivistic (Thailand)

    • "We" mentality

  • Buddhism is found more in Collectivistic countries

Relationships first impressions
Relationships – First Impressions

  • Critical importance

  • Business cards

  • Gifts

Relationships building
Relationships - Building

  • Oriented towards long term relationships

  • Emphasis on repeat business

  • Building personal as well as business relationships

    = Effective business negotiations

Relationships manners
Relationships - Manners

  • Be patient

  • Be polite

  • Speak clearly, slowly and well-toned

  • Do not over gesture

  • Follow protocols

  • Importance of dinning etiquette

Relationships respect
Relationships - Respect

  • Social hierarchy

  • To older persons

  • To higher positions

  • Food


  • Attitude

    • Influence and importance

  • Collectivism

    • Importance among culture and religion

  • Relationships

    • Built with manners & respect

Easy thai words to learn
Easy Thai Words to Learn


Man : Sa-Was-Dee-Khub

Woman : Sa-Was-Dee-Ka

Thank you

Man : Kob-Kun-Khub

Woman : Kob-Kun-Ka

*Khub andKamake words more polite.


Thank you


Team Thailand


  • Hofstede, Geert. “Thailand Geert Hofstede Cultural Dimensions Explained.” Geert Hofstede Cultural Dimensions. ITIM International. 2003. <http://www.geert->

  • The title page picture is from (

  • Ronald McDonald Wai: