American versus Thai Culture


American versus Thai Culture Table Resized

Objective: The student will explain American versus Thai culture in terms of context, directness, efficiency, emotional expression, group identity, power distance, status, values and management dichotomies.

1) Low versus High Context

2) Direct versus Indirect

3) Efficiency

4) Positive versus Negative Emotional Expression

17 Types of Thai Smiles

Two Dimensional Model of Emotional Display

5) Group Identity

 Thai Sakdina System

Rugged Individualism – Often associated with Social Darwinism or an “up-by-the-bootstraps” philosophy.

Darwin: The Life and Legacy – Social Darwinism


6) Low versus High Power Distance

7) Status

Achieved status – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

8) Values

Knutson, T. J. (1994). Comparison of Thai and US American cultural values: ‘mai pen rai’ versus ‘just do it’. ABAC Journal, 14, 1–38.


Mai pen raiFatalism

Doris Day – Que Sera, Sera [lyrics]

Just do it

Frank Sinatra, My Way, With Lyrics

USA economy 1950s

Americans may have a higher locus of control than Thais:


9) Management Dichotomies

Phradet vs. Phrakhun

Phradet vs Phrakhun Table Resized

Theory X vs. Theory Y


Theory X vs Y

10) Comparison Using Facts and Figures


Worksheet at:


Thai Culture Collection of Articles

Thailand Do’s and Don’ts

US Do’s and Don’ts



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