ESSAY ON HOW CULTURAL VALUE ORIENTATION WOULD AFFECT THE DEVELOPMENT OF A NATION
Essay on culture and influence on vision 2063, Malawi vision 2063 essay, Culture effects on the development of Malawi,
THE EFFECTS THAT THE THREE DOMINANT MALAWIAN CULTURAL VALUES WOULD HAVE ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF VISION 2063
Culture might influence the failure and success of agenda 2063. Culture is defined as the way people live (Inglis, 2004). Morris asserts that culture to a great degree influences how people develop and communicate because various cultures operate under varying degrees of value orientations (Morris, 1956). Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck (1976) theorize that cultural value orientations are universal problem-solving guidelines that all cultures follow, yet each culture places different salience on different values. Malawi is a developing country that intends to develop through the implementation of vision 2063. This vision was launched at a conference by the current statesman Lazarus Chakwera. The vision seeks to achieve developmental goals in improved agricultural productivity and commercialization. Upon the launch, the president argued that mindset change was pivotal in the success of the agenda.
Cultural value orientations exist on a cultural continua. Other countries are in transition, while many have citizens that orient more to the far ends of the continua (Gudykunst & Kim, 2003). In light of this statement, Malawi has three dominant cultural orientations namely: the collectivist orientation, the being-orientation, and in terms of time, the present orientation. Since culture influences behaviour, the above orientations would have these predictable effects on the implementation of the Malawi 2063 plan: They would slow down the plan, they would cause the vision to fail, and they would lead to conflict due to contrasting ideologies. This writing will discuss the predictable effects that these dominant Malawian cultural orientations would have in the implementation of the 2063 agenda. It will discuss this while keeping in view the statement of Chakwera who argued that mindset change was pivotal.
Firstly, the collectivist orientation aspect of Malawian culture might delay the implementation of the 2063 agenda. This is because collectivist cultures value harmony. Where there is discord in collectivist cultures, people decide not to follow their leaders. Triandis (2004) argues that in collectivistic cultures, group goals have precedence over individual goals and that people in this cultural orientation are emotionally connected. Most Malawians are indeed emotionally attached to their leaders. This emotional attachment delays productivity. Since when they are disappointed emotionally they are reluctant to work. For instance, one of the pillars of vision 2063 is improving agricultural production. The government planned to make farm tools affordable. The plan currently has backfired as prices of goods are on the rise. As a result, the feelings of most Malawians are disappointed. The development has led to discord as people are losing trust in the government. This will consequently slow down the implementation of vision 2063 since most Malawians will be reluctant to work towards achieving the goals. Therefore, the argument of a mindset change that was made by Chakwera becomes relevant. In this case, if they learn to be less emotionally attached to their leaders, they would not be reluctant to work despite the lack of harmony and trust. Hence, the predictable effect of having the collectivist culture on the implementation of vision 2063 is that it would slow down the execution of the vision.
Another dominant cultural value that exists in Malawi is the being-orientation. In this activity dimension, Malawian citizens suit best as ‘being-oriented’. This cultural value has this predictable effect on the 2063 Agenda: it might cause the plan to entirely fail. The pillars of the 2063 Agenda are improved agricultural production and commercialisation. Attaining these goals requires Malawians to work long and hard. This is in contrast to how people in the cultural being orientation behave. Since culture influences behaviour, people in the being-orientation tend to accept life the way it is, and hardly do much to counter the problems they are facing (Neuliep, 2009). For instance, one of the pillars of 2063 is commercialisation. The Malawian government seeks to achieve development by building mega factories to combat the issue of unemployment. Most Malawians will hardly care, and would not be willing to help in the construction of these structures because the cultural being-orientation leads them to accept problems and live life the way they are. As a result, this might cause the 2063 version to fail. The call to mindset change, by Chakwera, is therefore relevant. If Malawians change their mindset and orient more to the doing-orientation that exists at the far end of the activity continuum they would be more productive, as they would take action to resolve the unemployment issue, rather than just accepting it. Therefore, the predictable effect of having the being-orientation culture on the implementation of vision 2063 is that it would make the vision fail.
Lastly, the present-orientation aspect of Malawian culture might lead to conflict in the implementation of the 2063 agenda. Various cultures orient to time differently. Other cultures value the past, some value the present while others are future thinking oriented (Tenhouten, 2005). The dominant Malawian time orientation is the present. The values of people in this present orientation are more often thrill-seeking and pleasure-based, rather than with a view on the future or the past (Wyer, 2016). This is directly in contrast to the principles that are required for the success of vision 2063. For instance, improving agricultural productivity and commercialisation might require more than 10 years of patient work. Most Malawian citizens are not future thinking oriented and this might lead to conflict as ideologies clash. The majority of Malawians will be reluctant to work since they just want to engage in activities that will give them quick outcomes. As a result, they may, for example, take to the streets and protest the governments' failure to deliver on the promises it made. These demonstrations often result in social disorder and the destruction of infrastructure. This might negatively impact the implementation of the 2063 agenda. Hence the call to mindset change made by Chakwera is again salient because if Malawians change their perception from the present orientation to the future their behaviour will be in harmony with the principles which are required for the success of the agenda. There shall be no conflict of ideologies as they will learn to be patient and hopeful for the future. Thus, the predictable effect of having the present orientation culture on the implementation of vision 2063 is that it would lead to conflict as ideologies clash.
In conclusion, the dominant cultural values that exist in Malawi, like collectivist orientation, being-orientation and lastly the present orientation shall have the following predictable effects on the implementation of agenda 2063 respectively: slowing down the plan, causing the plan to entirely fail, and lastly, leading to conflict in the execution of the agenda. The call to mindset change might indeed aid in the success of the agenda since it would alter the behaviour of Malawians to suit vision 2063.
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