The Echoes of the Mind (157-6) Time Horizon

Time Horizon

A society’s time horizon relates to its short-term versus a long-term perspective. A long time horizon encourages persistence, flexibility, and economy. This view looks to the future. In contrast, short-term-oriented societies value the past: emphasizing steadiness, respect for tradition, meeting obligations, and preservation of existing social structures.

The cultures of East Asia, particularly China and Japan, both old civilizations, tend to take a long view. In contrast, the Anglo and Muslim countries, as well as those in Africa and Latin America, have short time horizons.