First of all, analyzing people’s personalities is quite extensive and difficult. Because humans are made up of many characters. However, there are widely used models for analysis. It can be accessed using a variety of methods and techniques. There are many theories about human personality, but one of the most proven and reliable theories about personality is called the big five personality traits which are consisted of Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism (Emotional Stability) and Openness to Experience.
In this project, I will briefly explain about New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardren and New Zealand, then describe each dimension, apply her personality to the theory, and describe it.
Secondly, a Dutch sociologist Hofstede compiled the cultural differences by collecting data on their attitudes and values to more than 100,000 IBM employees worldwide. Based on the results of the study, he can be arranged in five dimensions largely by cultural differences. (Individualism vs. Collectivism, Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, Masculinity vs. Femininity and Long-Term vs. Short-Term Orientation). Hofstede’s cultural model is a big contribution to the international management environment by organizing cultural and value differences among countries. In the Hofstede’s Dimensions of Cultural Differences., I will explain what culture and values are prioritized by comparing the current situation in New Zealand.
1. Jacinda Ardern and New Zealand
Jacinda Kate Laurel Ardern(July 26, 1980) is a politician in New Zealand. She has been leading New Zealand’s Labor Party since August 2017 and was elected Prime Minister of New Zealand on October 26, the same year. It was the first time in nine years since former Prime Minister Helen Clark. She is the youngest leader of the ruling the Labor Party and became the youngest female prime minister at a young age following Edward Stafford, who became prime minister in 1856. She was then formally inaugurated as the 40th Prime Minister on October 26, 2017.(firstname.lastname@example.org @nickjonesnzer 2017).
New Zealand is an island nation with a population of only 4.39 million. Through endless domestic discussions, political struggles and trial and error, New Zealand has formed a national consensus that only diplomacy can survive. The aim is to secure an external environment based on stability and norms through the implementation of foreign policies and to expand opportunities for pursuit of trade and other interests. Women’s suffrage was recognized for the first time in the world in 1893, when the two major parties of the People’s Party and the Labor Party clashed. In particular, diverse races, such as Europeans, Asians, native Maori, and Pacific Islanders, are living together, and New Zealand also recognizes diversity as an important part of the world. Therefore, their culture can be said to be a dynamic country that develops in harmony with each other and is respected for diversity.(‘History, culture and heritage’ n.d.).
2. The Big 5 Personality Traits
Extroverted people seem to like social interaction and draw energy from being with others.
They are assertive, enjoy being a leader and are generally happy and optimistic.
On the other hand, individuals who are introverts, they do not want to get more energy to think about ideas and thoughts with strangers.(Widiger 2017).
People with high levels of Agreeableness are described as thoughtful, cooperative, and helpful. They are generally more trustworthy, altruistic, and more appealing to other humans. Meanwhile, Individuals who are in low Agreeableness are more likely to be seen as hostile and distant from others and have a self-centered view.(Pierce J. Howard & Jane Mitchell Howard 2000).
Individuals who are in high Conscientiousness are organized and work hard. They will be rated quite well in terms of discipline and willpower. They aim for high performance with patience, through well planned, responsible, reliable, and difficult work. Those with low scores in this area are more impulsive, less systematic, and seem unable to control their behavior.(Alexander Hiam 2010).
Neuroticism (Emotional Stability)
This dimension measures how stable you are emotionally. Those with high scores here tend to experience negative emotional states such as anxiety, worry, anger, and maybe more unstable and have lower self-esteem. They are more vulnerable to anxiety and depression as well as stress. On the other hand, individuals who score low here are considered emotionally stable, collected and calm.(Nettle 2009).
Openness To Experience
People who are open to experience are described as curious, seeking new and unusual experiences and ideas, having original and extensive interests.
Meanwhile, individuals who are less open to experience generally prefer more conservative, stable thoughts and environments in their thoughts and actions.(Kessler & Chrisman 2015).
3. Hofstede’s Dimensions of Cultural Differences.
Individualism vs. Collectivism
Individualism, collectivism on one side and the other, is the extent to which individuals in society are integrated as a group, not as a personal trait. In terms of individualism people, they can find a culture in which the bonds between individuals are loose.
From a collectivist point of view, people have discovered since birth that individuals have been united in a strong and cohesive group.(Dellner 2014).
Power distance deals with the fact that not all people in society are equal. It represents the culture’s attitude to inequality between us. This dimension can be defined as the degree to which less powerful members of organizations and institutions in a country expect and accept the unequal distribution of power.(Hofstede 2003).
This dimension is related to the way in which a society deals with the fact that it cannot know the future. This ambiguity is accompanied by anxiety and other cultures have learned to deal with it in different ways. Organizations whose members of culture feel threatened by ambiguous or unknown situations and try to create trust and avoid them are reflected in Uncertainty Avoidance’s score.(House & Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness Research Program 2004).
Masculinity vs. Femininity
Masculinity versus femininity, in other words, femininity means the distribution of values between genders which is another vital issue for any society, to which a variety of solutions can be found.
According to an IBM study, female values are less social than male values, and male values from one nation to another are very determined, competitive, and extreme.
On the one side, women have different values and on the other, they are humble, caring and similar to women’s values.
The self-contested play is called ‘ masculine ‘ while the modest and caring play is called ‘ feminine. ‘ Women in feminine countries have the same humble and caring value as men. In men’s countries, they are somewhat determined and competitive, but not as much as men.(Hofstede 1998).
Long-Term vs. Short-Term Orientation
It explains how every society must maintain its relevance to its own past while dealing with current and future challenges, and gives priority to these two real-life goals. A differently normative society. For instance, those with low scores at this level prefer to maintain time-consuming traditions and norms, treating social change suspiciously. Meanwhile, people with higher-scored cultures take a more pragmatic approach. They encourage conservation and effort in modern education as a way to prepare for the future.(Hofstede, Hofstede & Minkov 2010).
4. Discussion of Personality of the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern According to the Big 5 Personality Traits
The characteristic of extroversion indicates whether somebody needs a little or a ton of social boosts. A man who scores high is more outgoing and extroverted, and the individual who scores a lower score is more thoughtful and introverted.
As a one example which is related with this dimension, prime minister left New Zealand in April with a tour of Europe. They are important as New Zealand partners, and Jacinda Ardren discussed and maintained close relations on the challenges currently facing the world.
There was the key inquiry of France’s firm help for a FTA with the European Union. Jacinda Ardern got it. She talked international security topics with Merkel and got the attention. The world media was also fascinated. The Australian stated that “The New Zealand prime minister has transformed into a media most loved and has been getting uncommon favors from different summits.”(Radio New Zealand 2018a).
According to the other news article, Ms. Ardern told a news conference that she would make New Zealand a nation that is proud of everyone. And she said we would work closely with other political parties to build a fairer and better New Zealand.(Otago Daily Times Online News 2017).
In my opinion, she measures high extroversion since despite her lack of political and business experience and many prejudices against women, she, unlike expectations, discussed issues aggressively and actively in meetings with various leaders and fully reflected her own voice as prime minister in a country. She was also welcomed and well integrated by many international media channels as well as by visiting countries. During her stay in London, she once again gained the media spotlight for her Maori traditional costume and made a big move by having a private meeting with Queen Elizabeth. Even during her pregnancy, the prime minister showed prominence by going through a busy schedule with the leaders of each country. In addition, when she became the new prime minister and had a press conference, she gave an impressive speech. To build a new New Zealand, she has shown confidence by emphasizing that we can. She explained her plans, thoughts without any tension. Also, she always revealed a lively and charismatic personality. That is why I think Jacinda Ardern has a very outgoing personality.
Agreeableness is the way or belief in life in which one’s actions are determined by another’s needs. When someone helps someone without self-interest, he or she is altruistic and unselfish.
Let me give you an example of this theory. Jacinda Ardern has visited a trip to the Pacific Islands. It was her first visit as Prime Minister. She seemed to enjoy meeting the children. Whenever she visited every place, Ardern respected the locals and their culture. Money was provided for the recovery of Samoa and Tonga cyclone, more helpful for Niue’s renewable energy project, and pension rules for Nicaraguan and Cook Islands changed as well.(Radio New Zealand 2018).
I would claim that she measures high agreeableness as prime minister recognizes not only the neighboring countries but also the partners who are moving toward the future. Therefore, I think it has not only individual characteristics but community characteristics. Despite her busy schedule, she showed altruism, affection, trust and humility toward local dwellers. During her traveling, she also provided support for cyclone damage. Therefore, I think she is a leader with a high affinity.
The dimension of this character illustrates how much a person is conscious of his or her actions and the consequences that follow. These include conscience, diligence, integrity, responsibility, trust and self-discipline.
According to the press, the prime minister Jacinda Ardern said she is pregnant and has only four weeks left to give birth. So she had a difficult physical condition to work on. She said that she will faithfully carry out her duties as prime minister by June 17th, the due date for childbirth, and will carry out her flight schedule during pregnancy.(Spy 2018). In terms of the other article, Prime Minister would set up an ongoing forum with the New Zealand Business and Labor Relations Commission to launch policy development in the face of business-related changes. She also noted that the forum will help shape the policies we need.
Working with various experts for the forum, she will provide a clear plan to build a strong and resilient economy. (NZ Herald 2018a).
In my opinion, she measures high Conscientiousness. This is because, despite her uncomfortable pregnancy condition, she would faithfully fulfill the nation’s responsibilities and duties as prime minister. And I think this episode of sincere efforts to achieve its goals has a positive effect on the people. In addition, Jacinda Ardern showed a tendency to work earnestly to create policies for the future. She made clear plans for the purpose and explained how they would be applied in the future.
Neuroticism (Emotional Stability)
Neurosis is the extent to which a person is confident, sensitive, carefree, and nervous. This component demonstrates how rapidly somebody indicates sentiments of dread, outrage, or weakness, or how emotionally stable they are.
According to the press, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, she hoped to make better deals with New Zealand’s small and midsize companies operating in Australia.
There were many pending issues to discuss, many of which were strained between the two countries.
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop included comments that the new government of New Zealand would be unreliable and New Zealand’s threat of retaliation against Australian domestic policy. However, Ms. Ardern said the visit would focus on getting more out of close economic relations between the two nations.(Radio New Zealand 2018c).
I would say that she measures low neuroticism. In other word, she has high emotional stability. This is because, as the prime minister of New Zealand, she obviously finds it difficult to persuade other politicians on the policies in one direction and carries a lot of stress. As shown in the article above, there was a lot of conflict between Australia and New Zealand, and the relationship between the two countries worsened, including Australia’s discomfort with the flag change issue.(Roy 2018). However, she feels quite emotionally stable about what she is trying to do with dialogue without showing negative feelings for her business. If emotions had been difficult to control, anger, fear, tension and negative feelings would not have been reflected in politics and formed a smooth relationship with other countries.
Openness to Experience
It is when someone is open or curious regarding a new experience. People with high marks in the field can enjoy the art and cultural experience.
As a one example which is related with this dimension, Jacinda Ardern has participated in the Auckland Pride Parade for the first time as The Prime Minister. Last year, Ms. Ardern who attended the parade as a lawmaker, said that the number of gay people continues to increase in New Zealand and that more policies should be implemented for them.(NZ Herald 2018b).
In the case of other article, Labor party leader Jacinda Ardern said abortion should not be included in the criminal law and would change it. She also noted that abortion is not a crime and that people should have the right to judge their own behavior.(Stuff 2017).
In my view, she measures high openness. This is because, by her participating the parade, I was able to guess that she wanted to solve some problems such as social prejudice, discrimination, and recognition of sexual identity among gay people. Moreover, she has shown not only a desire for diversity but also break stereotypes against naysayers and conservatism. In addition, she made the abortion issue public and said that people should have the right to judge for themselves. I think this should no longer just stay in the conservative approach but break stereotypes through open thinking.
5. Discussion of New Zealand cultural and general situation According to the Hofstede’s Dimensions of Cultural Differences
Individualism vs. Collectivism
Individualistic culture places primary importance on individual achievement rather than on the happiness of organizations or organizations. On the other hand, a collectivism is characterized by close relationships among members, as individuals sacrifice for groups.
According to the press, at a school in Dunedin, girls asked the principal if they should wear gendered uniforms, and in response, the school deleted the rule that wearing their uniforms. In addition, Dunedin School accepts students’ choice regardless of gender.(Radio New Zealand 2017).
I would say that New Zealand has Individualism since pupils think personal achievement is more important than following the rules of the organization or organization that they should wear gendered uniforms. Therefore, they asked themselves why they had to wear the uniforms and eventually, changed schools. In other words, each member’s self-awareness puts priority on the happiness and value of the individual rather than on the group.
In a culture of low power distance, we can expect that the power relationship is more interdependent and democratic. Meanwhile, in countries with a high range of power distance, it is easy for those with low power to accept the overall and patriarchal power relations.
According to the articles, New Zealand nurses joined the strike across the country. The reason is that better working environment and higher wages are the main issues, and their demands are being negotiated with government ministries.(Radio New Zealand 2018d).
I believe that New Zealand measures low power distance since people actively communicate with the government to reflect their voices, and the government also tries to positively review and reflect their claims through two-way communication.
This dimension can be defined that the degree to which people try to cope with anxiety by minimizing uncertainty.
People in cultures with high uncertainty avoidance take a cautious and gradual attitude toward social change using planning, norms, laws and regulations.
On the other hand, in a culture where has low uncertainty avoidance shows non-systematic conditions, the environment, and the rule is to be made less.
According to the press, the government announced that if there were Russian spies in New Zealand, they would be deported. Officials said New Zealand has no one to match the profile. If it had been, they would have taken action. They also said that New Zealand will consider additional measures it can take to support the international community in the attack.(The Independent 2018).
In my perspective, New Zealand measures high uncertainty avoidance. This is because they are determined to deal sternly with the uncertain political factors of the internationally hot issue of Russian spy. This is considered to be an attempt by people not to tolerate ambiguous situations or uncertainties.
Masculinity vs. Femininity
The values of Masculinity are competitive, self-directed, power and ambition. On the other hand, Femininity values interpersonal relationships and quality of life. In a masculine culture, the gender gap is large and fluid. In a feminine culture, however, gender-positive effects are equally emphasized.
According to the press,unlike any other country that closes its borders to refugees, New Zealand will welcome and help them by doubling the number of refugees.(Stuff 2018).
I would say that New Zealand has femininity. In fact, there are many political issues and dissenting voices in the country. In addition, someone would claim that These activities do nothing to the country’s economic interests. However, New Zealand respects all refugees through the consideration, modesty of humanitarianism and value and they are living together through communal spirit.
Long-Term vs. Short-Term Orientation
This dimension explains the time span of society Long-term oriented society places more importance on the future. Such societies tend to achieve long-term performance, such as sustainability and adaptability. Meanwhile, in a short-term-oriented society, values related to the past and present are important, such as persistence and respect for tradition.
According to the press, The New Zealand government said it would ban the use of plastic bags step by step. Major companies also announced that they would join the government’s policy.(NZ Herald 2018c). In the case of the other press, The New Zealand government said it would ban the development and exploration of oil and gas fields to deal with the seriousness of climate change.(NZ Herald 2018d).
In my opinion, New Zealand has long-term orientation. This is because, Although it is expected that people will be inconvenienced by the banning of plastic bags and the discontinuation of oil and gas resources development(Radio New Zealand 2018e), the New Zealand government gives more importance in the value of future as protecting environment as a long-term solution.
6. Conclusion & Recommendation
All in all, I thought that Jacinda Ardren would not be able to control her feelings well, but also she was introverted and lack of affinity as she was young and without political experience. Therefore, I thought New Zealand’s cultural characteristics would be conservative since it is also an island country. However, it was totally opposite compared with my opinion.
In terms of The Big 5 Personality Traits, I have analyzed the personality of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardren. According to the theory, she measures high extroversion, high agreeableness, high conscientiousness, high Openness to Experience and showed emotional stability.
In the case of Hofstede’s Dimensions of Cultural Differences, I have examined New Zealand cultural and general situation with this theory. This country not only has Individualism, Femininity and Long-Term Orientation, but measures low Power Distance and high Uncertainty Avoidance as well.
In my view, The Big 5 Personality Traits and Hofstede’s Dimensions of Cultural Differences are closely related. In other word, Jacinda Arderns’ personality is able to have impact on the environment and culture of New Zealand or vice versa. For instance, The Prime Minister visits the Pacific Islands and provides confirmation of cyclone damage sites and repair costs (Agreeableness), influencing New Zealand’s cultural characteristics especially Femininity. I also think that New Zealand has the characteristics of individualism that is why the prime minister mentioned the ban on abortion laws or participating in gay festival (Openness to experience).
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