Title

Values and beliefs of Romanian NGO staff as compared to values and beliefs they attribute to Americans

Publication Date

1-1-2002

Degree Name

MA in International and Intercultural Management

First Advisor

Charles Curry-Smithson

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare the values and beliefs of Romanian non-government organization (NGO) administrators to those that they attributed to Americans. The particular focus was on discovering the ways in which the Romanian NGO staff believed American values and beliefs differ from their own. Of the 330 Romanian NGOs that were contacted, 148 completed a questionnaire that included 24 statement pairs indicative of values and beliefs within six cultural dimensions: Fate and Destiny, Suffering and Misfortune, Degree of Realism/Optimism, View of Human Nature, Attitude Toward Change, and Attitude Towards Taking Risks. One statement in each pair was representative of the value or belief generally attributed to white middle-class Americans. The other statement was representative of the value or belief on the opposite end of the continuum of the "American View". The respondents were asked to choose the statement that best reflected their value or belief for each of the 24 statement pairs. The statement pairs were then repeated and the respondents were asked to choose the statement in each pair that they thought best represented the view of an American. Results indicated that while many of the 148 respondents reported values and beliefs similar to those they perceived Americans to have, differences were apparent in categories such as Fate and Destiny, Suffering and Misfortune, and View of Human Nature. The findings of this study will be used to better prepare U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers for establishing a good working relationship with colleagues in Romanian NGOs.

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