chapter  10
13 Pages

Careers in Austria

ByKatharina Chudzikowski, Barbara Demel, Wolfgang Mayrhofer, Astrid Reichel

Austria is part of the Western European culture cluster, which emphasizes intellectual autonomy, egalitarianism and harmony more than any other world region. In addition, it is the lowest region on hierarchy and embeddedness (Schwartz, 2006; for more on this concept see Chapter 2). Austria itself is low on embeddedness, hierarchy and mastery, and is an autonomy culture. People are viewed as autonomous, bounded entities. They cultivate and express their own preferences and find meaning in their own uniqueness. Intellectual autonomy, the independent pursuit of one’s own ideas and intellectual directions, is especially encouraged in Austria. Such values provide challenges for the social fabric and are counter-balanced by egalitarianism. Generally, Austrians commit to cooperate and to pay attention to other people’s welfare. Compromise is important in political decision making. This is especially true for negotiations between actors representing opposite interests, for example trade unions and employers’ associations, and is expressed in social partnership governing labor relations. Harmony governs relations to the natural and social world. This leads to a tendency to appreciate the social and natural world and fit into it as it is rather than direct or exploit it (Schwartz, 1999, 2006).