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The Top Ten Management Primer on Political Systems: All That You Need to Know About The System of Government in a Given Nation

This review of the top ten things you need to know about Political Systems was prepared by Lauren Melancon while an accounting major in the College of Business at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana.


The political system of a country is the backbone of how its government is run and how laws and decisions are made. There are many different systems that may vary slightly or drastically from other systems. There are many reasons and ideas behind each and every political system and no two systems are exactly alike. The culture and religious background of a country usually has in impact on the political system that is in place.

The Idea in a Nutshell

To understand how a country runs and to understand their legal system, we must first understand their political system and the ideas behind it. Although there are many political systems out there, they can generally be broken down by two dimensions. A country’s system either emphasizes socialism or individualism, and the degree to which they are democratic or totalitarian. Although there are many variances and gray areas in between, these are the basics.

The 10 Things You Need to Know About Political Systems

1.    Individualism emphasizes individual freedom in their economy and political system. It concentrates on individual interests over the interest of some collective body. Societies of these countries are expected to look after their self and their immediate family. It concentrates on self-expression and the importance of individual freedom, contrary of collectivism.

2.    Collectivism stresses the idea of interdependence of its citizens. It is more concerned about the well being of a group as a whole rather than the well being of each individual. It is the exact opposite if the individualism system and is impossible to obtain in its purest form.  

3.     The simplest definition of socialism comes from Webster: “a system of society or group living in which there is no private property” or “a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state”. In countries like Vietnam, Cuba and China the government basically controls every move its citizens make. Many countries have attempted this political system only to find failure.  

4.    Karl Marx is the intellectual roots of socialism. Marx was a German-Jewish philosopher who believed that in a capitalized system, the worker’s wages weren’t being appropriately valued. He advocated that the government should own the businesses in order to correct this perceived wrong. This would allow the states to properly and fully compensate workers for their labor. State owned businesses would then benefit the whole society rather than individual capitalists.

5.    Socialists can be broken into two general groups, communists and social democrats. Communists aim to have a society with no classes and goods being community property instead of individually owned. They believe that socialism can only be reached by violent revolutionary means. Social democrats believe in a more peaceful transformation using totalitarian dictatorship to conform to socialism.

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User Comments
  1. qncai

    On February 9, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Good information

  2. Andyb87

    On May 4, 2012 at 1:02 am

    Just another one of those things that I never would have thought was a big deal in business. Its true though, depending on what value systems a country hold important will impact the decision making process of your businesses in that area.

  3. Christina Read

    On May 5, 2012 at 12:01 am

    The way you would run a business in a democracy would be very different from the way you (or the government) would run a business in a communist country. A pure democracy takes a hands off approach in regards to business practices. They believe the market will self-correct itself and only “levels the playing field”, if you will, for all the businesses under its jurisdiction. A communist country is highly involved in the day-to-day business practices to the extent the business owner can merely become a puppet for the state. If a business is operating in a democratic country and wants to expand to a non-democratic country, everything from product marketing to packaging to customer service needs to be considered in order to be successful.

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