Willingness to take risks and reactions to failure differ dramatically around the world. In some cultures the
downside for failure is so high that individuals are allergic to taking any risks at all. These cultures associate shame
with any type of failure, and from a young age people are taught to follow a prescribed path with a well-defined
chance of success, as opposed to trying anything that might lead to disappointment. In some places, such as
Thailand, someone who has failed repeatedly might even choose to take on brand-new name in an attempt to reboot
his or her entire life. In fact, in the 2008 Olympics, a Thai weight lifter attributed her victory to changing her name
before the games.
The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), which publishes a detailed annual report on startup activity
around the world, looks at cultural differences in risk taking and comfort with failure. The GEM team found that
important factors contribute to a society’s risk profile. For example, in some countries, such as Sweden, the
bankruptcy laws are designed such that once your company goes out of business you can never get out of debt.
Knowing that failure has drastic, long-term consequences for you and your family is a huge disincentive to try to
start a company in the first place. The culture in other countries is equally unforgiving. Once you fail, your friends,
neighbors and colleagues will always view you as a failure.
【題組】48. What is the cultural mindset behind the design of bankruptcy laws in Sweden?
(A) Once you start a business, you have to take the full risks and be liable for such.
(B) Once a business fails, bankruptcy laws can give full protection.
(C) Bankruptcy laws are designed to protect those who are in debt.
(D) Bankruptcy laws can give businesses and individuals a second chance.