Essay on Understanding Cross-Cultural Management

97350 Words Mar 30th, 2016 390 Pages
Second Edition

Marie-Joëlle Browaeys & Roger Price

Part One

Concept 1.1 Facets of culture

Introduction to Part One

Setting the scene
This introductory chapter will give an outline of the research in the field of culture and management, which in turn serves as a framework for Part One.

The concept of culture
Many experts in their fields have wracked their brains to come up with what they consider to be their concept of ‘culture’. Those working in the field of cultural anthropology, alone, for example, have come up with a long list of definitions of the concept, based on their analysis of ethnological, social, psychological and linguistic data. The
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Introduction to Part One

Figure I.1 Navigating the seas of international business
Source: Adapted from Schneider and Barsoux (2003): 21.

Culture operates on three levels
Culture operates on three levels, the first being on a level where it is observable and tangible.
Here, artefacts and attitudes can be observed in terms of architecture, rituals, dress codes, making contact, contracts, language, eating and so on. Operating at a second level, culture is to do with norms and values. Beliefs – or norms – are statements of fact about the way things are. These are the cultural rules, as it were, which explain what is happening at level one and determine what is right or wrong. Values are to do with general preferences as to what is good or bad, how things should be. The third – and deepest level – has to do with basic assumptions. This level is difficult to explore and what lies there can only be construed through

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