Business Leadership and Culture

Business Leadership and Culture

National Management Styles in the Global Economy

Björn Bjerke

How do business leaders think as a result of their national culture? This book provides a discussion and comparative analysis of five major cultures – American, Arab, Chinese, Japanese and Scandinavian – and how they reveal themselves in business practice.

Chapter 10: The Cultural Business Leader

Björn Bjerke

Subjects: business and management, business leadership

Extract

Page 247 10—  The Cultural Business Leader The Cultural Complex 'Culture' seems to have become a concept that almost all business­oriented people (researchers as practitioners) have found useful and have opinions about. These  opinions sometimes differ widely. I have claimed that every concept which has gradually come to contain more and more, sooner or later will become cumbersome  and even meaningless. This also goes for the concept of culture. The concept is more manageable and useful for researchers of business if it only contains factors  behind our behaviour, not behaviour in itself. In this study culture is defined as consisting of norms, values and assumptions which people carry around as a result of a  social life. Behavioural consequences from culture and other expressions such as fine art, institutions and buildings, are called cultural manifestations, but not culture  in itself. However, even with this 'limited' definition of culture, there are still differences between understanding, managing and influencing norms as compared to doing  the same for values or assumptions. A group must have been together for a while for its members to develop a mutual social understanding. The same goes for an organization of, for instance, a business  firm. Yet the culture may become more or less pervasive and more or less strong as was pointed out in Chapter 2. It is still possible for a group of people to develop  several slightly different subcultures within itself even though the group has existed for a long time, for the simple reason...

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