Culture and Negotiated Meanings
Edited by Henriett Primecz, Laurence Romani and Sonja Sackmann
Chapter 11: Divorcing Globalization from Orientalism: Resembling Economies and Global Value Added
Iris Rittenhofer1 INTRODUCTION The chapter offers an analysis of ‘globalization’ in corporate language use. As a concept, globalization does not denote a physical or material world. Rather, globalization denotes ways of thinking and perceiving (Scholte, 2000) the transforming relations between home and foreign markets. In an interdisciplinary approach, this chapter explores shared cultural patterns of perceptions and meaning production. These patterns reduce the complexity of globalizing markets to international business relations between distinct markets, and add to geographical distant markets the meaning of inferiority and economic weaknesses. This has implications for strategy development processes, in that these understandings of globalization limit the corporation’s opportunities in a globalizing economy. The chapter focuses on two cases. They are a visual and a textual representation revealing cultural patterns that inform corporate understandings of globalization. Representation is defined as ‘the production of meaning of the concepts in our minds through language’ (Hall, 1997, p. 17). Case 1 is a corporate actor’s visualization of a global company. In Case 2, an expert gives investors advice on how to prepare for the opportunities of global markets. Both examples are chosen from qualitative Danish case material gathered by the author.2 Both representations comprise an archive of information on shared patterns of perception and meaning production that widely inform corporate understandings of market relations and globalization. CASE ANALYSIS I apply Søderberg and Holden’s (2002, p. 112) complex definition of culture to the analysis of globalization: I take an ‘emergent, dynamic approach’ to the 125 126 Cross-cultural management...
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