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Toppling the cultural tower of Babel

Author: Kets de Vries, Manfred F. R. INSEAD Area: Organisational BehaviourIn: Chief Executive, no. 94, may 1994 Language: EnglishDescription: p.68-71.Type of document: INSEAD ArticleNote: Please ask the Library for this articleAbstract: As an effective leader you may think you have figured out and even transformed your company's corporate culture. But are you being too parochial? Are you presuming your man in brazil is going to behave in the same way as your man in Germany? To what extent does national culture influence corporate culture, and vice versa? Answer these questions correctly and the result may be a bigger bottom line. Answer incorrectly and conflict is inevitable. Understanding differences in national culture plays a vital role in decision making and management. It influences our ways of perceiving, thinking, feeling and evaluating. There is enormous cultural diversity in attitudes toward business and work. How do executives from various cultures regard such factors as power, authority, formalization and hierarchy? How do their responses differ? Chief executives with interests abroad must assess the big picture and ensure that their companies' culture is flexible enough to work successfully in countries where they do busine
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As an effective leader you may think you have figured out and even transformed your company's corporate culture. But are you being too parochial? Are you presuming your man in brazil is going to behave in the same way as your man in Germany? To what extent does national culture influence corporate culture, and vice versa? Answer these questions correctly and the result may be a bigger bottom line. Answer incorrectly and conflict is inevitable. Understanding differences in national culture plays a vital role in decision making and management. It influences our ways of perceiving, thinking, feeling and evaluating. There is enormous cultural diversity in attitudes toward business and work. How do executives from various cultures regard such factors as power, authority, formalization and hierarchy? How do their responses differ? Chief executives with interests abroad must assess the big picture and ensure that their companies' culture is flexible enough to work successfully in countries where they do busine

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