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Culture, meaning, and institutions: executive rationale in Germany and Japan

Author: Witt, Michael A. ; Redding, Gordon S.INSEAD Area: Economics and Political ScienceIn: Journal of International Business Studies, vol. 40, no. 5, June/July 2009 Language: EnglishDescription: p. 859-885.Type of document: INSEAD ArticleNote: Please ask us for this itemAbstract: This paper contributes rare primary empirical evidence to one of the major research questions in the social sciences today, namely, the linkage between national cultures and institutional structures of national business systems. Drawing on the work of Redding, we explore the thinking, or "rationale", of senior executives of leading German and Japanese firms about the ideal structure of the economy. We find considerable variation in rationale across the two countries and in comparison with the shape of the business system of the United States. Our study has implications for our understanding of the meaning of economic activity in different countries and of the evolutionary trajectories of national business systems
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This paper contributes rare primary empirical evidence to one of the major research questions in the social sciences today, namely, the linkage between national cultures and institutional structures of national business systems. Drawing on the work of Redding, we explore the thinking, or "rationale", of senior executives of leading German and Japanese firms about the ideal structure of the economy. We find considerable variation in rationale across the two countries and in comparison with the shape of the business system of the United States. Our study has implications for our understanding of the meaning of economic activity in different countries and of the evolutionary trajectories of national business systems

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