Dr Taran Patel (MBA, PhD)
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The internationalization of business via the process of globalization has brought issues of culture to the forefront of management thinking. Although culture is by no means a new area of study in business schools, it remains frustratingly elusive and misunderstood.

This textbook gives business students - or future managers - an understanding of the multitude of frameworks available to them to make sense of the cultural contexts they will encounter in their managerial careers. Starting from a general introduction to ‘culture’ and its role in businesses, Taran Patel encourages readers to shed a critical eye on the commonly accepted frameworks. She compels readers to ask three questions:

  • Can I only make sense of the variety of cultures around me by categorizing people into static categories based on their geo-ethnic identities?
  • Is it valid to make sense of people’s behaviours by categorizing them as ‘French’, ‘Indian’, ‘German’ or ‘American’?
  • What other ways are there to make sense of people and their behaviours?

Students studying from this textbook will benefit from a variety of conceptual tools that can be used to navigate the world of culture and its intersection with business and management. Taran Patel's unique textbook will be core reading for students of cross-cultural management / intercultural communication and essential reading for all those studying or researching international business and management.

 

Cross-Cultural Management - A Transactional Approach

 

Couverture

 

Most managers in Indo-French alliances consider culture to be a failure, rather than a success factor because they resort to the national and/or corporate level of cross-cultural comparison, thereby treating culture as an 'uncaused cause'. The level of culture they should address is that of transactional culture, for which Cultural Theory is proposed as a tool of analysis.

Cultural Theory gives the following guidelines about the viability of international alliances: (1) Although the interdependence of the two active solidarities (i.e. hierarchy and competitive solidarity) is often seen in most viable as well as failed alliances and is often cited in Cultural Theory and other literature (e.g. Williamson, 1975), this interdependence in itself is not sufficient to ensure the viability of international alliances. The presence of a third solidarity, the fatalists or the egalitarian solidarity, seems essential. (2) An analysis of failed alliances reveals the absence of egalitarians and presence of fatalism, which suggests that the latter does not contribute to the viability of international alliances. (3) An analysis of viable alliances shows the presence of all four solidarities, suggesting that egalitarians do play a role in ensuring the viability of international alliances, notably by bridging of differences between the two active solidarities and by creating an interface between them. (4) An analysis of the kind(s) of cultural alliances or coalitions found in them, reveals that viable alliances have a coalition between the two dominant solidarities (viz. the hierarchical and the competitive solidarities), whereas failed alliances have no coalitions between solidarities.

Managers often tend to impose their own thought styles on their colleagues and subordinates. The main implication of this study contradicts this common managerial practice. Through this study, I stress that the viability of an alliance can be ensured by putting opposing thought styles together. By addressing the transactional level of culture I provide a systematic framework for discussion of viability of international alliances, which does not previously exist. Also, in proposing CT as a tool of the transactional approach, I overcome some of the limitations of the transactional approach which have come to light in the last few decades.

 

Stereotypes of Intercultural Management

 

Couverture

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