National Cultures and Organisations in Search of a Theory. An Interpretative Approach

Philippe d’Iribarne – International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 2009 Vol 9(3): 309–321.

The idea of a national culture is generally challenged by those using an interpretative approach. They argue that, within a given society, one comes across rival definitions of reality. But it is possible to present a theory enabling us to take into consideration what is diverse and changing as well as what is shared and stable. We will base our demonstration on empirical research related to the US and France. We will be referring to two main ideas. On the one hand, within one country, a core concern is at the heart of social existence. On the other, people, using very diverse ways, strive to find forms of organisation as well as representations that enable their members to cope with this concern.
In the US, reference to the contract is pivotal, whereas in France, the main reference would be to one’s ‘métier’.

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