The dynamics of a process

Understanding the role that cultures play in the way in which the modernisation takes shape around the world requires both empirical research and the development of a theoretical framework.
The observation of this shaping has led to a whole host of field research, which is ongoing, conducted on all the continents by the different members of the G&S group. Once this work has been conducted, the research subsequently puts in perspective – via a process that has reached different stages depending on the location –what we have observed and broader visions of the ways of living in society that are specific to the encompassing cultural contexts. For example, an important stage in the research was the discovery of the link that exists between the forms of autonomy of the individual that are today sought in the functioning of a company, within the Anglo-Saxon, Germanic and French worlds, and the conceptions of freedom that one finds with the Philosophers of the Enlightenment who belong to the corresponding societies – cf. “Trois figures de la liberté”.
As this research advanced, it appeared that the conceptions of culture available in the literature, whether they use attitude scales, an interpretive process, or the existence of routines, could not account for our observation data. This situation led to the development of a conception of culture that is valid for modern societies.
At the same time, it gradually appeared that the cultural specificities highlighted during this research on organisations were equally present in the construction of institutional systems.


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