Culture & Development

Our research shows that there is no cultural determinism to explain either the success of certain developing countries or the failure of others. Some authors believed that they could account for the growth of Asian tigers using values of Confucianism. Yet the same argument (the values of Confucianism) had been used in the past to explain the underdevelopment of the same countries. The idea of national culture does not imply automatic behaviour that would be the cause of development or hamper it. If the idea appears to have become entrenched, it is partly due to the simplistic analysis of Max Weber.
At the same time, we show that the rationales used to interpret a culture shed light on the more or less effective application of corporate management methods, the coherence of institutional frameworks, and the content of public policies. Culture thus appears as a resource, provided that one is able to use it in a creative manner, by mobilising its specific categories of interpretation and its specific images in order to support economic efficiency.

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