Culture & Management

Good management practices give rise to a great deal of enthusiasm among managers in all countries. However, these practices deserve to be considered as productions that are rooted in the cultural context in which they came about.

Their transferability to another context is not necessarily guaranteed, despite their universal appearance. The situations in which management methods are transferred raise the question of the legitimacy and ownership of the various elements that are established from outside. We rule out the idea that best practices established in one area of the world may necessarily be suitable in another place. The transfer situation should be thoroughly contextualised and what such a transfer might bring about in the context in question should be examined on a case-by-case basis. The observation of local successes – i.e. in the same cultural context, deserves as much, or even more, attention, in order to identify “good practices”.

Similarly, in intercultural teams, the actors, who are socialised within different universes of meaning and are required to cooperate, come up against many difficulties. This not only involves being understood, but also building compromises together that can take on a positive meaning in each of the political cultures involved.

Within each culture, levels of action can be identified that are compatible with the implementation of a legitimate and effective organisation in the eyes of actors. We rule out the direct link involving a culturalist approach, established by some between the properties of a culture and the ability to produce effective forms of local management.

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