Browsing by Subject "cross-cultural / intercultural"

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  • Fougère, Martin (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2004)
    Working Papers
    Seeking to challenge the belief that within-West cultural differences should be seen as insignificant in organisations, this paper seeks to demonstrate how two given Western European ‘organising cultures’ (i.e. Finnish culture and French culture, as they are expressed in the process of organising) can contrast, if not conflict, with each other. Further, it aims to help the reader realise what kinds of fundamental ‘cultural antagonisms’ these contrasting organising behaviours may come from, to help her/him understand ‘the other culture’ better, and thus allow for a first step towards an improvement of Finnish-French intercultural interactions in organisational contexts. After shortly introducing what should be understood here as ‘cultural antagonisms’, the paper addresses four fundamental Finnish-French antagonisms, regarding the vision of the organisation (‘functionalist vs. personalist’), the relative importance of ‘consensus vs. dissensus’, the typical trade-off between reliability and flexibility, and the striking differences in communication, respectively. These four fundamental antagonisms are found to be closely interrelated and integrated, serving as explanation, justification and legitimisation for each other. That does not mean, however, that differences, however striking they may be, should merely be a threat to co-operation: some implications introduced at the end of the paper suggest that, provided people are aware of them, cultural antagonisms can also be seen as opportunities for a more fruitful work interaction.
  • Fougère, Martin (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2005)
    Economics and Society
    Research on cross-cultural and intercultural aspects in organizations has been traditionally conducted from an objectivist, functionalist perspective, with culture treated as an independent variable, and often the key explanatory factor. In order to do justice to the ontological relativity of the phenomena studied, more subjectivist research on intercultural interactions, and especially on their relationships with the dynamics of cultural identity construction, is needed. The present research seeks to address this gap by focusing on bicultural interactions in organizations, as they are experienced by the involved individuals. It is argued that such bicultural situations see the emergence of a space of hybridity, which is here called a ‘third space’, and which can be understood as providing ‘occasions for sensemaking’: it is this individual sensemaking that is of particular interest in the empirical narrative study. A first overall aim of the study is to reach an understanding of the dynamics of bicultural interactions in organizations; an understanding not only of the potential for learning and emancipatory sensemaking, but also of the possibility of conflict and alienatory ordering (this is mainly addressed in the theoretical essays 1 and 2). Further, a second overall aim of the study is to analyze the reflexive identity construction of four young French expatriates involved in such bicultural interactions in organizations in Finland, in order to examine the extent to which their expatriation experiences have allowed for an emancipatory opportunity in their cases (in essays 3 and 4). The primary theoretical contribution in this study lies in its new articulation of the dynamics of bicultural interactions in organizations. The ways in which the empirical material is analyzed bring about methodological contributions: since the expatriates’ accounts are bound to be some kind of construction, the analysis is made from angles that point to how the self-narratives construct reality. There are two such angles here: a ‘performative’ one and a ‘spatial’ one. The most important empirical contributions lie in the analysis of, on the one hand, the alternative uses that the young expatriates made of the notion of ‘national culture’ in their self-narratives, and, on the other hand, their ‘narrative practices of the third space’: their politics of escape or stabilization, their exploration of space or search for place, their emancipation from their origin or return to home as only horizon.