Browsing by Author "Fougère, Martin"

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  • Fougère, Martin (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2004)
    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, 2004)
    This conceptual paper examines bicultural interactions in organizations as they are experienced by the involved individuals. Notions from Bakhtinian dialogism are used in order to conceptualize the sensemaking opportunities provided by the encounter with a cultural otherness. It is argued that in such bicultural situations, because of the lack of intimate understanding of the other culture, the third element in the dialogic relation - ‘thirdness’, i.e. the relation itself, without which there would be no sensemaking potential - may be lacking as a result of the distorting combination of projected similarity and stereotyping, added to certain counterproductive organizational dynamics. Therefore, it is suggested that, to make the bicultural work interaction the rewarding relation it could be, thirdness should be coordinated by management in a way that can transcend the spontaneous negative dynamics of the confrontational situation. If management was to fail to organize (with) thirdness appropriately, bringing in a third party could be a possible alternative in order to initiate the necessary mutual understanding that should eventually lead to a fruitful work interaction.