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Finnish-French Fundamental Cultural Antagonisms in Organising

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  • Fougère, Martin

    ()
    (Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration)

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    Abstract

    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.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Hanken School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 502.

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    Length: 23 pages
    Date of creation: 03 May 2004
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhb:hanken:0502

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    Postal: Hanken School of Economics, Arkadiankatu 22, P.O.B. 479; FIN 00101 Helsinki, Finland
    Phone: +358-9-431 331
    Fax: +358-9-431 33 333
    Web page: http://www.hanken.fi
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    Related research

    Keywords: Cross-Cultural / Intercultural; Finnish; French; Antagonisms; Organising;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    References

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    1. John Asafu-Adjaye, 2004. "Income inequality and health: a multi-country analysis," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(1/2), pages 195 - 207, January.
    2. Laura Arranz-Aperte & Almas Heshmati, 2004. "Determinants of Profit Sharing in the Finnish Corporate Sector," Indian Economic Review, Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics, vol. 39(1), pages 55-79, January.
    3. Forsman, Maria & Solitander, Nikodemus, 2003. "Network Knowledge versus Cluster Knowledge- The Gordian Knot of Knowledge Transfer Concepts," Working Papers 494, Hanken School of Economics.
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    1. Industrial Sociology (FCT-UNL)

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