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Finnish-French Fundamental Cultural Antagonisms in Organising

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  • Fougère, Martin

    () (Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Fougère, Martin, 2004. "Finnish-French Fundamental Cultural Antagonisms in Organising," Working Papers 502, Hanken School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhb:hanken:0502
    as

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    File URL: http://dhanken.shh.fi/dspace/bitstream/10227/186/2/502-951-555-833-6.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

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    1. Industrial Sociology (FCT-UNL)

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