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We're on a road to nowhere... new forms of work organization and national cultures

Listed author(s):
  • Ferreira, Pedro

The main objective of this paper is to discuss how far the cultural environment is related to the potential that new forms of work organization, namely autonomy and teamwork, have for success. To accomplish this objective two main approaches will be used: on the one hand, the Socio-Technical Systems(STS) approach, as the main theoretical background for new forms of work organization; and on the other hand, Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions as the theoretical model to frame the concept of national cultures. The study was developed using data from 23 EU countries. The study showed that the correlation between national cultures and new forms of work organization are significant, yet moderate. Moreover, differences in the impact of cultural dimensions on work design practices were found. The use of autonomy and teamwork can be insufficient to represent the wide variety of work design practices in STS. The same is also valid for cultural dimensions. An understanding of the cultural constraints on work design practices in EU countries can help improve organization models, furthering competitiveness.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 36403.

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Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision: 0209
Publication status: Published in Estonian Business Review 26 (2009): pp. 25-36
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:36403
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  1. Kovács, Ilona & Moniz, António, 1994. "Trends for the development of anthropocentric production systems in small less industrialised countries: The case of Portugal," MPRA Paper 6551, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Dec 1994.
  2. Bruce Kogut & Harbir Singh, 1988. "The Effect of National Culture on the Choice of Entry Mode," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 19(3), pages 411-432, September.
  3. Geert Hofstede, 1983. "The Cultural Relativity of Organizational Practices and Theories," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 14(2), pages 75-89, June.
  4. Baskerville, Rachel F., 2003. "Hofstede never studied culture," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 1-14, January.
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