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Adopting or adapting? The tension between local and international mindsets in portuguese management

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  • Cunha, Miguel Pina e
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    One of the effects of the globalization process has been the diffusion of international management mindsets. Such a process of diffusion may be contributing to an increasing homogeneity of managerial practice around the world, but important differences still remain. The research reported in this article analyzes management as a process in the making, i.e. as a dynamic interplay between local culture, history and conditions, and the diffusion/adoption of international managerial techniques. The topic is approached inductively, through interviews with 71 managers based in Portugal. The article makes two main contributions: it analyzes management as a dialectical interplay between local factors and imported management knowledge, and helps to describe management practice in this Latin European country. Results suggest that the change process occurring in managerial practice in Portugal derives from the tension between a parochial mindset, inherited from almost five decades of dictatorship and its confrontation with a new global mindset. Some managers may be approaching this tension dialectically, through the enactment of a synthesis, which some informants interpret as potentially leading to a new Latin managerial touch

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    Paper provided by Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia in its series FEUNL Working Paper Series with number wp451.

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    Length: 32 pages
    Date of creation: 2004
    Handle: RePEc:unl:unlfep:wp451
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    1. Gary S. Becker & Tomas J. Philipson & Rodrigo R. Soares, 2005. "The Quantity and Quality of Life and the Evolution of World Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 277-291, March.
    2. Goffee, Rob & Jones, Gareth, 1995. "Developing managers for Europe: A re-examination of cross-cultural differences," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 245-250, September.
    3. Jesuino, Jorge Correia, 2002. "Latin europe cluster: from South to North," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 81-89, April.
    4. Tony J Watson, 1998. "Managerial Sensemaking and Occupational Identities in Britain and Italy: The Role of Management Magazines in the Process of Discursive Construction," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(3), pages 285-301, May.
    5. Gupta, Vipin & Hanges, Paul J. & Dorfman, Peter, 2002. "Cultural clusters: methodology and findings," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 11-15, April.
    6. Engwall, Lars, 1996. "The Vikings versus the world: An examination of Nordic business research," Scandinavian Journal of Management, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 425-436, December.
    7. Pina e Cunha, Miguel & Campos e Cunha, Rita, 2003. "The interplay of planned and emergent change in Cuba," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 445-459, August.
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