From cultural values to cross‐cultural interfaces: Hofstede goes to Africa

Terence Jackson (Middlesex University Business School, London, UK)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Publication date: 5 July 2011

Abstract

Purpose

Hofstede's theory may be problematic from both a methodological/theoretical and practical view when applied to the 80 per cent of the globe we term developing. It is necessary to break out of an epistemic paradigm and a “view from nowhere” in order to focus on multiple layers of cultural interfaces within power dynamics that influence the nature of hybrid organizations and individual cultural identity. The purpose of this paper therefore is to develop a theory of cross‐cultural interfaces.

Design/methodology/approach

Cross‐cultural values theory provides a blunt instrument in Africa, does not take into account global dependencies and is not able to analyse local perceptions of reality within a context of these dependencies. A theory of cultural interfaces is developed that incorporates an Aristotelian phronetic approach to social science.

Findings

This moves away from the universals of analytical rationality towards practical value‐rationality that considers culture from a context‐dependent viewpoint, provides a synthesis for cultural‐institutional approaches, and engages researchers beyond merely looking at differences in cultures and the consequences, and towards what should be done about issues that arise.

Originality/value

By providing an example of how cultural interfaces may be researched, and discussing the associated conceptual issues, it is hoped that this paper will help to move forward the debate about cross‐cultural management.

Keywords

Citation

Jackson, T. (2011), "From cultural values to cross‐cultural interfaces: Hofstede goes to Africa", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 24 No. 4, pp. 532-558. https://doi.org/10.1108/09534811111144656

Download as .RIS

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.