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Article
Publication date: 25 September 2017

Frank Fitzpatrick

The purpose of this paper is to re-examine the use of the term “culture shock” in international management studies and cross-cultural research and to propose a…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to re-examine the use of the term “culture shock” in international management studies and cross-cultural research and to propose a paradigmatic shift in how the term is understood for future research. The experience of “culture shock” is an established concept within international management studies, engendering an industry of training designed to combat difficulties in relocation. This paper argues that the use of concept is based on a flawed understanding of “culture” and proposes an alternative perspective to help organisations prepare their employees for overseas assignments.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper opts for a critical review of literature to examine models of culture shock through time and theories relating to success factors in cross-cultural adjustment. In so doing, the paper revisits the notion of culture shock from a social constructionist perspective within a dialectical framework.

Findings

The paper challenges the notion of culture as an essential, reified concept, arguing that culture shock is not about culture, but about the dynamics of context and how individuals deal with life changes to navigate the challenges that they face.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should focus on context-related, interactive behaviour, framed in discourse processes, rather than predetermined a priori typologies based on cultural stereotypes. This would recognise the discursive nature of social interaction within a dialectical framework, where relational tension emerges as a result of disparity.

Practical implications

The paper contributes to an understanding of the complex range of factors influencing the success of relocation to guide international companies in their policies.

Originality/value

This paper proposes a paradigm shift in the treatment of culture shock towards a more discourse-based concept created through universal cultural and dialectical processes.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 January 2019

Frank Fitzpatrick

As the rate of growth in trade of developing and developed economies converges, international business is increasingly taking place in a growing assortment of political…

Abstract

Purpose

As the rate of growth in trade of developing and developed economies converges, international business is increasingly taking place in a growing assortment of political and ideological contexts with variable levels of tolerance for plural dissidence. This can create substantial challenges and risks for crosscultural adjustment and increases the potential for assignment failure. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of an authoritarian regime on the process of adjustment amongst expatriate sojourners and draw out lessons for future research and policies for relocation in similar authoritarian contexts.

Design/methodology/approach

This was a qualitative research study over three years making use of participant observation methods as a result of researcher immersion in the local context.

Findings

This study finds that “culture” is an insufficient category for explaining difficulties in cross-cultural adjustment and demonstrates that adjustment difficulties under authoritarianism are heightened in the proximate sociocultural context, with geo-political and ideological dynamics creating more challenging conditions of life. Increased levels of social control act to heighten psychological vulnerability amongst sojourners, resulting in coping behaviours that seek a greater degree of psychological alleviation and companionship through more resource-intensive supportive networks and a tendency toward enclavism, thus inhibiting sociocultural adjustment to the host society.

Research limitations/implications

Research needs to recognise more fully the diverse nature of contexts in cross-cultural adjustment. Future research should explore different types of contexts and assess what sort of challenges may arise in relation to the process of psychological and sociocultural adjustment and the adjustive resources required to overcome them.

Practical implications

The paper contributes to the understanding of the psychological and sociocultural challenges of international relocation in an authoritarian context and serves as valuable insight for relocation planning in similar conditions, which are an ever-increasing feature of international business.

Originality/value

This paper gives a unique insight into international relocation in Cuba and draws out the areas of concern for cross-cultural adjustment under authoritarian conditions, an ever-increasing feature of international business. It serves as an example of how context-based research can inform cross-cultural theory and practice within an evolving landscape of doing business globally.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 2 December 2019

Frank Fitzpatrick

Abstract

Details

Understanding Intercultural Interaction: An Analysis of Key Concepts
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-397-0

Book part
Publication date: 2 December 2019

Frank Fitzpatrick

Abstract

Details

Understanding Intercultural Interaction: An Analysis of Key Concepts
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-397-0

Abstract

Details

Understanding Intercultural Interaction: An Analysis of Key Concepts
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-397-0

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 2 December 2019

Frank Fitzpatrick

Abstract

Details

Understanding Intercultural Interaction: An Analysis of Key Concepts
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-397-0

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 2 August 2022

Abstract

Details

ICT and Innovation in Teaching Learning Methods in Higher Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-265-9

Article
Publication date: 29 April 2020

Rocío Arteaga and Alejandro Escribá-Esteve

This research is aimed to better understand what characteristics of family firms create a context in which family governance systems are more frequently adopted.

Abstract

Purpose

This research is aimed to better understand what characteristics of family firms create a context in which family governance systems are more frequently adopted.

Design/methodology/approach

We analyse a sample of 490 Spanish family businesses using cluster analysis, and we identify four different types of family businesses whose characteristics are associated to the adoption of different family governance systems, i.e. family councils and family protocols. The comparison between clusters of the baseline parameters was performed using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) for parametric variables, the χ2 test for parametric variables and Kruskal-Wallis for nonparametric variables. By conducting between-profile analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), we tested for differences in the dependent variables (i.e. the existence of family councils and/or existence of family protocols) between the clusters, using cluster membership as the independent variable.

Findings

Taking into account the characteristics of family firms in terms of ownership structure, management involvement, and family and organizational complexity, we identify four different contexts that create different communication needs and are related to the use of different family governance mechanisms. We characterize the different contexts or types of family firms as: founder-centric, protective, consensual and business-evolved. Our findings show that family protocols are associated to contexts with high family involvement in management and family complexity, while family councils are more frequent when there is a separation of managerial and ownership roles and there is a high organizational and family complexity.

Research limitations/implications

The study highlights the value of social systems theory in order to explain the association between the characteristics of different firm types and contexts, and the use of family councils and family protocols to govern the relationship between the owner family and the business.

Practical implications

Family governance mechanisms are widely recommended by practitioners and scholars. However, they are usually adopted only by a small percentage of family firms. This study helps to better understand what family governance systems may be more appropriate in different contexts and relativize the necessity of these governance mechanisms in function of the communication needs created within each context.

Social implications

The improvement of family governance mechanisms helps to increase the likelihood of survival and durability of family firms. These firms contribute to more than 60% of employment in most developed countries. Consequently, good governance in family firms has social implications in terms of labour conditions and stability.

Originality/value

Most family firms don't use family protocols or family councils to govern the relationship between the owner family and the firm. However, little is known about the reasons for this lack of structuration of the family-firm relationship. Using social systems theory, our research contributes to better understand the conditions in which business families are more prone to use structured forms to manage this relationship, as well as the reasons that may be constraining their adoption.

Details

Journal of Family Business Management, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-6238

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 2 November 2009

Sean T. Doherty

Health scientists and urban planners have long been interested in the influence that the built environment has on the physical activities in which we engage, the…

Abstract

Health scientists and urban planners have long been interested in the influence that the built environment has on the physical activities in which we engage, the environmental hazards we face, the kinds of amenities we enjoy, and the resulting impacts on our health. However, it is widely recognized that the extent of this influence, and the specific cause-and-effect relationships that exist, are still relatively unclear. Recent reviews highlight the need for more individual-level data on daily activities (especially physical activity) over long periods of time linked spatially to real-world characteristics of the built environment in diverse settings, along with a wide range of personal mediating variables. While capturing objective data on the built environment has benefited from wide-scale availability of detailed land use and transport network databases, the same cannot be said of human activity. A more diverse history of data collection methods exists for such activity and continues to evolve owing to a variety of quickly emerging wearable sensor technologies. At present, no “gold standard” method has emerged for assessing physical activity type and intensity under the real-world conditions of the built environment; in fact, most methods have barely been tested outside of the laboratory, and those that have tend to experience significant drops in accuracy and reliability. This paper provides a review of these diverse methods and emerging technologies, including biochemical, self-report, direct observation, passive motion detection, and integrated approaches. Based on this review and current needs, an integrated three-tiered methodology is proposed, including: (1) passive location tracking (e.g., using global positioning systems); (2) passive motion/biometric tracking (e.g., using accelerometers); and (3) limited self-reporting (e.g., using prompted recall diaries). Key development issues are highlighted, including the need for proper validation and automated activity-detection algorithms. The paper ends with a look at some of the key lessons learned and new opportunities that have emerged at the crossroads of urban studies and health sciences.

We do have a vision for a world in which people can walk to shops, school, friends' homes, or transit stations; in which they can mingle with their neighbors and admire trees, plants, and waterways; in which the air and water are clean; and in which there are parks and play areas for children, gathering spots for teens and the elderly, and convenient work and recreation places for the rest of us. (Frumkin, Frank, & Jackson, 2004, p. xvii)

Details

Transport Survey Methods
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84-855844-1

Article
Publication date: 19 March 2021

Akif Cicek, Rüveyda Kelleci and Pieter Vandekerkhof

Family governance mechanisms serve to govern and strengthen relations between the family and the business, as well as the relationships between the members of the business…

Abstract

Purpose

Family governance mechanisms serve to govern and strengthen relations between the family and the business, as well as the relationships between the members of the business family itself. However, despite agreement on the importance of adopting family governance structures, explicit research on the determinants of family governance mechanisms is currently missing. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to uncover the determinants of family meetings. In order to do so, the social systems theory is used to unravel several determining factors of this crucial form of family governance mechanisms in private family firms.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors perform a qualitative study by conducting semi-structured interviews in eight Belgian private family firms in order to discover the antecedents of the implementation of family meetings. The authors use a pattern-matching technique as an analytical strategy.

Findings

The findings of the study highlight the importance of “soft,” relational, qualitative issues as antecedents of family meetings as opposed to previous research on family governance, which predominantly focused on “hard,” quantitative measures (e.g. family ownership). The findings of the study also provide novel insights into the origins of the family component (i.e. family meetings) of family business governance.

Originality/value

While the current literature has only focused on describing the different types of family governance and their positive consequences for the family firm, the authors take a step back to explain why family meetings, as a form of family governance, are adopted in the first place. Second, the authors demonstrate the instrumentality of the social systems theory in understanding the family's needs that necessitate the implementation of family governance mechanisms.

Details

Journal of Family Business Management, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2043-6238

Keywords

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