National Culture Influence on Organisational Trauma: A Conceptual Framework Review

National Culture Influence on Organisational Trauma: A Conceptual Framework Review

Pavel Cejka (University of Economics, Czech Republic) and Hana Mohelska (University of Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2021-4.ch007


Increasing human interaction creates extra stress on individuals and organisations as well. The nature of such stress results in economic shocks and large societal and organisational traumas. Although recent social science is capable of addressing the complexity of international interplay such as culture, acts of multinational corporations or cross-cultural team management, little attention was paid on the cultural aspects of removing organisational trauma. Since the 1980s, social science has experienced lively development in cross-cultural studies via the work of Hofstede, the Globe Group, the World Value Survey initiative, Trompenaars, Schwartz and others. Although major models are sufficient for defining national culture, there is lack of work explaining the managerial implications for crisis management or mitigating trauma in organisations.The authors of this chapter intend to critically review the latest literature on national culture, while discussing the relevant models and introducing the theoretic framework applicable for crisis/ trauma management.
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National Culture vs. Corporate Culture

The cultural concept debate started in 1955 when Herskovitz (1995) suggested culture to be “the human-made part of the environment”, and Shwered and LeVine (1984) introduced the importance of the shared meaning of cultural systems, or the “Collective programming of a mind” as Hofstede defines culture. An important aspect of this view of culture is the collective understanding of it. Perhaps the most complex understanding of culture was demonstrated in the original study by Rohner (1984) “the largest unit of a territorially bounded, multigenerational population recruited largely through sexual reproduction, and organized around a common culture and a common social system”, describing the social system also known as society. He also describes culture as “the totality of equivalent and complementary learned the meanings maintained by a human population, or by identifiable segments of a population, and transmitted from one generation to the next”. Rohner’s definition is supported by Lenug (2006) and Redding & Witt (2009).

Lively academic discussion has resulted in two major schools of thoughts. The collective centric scholars such as Hofstede tend to generalize their observations into a group or national cultural behaviours. Others lead by Rohner tilt toward the importance of the individual culture definer. Their definition of culture suppresses the idea of creating “cultural boxes”. Such an elementary cultural debate might be seen through the literature from leading international business or management studies (Boyacigiller & Adler, 1991; Leung & Bond, 2006; Rohner, 1984; Tung & Verbeke, 2010). This academic discourse leads to the question of which of the streams is more sustainable for management studies, and why?

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