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The Flow of Culture: Some Notes on Globalization and the Multinational Corporation*

  • John Van Maanen
  • André Laurent

Abstract

As this collection of essays suggests, organizational theorists are just getting around to the serious study of the MNC. As of yet they have not had much time for culture, but when culture does enter into the emerging representation of the MNC, it does so often as an all-purpose variable used to account for many of the problems faced by MNCs. Such firms by definition do business in different countries under vastly different conditions throughout the world; they must therefore enter into relations with people — as customers, employees, suppliers — from distinct national (and other) cultures who may have quite different ideas as to what the organization and their roles in relation to it are all about. This multinational character creates varying degrees of cultural complexity, confusion and conflict when individuals and groups who do not share the same underlying codes of meaning and conduct come into contact with one another. These troubles may persist over time and even become amplified, thus leading to a good deal of distrust, disorder, hostility and the unravelling of corporate or local agendas. Organization theory applied to the MNC becomes then a search for those organizational forms that might obviate, mediate or otherwise soothe local interests in favour of corporate ones.

Keywords

Cultural Experience Corporate Culture World Culture Ride Operator Corporate Headquarters 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Limited 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Van Maanen
  • André Laurent

There are no affiliations available

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