Value of Comparative and Cross-Cultural Management Studies

Consultants and other professionals have generated a continuous stream of ideas regarding practical applications of the byproducts of comparative and cross-cultural management studies and the latest CMS Working Paper summarizes the value of comparative and cross-cultural management studies in the "real world".  Information regarding cultural differences can be used in a number of ways by managers of global businesses.  For example, knowledge regarding culture and what are considered to be effective and legitimate leadership and management styles and behaviors can be used in operating and managing foreign subsidiaries and in designing orientation and training programs for employees of global organizations.  Another important area in which information from cross-cultural research can be used is training organizational leaders to ensure that they understand and execute behaviors that are culturally appropriate and which are perceived as being positive and effective by their followers.  A related issue is making sure that the management strategies and procedures used by organizational leaders take into account cultural differences. Cultural sensitivity is also essential when negotiating and managing cross-border business relationships with partners from different societal cultures.  Societal cultures are also a key and inescapable part of the external environment for all organizations and thus must be considered when designing and executing organizational strategies.  Finally, comparative management studies provides managers with a rich repository of information regarding managerial styles and processes employed by their colleagues in other countries that can be used to improve their own skills and may identify insights that can be applied in their own organizations.

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