Cross-Cultural and Comparative Management Studies

The global study of growth-oriented entrepreneurship is heavily dependent on comparative management studies, which includes research activities undertaken to identify and explain similarities and differences among business strategies, management styles and systems and social behavior in different work contexts (e.g., geographic areas, cultures or industries).

Culture plays an important role in comparative management studies and cross-cultural researchers have uncovered evidence regarding cultural differences that 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.  Finally, societal cultures are a key and inescapable part of the external environment for all organizations and thus must be considered when designing and executing organizational strategies.

The International Center for Growth-Oriented Entrepreneurship has an extensive library of materials on cross-cultural studies that are invaluable in comparing management practices across borders.  These materials can be accessed here.


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