Culture, Meaning, and Institutions: Executive Rationale in Germany and Japan

Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 40, No. 5, pp. 859-885

60 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2008 Last revised: 22 Jul 2017

See all articles by Michael A. Witt

Michael A. Witt

INSEAD; Harvard University, Reischauer Institute

Gordon Redding

INSEAD

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

This paper contributes rare primary empirical evidence to one of the major research questions in the social sciences today, namely, the linkage between national cultures and institutional structures of national business systems. Drawing on the work of Redding (2005), we explore the thinking, or "rationale," of senior executives of leading German and Japanese firms about the ideal structure of the economy. We find considerable variation in rationale across the two countries and in comparison with the shape of the business system of the United States. Our study has implications for our understanding of the meaning of economic activity in different countries and of the evolutionary trajectories of national business systems.

Keywords: rationale, culture, values, norms, institutions, varieties of capitalism, comparative business systems, Germany, Japan

Suggested Citation

Witt, Michael A. and Redding, Gordon, Culture, Meaning, and Institutions: Executive Rationale in Germany and Japan (2009). Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 40, No. 5, pp. 859-885, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1264305

Michael A. Witt (Contact Author)

INSEAD ( email )

1 Ayer Rajah Avenue
Singapore, 138676
Singapore

HOME PAGE: http://faculty.insead.edu/michael-witt/research

Harvard University, Reischauer Institute

1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Gordon Redding

INSEAD ( email )

Boulevard de Constance
77305 Fontainebleau Cedex
France

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