Culture as an Individual Process - Deficits of National Cultural Theories in Management of Cultural Diversity

17 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2008

See all articles by Rainer Lenz

Rainer Lenz

University of Applied Sciences, Bielefeld

Date Written: December 18, 2008

Abstract

Most prevailing theories in cross cultural management reduce the variability of individual relations to one single category, the national culture. According to this theory, and based on the assumption that national cultural values determine individual behavior, the individual's behavior in different national cultures becomes predictable. It is an over simplistic model which pretends to provide "easy" answers for a complex world.

In this article, a new approach to culture is introduced according to which culture is seen as a permanent individual process. The focus will be on the individual in its complex correlation to the society he lives in. The approach will include basic elements of both the sociological theory of systems and the philosophy of "New Kantianism" as it evolved in the beginning of the 20th century. This approach to culture will observe the human being as an entity while being part of society and acting as an individual. Therefore, it will pro-vide an understanding of the complex relationship between individual and society. By doing this, managers will learn a general method with respect to the question how to individual behavior can be observed and to how social conflicts can be solved.

Keywords: Cross Cultural Management, Cultural Theories, Culture, National Culture, Diversity Management, New Kantianism

JEL Classification: Z1, Z10, A14, A23, B31, D21, I20, J70, L20, M53

Suggested Citation

Lenz, Rainer, Culture as an Individual Process - Deficits of National Cultural Theories in Management of Cultural Diversity (December 18, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1317821 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1317821

Rainer Lenz (Contact Author)

University of Applied Sciences, Bielefeld ( email )

Interaktion 1
Bielefeld, 33619
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.fh-bielefeld.de/fb5/lenz

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