Symposia
Friday, June 3rd 2011
16:00 - 17:30
Hotel Olümpia, Omega

Symposium: Is management culture global?

Organization: SIG International Management
Rian Drogendijk, Uppsala University

The theme of the EURAM 2011 is “Management Culture in the 21st Century”. The conference
organizers challenge our thinking about cultural transfer from older EU countries to new
members and ask which parts of management culture should be kept in the new century. For
this symposium we are inspired by the conference theme to discuss whether there exists
something as a shared, global (or European) management culture. Both in discussions with
students as well as colleagues we often hear the argument that national cultural differences
play much less a role in international management since managers all show similar cultural
characteristics and behaviour in today’s globalized world, reflected in Friedman’s slogan “the
World is Flat”. Globalization, Internet, the opening of new markets and increased movements
of people around the globe cause cultural convergence. When considering management
culture in particular, the flattening is the result of the fact that managers are schooled at
business schools that all use the same textbooks and cases, that managers are selected because
of certain personality characteristics that fit their job demands, and because managers adapt,
copy and assimilate each others' behaviour. On the other hand, practitioners and academics
alike, can relate abundant examples of cultural misunderstandings and their effects on
international management still today. Also empirical studies continue to find support for the
importance of cultural differences for management, claiming in Ghemawat’s words that
“distance still matters”. So, is management culture global, or at least European? What factors
contribute to or prevent the development of such a shared culture?
The coordination committee of the SIG International Management invites you to join what
promises to be a lively discussion. Do come and participate!

Panellists:
Christina Butler, Kingston University London
Mike Geppert, University of Surrey
Niels Noorderhaven, Tilburg University
Mikael Søndergård, University of Aarhus