From cultural values to cross-cultural interfaces: Hofstede goes to Africa


Jackson, T. 2011. From cultural values to cross-cultural interfaces: Hofstede goes to Africa. Journal of Organizational Change Management. 24 (4), pp. 532-558.
TitleFrom cultural values to cross-cultural interfaces: Hofstede goes to Africa
AuthorsJackson, T.

Purpose: Hofstede’s theory may be problematic from both a methodological/theoretical, and practical view when applied to the 80 percent of the Globe we term Developing. It is necessary to break out of an epistemic paradigm and a ‘view from nowhere’ in order to focus on multiple layers of cultural interfaces within power dynamics that influence the nature of hybrid organizations and individual cultural identity.
Design/methodology/approach: Cross-cultural values theory provides a blunt instrument in Africa, does not take into account global dependencies and is not able to analyse local perceptions of reality within a context of these dependencies. A theory of cultural interfaces is developed that incorporates an Aristotelian phronetic approach to social science.
Findings: This moves away from the universals of analytical rationality towards practical value-rationality that considers culture from a context-dependent viewpoint, provides a synthesis for cultural-institutional approaches, and engages researchers beyond merely looking at differences in cultures and the consequences, and towards what should be done about issues that arise.
Originality/value: By providing an example of how cultural interfaces may be researched, and discussing the associated conceptual issues, it is hope that this will help to move forward the debate about cross-cultural management.

KeywordsAfrica; cross-cultural management; cultural identity; cultural interfaces; developing countries; international development
Research GroupInternational and Cross-cultural Management group
JournalJournal of Organizational Change Management
Publication dates
Publication process dates
Deposited12 Oct 2011
Output statusPublished
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
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