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Norm Grunsfeld

Marco Lei
Austin Lee
Erin Wright
Angelo Zuazo

Laurent noticed:

French managers had a difficult time

contemplating alternative management styles

In particular, matrix organizational structures

directly opposed their view of single chain of
command structure

Each manager has his own management

theory that in some way guide his potential
behavior in organizations

The Study

The purpose was not to simply analyze

the structure of individual opinions, but
to compare how individuals from the
same country seem to share a similar
managerial ideology.

Method of Research

A questionnaire consisting of 56 statements to be rated on

a 5 point agree/disagreement scale.

60 upper-mid-level managers attending INSEAD

executive development program; 40 French, 20 European

Between 1977 1979: Several more studies were

conducted at various INSEAD executive development

The Presentation Study:

10 Western countries; 9 European, 1 United States
817 Respondents of varied function, education, age,
Common element: upper-mid-level management

The Findings

The statistics analysis found 4 Clusters

Organizations as:

Political systems
Authority systems
Role formalization systems
Hierarchical-relationship systems

Organizations as Political systems

Some managers see the organization as

a political system and this have a
profound effect in the organizational
behavior of the company

Insight into the extent to which

managers from different countries tend
to interpret their organizational
experience in power terms

Organizations as Authority

Different nationalities have a different

perception concerning authority and how
this is a huge factor in their day to day

Organizations as Role
formalization systems

Focuses on the relative importance of

defining and specifying the functions
and roles of organizational members

Organizations as Hierarchicalrelationship systems

Differences in management attitudes

toward organizational relationships

How some countries believe that the

managers should have all the answers
and that bypassing is no more than

Political Systems
France, Italy

Highly political

Low org. structure

Danish, British

Less political

More org. structure

Authority Systems
Belgium, Italy, France

Hierarchy = Authority
Authority regulates relationships

U.S., Switzerland, Germany

Organizations Authority Systems

Authority regulates tasks, functions

Role-Formalization Systems
Sweden, U.S., Netherlands

Low need for detailed job descriptions, well-defined

functions, and precisely defined roles

Hierarchical-Relationship Systems
Sweden, N. Europe, U.S.

Italy, Latin Countries

More likely to bypass authority in time of need

Recognize boss may not have all the answers
Less open to matrix structures

Contemporary Relevance of the

The quotes correlate from those of the United
States in Laurents study.
Interview Questions: (US participants)

Do you think it is a good strategy to boast your

authority around employees so they know you are
the top boss?

When employees continually causes a small to

medium problem that does not affect other
employees, how is it best to address the problem?

Personal example

Dr. Dee Ellington:

Forcing your authority, making it well known
that you are the boss is a bad idea.
One on one. Discuss problems, express
opinions, no third parties.
Managers need to be more hands on, not
micromanaging, but more hands on caring
more about the employees.

Dr. Marilyn Kaplan:

Personal example: Having a strategic vision
is most important for managers to be
successful with employees.
Dr. Laurie Ziegler:
One of the most important things managers
misconceive is that all employees are the
same. America is a low content country;
other countries are the exact opposite.

Findings in the
Support Laurents findings (USA)

Organizations are not authority systems

Low need for detailed job descriptions, well

defined functions, and precisely defined

Most likely to bypass authority in time of


Contemporary Relevance of the

German and US managers seem to
report a more rational and instrumental
view of authority that regulates
interaction among tasks and functions.
Leadership styles and cultural values among managers and
subordinates: a comparative study of four countries of the
former Soviet Union, Germany, and the US by Alexander
Ardichvili and K. Peter Kuchinke, 1999


Cultural differences in respect to

management styles and notions about
the role of managers cannot be ignored

When directing any employee at the

corporation with a different background,
it must be explained in terms of their
cultural perceptions.


Without connecting the firms managing

style to the cultural perceptions of
individual managers within the
organization, it will be difficult to
effectively reach the collective goals of
the organization.


Insight on employees and realizing that

not everyone is the same and the world
is becoming global is another aspect of
the new-faced manager

Weaknesses of the article

The composition of questions themselves

and their aims to isolate specific

The origin of the author as it relates to the

countries being evaluated

The number of countries evaluated by the

questionnaire and

The group size and aspect constraints

Strengths of the article

Studies such as the MNC-A study and

the MNC-B continue to show continuity
in results.

People from the same culture will act

upon similar and familiar assumptions
about situations, people, and things in
their everyday lives.
Trompenaars, F. (1994). Riding the waves of culture:
Understanding diversity in global business. London: The
Economist Books (page 3).