Page 18 - Crossing Cultural Boundaries - Cees den Teuling
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be involved in a research of trans-boundary cultural differences in for-profit organisations.
Culture leads us unconsciously or semi-consciously to “act” in a certain way by “filling in” the “blanks”. In the meantime, its metaphors allow us to unveil the values preconditioning the action, as argued Gannon and Pillai (2010).
The immediate reason for this research arose from my personal experiences and those of my colleagues-consultants, engaged in the international advisory services, particularly those directed to Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). As a younger entrepreneur in the 1970’s and 1980’s of the twentieth century, my managerial learning and development were influenced by Newman, Summer, and Warren (1977), Constable and McCormick (1987) Handy (1987) and Hofstede (1984b) This was followed by a double path - intertwining business with reading and study.
As a practicing management and business consultant, my starting point for this study was the question: “How can management consultants overcome the gaps, barriers and stumble blocks in the daily operations of the transfer of managerial knowledge and skills in intercultural contexts, in order to provide ensured sustainable value creation for our clients?” For sure, not an academic question, but very much reflecting the day-to-day realities of the international consulting experience and practice.
As a consultant, operating worldwide but with a focus on Central Europe and the countries of the former Soviet Union (FSU), I didn’t feel adequately equipped with a “language” and “tools”, which I could use to assist clients in the international environment to broaden their perspectives and which would lead to a value creation in the beneficiary organisations and support in achieving differentiation and advantages in their marketplace. An initial investigation of the practitioners’ research and academic literature did not bring success in finding existing consultancy approaches that seemed to address the problems of trans-boundary transfer of management knowledge experienced by colleagues and by myself.
Management development research programmes on academic level, known as a Professional Doctorate, are relatively young and explicitly directed to a project-based research as a device for managerial development. For the sake of completeness, it should be mentioned that there are engrained differences between the academic and managerial worlds, as well as cultural differences, embodied in the presumption that management activity is separated from the process of thinking. As argued by Gill, Golding and Angluin (1989, p. 78) “An area such as management studies must draw

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