A cultural kaleidoscope: managing the European company

  • Christine Chantal Emilie Communal

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis provides a comparative study of managerial practices in Europe. Patterns of behaviour and preferred modes of organisation are identified in four countries, based on an in-depth case study of a chosen/specific European company. While the corporate culture and industry remain constant, national context manifests itself as the essential variable between the different operations. The thesis proposes/argues that this factor — national context — is a powerful variable which frames the activity of management. Europe is a continent of diversity; each nation has unique traditions, particular historical and cultural roots as well as its own institutional framework. This diversity means that managers learn to operate in a manner that suits their particular context. The thesis documents such national divergence in terms of managerial practices and behaviour. The processes of integration of European Union member States and of globalisation also contribute towards the shaping of management. The case study company, as a leading provider of Information Technology services, is among the avant-garde pioneers of a technological, borderless world. Common pressures affecting managers across the board — and thus regardless of national context — are also identified: these include the pressure to achieve profit and efficiency. In addition, a degree of convergence between human resource management policies and practices also makes itself visible. The thesis demonstrates, above all, the influence of national culture and national environment vis-à-vis management; an argument which may be reaffirmed given the context of globalisation. In brief, a European company is a cultural kaleidoscope
Date of Award1999
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Northampton
SupervisorBarbara Senior (Supervisor) & Peter Lawrence (Supervisor)

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