Evaluation of Journal Article: Heijes, C. (2010) Cross-cultural perception and power dynamics across changing organizational and national contexts: Curacao and the Netherlands, Human Relations, 64 (5) 653-674. Introduction
This essay critically evaluates Coen Heijes’s paper on power differences in cross-cultural perception and how power imbalance across diverse organizational and national contexts result in various cross-cultural perception between two particular ethnic groups, namely European Dutch and African Curacaoans. To be more specific, this review is critically discussed for the following parts. First of all, the theoretical framework development is briefly examined from dimensional approach to contextual approach. After that follows the research approaches that Heijes adopted and puts forward the advantages and disadvantages, as well as, considering the limitations of them. Eventually, the potential implications for individuals should be involved and particularly whether they positively relates to intercultural working in cross-cultural management. Brief description of the article
In this article, Heijes (2010) presents a comparative analysis of cross-cultural perception between European Dutch and African Curacaoans in Netherlands and Curacao respectively, as well as including two organizations namely the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the police, each of which owns diverse power dynamics. Through using the exploratory case studies, which enable to test the “emerging findings in wider survey-based research” (Cassell and Symon, 2004, p.327), the author tends to illustrate how power differences impact on cross-cultural perception. In order to provide more exactly evidence, Heijes applied a set of various methods in collecting data. Most of data were gathered from interviews between Curacaoan and Dutch employees in IRS and police. Moreover, choosing different interviewers was taken into consideration with the purpose of avoiding interviewer bias; it is mainly due to the fact that ethnic background of the interviewer plays a dominant role in determining the respondents’ answers. After that, it is followed by participant observation to supply further data. Then data were categorized into four groups and based on an iterative process for checking and interpreting the findings. As for findings, from the anthropological perspective, Heijes concluded that cross-cultural perception between two ethnic groups that are relatively similar, that is because the same external background of the two countries and differs due to the internal context of two different organizations. However, the cultural differences were not very much; therefore, the findings indicated that power dynamics plays a crucial role in influencing the cross-cultural perception not only in internal organizational context, but also in external national context. In other words, taking the power dynamics between different groups into consideration is much more essential for determining cross-cultural perception and cooperation than only rely on a value-based approach. Theory and Literature
This article based on Hofstede and McSweeney’s theoretical framework for understanding the power dynamics and cross-cultural perception alongside changing organizational and national contexts. Heijes broadly illustrates the dimensional approach, which one of the most acknowledged and comprehensive cultural typologies is that put forward by Hofstede (Chiang, 2005), is “monolithic and rather static description of national cultures” (Heijes, 2010, p.653). In spite of widely application and its popularity, it also challenged by “a more contextual approach based on actual interaction” (Heijes, 2010, p.654). The literature assists the author in developing theoretical frameworks through quoting “many methodological and theoretical criticisms” (Chiang, 2005, p.1545) surrounding the dynamics of cross-cultural perception. Firstly, in terms of Hofstede‘s framework, Hoecklin (1996)...
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