Poland Cultural Dimensions - Wojciech Nasierowski, Bogusz Mlkula

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Culture Dimensions of Poiish iManagers: Hofstede's indioes*
Wojciech Nasierowski, Bogusz Mikula

Wojciech Nasierowski Faculty of Administration, University of New Brunswick. rTeoencton, Canada Bogusz Mikula Academy of Economy. Cracow. Poland

This paper explores, in accordance with Hofstede's indices, the culture dimensions of young PDk» who have had some exposure to business tnanagement. It is shown that this group of Polish respondents score high in Power Distance and Uncertainty Avoidance, average in Individualism, are moderately above average in Masculitiity as compared to Hofetedc's Hermes data-base results. These culture characteristics are discussed from the perspective of their possible impact upon the adaptation of Western managerial concepts in Poland. culture 2 dimensions, cross-culttire matiagement, Poland

Intfoductioii One of the focal issues in comparative management theory is the impact of culttire on management. Culture, which might be described in terms of a 'collective mental programming' of people who share a similar environment, is often difficult to alter: it changes slowly and only under the pressure of dramatic environmental shifts. In keeping with such a deflnition, it has been observed that business practices vary extensively as a function of culture (Hofstede 1991; Ronen 1986; Ronen and Shenkar 198S), that management is culttue-speciflc (Bartlett and Goshal 1992; Hodgetts and Luthans 1991; Wright 1988), and that managerial techniques must be tailored to flt local conditions (Nasierowski and Coleman 1997; Ricks 1983; Levitt 1983), With the fall of the 'iron curtain' increasing attention has been paid to direct business-type involvement in Central Europe, Questions of managerial practices, as well as the possibility of implementing Western concepts there have been explored by Shama (1993), Perlaki (1993), Jankowicz and Pettitt (1993), Ivancevich et,al, (1992), Newman (1992), Peaice (1991), Forker (1991), and Vlachoutsicos and Lawrence (1990), Although intellectually stimulating, these works fall upon theoretical speculation rather than a set of empirically grounded conclusions. Some notable exceptions to this pattern include, for example, the publications of Yanouzas and Boukis (1993) and Jago et al, (1993), This paper reports on an empirical study of the culture dimensions of young Poles who are, or through educational attainment intend to be, managers.

Organization Studies 1998. 19/3 495-509 O 1998 EGOS 0170-8406/98 0019^4)020 $3.00


Wojciech Nasierowski, Bogusz Mikula

Poland was selected for its size in Central Europe and its favourable economic climate, which has attracted an increasing number of business people over the last eight years. It is posited that in sketching the culture dimensions of Polish prospective executives (referred to as managers in this paper), this study enables a more formal analysis of the adaptation of Western practices in Poland. Results will assist investors in the selection and development of ^propdate business arrangements, and will be indicative of the possibility of utilizing Western experience there, as well as of the sourees of potential problems. Results may, additionally, impact on the content of in-company training and induction programmes, the effectiveness of adopting managerial solutions, job organization, and employer expectations of subordinates. An overview of literature pertaining to ctilttiral characteristics and the impact of culttu« dimensions on organizational solutions in Poland is presented. The methodology employed in this study is described and justified. The calculation of Hofstede's indices provides grotmds for an investigation of the potential effect of Polish cultural characteristics on the implementation of specific management practices. Some generalizations about the cultural characteristics of countries in the region are made in the closing section of the paper.

Overview of the Literature There is a...
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