Change and culture : the balanced scorecard and the Egyptian fertilizer manufacturing sector
This study aims to explore the influence of culture within the context of the Egyptian fertilizer industry, as being part of a non-Western culture, on the adoption of the BSC, as a typical Western change vehicle. Adopting a holistic and integrative approach, this relationship is examined, in terms of both process and content, and from different dimensions (the BSC, national culture, organisational culture). Within each dimension, related literature is critically reviewed to guide the discussion and frame the investigation of the link between culture and the BSC. More specifically, detailed comparisons between the BSC and other change and innovation management frameworks, such as TQM, JIT, and BPR have been made. Such comparisons serve to increase the understanding of both their common and their unique features. Several methods have been devised to conceptualize and assess culture including those, for example, by (Schwartz, 1999; Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner, 1997). Here in this study, the frame of reference developed by Geert Hofstede (1980 – 2001) is used to analyse cultural phenomena. By using multiple-case study, semi-structured interviews, and content analysis, in the spirit of action research, data was collected and analysed. This action research was proven to be of great value as a research technique and a vehicle for development and change. The main findings reveal that there are, from a general perspective, salient differences in cultural values between American culture, i.e. the contextual origin of the BSC, and Egyptian culture, i.e. the research context. These cultural defences no doubt influence the adoption of Western management practices, such as the BSC. In other words, the findings reveal that there cultural differences, diversities and contradictions within Egyptian society and organisations, despite commonalities and similarities at the macro level.