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Title: Societal culture and managerial decision making : the Brazilians and the English : an international comparison of the making and implementing of strategic decisions in organizations
Author: Oliveira, Carlos Alberto Arruda de
ISNI:       0000 0004 2669 4581
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 1992
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Many features of the making of major managerial decisions have been covered by research - complexity, politicality, innovations, and so forth. Yet one - to which all others may be subject - remains almost untouched by research. It is the effects of societal culture on the way managers from different nations make, and implement, such decisions. This study compares the effects of a New World Latin dominated culture with those of an Old World Anglo-Saxon dominated culture, namely in Brazil and England respectively. It arises from the proposition that decision making, as well as other managerial practices, must be shaped by the cultures of the societies of which senior executives are part, in ways of which they themselves may be unaware. Methodologically, in response to the criticisms of earlier research which often attributed managerial and organizational differences to culture without direct evidence for that, this study began by composing portrayals of both cultures. The purpose of the portraits was to enable predictions of culturally affected elements in decision making, prior to empirical investigation. Data was collected by interview on twenty Brazilian and twenty English decisions in sixteen Brazilian and seventeen English organizations, ranging through a variety of manufacturing and service industries as well as universities. The examination of the results confirmed most of the predicted cultural characteristics. Differences although small on each variable were remarkably consistent across all variables. Brazilian strategic decision making was found to be dominated by a clique around the chief executive, who make fast decisions in a process strongly based on the social relationships between the participants. This style of decision making leads, in Brazil, to very informal processes, with little or no delays and, relatively speaking, less search for information. English decisions were found to be more consultative with more interests being involved in different stages of the process. Decisions in this country were characterized by caution and conservatism with some tendency to postpone decisions. Methodologically, the value of the prior conceptualization and description of societal culture is demonstrated since this gives meaning to the extensive differences found in all aspects of decision making. Theoretically, an attempt is made to elucidate the interconnectedness of societal culture and managerial behaviour.
Supervisor: Hickson, David J. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Societal culture ; Managerial decision making ; Brazil ; England ; Cross- cultural comparison ; Strategic decisions ; Organizational management