Collective cultural mind programming: escaping from the cage

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Purpose - Although vanquished in anthropology, the notion ‘national culture’ as a set of unique, shared, closed, enduring, coherent, determinate subjective values has been repopularized in management by GLOBE, Hofstede, and Trompenaars (the Trio). This article critiques the Trio’s representation of culture and its purported consequences.

Design/Methodology/Approach - Identifies the essential similarity of the Trio’s work by describing seven propositions they share. Drawing on research from multiple disciplines it critiques a number of these propositions.

Findings - The Trio’s representation of culture functions as a conceptual cage which confines analysis to misleading and impoverished explanations of organizational and other social action.

Originality/Value - By describing and critiquing some of the metaphorical ‘bars’ of the Trio’s emasculating ‘cage’ it opens further the possibility of richer and relevant cultural research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-80
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Organizational Change Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Culture
  • Hofstede
  • Trompenaars
  • Cross-National
  • Determinism

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