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The chapter considers some aspects of 'national culture' which have received comparatively less attention in the management literature. These are: downward conflation (the belief or assumption that the macro (in this instance the national) is replicated at, indeed creates, lower hierarchical levels (organization, individuals, or whatever). More specifically it discusses a crucial methodological error (the ecological fallacy) which characterises an extraordinarily large number of papers which purport to apply the findings of one or other aspect of the Trio’s work. This section also considers the cultural generalizations of Samuel P. Huntington who shares Postulates 1 to 5 with the Trio and those of Edward T. Hall who shares Postulates 2 to 5. However, his primary focus is on the populations in or from multinational/regional locations which he calls “civilizations”. Although the trio also make general claims about such large populations, they do so to a lesser extent than Huntington. The chapter then considers the implied, and sometimes explicit assumption, in the Trio’s work and the work of their followers that national cultures are coherent, that is, integrated and non-contradictory. National culture cannot logically be said to have uniform and enduring national “consequences” without that invalid assumption. Following that it discusses the assumption of the fixity of national boundaries within which unique and stable national cultures are said to be located. Finally, it considers a misleading, representation of intra-national variation – the view that countries are composites of multiple mono-cultures. The discussion of these matters is preceded by a commentary on the notion of culture employed by the GLOBE, Hofstede, Huntington and Trompenaars (but not by Hall). A brief overview of the ‘dimensions’ employed by the GLOBE, Hofstede and Trompenaars to depict ‘national cultures’ or national cultural differences is provided in an annex located at the end of this chapter.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication Transculturalism and Business in the BRIC States: A Handbook
Place of PublicationFarnham
PublisherAldershot Gower
ISBN (Print)978-1-4724-4401-1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015


  • cultural differences
  • cultural values

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