I did it! I deleted Learning-Org. messages accumulated in my folder for
at least 20 days! I survived! It is somewhat painful to have to delete
all those messages that I know contained great stuff. I saved some posts
dealing with the discussion on education, which I hope to address a little
> Date: 19 Apr 96 22:42:56 EDT
> From: Rol Fessenden <76234.3636@CompuServe.COM>
> Keith said:
> >One of the ironies about being truly open in North American Business is
> >that you can be perceived as weak. Even though listening/directing/leading
> >are effective ways to get the job done with maximum commitment of your
> >people, executives are often looking for the 'cowboy' with the answers.
> It is not necessarily just North American. I believe (I would like to
> hear from someone more knowledgeable than me) that the British
> misunderstood Mahatma Gandhi in just exactly this way. An open,
> vulnerable person who, if you acted on the perception that he was weak,
> would demonstrate that he was tough as nails.
> This is a very effective person to have as a leader.
When I discussed this topic, I refer to the "Western
Organizational World" and I include there USA, Canada, Northern Europe,
the UK, South Africa, Australia, and New Zeland. These cultures share
some characteristics in common with respect to issues such as
individualism, clear chain of command and hierarchy, division of labor,
etc. There seems to be somewhat of a match between the characteristics
and attributes of the classical organizational structure and the culture
of these countries. When we take the same organizational form and
practices to other cultures, then we might have less than a "perfect"
performance. We cannot expect the same level of performance when we don't
make the necessary adjustments to the structure of the organization to
adjust it to the local culture. I don't have any strong data on this, but
Koopman (Transcultural Management, Blackwell Publishing), narrates many
situations the exemplify this. There are some American companies that
have been more successful applying TQM/CQI concepts and tools in Northern
Mexico (the culture is more collective, etc.), than in the U.S. Another
big example is the Japanese, who are as successful or more so (in some
areas) than the Western Industrialized countries, but use a very different
organizational structure and processes. They too show a match between
their culture and their organizational forms!
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