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Executive Values and Decision Making: The Relationship of Culture and Information Flows

Paul R. Gamble and Duncan A. Gibson

Journal of Management Studies, 1999, vol. 36, issue 2, 217-240

Abstract: The effect of culture on work values has been studied in a number of ways, largely from a western perspective. Studies have predominantly employed questionnaires as the principal agent of data collection. Yet the Confucian work ethic attributes greater emphasis to collectivist values which bear more centrally on personal relationships. This research used discourse analysis in order to try to identify the implicit features of cultural values as they affected the transmission of financial information, a problem highlighted by the Asian currency crisis in 1997/98. The international hotel industry operates in a multicultural environment where very often foreign operators manage locally owned premises. In these circumstances, budgetary planning and control is an important mechanism. A sample of the interactions between 18 hotel general managers and their financial controllers were studied in Hong Kong. Financial controllers are already subject to a number of role conflicts and it was found that these may be exaggerated by culture. Chinese financial controllers seem to distort the outputs of budgetary planning and control processes in recognition of important organizational relationships. It is suggested that recognizing the direction and effect of these relationships has implications for leadership and performance judgements generally.

Date: 1999
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