This book was started three years ago when I began interviewing computer company founders and executives around Massachusetts Routes 128 and 495 on the topic, "Does the New England cultural environment affect the ways executives manage and do business in this industry?" The executives seemed interested in the topic and especially in comparing their work experiences around the country. André Delbecq, dean of the Santa Clara Graduate Business School in the heart of Silicon Valley, joined me by interviewing computer executives in and around San Jose, California. After extensive interviewing, we discovered that regional cultures played a major role in the way computer executives reportedly managed their operations, dealt with customers, obtained venture capital, marketed their products, managed product development and life cycles, communicated in their workplaces, and managed entrepreneurship. The results of this study prompted my investigation into the relationship of regional cultures and business behavior internationally.
In the summer of 1986 I went to an international management conference in Manchester, England, under the auspices of Bentley College. It was there with Dean David Fedo, also from Bentley, that the actual beginning of this book took shape. At the conference several of the authors and scholars who later contributed to this book presented overviews of their countries' management, educational, and industrial systems. As I listened closely I discovered that they were emphasizing many regional differences in their countries without explicitly stating so. After discussing the idea of my project with several of the presenters at the conference, including Geert Hofstede, I decided to "internationalize" the research topic on comparing regional cultures and manage