Regional Cultures, Managerial Behavior, and Entrepreneurship: An International Perspective

By Joseph W. Weiss | Go to book overview

1
Introduction

Joseph W Weiss

The influence of regional cultures on management behavior is an important but neglected area in organizational science. This neglect is surprising inasmuch as so many other dimensions of cultural influences on management have been studied: national culture, corporate culture, occupational culture, even global culture. Why have regional cultures within nations been overlooked in management literature? Several explanations may be offered. First, it is easier to locate, justify, and measure national and country than regional cultures. Second, the assumption that regional and local cultures "melt" into predominant national cultures has prevailed. Finally, the notion that regional cultures are insignificant when compared to national and international business environments has been accepted as fact.

The importance of regional cultures regarding business practices is finally gaining recognition among scholars, forecasters, and practitioners. Alvin Toffler ( 1983, 2) stated,

Today, when we look at Kyushu in southern Japan, or Scotland, or Quebec, or Texas, we find regional economies that have become as large and complex as national economies were only a few decades ago. Because of cultural and technological trends, it is now possible to produce certain goods for regional or even local markets that until now could only be supported by national markets. . . . More and more, these regional economies will break out of national economic frameworks and demand to go their own way. And they are growing more divergent. This helps account for rising regionalism in culture, from poetry to cuisine, and, of course, in politics.

Similarly, John Naisbitt ( 1984, 116-34) observed what he termed a "new regionalism" emerging in the United States. He stated, "The regional

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