Do Power Distance and Uncertainty-avoidance Determine Organizational Structure? A Culture Bound versus Culture Free Debate

By Hala Abdulqader Sabri.

Published by The Organization Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This study aims to investigate the culture bound and culture free propositions within a cross-cultural approach. Specifically, the study examines if relationships between context and structure are stable and transcend national differences, and second it examines if certain configuration of structure is preferred in different cultures according to their power distance and uncertainty avoidance orientations. The study first analyzes the structure of twelve Jordanian companies then compares the findings with those reported by Horvath, McMillan, Azumi and Hickson on British, Japanese and Swedish matched samples. Consistent with previous research, the findings confirmed that relationships between context and structure transcend national differences between the four cultures. Yet, the existing struc- ture for companies in Jordan, Japan, Britain and Sweden did not fit well the suggested desired structure in each culture on its power distance and uncertainty avoidance cultural orientations.

Keywords: Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, Organizational Structure, Culture Bound, Culture Free

International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp.131-146. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 837.715KB).

Dr. Hala Abdulqader Sabri

Associate Professor, Business Administration, Petra University, Amman, Jordan

Ph.D. Management, from Leeds University, U.K . Teaches management at graduate and undergraduate levels. Active member of the Jordanian Higher Education Accreditation Commission. Research Interests in: Cross-Cultural Research; Knowledge Management; Leadership Studies; and Quality Assurance in Higher Education. Participated in almost eighteen conferences in management and thirty conferences in other different subjects. Conducted several studies many of which were published in different Arab, American and international journals. Conducted workshops and lectured in management and other subjects in several societies and research centers. Was the Deputy Secretary General of the Arab Thought Forum (ATF), an NGO concerned in research development and international dialogues. A member of many Arab and international associations and societies. Visited almost 40 countries in the ME, North Africa, Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia which helped moving her interest in conducting cross-cultural research and communicating with people from different cultures.

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