Organizational Culture of Global Organization: Convergence or Divergence?

By Yoshimi Muto and Shaista Khilji.

Published by The Organization Collection

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

The current debate on cultural convergence and divergence in the context of globalization is the focus of the paper. First we review different perspectives on cultural typology e.g., by nationality vs. organizational culture; static vs. dynamic culture; individual variance vs. social variance. Second, we propose a definition of global organizations in the context of globalization and distinguish these from international corporations, transnational corporations and multi-national corporations. We then review the debate on cultural convergence vs. divergence (Adler, etc.) and propose five propositions supporting the position of the existing crossvergence of cultures as well as providing a new perspective of crossvergence at the individual level, drawing from various researchers' cultural typology work and observations of the World Bank’s workforce of different nationalities working in various offices around the world. Finally, we address the implication for management in a global economy and calls for in-depth studies of global organizations in public, non-profit and private sectors.

Keywords: Organizational Culture, Globalization, Global Organization, Cross-cultural Management

The International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp.49-58. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 654.073KB).

Yoshimi Muto

Human Resource Officer, Human Resource Vice Presidency, The World Bank, Washington, DC, USA

Yoshimi Muto, MS (Industrial & Labor Relations) is a Human Resource Officer of the World Bank, studying towards a doctoral degree in Human and Organizational Learning at the George Washington University, the Graduate School of Education and Human Development, Executive Leadership Program. She worked for Recruit Co. in Tokyo, ILO in Geneva, OECD in Paris, UN Secretariat in New York, and UNICEF in New York. Her research interest is in global organizations and organizational culture.

Shaista Khilji

Assistant Professor of Human and Organizational Studies, Graduate School of Education and Human Development, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA

Dr. Shaista E. Khilji is Assistant Professor of Human and Organizational Studies at the Graduate School of Education and Human Development of the George Washington University. She teaches courses in Consulting Skills, Leadership, Strategic Human Performance, International and Multicultural Human Resource Management, Leadership at Masters and doctoral level. Dr. Khilji received her PhD in International Management from the Judge Business School at University of Cambridge in 2000. She has since taught at the undergraduate and MBA levels at McGill University (Montreal, Canada), Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada) and American University (Washington, DC, USA). Dr. Khilji has also conducted several workshops, and focused training sessions for executives from Iran, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Singapore, Russia, India, USA, UK, Germany, France and China. Dr. Khilji’s research primarily focuses upon ‘cross-cultural’ and gender and generational issues in international management.

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