Beyond Sophisticated Stereotyping Essay

10232 Words Sep 22nd, 2015 41 Pages
Beyond Sophisticated Stereotyping: Cultural Sensemaking in Context [and Executive
Commentaries]
Author(s): Joyce S. Osland, Allan Bird, June Delano and Mathew Jacob
Source: The Academy of Management Executive (1993-2005), Vol. 14, No. 1, Themes: Forming
Impressions and Giving Feedback (Feb., 2000), pp. 65-79
Published by: Academy of Management
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4165609 .
Accessed: 05/08/2013 09:54
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To decipher cultural paradoxes, the authors propose a model of cultural sensemaking, linking schemas to contexts. They spell out the implications of this model for those who teach culture, for people working across cultures, and for multinational corporations.
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gorize cultures. They violate our conceptions of what we think particular cultures are like. Constrained, stereotypical thinking is not the only problem, however. The more exposure and understanding one gains about any culture, the more paradoxical it often becomes. For example, U.S.
Americans are individualistic in some situations
(e.g., "the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued is the right to be left alone"4) and in others (e.g., school fundraising collectivist events).
Long-term sojourners and serious cultural scholars find it difficult to make useful generalizations since so many exceptions and qualifications to the stereotypes, on both a cultural and individual level, come to mind. These cultural paradoxes are defined as situations that exhibit an apparently contradictory nature.
Surprisingly, there is little mention of cultural paradoxes in the management literature.5 Our

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